Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 06, 2018

The New Yorker Attempts But Fails To Boost The Steele Dossier

Updated below

Yesterday The New Yorker published a 15,000 word piece about Christopher Steele, the former British spook who created the "dossier" about alleged Russian interference with Trump. Written by Jane Mayer the piece is designed to let Steele shine in the very best light. A civil servant who only followed his conscience when he peddled his made-up dirt to the FBI, the media and Congress.

That a private investigator, highly paid by the Clinton campaign to find dirt about Trump, was acting out of decency, would be unbelievable in the best case. But the piece is way worse. There are at least six factual errors in it which anyone who has followed the affair can easily detect. Some new allegations in the piece are so thinly sourced that any decent editor would have thrown them out.

The first graph is already a mess:

In January, after a long day at his London office, Christopher Steele, the former spy turned private investigator, was stepping off a commuter train in Farnham, where he lives, when one of his two phones rang. He’d been looking forward to dinner at home with his wife, and perhaps a glass of wine. It had been their dream to live in Farnham, a town in Surrey with a beautiful Georgian high street, where they could afford a house big enough to accommodate their four children, on nearly an acre of land. Steele, who is fifty-three, looked much like the other businessmen heading home, except for the fact that he kept his phones in a Faraday bag—a pouch, of military-tested double-grade fabric, designed to block signal detection.

A friend in Washington, D.C., was calling with bad news: ...

A phone, kept in a Faraday bag designed to block signals, rings? How please can a phone that can not send or receive signals, take a call? That is impossible. How can a fact-checker and/or editor at The New Yorker let such nonsense slip into the opening graph of such a large piece?

Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel, with whom I have exchanged views on this, details several of the factual errors in the piece:

  • The piece misleads the reader by insinuating that Steele was original paid by Republican money. GPS Fusion was paid by a Republican opponent of Trump to find dirt on him. That job ended after Trump had won the primaries. GPS Fusion then started to work for the Clinton campaign. Steele was hired by GPS only after the GPS client had changed. He was then tasked with finding something "Russian" on Trump.
  • Mayer claims that the Democrats were only alarmed about the "hacking" of the DNC emails after, in late July 2016, Wikileaks started to publish those. That is wrong. Marcy points out that one month earlier the Guccifer 2.0 figure had already published internal details from the DNC "hack". That, at the latest, set off the alarm bells.
  • Mayer also claims that none of reporters who were briefed by Steele then wrote about the dossier. But Michael Isikoff did write about it without revealing that Steele was his source. His report was used by the FBI as a confirmation of the Steele claims.

Later the piece comes up with this unfounded assertion to further polish the dossier:

It’s too early to make a final judgment about how much of Steele’s dossier will be proved wrong, but a number of Steele’s major claims have been backed up by subsequent disclosures.

That the Steele dossier was backed up by subsequent disclosures would be news to me. What evidence does Mayer have to support that?

His allegation that the Kremlin favored Trump in 2016 and was offering his campaign dirt on Hillary has been borne out.

No, it has not. Dirt on Clinton was offered to the Trump campaign by one Rob Goldstone, a British lobbyist who tried get a date with the campaign for a Russian lobbyist hired by some oligarch who wanted to get rid of sanctions enacted against him. A meeting with both lobbyists was held in the Trump Tower but cut short when it became obvious that they could not provide any dirt on Clinton. This had nothing to do with Steele or the content of his dossier.

So has his claim that the Kremlin and WikiLeaks were working together to release the D.N.C.’s e-mails.

No evidence exists to support that claim. Wikileaks, Craig Murrey and Kim Dotcom have consistently said that the DNC emails Wikileaks published did not come from a "hack" or from Russian sources and that Russia was not involved in their release. This again has nothing to do with the dossier.

Indeed, it’s getting harder every day to claim that Steele was simply spreading lies, now that three former Trump campaign officials—Flynn, Papadopoulos, and Rick Gates, who served as deputy campaign chairman—have all pleaded guilty to criminal charges, and appear to be cooperating with the investigation.

And again: None of the cases against those persons had anything to do with Steele or his dossier. They pleaded guilty on unrelated issues.

None of these three points Jane Mayer makes is supporting the claimed veracity of the Steele dossier or any part of it. She is evidently misleading the readers by claiming that they do so.

There are some details in the Mayer piece that could be news and would normally deserve some discussion. But the piece is full of obvious errors, unreliable arguments and its sourcing is very thin. Thus nothing in it can be taken at face value.

The famous fact checking of The New Yorker completely failed with this piece. It is sad that the once venerable magazine and the admirable Jane Mayer have become willing propagandists for this lost cause.


Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller (yes, I know it is not deemed reputable) looked into some claims Mayer makes in her piece which, if true, contain new morsels on the issue. They support the standpoint that the whole dossier is fake. These points are:

  1. Steele likely knew who funded the dossier
  2. Steele used dozens of paid confidential ‘collectors’, not unpaid ones
  3. Steele may have earlier worked for a Kremlin-connected oligarch
  4. The salacious claims in the dossier were based on secondhand information
  5. Steele briefed Jane Mayer during the campaign
  6. A John McCain associate wanted to use dossier to force Trump to resign

Another new point in the Mayer piece, not in the above list, is an alleged meeting between the head of the British spy service GCHQ and the head of the CIA John Brennan in which GCHQ briefs Brennan about alleged interceptions of communication between Trump campaign associates and Russia. This is curious because the usual contact for such a case should have been the FBI, not the CIA.

But some have suggested that the Brennan came up with the idea or at least directed the campaign of smearing Trump over made-up connections with Russia. For legal reasons and deniability the affair the creation of "evidence" was outsourced to the British partners. As Pat Lang, who has led large intelligence spying and counter-intelligence operations, opines:

IMO there was a criminal conspiracy among various parts of the government, the Clinton Campaign and the MSM to rig the election against Trump, and it continues. pl

Posted by b on March 6, 2018 at 05:12 AM | Permalink

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Very astute observations, as usual.

A more fitting title for Jane Mayer’s piece would have been:

“In Her Majesty’s Secret Service: How an Agent of British Intelligence Tried (and Failed) to Prevent the Election of Donald Trump”

By the way, please correct this:

“They pledged guilty on unrelated issues.”

should read:

“They pleaded guilty on unrelated issues.”

Posted by: Pictorex | Mar 6, 2018 6:04:54 AM | 1

Nicely written piece. It just leaves you shaking your head in disbelief sometimes, the brazen repetition of utter nonsense and total lies in hopes that it will eventually start to stick. And I had also noticed some time back the rampant circular citations bootstrapped into being called evidence. An unnamed, unknown, unvetted "government official" source is reported by, say, WP, which is then reported by the Times (? since when did competing newspapers use each other as confirmation?), so that official government spokespeople now report "as confirmed by multiple newspaper stories..."

No wonder the New Yorker and their ilk stick to print rather than video...with AV media, you would be able to hear the heavy breathing and wiki-wiki-wiki sounds of turd polishing in the background.

