January 11, 2017

#GoldenShowers, drizzly drips, #Hillbots and sexed-up reports (re-updated)

First, the second part of the header is a pun on Grizzly Steppe, in case you didn't get it. That would be the basically fact-free Grizzly Steppe, already dissected by me. The third part? Read below.

Second, that said, it IS interesting, or "interesting," and fun, that a man who spent much of the previous eight years peddling "birther" rumors about Barack Obama is now getting hoist by the fake news petard.

Because that's what this, as reported by BuzzFeed, is.

That said, Ben Smith over there has already said there's a lot of iffiness.

Beyond what he's admitted, there's the fact that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen denies ever having been to Prague. He could be lying, but, if he is, the CIA would bust his chops on it. Maybe not in public, but it would do so.

Meanwhile, per what I've already seen on Twitter, Hillbots are buzzing (I see what I did there) right past that particular factual problem, as well as the broader factual problems Smith admits.

(What, Hillbots? Are you expecting a supplemental report? An editor's errata? "Sorry, dear American stooges: The Cohen meeting was actually in Bucharest.)

Third, the fact that David Corn alluded to this in October for Mother Jones doesn't make it any more true. Corn is a "my Democrats right or wrong" flak.

Fourth, per friend Brains' post and my Corn observation, aren't Dems supposed to be the party that wants to keep the gummint out of people's bedrooms? Survey says yes, which shows that this is part of more posturing within the Tweedledee and Tweedledum of the two-party duopoly.

Fifth, if this is true, and Ed Snowden isn't totally in the pay and/or control of Putin, can't he hack the security cams of the Moscow Ritz Carlton? (And, if not in the total pay of Putin, and not a traitor at the time he left US employ, I most certainly do NOT believe Snowden actually is, still, today, a total free agent. You're wrong, Glenn Greenwald. I'll stand with the likes of Mark Ames on this one.)

Sixth, and, most important, assuming it's not true, the old Latin cui bono comes to mind.

Answer: The CIA.

We know this info came from abroad.

Could have been easy for the CIA to ask MI6 to "sex up" (remember that from the Iraq War?) some random bullshit.

But why?

Maybe by mid-October, the spooks thought a Trump win was more likely than not. They thought he was a loose cannon, and thought he could be controlled.

Alternative B: The above, but hoping the election would and could still be swung by something like this.

However, the main alternative presumes Trump has enough shame to be blackmailable. That, is most certainly not true. Alternative B assumed the likes of Corn would push full public disclosure.

On the first alternative, the spooks thought Trump needed to be controlled, as well as could be controlled, in my take.

Again, though, this isn't the way.

Per Juan Cole, control of The Donald's pursestrings and dinero is the only way to control him. So, maybe the Russian Mob has some manipulation angles on Trump's finances, per Cole's links.

And, on the blackmail angle, Cole rightly says, "see J. Edgar Hoover."

Related: Wouldn't surprise me if Boris Johnson was the cutout for this.

Seventh and more seriously: It's not Boris, but we apparently now know who it is. It's a former British intell agent now into the private-sector national security biz. Great, a British natsec egg, like CrowdStrike.

As for the reliability of this toilet paper, as long as we're on the Golden Showers theme? From the end of the piece:
Andrew Wordsworth, co-founder of London-based investigations firm Raedas, who often works on Russian issues, said the memos in the Trump dossier were “not convincing at all.” 
“It’s just way too good,” he said. “If the head of the CIA were to declare he got information of this quality, you wouldn’t believe it.” 
Mr. Wordsworth said it wouldn’t make sense for Russian intelligence officials to be exposing state secrets to a former MI-6 officer, because “Russians believe once you are an agent, you’re an agent forever.”
Right-o, especially that last paragraph. I'm sure that the CIA believes the same of "former" Russian agents.

Update: Steele has now very publicly gone on the lam. The idea that he's afraid for his life is as laughable as the original report. Putin has laughed off all of this as nonsense. Yes, Steele has connections to the assassinated Alexander Litvinenko, but that was long ago, and known by Putin long ago, who's not dumb enough to assassinate a British national in the UK anyway.

That article is from the Daily Mail, which, apparently, when it's not engaged in salaciousness, doesn't have editors and writers that can pare and organize a wandering 1,500-word story into a coherent 1,000.

Update, March 17: The man likely to have been named Clinton's CIA director is admitting there's nothing behind Trump-Putin collusion claims, which is the flip side of the same coin. Also per Morill, the Steele documents are bullshit, including paying informants and interviewing people through intermediaries.

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