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Thu Dec 26, 2019, 03:17 PM

Tom Nichols on the Steele Dossier. Really good thread!





Tom Nichols
@RadioFreeTom
Before we head into #impeachment, here's a quick revisiting of the Steele Dossier. None of you will like it. And remember, I was among those who said it should not have been public. (I am leaving aside whether the FBI should have relied on any it. That's Horowitz's call.) /1


https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1210289161741197312.html

Before we head into #impeachment, here's a quick revisiting of the Steele Dossier. None of you will like it. And remember, I was among those who said it should not have been public. (I am leaving aside whether the FBI should have relied on any it. That's Horowitz's call.) /1

You call a spook to get oppo, you get what spooks produce: a harvesting of everything they can find, public and private, true or false. Raw product includes things like "A guy overheard at a cocktail party at Embassy X said this after three Manhattans." That's a spook's job. /2

It will also include stuff that the spook knows - and that experienced analysts know - was put there by the bad guys as disinfo. This is actually useful: It tells you what the bad guys know about your search, and it gives you some insight into how they'd rather mislead you. /3

Normally, a file like this gets sent to analysts, who then go into multiple modes of verification: Internal review, asking for more from the field, checking against stuff known from other sources (including stuff the field might not have), putting out calls to other sources. /4

No one would take such a file, and say: "Well, if this here spook wrote it, it's true." Steele himself knew much of it wasn't true, but it's not the collector's job to weed that out. Collection and analysis are different. (In oppo firms, they're too close, but that's the biz.) /5

But Steele had heard enough to want to alert U.S. authorities. Because even if he couldn't verify each story, he'd heard enough to make him worried. (That's kind of like the "chatter" issue before terrorism. Not exact analogy, but too much info at all is a sign.) /6

Steele could tell that Trump and his coterie were jungled up with the Russians. Which parts he could prove, and which he couldn't, were less important than the realization that the Russians and the candidate were way, way too close. Dangerously so. /7

Put another way, think of how people are investigated for clearances. If you're in hock, have lots of creepy associates, and people who shouldn't know you personally have stories about you - even if some of them are off the wall - it's going to jam up that clearance. Rightly. /8

Steele pushed the panic button on Trump because only an idiot *wouldn't* have done so. Personally, I think the FBI would have been nuts not to move on it. And as Mueller noted, there was no proof of a conspiracy, but plenty of evidence of intentional and desired collusion. /9

It was wrong of Buzzfeed to publish the file. If you've ever been investigated for anything, you have a similar file, full of stuff that might or might not be true. Shouldn't be public. But USG takes a "whole person" approach to investigations, and so did Steele. Rightly
. /10

And it was way wrong of Maddow to play Nancy Drew with the file, because she has no background in either intelligence or Russian affairs. She did her usual thing of jacking up her audience to think they were uncovering SPECTRE or something, and I said so at the time. /11

But in the end, the reality is that the entire Trump circle, including the President, is far too connected to Russia, and imo, compromised by Russian intelligence (mostly through knowledge of Trump's finances.) I said that over a year ago here:
What Jonathan Chait Gets Right About Trump and Russia
Thirty years of contacts with Russia are hard to dismiss as a series of disconnected events.
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/07/10/trump-russia-jonathan-chait-218966

/12
This is a level of Russian infestation that - in a better time in our country - would never have been tolerated. The GOP has used the dumbassery around the Steele file to wear us down and eat what's left of the patriotism of a lot of people. Shame on them - and shame on us. /13

None of these tweets - duh - represent the view of the U.S. government. They are my view that Steele did the right thing, but that we have become a country tolerant of traitorous, scummy conduct on the part of an entire political party.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. /14x