Posted by: J Swift | Mar 6, 2018 6:41:08 AM | 2

> How please can a phone that can not send or receive signals, take a call? That is impossible. How can a fact-checker and/or editor at The New Yorker let such nonsense slip into the opening graph

very very simple.

it is a "working under hostile duress" beacon set off

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 6, 2018 7:05:20 AM | 3

common core education. Use big words to conceal nonsense and say nothing.

Posted by: ELRIUS | Mar 6, 2018 7:12:54 AM | 4

And of course this one assertion by Steele is used by the Hannity's of the world to assert that Trump was the victim of a Russian misinformation campaign ...

"In the reports Steele had collected, the names of the sources were omitted, but they were described as “a former top-level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin,”"

The beauty of it is that this alleged source never has to be revealed because it would endanger the source so we have to take this Boy Scouts word for it.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Mar 6, 2018 7:19:27 AM | 5

"A phone, kept in a Faraday bag designed to block signals, rings? How please can a phone that can not send or receive signals, take a call? That is impossible."

While I've never heard of that bag nor understand purpose of it I would say it is strange. If I do not want to receive a phone calls I just turn it off. But maybe it is part of an Exceptionalism and for a "sophisticated" people.

But who am I to understand Alternative facts and these things.

Posted by: Partisan | Mar 6, 2018 7:25:54 AM | 6

Frankly; I'm so bloody fed up with this whole narrative; I don't care if it's true or not!
What difference does it make? Russia, Russia, Russia; bloody hell; get over it!
It's a massive distraction from many other vile things being done; war against Yemen; illegal US occupation of Syria; ongoing war in Ukraine; massive violations of the US constitution within the borders of the continental US; militarized police violence against US citizens; the list goes on ad infinitum...
Ya'all just seem immune and apathetic...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 6, 2018 7:46:39 AM | 7

@7 - If I do not want to receive a phone calls I just turn it off

can you please explicitly spell out the exact sequence you would use to "turn it off" ? :-D

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 6, 2018 7:51:02 AM | 8

Expected. "Turning phone on" is as self-evidently obvious and as precluding any further thinking as "protecting democracy" and "liberating people from tyrannic oppression"

Indeed, what is there to think? It is time to sto pthinking and start doing :-D

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 6, 2018 8:05:18 AM | 9

Will The Swamp's vassals ever stop behaving like spiteful 10-year-olds?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 6, 2018 8:37:39 AM | 10

"...looked much like the other businessmen heading home, except for the fact that he kept his phones in a Faraday bag—a pouch, of military-tested double-grade fabric, designed to block signal detection..."

A practical man, Steele also kept a giant roll of telephone line attached to his belt. Unrolling it as he proceeded down the high street, he glanced upwards.

A Pteranodon, perched upon the slate roof was watching him closely. A bead of sweat appeared on his temple, just showing underneath the rim of his bowler hat, trickling down the side of his face, the leaving a streak that resembled a long forgotten river delta.

A chimmney sweet was approaching him on his right, whistling a jaunty tune, his bag of extendable brushes jingling and clanking, just like Steele's nerves. Obviously a Russian operative, the sweep was whistling an exerpt from Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty, an ominous warning...

Posted by: Luther | Mar 6, 2018 8:52:41 AM | 11

CNN had another lengthy special report on alleged Trump-Russia collusion over the weekend. Remember CNN was the lead-dog on the dossier with its release of the dossier fake news on Jan 10, 2017, just ten days before the Trump inauguration. But also remember what a CNN producer said last summer about Trump-Russia collusion: "Could be bullshit. I mean, it's mostly bullshit right now. Like, we don't have any big giant proof."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 6, 2018 9:02:32 AM | 12

His phone was using different incoming and outgoing frequency. His 'military-tested double-grade fabric' was blocking one but not the other, so 1/2 invisible.

Makes some funny reading though.

Posted by: {o,{o}} | Mar 6, 2018 9:03:05 AM | 13

the crash of intra-bank lending portends mucho ugliness in the markets(imminently?) and consequently, the greater economy. bottom line: the element of trust(collusion), critical for fiat money stability, seems to be going the way of the dodo.

i'm waiting for a similar phenomenon to explode in the world of fiat journalism...when all of these scumbag stenographers get to test their swimming skills as the ship goes down.

Posted by: john | Mar 6, 2018 9:05:41 AM | 14

And twice Ms Mayer repeats the lie about "all US intelligence agencies concluding that Russia interfered in the US election".

Her phrasing:

"that major U.S. intelligence agencies had unanimously endorsed this view'"


"It [the report] contained the agencies’ unanimous conclusion that, during the Presidential campaign, Putin had directed a cyber campaign aimed at getting Trump elected."

These are obvious references to the January 6th 2017 "report" that was full of unsupported assertions and distraction. Ms Mayer doesn't appear to be familiar with reasons to avoid citing that report.

The New York Times has had to retract the "17 agencies lie"--did so at the end of June 2017. Ms Mayer doesn't appear to have noticed, or worse thought she could get away with changing the phrasing of the lie slightly to "major intelligence agencies".

I too seemed to remember that Yahoo news had published on the Steele report in advance of others in the press. Obviously the New Yorker staff didn't.

All very embarrassing for the New Yorker and Ms Mayer, will now of course be used to question the validity of other Jane Mayer reporting.

Posted by: Jay Connor | Mar 6, 2018 9:17:24 AM | 15

@Luther - LOL too mild, howling more like it, creating my very own river deltas...

Posted by: lg | Mar 6, 2018 10:00:07 AM | 16

I'm shocked!
Mayer has a stellar reputation, but this piece is riddled with errors and misinformation.
Are they all sellouts in the MSM????

Posted by: plantman | Mar 6, 2018 10:24:34 AM | 17

The term "presstitute" attacking pro-establishment media shills comes to mind. Formerly respectable outlets such as the New Yorker and their writer, Jane Mayer, have gone over into war crimes by in effect fomenting a new cold war based on falsehoods, similar to what the postwar less corrupt yankee imperium considered war crimes in the four power Nuremberg trial which convicted the editor of Der Stuermer, a Nazi sheet, on that basis.

Posted by: exiled off mainstreet | Mar 6, 2018 11:04:37 AM | 18

Ah, so the elitist award-winning (((culprit))) of global warming propaganda and niece of "dark money" oligarch henchmen such as Emanuel Lehman and Allan Nevins has written a eulogy for the creatures of the Imperial Swamp?

Color me not-so-surprised!

Posted by: LXV | Mar 6, 2018 11:19:24 AM | 19

As a former, longtime New Yorker reader I can attest that the New Yorker's supposed fact checking is basically non-existent. They do check rigorously for spelling and grammar to fit the writing style of the magazine, but incorrect facts have riddled articles for decades. They do publish a few letters each issue and occasionally allow criticisms through but for the most part as long as the narrative fits what "the right sort of people believe" there seems to be no standard for actually, you know, basing statements on reality.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Mar 6, 2018 11:37:36 AM | 20

Robert Hannigan, head of GCHQ, resigned for "personal reasons" on Jan. 23 2017, a week after Trump's inauguration.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 6, 2018 11:49:39 AM | 21

How about the report graun had today;The Russians had poisoned their ex-spy?Another made up crap.
The NYer is another web of deceit,the web of zionism.All of msm is.

