The Steele Dossier or the Hitler Diaries Mark II 255

The mainstream media’s extreme enthusiasm for the Hitler Diaries shows their rush to embrace any forgery if it is big and astonishing enough. For the Guardian to lead with such an obvious forgery as the Trump “commercial intelligence reports” is the final evidence of the demise of that newspaper’s journalistic values.

We are now told that the reports were written by Mr Christopher Steele, an ex-MI6 man, for Orbis Business Intelligence. Here are a short list of six impossible things we are asked to believe before breakfast:

1) Vladimir Putin had a five year (later stated as eight year) plan to run Donald Trump as a “Manchurian candidate” for President and Trump was an active and knowing partner in Putin’s scheme.
2) Hillary Clinton is so stupid and unaware that she held compromising conversations over telephone lines whilst in Russia itself.
3) Trump’s lawyer/adviser Mr Cohen was so stupid he held meetings in Prague with the hacker/groups themselves in person to arrange payment, along with senior officials of the Russian security services. The NSA, CIA and FBI are so incompetent they did not monitor this meeting, and somehow the NSA failed to pick up on the electronic and telephone communications involved in organising it. Therefore Mr Cohen was never questioned over this alleged and improbable serious criminal activity.
4) A private company had minute by minute intelligence on the Manchurian Candidate scheme and all the indictable illegal activity that was going on, which the CIA/NSA/GCHQ/MI6 did not have, despite their specific tasking and enormous technical, staff and financial resources amounting between them to over 150,000 staff and the availability of hundreds of billons of dollars to do nothing but this.
5) A private western company is able to run a state level intelligence operation in Russia for years, continually interviewing senior security sources and people personally close to Putin, without being caught by the Russian security services – despite the fact the latter are brilliant enough to install a Manchurian candidate as President of the USA. This private western company can for example secretly interview staff in top Moscow hotels – which they themselves say are Russian security service controlled – without the staff being too scared to speak to them or ending up dead. They can continually pump Putin’s friends for information and get it.
6) Donald Trump’s real interest is his vast financial commitment in China, and he has little investment in Russia, according to the reports. Yet he spent the entire election campaign advocating closer ties with Russia and demonising and antagonising China.

Michael Cohen has now stated he has never been to Prague in his life. If that is true the extremely weak credibility of the entire forgery collapses in total. What is more, contrary to the claims of the Guardian and Washington Post that the material is “unverifiable”, the veracity of it could be tested extremely easily by the most basic journalism, ie asking Mr Cohen who has produced his passport. The editors of the Washington Post and the Guardian are guilty of pushing as blazing front page news the most blatant forgery to serve their own political ends, without carrying out the absolutely basic journalistic checks which would easily prove the forgery. Those editors must resign.

The Guardian has published a hagiography in which it clarifies he cannot travel to Russia himself and that he depends on second party contacts to interview third parties. It also confirms that much of the “information” is bought. Contacts who sell you information will of course invent the kind of thing you want to hear to increase their income. That was the fundamental problem with much of the intelligence on Iraqi WMD. Highly paid contacts, through also paid third parties, were inventing intelligence to sell.

There is of course an extra level of venial inaccuracy here because unlike an MI6 officer, Steele himself was then flogging the information for cash. Nobody in the mainstream media has asked the most important question of all. What was the charlatan Christopher Steele paid for this dossier?

As forgeries go, this is really not in the least convincing. It was very obviously not written seriatim on the dates stated but forged as a collection and with hindsight. I might add I do not include the golden showers among the impossible aspects. I have no idea if it is true and neither do I care. Given Trump’s wealth and history, I think we can say with confidence that he has indulged whatever his sexual preferences might be all over the world and not just in Russia. It seems most improbable he would succumb to blackmail over it and not brazen it out. I suppose it could be taken as the sole example of trickledown theory actually working.

255 thoughts on “The Steele Dossier or the Hitler Diaries Mark II

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  • Becky Cohen

    I think that even without any of the allegations of people like Trump, Farage and the anti-EU right in European countries being actively encouraged by Putin, the possible break-up of the USA and EU, along with Trump’s intention to not bolster NATO so much will still make Putin the most powerful leader in the world, though. With many of the external potential checks and balances on his power suddenly becoming increasingly weaker it kind of paves the way for him to do whatever he wants (particularly in the former eastern bloc region). He is the real winner in all this, even if it all came about, as it might well be, as a side-effect of a weakened and more disunited USA and EU caused by the election of Trump and Brexit.