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Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply Tom Nichols on the Steele Dossier. Really good thread! (Original post)
Roland99 Dec 2019 OP
Leith Dec 2019 #1
NewJeffCT Dec 2019 #2
Buckeyeblue Dec 2019 #3
stopdiggin Dec 2019 #4
YessirAtsaFact Dec 2019 #5
Roland99 Dec 2019 #28
Proud Liberal Dem Dec 2019 #6
xxqqqzme Dec 2019 #8
LisaM Dec 2019 #9
cab67 Dec 2019 #18
cab67 Dec 2019 #19
ChiTownDenny Dec 2019 #7
Leith Dec 2019 #23
cab67 Dec 2019 #17
Ninga Dec 2019 #10
OnDoutside Dec 2019 #14
Ninga Dec 2019 #15
OnDoutside Dec 2019 #16
Ninga Dec 2019 #22
NoMoreRepugs Dec 2019 #11
OnDoutside Dec 2019 #12
katmondoo Dec 2019 #13
cab67 Dec 2019 #20
MartyTheGreek Dec 2019 #21
CaptainTruth Dec 2019 #24
mackdaddy Dec 2019 #25
Kurt V. Dec 2019 #26
hughee99 Dec 2019 #27
gibraltar72 Dec 2019 #29

Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 03:24 PM

1. So basically he is saying

There's a hell of a lot of smoke, but no probably fire. Maybe a few hot coals. Move on. Nothing to see here.

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Response to Leith (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 03:34 PM

2. plenty of intentional collusion

seems pretty damning to me

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Response to Leith (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 03:39 PM

3. I don't get that at all

What I get is this: don't believe all of the stories in the dossier but some of them are told to be intentionally false, which is actually a sign that there is something more. But the overall red flag is that Trump is too close to Russia. And that is a problem.

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Response to Leith (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 03:48 PM

4. not my reading

what I heard here -- Steele report was a hodge-podge of true, false and supposition (and no one should have ever assumed differently). And he had every reason in the world to pull the fire alarm.

(and, in fact, he wasn't the only one to do so.)

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Response to Leith (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 03:54 PM

5. I read that there is smoke and some fires

Some smoke is coming from legit wildfires

Some smoke is from fires set for Steele to find

Some smoke is just a smoke bomb

Bottom line is that Trumpís campaign and Trump himself were way too close to Russia. The FBI had to investigate.

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Response to YessirAtsaFact (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 10:03 PM

28. Yeah. This is but one piece of the massive trump/Russia entanglement

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Response to Leith (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 04:12 PM

6. He's saying that it was bad but shouldn't have been made public

but why not?

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Response to Proud Liberal Dem (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 04:56 PM

8. From his admonition of

Buzzfeed and Rachel, I'm getting investigation and verification of the gathered intelligence becomes more complicated and difficult.

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Response to Proud Liberal Dem (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 05:19 PM

9. Because it gave people the opportunity to say if some of it wasn't true, none of it could be.

That seems to be a common disinformation tactic.

I agree about Rachel Maddow always acting as if she's on the verge of exposing something huge, and then never delivering. I like her, but that circuitous story-telling and connecting the dots - and endless repetition of the same phrases - made her show absolutely unwatchable for me. If I watch MSNBC, it's Brian Williams, because he gets real experts and then listens to what they tell him, instead of asking leading questions.

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Response to Proud Liberal Dem (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 05:54 PM

18. A friend of mine works on the Mars Curiosity probe.

NASA puts all kinds of images online, including some she took.

Unprocessed images are used by every sort of crackpot to demonstrate all kinds of crackpottery. She gave up dealing with the quack who thought one of the pictures she took showed the vertebral column of a whale on the surface of Mars.

Remember the Ďfaceí at Cydonia on Mars? Same thing. Inadequately processed images, in the digital hands of conspiracy theorists, can cause a lot of havoc.

Itís the same with raw intel. People trained to work with it are better placed to figure out what it means.

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Response to cab67 (Reply #18)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 05:57 PM

19. I have respect for Nichols.

I donít agree with every bit of his book, The Death of Expertise, but he makes excellent points and itís worth reading.