Posted by: dahoit | Mar 6, 2018 12:18:58 PM | 22

My guess is that the Democratic Party, so addled at the top, splits by 2020. All it has for the voters, which it repetitiously blares from its many organs -- CNN, MSNBC, NYT, New Yorker -- is Russophobia. For instance, I ran into a guy last night who regularly watches MSNBC and he said the network has not once mentioned the statewide teachers strike underway in West Virginia. How's that for "leaning forward"?

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Mar 6, 2018 12:21:30 PM | 23

The reason why this whole Russiagate seems to go beyond the usual partisan tit-for-tat when it comes to the executive branch (Kenneth Star v. Clinton, Birthers v. Hussein-Obama, liberal-educated dems v. A fundamentalist-protestant dumbass W. Bush), is the absolute certainty which the MSM, the dems, and neocons spew their Russophobic spittle onto anyone that happens to be listening; meanwhile dragging Trump through the mud. The usual partisan coverage of prior executive branches were more evenhanded by news outlets (it resembled news). The current atmosphere resembles pure propaganda and smacks of utter desperation and globalist panic.

It makes the whole situation seem like Trump really is anti-establishment. That is where the hope came from which won him the election and it continues on in his fanbase.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 6, 2018 12:24:24 PM | 24

@7 v. arnold... i agree.. if you go to visit emptywheel's site which b references - she is quite good at dissecting info, but unfortunately her and the commenters on emptywheel are a bunch of witch hunting russia phobes who happily want trumps head on a platter and are hoping the mueller investigation is going to serve it for them.. i have been banned from her site... frankly, the site is much to americian centric for me, but the hate russia memo is in full force on her site regardless... the whole russian obsession is a complete distraction.. i agree very strongly with you here..

@24 nemesiscalling.. ditto your comment as well.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Mar 6, 2018 12:38:21 PM | 25

The possible poisoned spy case is now being used by Boris Johnson for a possible boycott of the Moscow World Cup. It is obvious bullshit and a rerun of the litvinenko affair some years ago.
Also an Mi6 setup in my opinion. The Russians provided a shipload of LNG to alleviate gas shortages in Britain. Boris Johnson is an ungrateful sack of S--t

Posted by: Ike | Mar 6, 2018 1:20:15 PM | 26

The New Yorker refused to allow Sy Hersh to publish “The Red Line and the Rat Line”, about the covert US effort to transfer weapons from Libya to Syrian jihadist groups, so he had to go to the London Review of Books. At that point it became clear the New Yorker had gone over into partisan pro-government propaganda publishing.

It’s also curious how the article doesn’t really touch on Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry in the United States; that sector also donates heavily to Democrats, which is likely why. There could be some issues there related to sanctions-dodging by ExxonMobil but digging into that doesn’t serve the political agenda, so. . . . Still nothing credible on the evidence side as far as iI can tell.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Mar 6, 2018 1:38:23 PM | 27

NemesisCalling | Mar 6, 2018 12:24:24 PM | 24
"It makes the whole situation seem like Trump really is anti-establishment. That is where the hope came from which won him the election and it continues on in his fanbase.“
But isn't this fanbay deeply disappointed with Trump? He did the opposite of what he promised in many important cases. So some people see this QAnon thing as a strange PsyOp not to loose these fanboys. Right?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Mar 6, 2018 2:02:58 PM | 28

These days the corporate media will often start a story with a lie. They think it’s funny or something.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 6, 2018 2:13:11 PM | 29

Arioch | Mar 6, 2018 7:05:20 AM | 3

There are a number of us who understand what a faraday cage is and can extrapolate what a "faraday bag" might be. Could you explain what you mean with " it is a "working under hostile duress" beacon set off" or perhaps give a link to an explanation?

Posted by: ToivoS | Mar 6, 2018 2:19:38 PM | 30

@ plantman | 17

Mayer has a stellar reputation, but this piece is riddled with errors and misinformation. Are they all sellouts in the MSM????

Some well-regarded Amerikan investigative journalists seem deeply ambivalent when reporting on US government, military, and intelligence (spook agencies) affairs.

They can be appropriately skeptical and critical some of the time-- admirable "watchdogs" or "gadflies" in the best muckraking tradition. Their critical stories are even a form of "speaking truth to power", and their reputation and popularity is deserved.

OTOH, at other times they seem to display a core uncritical regard, respect, and even admiration for these institutions and their personnel. I've seen interviews with Mayer following some exposé in which she comes across as being either deliberately naïve, or reluctant to follow her own findings to an unacceptably radical logical conclusion.

As in this article, Mayer is far more trusting and credulous of official sources than her experience of their habitual mendacity dictates.

Sorry that I can't provide precise examples off the top of my head, but I think this is an occupational hazard of journalists who spend their careers working (too) closely with government insiders. Seymour Hersh and Jeremy Scahill come to mind.

In a nutshell, I think they're trying to be disinterested, dispassionate journalists who report without fear or favor though the heavens fall, etc. But my pop-psychology guess is that they also develop an affinity with their sources that occasionally trips them up, and/or renders them vulnerable to manipulation by their vaunted insider connections.

Or maybe it's comparable to the undercover drug enforcement agent who ends up getting addicted and engaging in criminal activity after becoming too immersed in the life they're supposed to be policing.

Mayer is no Judith Miller, but if it's not "selling out", she may be suffering from a case of incipient Judith Miller Syndrome.

Posted by: Ort | Mar 6, 2018 2:27:55 PM | 31


That chimney sweep has class - I danced to that theme at my daughter's wedding:
"I know you, you came to me once upon a dream..." Bravo!

Posted by: juliania | Mar 6, 2018 2:33:25 PM | 32

An autotranslated article about a pending(?) cw false flag in Syria with the usual cast of cute children, fake wounds and the White "False Flags 'R US" Helmets. If they do pull something off it may be worth keeping an eye open for these actors.

Fakebook and LiveJournal have already pulled the original articles this itam was based on.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 6, 2018 2:50:57 PM | 33

Maybe he could bomb Syria to get the focus elsewhere? Sigh, this man is a moron that is led by neocons.

Trump considered new military action against Syrian govt.: Report

Posted by: Anon | Mar 6, 2018 2:52:44 PM | 34

This New Yorker disinfomation piece is most likely not exclusively Ms Mayer's doing alone. David Remnick (NYer Publisher & Ms. Mayers boss) is a full fledged participant in the MSM'S ongoing 'Russian Collusion' narrative. Remember, even the great Sy Hersh had to go to the independent European press to publish his 'controversial' article that methodically debunked the deep states fairy tale narrative of events on what exactly went down in the infamous OBL Abottabad compound raid in 2011. Hersh, up until then, exclusively published most of his investigative "bombshell" articles in the New Yorker. Remnick is a full fledged supporter of our oligarchical, neocon establishment that's hell bent on establishing a US/Israel centered global hegemony since the break-up of the Soviet Union.