    • MJ

      Just think: if it wasn’t for Clinton’s patent criminality Bernie Sanders would be the next president.

      • lysias

        The donor class and the apparatchiks in the Democratic Party prefer a Trump presidency to a Sanders presidency.

        Iron Law of Institutioons: The people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution “fail” while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to “succeed” if that requires them to lose power within the institution.

    • Jo

      I really don’t agree with what you’re implying.

      Let’s look at the “former eastern bloc” situation you mention.

      As we know it’s been spun that Russia “invaded and annexed Crimea”. In fact, what happened in Ukraine was that a rebel group overthrew the existing government there, with the approval of the west, and put in a new one which was immediately recognised by the West (including the EU). The people of Crimea were alarmed by this and opposed the coup. They protested, they held a referendum and they had an outcome which was that they wanted to stay with Russia. The West refused to recognise that referendum and that decision (including the EU) and went forward with sanctions against Russia for the “invasion and annexing of Crimea”.

      Reading and watching reporting on Ukraine I have, several times, had to stop and say to myself, “Hang on, that’s not what happened. Why are our media misrepresenting what happened? I remember the coup, the overthrowing of the original government of the Ukraine. Why are they saying Russia just marched in there and invaded Crimea?” Honestly! I began to doubt what I had seen reported at the time it all happened because, suddenly, our media were reporting an entirely different set of circumstances.

      Let’s move on to Syria. How long had the US and the UK been involved out there funding and arming groups, rebel groups they call “moderates” to fight Assad? What was the aim? It wasn’t to get peace in Syria! It was to do yet more “regime change” in the Middle East, just like Iraq and elsewhere. We didn’t care about the people fleeing to safety. We just wanted Assad out, just like we wanted Saddam out and Gaddafi out! We were also funding some groups who were linked with IS and with Al Qaeda. They were executing civilians in the streets (as broadcast by Channel 4). Russia was asked for help by Assad and did, indeed, get involved. And it was only then that we started to see IS starting to lose the battle.

      What was made clear to me in Syria was that we weren’t fighting IS at all! We were helping them. What I cannot understand is why the US and the UK did not welcome Russia into proceedings since so much progress was made after that. Then again, they wouldn’t, would they since the objective was never to defeat IS (despite Cameron’s insistence otherwise) it was to bring down Assad.

      The other thing too is that Russia had bases in both Crimea and in Syria. Are you telling me that if either the US or the UK had bases in any country and there was jiggery-pokery going on by another country they would not react?

      I think Russia has done well in Syria. I do not like the role Turkey has played at various points there. Turkey was allowing IS to move oil out of Syria and was jailing journalists who filmed the Turkish authorities assisting IS in that objective! Thankfully, Russia and Turkey are now working better together and I think that isn’t a bad thing.

      So I don’t see all this as Putin emerging as “the most powerful”. The whole “most powerful” thing is tedious especially when some countries are running with the blood of innocents who have paid a price we can’t imagine in our worst nightmares. We need to move away from labels and bogeymen and advocate decent politics, balanced politics and meaningful dialogue.

      You fear Putin being able to do “whatever he wants” while also overlooking the fact that the US, the UK and other western countries have been doing what they want for decades and the Middle East is now living with the resulting carnage.

      • michael norton

        Energy Triangle

        Russia has naval bases in Sevastopol, The Crimes and Tartus, Syria.
        In 2009, the new Ukraine government announced the lease of Russian naval bases on the Crimea will not be extended beyond 2017.
        So Russia sorted that problem.

        Turkey is very upset that the Massive Eastern Mediterranean Methane field is just out of grasping.
        Turkey started The Free Syria Army in Hatay Province in 2010 or 2011.
        Hatay Province was stolen from Syria by Turkey.
        The Russians are putting in the infrastructure for the pipes from Israel to Cyprus and on to Crete, then Greece and Bulgaria.
        Turkey is getting worked up to invade Cyprus.
        Turkey is the only country in the United Nations, which does not realize that Cyprus is a country.
        Turkey wants Syria and Cyprus and all their gas.

        • michael norton

          The new bridge the Russians are constructing across the Kerch Strait to Crimea,
          is also to be an energy bridge, it will carry Oil / Methane and Electricity.
          The Americans, stopped Russia borrowing money Internationally, for this project.

          • michael norton

            This was in Syria is partially about Turkey claiming a vast Sultanate.
            It is partially about Turkey not wanting to be surrounded by Russia /Greece /Iran.
            It is partially about the Sultan of Turkey getting his greedy mits on other countries Methane /oil / water.
            It is also about ( most importantly) who controls the flow of energy from Asia into Europe.