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Response to Leith (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 04:53 PM

7. Do you think

 

Trump's call with Zelensky was perfect?

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Response to ChiTownDenny (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 07:04 PM

23. Snicker!

Oh, heck, no. I'm surprised that someone would even ask me that.

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Response to Leith (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 05:48 PM

17. Not how I read it at all.

Sounds like heís saying thereís plenty of fire, but the file was even smokier, and the people who rushed into the smoke looking for fires werenít trained for the task.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 05:20 PM

10. Try this excellent piece...Chuck Rosenberg retrospective on the Dossier.

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Response to Ninga (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 05:38 PM

14. Thanks, that was excellent.

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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 05:46 PM

15. The there there is more there than folks think....

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Response to Ninga (Reply #15)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 05:48 PM

16. Definitely. And until the Dems take full control, I'm holding off on

Having a final opinion.

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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #16)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 06:04 PM

22. Smart and advisable.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 05:21 PM

11. EZPZ for me. Steele saw that a candidate for

POTUS and the frickiní Russians intersected, a whole bunch. We arenít talking about a Congressman from Bumfuck, Idaho - this is the POTUS - so hell yes u pull every fire alarm in the building.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 05:29 PM

12. I don't know what his kick at Rachel Maddow is about. I thought she

was very responsible with the dossier, and was at pains to downplay some aspects of it, and realistic about most of it. She also pointed out that it was not a dossier but a series of intelligence memos. Nicholls should refrain from casting shit until the full unredacted Mueller report is released under the next Democratic president.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 05:36 PM

13. What about the story that Ivanka knew Steel years before the document.

They were friends???

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 05:59 PM

20. I respect Nichols

I donít agree with every bit of his book, The Death of Expertise, but he makes excellent points and itís worth reading.

He comes across as someone with whom one could have stimulating discussions that donít devolve into shouting matches.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 06:01 PM

21. It was a draft political background opposition document...

Dossier made it sound like a complete researched package. Even Steele himself said at may be about 80% accurate.

If I recall either 4 of 7 or 5 of 7, key points in the document were correct. There were meetings at TT. There was a TT Moscow deal in the works, rusky oligarch money laundering, one or two more things. One thing not found is the pee tape but so what!

Like the poster above said, we still don't know what's redacted in the Mueller report. We know that it's enough, that he hand selected a political hack as AG and he did not do his job to uphold the law of the land but this will all come out eventually.

This guy is using too many personal pronouns. He's hurt about something, saying I told you so.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 07:53 PM

24. Thanks for including the whole thread. For some reason Tom blocked me on Twitter.


Not sure why, I never insult folks who are on our side, but sometimes I do challenge their analysis with a different perspective &/or additional facts. I've discovered that some prominent people seem to want to believe they're always right & don't take kindly to having their conclusions challenged, & apparently Tom is one of them.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 08:22 PM

25. RAW initial intelligence reports, that were NOT to be made public.

There was never anything wrong with that. The FBI and intelligence agencies know these are just RAW reports and just a starting point into a real investigation. It was never intended as the final "These are the absolute exact facts" statements.

But the series of reports do point to a very damning situation that Russia was interfering in our elections and Trump at a minimum was very happy and accepting of that interference. And Steele was absolutely right to try to get this to our counter-intelligence people.

As far as I can tell the significant majority (well over half) of the points made in Steele's series of reports have been proven true. And none of this was generally know outside of covert FBI investigations during the second half of 2016.

But, it was made public. Personally I do not see anything wrong with Maddow trying to further investigate the Steele reports. They are out there, so why not?

Who could now argue that Trump is NOT Putin's pet at this point? As the speaker says "With Trump, all roads lead to Putin!"

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 08:28 PM

26. they sincerely can not make the connection between conservatism and trump. fuck him

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 09:49 PM

27. If this is accurate, it sounds like this sort of information should not be used

As any part of a FISA warrant.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 10:17 PM

29. Was it wrong

Of Republicans to start it?

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