Posted by: time2wakeupnow | Mar 6, 2018 3:16:03 PM | 35

New Yorkers have turned into such RETARDS, thanks to the work of The NYT, Newsweek and The New Yorker, that recently, on a forum that I publish photographs of the city, I almost got burned at the stake : My Sin, I captioned a pic of the Glass Covered Wall Street Area New Buildings with : "IF YOU ARE CLUELEES, INVEST IN STRUCTURAL GLASS MANUFATURERS"....Poor Souls, they are probably loosing big on the New York Stock Exchange, and they deserve to do so !! ALSO : The use of the Faraday Cage is to NOT BE TRACKED by Intelligence Entities, wich can do so, even if you turn off your cell phone !!

Posted by: opereta | Mar 6, 2018 3:22:58 PM | 36

I would be cautious about EmptyWheel. She's clearly knowledgeable about internet et al, but there is a presumption that Trump is guilty. I used to routinely ask about proof that Russians were responsible for the DNC hack with no replies from her, and just rude remarks from her commenters. I wrote this almost a year ago and haven't heard any proof to contradict it:

As far as Jane Mayer, she appears to be one of those investigative reporters who goes so far and no farther. Or as they said in the Nixon administration, modified limited hangout.

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Mar 6, 2018 3:25:15 PM | 37

Oh dear, emptywheel is not a source I would reference for anything much other than steadfastly sticking to the 'russians hacked the DNC' narrative and dumping on any reference to Seth Rich death for leaking the documents. Better sites exist thanks to moa. thanks b.

Posted by: flamingo | Mar 6, 2018 3:28:17 PM | 38

So, we have yet another fraud promoting the initial fraud as Big Lie Nation manufactures and exports its #1 commodity. Those of us knowing Russiagate's yet another Big Lie ought to be shocked by the further digging of this massive excavation that can no longer be called a deep hole but aren't because the desperation's become all too predictable. The exceptional witch is melting live in living color!

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 6, 2018 3:28:29 PM | 39

V.ARNOLD #7 ..You forget very important stuff....since 11/9/16 Dems they still wage war against legally elected president PDJT...those whores did try everything..and nothing is working......

Posted by: sejmon | Mar 6, 2018 3:29:20 PM | 40

In using a Faraday bag Steele was clearly aware that there is nothing the user of a modern smartphone can do to completely turn it off. All said user can do is turn the user interface and most functions off. They may think the phone is off but you cannot break completely the link to the network without removing the battery, which for obvious reasons is no longer possible.

Keep that old phone with a removable battery, it may be useful some day.

Posted by: JohninMK | Mar 6, 2018 3:34:59 PM | 41

@ Luther

Love it! haha. looking forward to the next instalment.

Posted by: Win | Mar 6, 2018 3:36:46 PM | 42

The Slate is another publication that wants to go to war with Russia, 'Why are we letting the Russians get away with it' ...

What does Fred Kaplan want to do? Oh nothing crazy, just cyber espionage on the order of Stuxnet, or at least outing Putin's secret foreign bank accounts (or pilfering them).

BTW I do not believe that Putin has billions socked away offshore. If he did then Obama would have revealed it on his way out the door and even if Obama didn't the CIA / FBI / Treasury would have leaked it. Instead what they did was claim he had billions without providing any proof.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Mar 6, 2018 3:42:26 PM | 43

This part of the New Yorker article could be sheer comedy gold:

'... Regardless of what others might think, it’s clear that Steele believed that his dossier was filled with important intelligence. Otherwise, he would never have subjected it, his firm, and his reputation to the harsh scrutiny of the F.B.I. “I’m impressed that he was willing to share it with the F.B.I.,” [former CIA spook John Sipher] said. “That gives him real credibility to me, the notion that he’d give it to the best intelligence professionals in the world.”...'

FBI, best intelligence professionals in the world? Didn't the FBI along with the CIA miss most indications of a looming terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in the months leading up to September 11, 2001?

A former CIA officer called John Sipher, calling a rival organisation 'the best intelligence professionals in the world'?

Posted by: Jen | Mar 6, 2018 4:15:56 PM | 44

Some Faraday bags allow you to reveive calls if placed in the front pouch and block all signals at back pouch, while still offering complete EMP protection front or back

Posted by: Pft | Mar 6, 2018 4:19:25 PM | 45

If you are able to receive a call on your cellphone - in a Faraday bag, or not, you are still completely vulnerable to hacking and/or tracking. No "back of the bag EMP protection" claim is gonna be able to block invasive signals - unless the pouch, or bag, or whatever it's stored in is COMPLETELY impenetrable - period!

Posted by: time2wakeupnow | Mar 6, 2018 4:42:45 PM | 46

You can make your own Faraday bag with rolls of aluminum or tin foil spun around a crayon box.

Anyway, cell phones are unavoidable tracking devices and can not be immunized from surveillance and hacking so anybody with secrets would avoid using one unless your name is Her Haughtiness Hillary Clinton and you keep an unencrypted email server in your personal bathroom or, your name is Podesta and your google account password is "password."

End to end encryption is available but requires cooperation on both ends.

Posted by: Daniel Bruno | Mar 6, 2018 5:12:29 PM | 47

I seem to recall that Steele was involved in the Magnitsky and Litvinenko cases and that he has long made a living out of defending oligarchs against the Russian government's attempts to collect taxes from them.
It is sad that Steele is polluting the air of Farnham an ancient town with a long history which includes being the birthplace of some of the greatest English writers.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 6, 2018 5:25:38 PM | 48

You gotta be kidding:

Australian Diplomat Whose Tip Launched Russia Probe Has $25 Million Tie To Clintons

The Australian diplomat whose 2016 tip resulted in the FBI's Trump-Russia counterintelligence investigation had previously arranged one of the largest donations to Clinton charities, documents reveal.
Downer tipped off Australian authorities after a conversation with Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos at a London bar, in which Papadopoulos reportedly said the Russians had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton. After Australian authorities alerted the FBI, a counterintelligence probe was launched according to reports

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Mar 6, 2018 5:31:45 PM | 49

Max Blumenthal has observed that much of what is in the "dossier" was available in the public sphere. The dossier is touted as being deep revelation totally missed a figure like Papadopoulos, who only appeared to the public after the dossier was published. Strange that.

What seems strange is that so many people in Russia were willing to divulge what would have been closely held secrets like the golden showers tape. Putin is described in the Western press as somebody who would disappear you if you even criticized his shoe laces.

Posted by: Erelis | Mar 6, 2018 5:35:39 PM | 50

JohninMK | Mar 6, 2018 3:34:59 PM | 40

Anything that's been assembled at the factory, can be disassembled at home. Granted it's not as easy as models that allow it. I'm surprised there are no aftermarket casings to allow easy access to the battery.