          • michael norton

            This “Civil” war in Syria
            was not about real Syrians but about others wanting control of Syria and its massive riches, and its excellent position on the edge of the Middle East /Europe.
            I expect when things calm down the infrastructure Gazprom are installing for Israel / Cyprus / Greece
            will do equally well for Syria / Iraq / Lebanon, thus massively upsetting Saudi Arabia.

      • SA

        I couldn’t have put it better. Note also that the false narrative that big Russia invaded Little Georgia has also become enshrined as the true narrative when it was an aggressive invasion by saakashvilli aided by CIA

    • SteveMol

      Trump and Brexit were the result of overbearing state power. If by “weakened” and “more disunited” you mean “less-able to conduct wars of aggression” then I’m happy with that.

  • Habbabkuk

    It is really deplorable that the NHS is being used as a political football yet again. As the second link below shows, the Labour Party is particularly guilty in this respect.

    Shame on it for its unconstructive and unimaginative sniping!

    Theresa May brushed it all aside in PMQs.

    Two videos are on the link of the exchanges with Jeremy Corbyn.

    PMQs: Jeremy Corbyn claims Theresa May in denial on NHS

    A slanging match took place as follow-up.

    • Dave Price

      A comment on the NHS; a quote on Israel; a remark on another commenter’s sleep patterns; and all on an article about something else entirely. Have you considered getting your own blog, Habbs?

      • Habbabkuk

        I’m far too modest to consider any such thing, Dave.

        And now ask the same of a number of others on here, all of whom “contribute” far more than I do. 🙂

      • Habbabkuk

        Just following the crowd on CM threads, Ian. In that respect I guess I’m just one of Herbie’s “sheeple”. 🙂

    • Harry Vimes

      One is tempted to echo the now deleted John Goss post in response to this very same previously deleted post from earlier this afternoon about being off topic, an argument that itself is not unknown from this particular poster.

      However, if Mr Goss is in the room one is duty bound to ask him to give this poor chap a break. It cannot be easy constantly having to scrape well below the barrel to find some way in which to distract and deflect attention away from the embarrassing amount of fiction coming from the empire this poster is seeking to defend as it implodes from its own bullshit.

      From the pathetic whataboutary (14:57) through to the scurrilous attempt to smear the blog author (14:49) and now two half baked attempts to change the subject the desperation of someone whose psyche is clearly committed to this dysfunctional system is palpable. Have some basic human pity and Lplet him gibber to himsef in the dark on his own John. To paraphrase the Bard, no one seriously marks him.

      • John Goss

        Thanks Harry. I’ll extend the season of goodwill to Habbabkuk and not ask the mods to remove his off-topic post. I haven’t read it simply because this topic of false information, spread like marmite across all the mainstream media to darken the character of someone who has not yet taken presidential vows reeks of – well marmite.

          • Jo

            @ fwl

            I would say no one benefits from such a situation although you could address the same question to the “intelligence” people and a media hell-bent in doing all they can to undermine an election result and even to stop a President-Elect from taking up office.

            Let’s look at what actually happened during the campaign when Clinton and the Democrats sowed the seeds that Trump was “Putin’s puppet” in the US. It has all escalated from there to a level that is utterly ridiculous and would be hilarious if it wasn’t so serious and sinister.

            If Trump has “fallen out” with the “intelligence” people is it surprising when, since his win in the election, they have come after him, along with the media, in a manner never previously seen adopted towards any President-Elect? The attacks include many “allegations” concerning Russia influencing the election, hacking in here there and everywhere but nothing has been proved of that nature. (The report released to the media, which was “de-classified” omitted any detail that would have allowed us to treat it as evidence of anything!) These later reports, including the “dirty dossier” are even more risible and unverified yet the “intelligence” people and the media have been all over them like a rash!

            All I recall being said by Trump about Putin and Russia is that he wanted to work with other countries on common issues in order to secure a peaceful way forward via dialogue rather than war. I don’t like Trump, the man, much at all but I definitely liked that idea very much! I don’t see how anyone in their right mind would interpret that as Trump betraying the US or his office as President. That it has been taken so much further by certain people who were simply outraged that Hillary lost the election is outrageous and very wrong. That the media has played such a central role in all of it is even worse.

          • fwl

            Thank you for the response. I had in mind that an opponent of the US would be the principal beneficiary. If it happened without them having a hand in it then they must be bemused.