Posted by: Ian | Mar 6, 2018 6:12:01 PM | 51

@36 bob in portland and @37 flamingo.. that is basically what i said @25... i guess a number of folks are on the same page with regard to emptywheel and in particular those to frequent the site...

@47 bevin.. that is interesting the tie in with steele and Magnitsky and Litvinenko cases.. the onslaught seems to have started back with the introduction to the magnitsky act... i had heard there is a movie out disputing the whole rationale for it, but it won't be seeing the light of day i suppose, as it runs contrary to the empires game plan here..

@49 erelis..isn't papadopoulos a confirmed liar willing to say whatever he needs to get in on some scam?? you have a point.. steele may as well have included him as he has all the right credentials!

Posted by: james | Mar 6, 2018 6:26:22 PM | 52

I'm sorta enjoying it all it's so over the top I doubt anyone apart from the usual dingbats & drongos, takes it seriously.
Just as the Steele dossier with its outrageous fictions led the way, the englanders are outdoing themselves sledging Russia and Russians.
Even the seemingly innocuous 'weatherman' has been getting in on the act, England has been even colder than usual and before the freeze over actually began the incessant weather reports which dominate englander 'news' was warning of a cold wind from Siberia that was in evil Russian fashion about to "freeze the balls off Her Majesty's brass monkey".
The cooler air a direct result of western europe's (including england) two century long penchant for burning shit up which had raised the temperature of the Arctic seas to the point where even in the middle of winter the North Pole waters no longer freeze. Warm seas=warmer air which rises and cooler air comes in to fill the gap blah, blah but that didn't stop the weather reports, which by the time england was frozen the cause had been casually abbreviated into "the beast from the east". Cold are you englanders? Don't forget to blame Russia and Russians while you salute Stephenson's Rocket (the instigator) and you wait for a train which will never come thanks to Thatcherism/neoliberalism/can't pick Johnnie Foreigner's pocket any more, better pick Johnnie Neighbours.

But blaming the weather on Russia is so last week, this week it is all about some treasonous former KGB colonel and his daughter who prolly offed themselves in the most public way possible since their lives turned to shit. Natch the englander media being what it is, the traitor was executed at the behest of the man himself Vladimir Putin. Except of course the timing is inexplicable as Prez Putin is about to have an election - sorry 'election' (elections in Russia have to have single quotes around em because the winner is not supported by any englander newspaper and must therefore be a put up job cos englander fishwraps never get it wrong). The old cui bene is relevant since this death happened at a bad time for Russia one is left asking if the traitor didn't top himself who else would want it right now, certainly not Russia's leadership.

I can still remember 50 years later exactly how gobsmacked I was the first time I read a serious englander newspaper and discovered that these otherwise seemingly intelligent journos actually believed all this Cold War horseshit that we used to laugh at in the South. Yeah amerika sure they believe anything they are told to, but the englanders subscribe to this nonsense - how can that be? I was young and naive and didn't realise that the most truthful parts of englander media are in the boxes around the edges of the articles. The real commercials are the news stories. In england in the 1970's all the foreign correspondents had two jobs, there was the newspaper gig which paid well but felt sleazy and the other gig with the SIS aka MI6 which was a good way to rub shoulders with the elite plus it covered the kids' public school fees.
Nothing about englander media can be believed, for a long time the audience was entirely captive so the earn was guaranteed with more money if you could tell a really big lie. Big enough to generate headlines and start a fleet street feeding frenzy. Those days are gone the journos know no other way to work so the stories are getting more tawdry and less believable by the day.
This is the poisonous atmosphere the Steele dossier came out of. There is certain to be a few doubles in the generation of this yarn That is the double giggers englander journo by day wannabe 'secret' agent by night. Steele wasn't allowed into Russia so who else is he gonna call?

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 6, 2018 6:43:42 PM | 53

Greta work
It only proves that western journalist have become stenographers and propagandist for pax-americana/anglo-zionist.
15000 word readers digest entry on the so called fourth estate. It only shows how desperate they are in trying to keep the perception of the Russians ate my lunch. Seeing that the Russian Federation just recently revealed that their invincibility as a Military force is questionable Nato must be rethinking their first strike capacity.
Post Scriptum: It is sad to see not one nation in the west speaking of peace and detente but of aggression and conquest. It smells like 1913 all over again especially since the Trump regime has now opened up the can of worms TRADE WARS. If any individual with a semblance of grey matter can critically analyse these moves one could see WAR on the horizon .
Firts currency wars then trade wars and docius in fundem Firing wars. How sad the weste has become.

Posted by: falcemartello | Mar 6, 2018 6:47:47 PM | 54

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Mar 6, 2018 5:31:45 PM | 48

Alexander Downer has never been a diplomat, he was always a particularly sleazy politician - may even have been leader of the opposition as head of Oz's conservative & misnamed Liberal Party. The guy is the worst of the worst, a small time suburban solicitor (lawyer who doesn't go to court), whose play was posing as a mock englander gentleman but never quite pulling it off.
Anything Downer gets his sticky fingers into has two common features 1) It benefits A.Downer and 2) It is a lie.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 6, 2018 7:08:51 PM | 55

Tobin Paz @ 48, Debsisdead @ 54: I thought Alexander Downer had been sent overseas to play at being ambassador or diplomat so as to limit the amount the damage he could cause just by his very existence. Instead he hoovers up money faster than a pig can sniff out truffles.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 6, 2018 7:16:54 PM | 56

It's becoming more amusing.
from Stars and Stripes--

WASHINGTON, Mar 6 — Senators grilled the top intel chief Tuesday, pushing for details of a U.S. plan to stave off attempts of Russian meddling and cyberattacks.
In a tense congressional hearing examining worldwide threats, the lawmakers expressed frustration that the U.S., hampered by President Donald Trump, hasn’t done enough to address past and future Russian cyberattacks.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that while counterintelligence work is underway, the details of those operations are classified.
“The American people deserve to know whether or not the president directed his top intelligence officials to effectively counter this continuing act of war on our country,” Sen. Richard Blumethal, D-Conn., said in a sharp exchange with Coats.
The comments come a week after a hearing before the same committee when U.S. Cyber Command Chief Adm. Mike Rogers said that Russia has paid little for its interference in the 2016 elections, and that he hasn’t been authorized by Trump to combat future attempts.
There are growing concerns that Russia will target this year’s elections and that the U.S. hasn’t done enough to counter that effort.
“We’re taking steps, but we’re probably not doing enough,” Rogers told the committee last week. . .here

President Putin must be enjoying this. I know I am.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 6, 2018 8:07:26 PM | 57

Russia this and Russia that. It’s a circus. It’s a spectacle. Nothing more.

US has one party: the war party. US has one establishment that wants MOAR.

Why did Al Gore choose not to fight for the Presidency? Why did “liberal lion” Ted Kennedy throw his support to Obama, the sneaky warmongering neoliberal? Why did Sanders not walk away from the Democratic Party when it became clear that they conspired with the Hillary campaign?

How is Trump different from Hillary? Here’s how: Trump is MUCH better at playing the crowd. He is a MUCH better faux populist and distractor. Please take note: The left hates Trump for being a playboy and colluding with Russia!! Real issues like inequality and militarism are back page material.

It’s all political games now. One side promises too much, the other side corrects that, then goes overboard themselves. This back and forth APPEARS to rock the boat but no one of any importance ever falls out. Only the occasional wildcard - like Assange and Putin - give the establishment pause.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 6, 2018 9:50:13 PM | 58

I added a comment to the latest Open Thread that details what is going on while everyone is parsing the latest lies from the MSM.

Here is the telling quote from the link I left

The Heritage Foundation announced this week that “the Trump administration has already implemented nearly two-thirds of the 334 agenda items” the right-wing think tank called for, “a pace faster than former President Reagan,” according to The Washington Examiner.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 6, 2018 10:06:51 PM | 59

Trump is different from all other presidents because he is the first non-politician (in my recollection) to ever be elected to the top job. This means that the default position of all politicians is to resist Trump. He's not one of them. Some politicians have adapted to the reality, most have not. Also the intelligence and media communities, who are very mainstream, very invested in the status quo, have not been able to accept Trump. So Trump depends more on family than we're used to, and sticks to his agenda, and probably (we'll see) the public responds well to that.

We went through a similar process with Jimmy Carter, also an outsider (but he was a politician). Carter's own Democrat party disowned him, and wouldn't support anything Carter wanted. Nothing. Senators Jackson and Byrd, and later Kennedy, torpedoed his presidency, unusually confined to one term. The media didn't have to get involved because Carter's own party killed his presidency. So Trump so far is actually doing better than Carter did. Trump has enjoyed some success with the tax cut despite the concerted opposition of the establishment and the special prosecutor.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 6, 2018 10:21:30 PM | 60

@ Don Bacon with the comparison of Trump to Carter

I think that Reagan is a much closer comparative to Trump than Carter. Similar TV background, ego and acting like a bully.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 6, 2018 10:46:38 PM | 61

@ph 60
re: comparisons -- I'm talking situations, you're talking personal qualities.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 6, 2018 10:52:58 PM | 62


For someone who is such an outsider, Trump has a knack for stroking the establishment.

Droning and occupying Syria, sword dancing, moving US embassy to Jerusalem, more tax cuts, upping military spending, drill baby drill, etc.

Trump once boasted that he could kill some one in Times Square and get away with it. Why would he say such a thing? It’s the kind of think that a “made man” might say.

Also consider these made-for-tv moments:

>> Bloomberg’s hysterical reaction in Jan 2016 at the prospect of a Sanders or Trump win;

>> Schumer’s snide remark about the intel agencies: “they have a way of getting back at you”;

>> Hillary wins 6 out of 6 coin tosses in Iowa primaries;

>> Bill Clinton’s meeting on the tarmac just happen to be caught by a journalist?

>> Hillary’s being dragged into a van among rumors of ill health just happen to be caught by an amateur photographer;

>> the father of a the guy that shot up a Florida night club shows up at one of her campaign events - sitting in a highly visible spot behind the podium;

>> and who could forget: “Wiped? like with a cloth?”

Innocent mistakes? Or best government (entertainment) money can buy?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 7, 2018 12:02:30 AM | 63

"As David Corn, who first reported on the dossier, wrote for Mother Jones in October 2016, the project originally began as opposition research by a U.S. firm (later identified as Fusion GPS) financed by a Republican."

Just a reminder, for those who have forgotten, who this BS was first financed by..

Posted by: ben | Mar 7, 2018 12:17:02 AM | 64


In case you have thought, if only for a brief moment, in between sleepless nights and other distractions from your writing endeavours, of what both Germar Rudolf and Ernst Zundel possessed that is lacking in you: it is the unwavering resolve which is advanced and solidified in life's experiences against the countless despicable slander attempts, intimidation campaigns, deprivation injunctions, and arrests levied against a soul which could not be tamed so easily , extorted otherwise intimidated into a certain mold. This quality is what--hence their sleepless nights were more concerned with survival than conscience! It is this which sets us apart from the entangled ones.

Posted by: Tacitus | Mar 7, 2018 12:39:42 AM | 65


Problem with “opposition research” thing is that Russian influence was not made an issue in the election.


Some might say that Hillary didn’t need to raise the issue because she was in the lead. Yeah, what politician pulls punches like that? The race had already turned ugly with both Democrats bringing forth women that claimed to have been sexually abused by Trump and Trump accusing Bill Clinton of sexual malfeasance.

Some might say that making such accusations would be irresponsible because they weren’t proven. Since when does a US politician shy away from innuendo?

Interestingly, Obama also faced questions about his loyalty to the country. In fact, Trump was one of leaders of the “birthers” that questioned Obama’s qualification to be President and, by extension, his loyalty to America. Criticism of Obama as a “socialist Muslim” by parts of the right nearly reached “meme” status.

As Trump pointed out during the campaign, it was Hillary that first questioned (obliquely) if Obama was qualified to be President. And it was her loyal friend Trump that ran with that ball on her behalf.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 7, 2018 12:47:57 AM | 66


Focus your attention at the subversive enemy amongst you ... he/she attempts to blend in amongst you whilst lulling you into a false sense of reality--a distortion devoid of verifiable facts--as you are escorted [up stairs] onto the altar of sacrifice--for the said appeasement of a fictious entity.

What will become of you? Will you posses the will to fight back in the very face of this injustice, or will you succumb to the prevailing winds?

These are the very traits which separate those who make a difference against those who watch a at spectacle with indifference ...

Posted by: Tacitus | Mar 7, 2018 1:26:01 AM | 67

IMO the Trump Presidency is not “counter-coup” as much as it is a change in direction by the same establishment that lost the peace (leading to a new Cold War), invaded Iraq on false pretenses, engaged in extraordinary rendition, and exported US manufacturing to China (because, it was hoped that USA financial firms would get access to Chinese market).

Obama’s sly finessing while engaging in covert ‘stupid shit’ had passed its sell-by date. Trump turned that page.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 7, 2018 1:33:26 AM | 68

I wholly understand your predicament, and the intimidating forces sent to divert your attention and restrain your contributions. Your anguish is what they aim to achieve, unless and until you rid yourself of these chains ... having done so, if that is your ultimate choice, you would have blunt the dagger placed at your throat by these butchers of antiquity.

Now having justly pinned the weight onto their shoulders, it is their turn to fear what they have brought upon themselves! Ciao.

Posted by: Tacitus | Mar 7, 2018 1:45:41 AM | 69

We might well ask why DNC was funding “opposition research” that they could not use.

Hillary’s own embarrassing connections to Russia via Uranium One made it difficult, if not impossible, for her campaign to question Trump’s connection to Russia (if any such connection was found).

it is reasonable to conclude that the “opposition research” was actually an ‘insurance policy’ to ensure that Trump did as he was told after he was elected President.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 7, 2018 2:12:40 AM | 70

What if the New Yorker article with is extraordinary claims of mi6 operatives holding phones of extraordinary tech that can send receive signals in an extraordinary manner was in fact true, and a very revealling piece of a giant and extraordinary puzzle coming unexpectedly together before the first shots of the first and last true Global War in our history?
Yes. That and extraordinary cold weather launched by the evil Russians in Siberia... messing with our climate change narrative and all that is because of Trump..

Neutrinos love Pentelian marble.
Greece, land of mysteries.

Posted by: Greece | Mar 7, 2018 2:57:35 AM | 71

It's a wonderful tale being spun. The lengths gone to in order to lay what appears to be a credible foundation for an investigation is quite incredible. For the skimmer of news aka most sheep, everything appears correct and substantial. Factual errors are buried by the sheer volume of factual errors, hiding in plain view. So fantasic it become real. Hello Hollywood. Also, Alexander Downer has a very punchable face if one studies closely.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Mar 7, 2018 4:44:06 AM | 72

MadMax2 says:

Factual errors are buried by the sheer volume of factual errors, hiding in plain view

yeah, otherwise called mindfuckery, it births a psychosis of undecipherable illogic, and consequently, scales on your eyes...

while, synchronously, universal truth floats around everywhere, largely unseen, like dust motes, waiting for some skewed ray of sunlight for illumination.

Posted by: john | Mar 7, 2018 6:37:07 AM | 73

historian 58

The Heritage Foundation announced this week that “the Trump administration has already implemented nearly two-thirds of the 334 agenda items” the right-wing think tank called for, “a pace faster than former President Reagan,” according to The Washington Examiner.

What's it been 14 months and Trump has already satisfied 66 percent of Heritage Foundation goals? That's strong. All the Republicans and many of the Democrats are in bed with the Foundation.

Big indication here that Russian hysteria, opposition to Trump from within the Party and everything else is a big diversion. The joke is on us.

If you don't know who is the mark when sitting at the poker table....

Posted by: fast freddy | Mar 7, 2018 7:04:54 AM | 74

Jackrabbit 69

Allowing Trump to win and at the same time taking out insurance to ensure he can be controlled sound feasible. The appearance of a genuine non deep-state type figure (one of the elite for sure but not deep-state) to keep up the illusion of democracy for a jaded population, helping keep the scam running a little longer?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 7, 2018 7:56:52 AM | 75

@74PeterAU1. Exactly. It's about time the full on myth of the 'outsider' president is put to rest.
Trump is by, for and of establishment like all others before and most likely after. Simply considering what has been done vs what the so called 'flyover' voters hoped would happen should be enough to show this. The rest is just porn of one type or another.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 7, 2018 8:25:52 AM | 76

Jackrabbit @ 67

Good observation. Trump is definitely pushing China to totally open its financial market to the wall street vultures.

fast freddy@73

Trump has already achieve one of the biggest tasks that is to recognzine Jerusalem as Isreal's capital and to move US Embassy to Jerusalem. This is huge to US of AIPAC.

IF Trump manages to start wars against Russia and/or DPK and/or China, he will be the darling of the Establishment. All this Steele Dossier and Russia Collusion will be gone with wind.

Money, Jerusalem and Wars, what else do you want?!

Posted by: mali | Mar 7, 2018 9:51:34 AM | 77

The current editor is a Trump-obsessed incompetent.

He's turned an intelligent literate weekly into a weak version of The Nation.

The low point:an anti-Trump cartoon on the freaking cover.

I've let my decades-long subscription lapse.

Posted by: JamesG | Mar 7, 2018 10:16:43 AM | 78

Can you, the author, use a few facts that show the "dossier" is wrong, at all? You sure like to promote the silly stuff as opposed to just the facts.

Posted by: Bardi | Mar 7, 2018 10:23:10 AM | 79


Trump is definitely pushing China to totally open its financial market to the wall street vultures.
It’s not just Trump. That’s been the plan for at least 20 years. But China is resisting. So they are now classified as a “revisionist” threat because they aren’t following the plan.

My guess would be that China grew much faster than the West expected and resisted turning over their financial industry as they rushed toward superpower status. They thought they were raising (peacefully!) a poodle, not a dragon.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 7, 2018 10:42:59 AM | 80

Re @47 bevin's comment about Magnitsky, Wm Browder's Magnitsky hoax is an important element of Russiagate utterly ignored and misreported by media, mainstream and otherwise. See this at 100Reporters, an investigative website:
And more at Heavily supported by links to US court depositions and other documents.

100R has gotten funding from the Ford and MacArthur Foundations and is run by a former NYT reporter. So very reputable.

Browder's sworn deposition in US court, Southern District of New York, contradicts his sworn testimony to Senate Judiciary Committee. Isn't there perjury somewhere? But the reporters who write about Magnitsky are Browder's stenographers. Some have an agenda, others are just lazy or don't want to go against the current meme.

The film he referred to by Andrei Nekrasov's "The Magnitsky Act—Behind the Scenes." Browder has used threats of lawsuits to keep it from being broadcast. It was shown at the Newseum in Washington, in a meeting moderated by Sy Hersh and interrupted by a screaming Browder acolyte.

Posted by: Lucy Komisar | Mar 7, 2018 10:59:55 AM | 81

@ 78 bardi... it looks like you didn't read b's post....

Posted by: james | Mar 7, 2018 11:03:54 AM | 82

Keep that old phone with a removable battery, it may be useful some day.
Posted by: JohninMK | Mar 6, 2018 3:34:59 PM | 40

Interesting warning.
I believe the rumors that the 5 Eyes have 24/7 access to smart phone input/output. I often park my smart phone next to a radio which has the volume set low and, like my phone, is never turned off. In this situation the battery runs flat in 24 hours even when I haven't made or received any calls.
However, if I park it in a silent place, and don't make or receive any calls, the battery takes circa 48 hours to run flat - which suggests to me that its always snooping...

I only noticed this late last year and have conducted tests and kept records which confirm the difference in standby times in noisy and quiet environments.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 7, 2018 11:08:02 AM | 83


Its very hard to prove that an unverified assertion is incorrect. How exactly would i prove that Trump did not pay two hookers to pee on his bed. Conversely how would i ever know for sure unless i had a video? Do you think Steele had a video?

Interestingly Chris Steele is a foreigner, who produced material based on unverified claims by some Russian acquaintances (i think that's what they mean by "hear say" in legal circles) that he seems to pay for "info" with no requirement of any evidence.

Isn't that very similar to what Mr Mueller charged 13 Russians for recently? Could someone clarify the difference?

Posted by: Harry | Mar 7, 2018 11:15:21 AM | 84


Interesting post, Hoarsewhisperer.

"I believe the rumors that the 5 Eyes have 24/7 access to smart phone input/output. I often park my smart phone next to a radio which has the volume set low"

Is it legal to mess with our home grown stasi? Instead of using your radio if instead you parked it next to a device looping thru a Youtube
instructional video on "how to make your own beard balm" your battery use might go thru the roof as 17 different agencies and numerous countries try to pile onto your phone. Could get very crowded in there.

But think twice, think three times, before doing it. If it isn't illegal to mess with the stasi they can always get you on a "process charge".

Ask a lawyer before continuing.

Posted by: librul | Mar 7, 2018 11:42:59 AM | 85

@73 fastfreddy, @76 mali

So b posits that there is a general conspiracy against Trump by the establishment and yet people still seem to say, "it's all kabuki theater anyway." It's fine that people don't agree with b on this point, but the mere fact that they neither simply entertain the idea at all nor even comment and refute b's assertion within the posting using reasoning just absolutely reeks of a blindspot in your worldview. At the very least, submit that we do not know what the endgame is. Otherwise, you must not be a subscriber to Occam's razor, because for all this to be mere theater would have to mean the biggest political hoax put upon the world of all time. Remember, the globalists are not intelligent nor do they subscribe to the principle of natural order.

You are giving them too much credit.


As for Jerusalem. Whoopty-****'in-doo. I don't care if the Don finally beings the US foreign policy into the light of day. That just means that the alliance against Rome will grow even more in their resolve. Otherwise, the real song-and-dance of our neocon-aipac unholy alliance would have still called the shots, but the people would not be as sure as they are now of that reality.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 7, 2018 12:16:16 PM | 86

Is it so hard for many posters here to realize that the Russiagate thing has been a political netgain for Trump? I don't believe for a second that Donald has ever felt threatened by all that bs.

He is merely supplying the rope so they can hang themselves. The only acting job here is Trump pretending that he is concerned.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 7, 2018 12:21:46 PM | 87

@ #36 #37...

I wouldn't necessarily say that emptywheel is cheering on the DNC hack story; rather that Trump has legal issues and entanglements that are bound to come out as a result of Mueller's fishing expedition.

To wit, this story at Madcow:

Posted by: JT | Mar 7, 2018 12:31:42 PM | 88

NemesisCalling says:

He is merely supplying the rope so they can hang themselves

in that case it would certainly be kabuki, 'cause they ain't gonna hang themselves, they're gonna have to be hanged.

Posted by: john | Mar 7, 2018 12:35:23 PM | 89

The zionist msm,in America.the british,and the eu,is opposed to Trump.How does that matter?The embassy move is the msm have the heat off Trump,but same old old.
The tariff is good.

Posted by: dahoit | Mar 7, 2018 12:37:31 PM | 90

Ask a lawyer before continuing.
Posted by: librul | Mar 7, 2018 11:42:59 AM | 83

I neither know nor care if my assumption is correct. Oz's PM announced, a few years ago, that all telcos in Oz are obliged by law to record and preserve all cellphone metadata for 2, or 3, years. Oz Govt is a hybrid mix of US, UK and "Israel" characteristics and lies about absolutely EVERYTHING, as a matter of "principle".
So if they've admitted to collecting metadata then only a naif would dismiss the likelihood that they collect every sound, pixel, letter and number in longform.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 7, 2018 12:39:39 PM | 91

Imho, if one dug into all the info peddlers, the minor spies, the bosses who boast some VIP connections, the fringe latching on the coat-tails scoopin' up the consequent trickle down, assorted scammers, fraudsters, gals -n guys on the make, which includes those who promise influence via the intertubes, and on and on, one would be investigatin’ about 50 to 100 K people.

- Connected to, or busy with, the USA and its foreign relations. For those who are straighforward there for hire - a service industry after all - to provide whatever fakery, or information, or twisted info, in a conscious manner. Excluding the lower minions, who scramble to get up the ladder. I’m talking about ppl who can afford to pay for a weeks stay in a top class hotel, have good cars, or are chauffered, and have ‘connections’ … and are considered 'successful', have status, property, children in private schools, etc.

The ones that are being chased now are just those who happen to be in the bad spot as providing bad info concerning Trump.

Ok, it is more complicated than that, but still, this kind of stuff is par for the course. What is amazing is that such trivia is still pushed forward to distract and it works.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 7, 2018 12:45:59 PM | 92

@86 john

Negative. The dems and msm are losing credibility and popularity on their own accord. They are fixated on Donald and so are paying little to no attention on actual issues.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 7, 2018 12:47:11 PM | 93


There has been reasoning:

1) Russian collusion was not made an issue in the 2016 campaign

2) DNC funded “opposition research” that their chosen candidate (“chosen” even before primaries began) could not use because of her own Russian entanglements.

3) Trumps time in office has been favorable to the establishment. His brashness, and ego-centric behavior have been a great distraction.

4) Obama, another faux populist, also faced insinuations that he was not a loyal American. Trump understands how this ‘check’ on behavior works because he was part of it.

Your statement that “Russiagate has been a political net gain for Trump” ignores the bigger picture: the left has been destroyed by the Democratic Party. In practice, there is little difference between Democrats and Republicans. The two party system is a rouse so “net gain” from a fanciful issue like Russiagate means nothing.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 7, 2018 12:52:38 PM | 94

I should also note:

5) Sensational events of the 2016 Presidential campaign.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 7, 2018 1:16:36 PM | 95


well, i wasn't talking about credibility and popularity but, taking the word hang more literally, about criminality.

Posted by: john | Mar 7, 2018 1:20:02 PM | 96

@93 john

Ok. The most beautiful thing about Trump beating Shillary was the notion that Madame Clinton, irrespective of possible jail time, was forced to disappear herself into her lonely walks in the forest. Being banished into obscurity is such a just fate for an egoist as arrogant as she was. She's as good as dead. And about time, because her soul died a long time ago.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 7, 2018 1:38:20 PM | 97

re 3: "> How please can a phone that can not send or receive signals, take a call? That is impossible. How can a fact-checker and/or editor at The New Yorker let such nonsense slip into the opening graph, very very is a "working under hostile duress" beacon set off. Posted by: Arioch | Mar 6, 2018 7:05:20 AM | 3"
Yes!! Worth posting twice! The serfs despise their masters, with good reason.

re: Posted by: Luther | Mar 6, 2018 8:52:41 AM | 11
fabulous, thanks!

Posted by: frances | Mar 7, 2018 1:42:43 PM | 98


yeah, lonely walks in the forest, back to her ample parcel of land where maybe she'll take a dip in the pool behind her ostentatious mansion on the beach. yeah, living in the lap of luxury with the best healthcare money can buy. sounds rough.

Posted by: john | Mar 7, 2018 1:55:12 PM | 99

"Maybe he could bomb Syria to get the focus elsewhere? Sigh, this man is a moron that is led by neocons.Posted by: Anon | Mar 6, 2018 2:52:44 PM | 33"
Speaking of bombing Syria: Behold the five state plan to destroy Syria:
If he goes through with this he is not just a moron, he is a war criminal. And I doubt Russia or Turkey will let this occur without retaliation. This war plan is incredibly stupid and may be the reason Putin announced Russia's new weaponry and that use of any size nuclear weaponry against a Russian ally would be met with force.

Posted by: frances | Mar 7, 2018 1:57:35 PM | 100

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