    • DR

      What do we really know about Habbabkuk? 1/ He/she might be dyslexically channelling an OT prophet, or just be unable to spell. 2/ He/she might be the offspring of Geoffrey Pyke, the brilliant WWII inventor of the iceberg aircraft carrier. 3/ He/she might be a kabalist shill. 4/ He/she could be in some kind of Guinness Book of Records as the most disputatious, transparently ill-motivated, ignorant (in the sense of deliberate misunderstanding) asshole, but after this post we know for sure that 5/ He/she is rich enough not to give a damn about the NHS. Could we be forgiven for thinking 3/ and 5/ might be connected?

      • Harry Vimes

        Interesting observations DR. Perhaps what we are privileged to witness here is the debating and discussion equivilant, in corporeal form, of the late novelist Terry Pratchett’s character Bloody Stupid Johnson, whom I suspect Pratchett modelled on Pyke.

        As someone who is perhaps overly fond of any opportunity for a good laugh it seems to me that anyone so committed to clutching at such short and transparent (to the point of effective invisibility) straws along with consistently and publically practicing the ancient art of polishing turds not as a hobby or pastime but as an life obsession is worth putting up with if only for the free street entertainment they provide.

        In this instance one can only stand back in awe at the total and complete lack of self awareness on display. I have from time to time encountered makeshift stocks at village fetes and summer fairs. I’ve even operated, run and tried out a well constructed ducking stool at such an event on one occasion many years ago. I’ve never, up until now, actually come across someone who will in metaphorical terms and without any awareness of the fact volunteer to permanently occupy a set stocks in full public view. If only this were being done for charity rather than for real. Such a waste and a shame.

        Sad really.

    • Sharp Ears

      That is another comment on The Lifeboat News that has been copied. It’s trolling at one remove! The poster above @ 17.18 is obviously short of a useful occupation.

    • SA

      I take it the top down the-organisation cum stealth privatisation of Landley and the infunded 7 day Hunt NHS debacle do not count as political games in your book.

  • lysias

    Trump said towards the end of his now-concluded press conference that, as soon as he became aware of the story about his lawyer Michael Cohen, he called him in to his office, asking him to bring his passport. Cohen did, Trump looked at it, and it showed that Cohen had not been out of the U.S. during the relevant time frame.

    Besides that, there’s evidence that Cohen was visiting the baseball program at the University of Southern California in L.A. at the time, since Cohen’s son was interested in joining that program. People remember him being there.

    • Habbabkuk

      I really can’t be bothered to get into the minuiae of this, Lysias, but on a point of information (you must be a much-travelled gentleman), I wonder if you would know

      – whether a US citizen’s passport is stamped by US Immigration upon exit from and entry into the US

      – whether a US citizen’s passport is stamped by the Schengen Area Member State of entry and exit?

      Thanks in advance.

  • Sharp Ears

    The BBC in the form of Huw Edwards and Gordon Correra are beside themselves with Trump’s public criticism of the US intelligence services. They have never known anything like it! Surely he knows that they keep America safe! LOL

    Trump brands claims of compromising material ‘sick and phony’
    7 minutes ago

  • RobG

    Things are now so mad that I’m rapidly reaching the conclusion that lizard creatures really do run the universe.

    But sticking to planet Earth, these unprecedented attacks against a president elect, in the final days before he takes office, leads me to the conclusion that they mean to take out Trump before he becomes President.

    If that happens it will be goodnight Vienna.

    • Sharp Ears

      Very true RobG. Lewis Carroll had nothing on what’s going on so desperate are the war criminals/gangsters-in-charge to subvert the truth.

      Later on we had the BBC’s Paul Wood going through the story. Any viewer who did not know what had been going on would have believed everything he said about Trump and the KGB tapes.

      He carried many of the BBC ‘stories’ that came out of Syria which were basically anti-Assad propaganda.

  • bevin

    Perhaps the most significant fact to emerge, from this long and silly campaign to discredit Trump and Putin simultaneously, is the very low grade of the people running the Police and Intelligence agencies in the USA. The campaign has been crude, incredible, devoid of anything resembling the evidence that these people should be able to manufacture at will and heavily dependent on the co-operation of a craven media establishment.
    These aren’t revelations, of course: it has been clear for a long time that the CIA is run by idiots and dominated by a culture in which only cynics and cunning careerists can thrive. It is also clearly corrupt in every sense.
    That it is working well beyond the parameters established in its Charter by interfering continuously in US domestic politics is also crystal clear.
    Nobody will be able to fault Trump now when he gives Langley a thorough house cleaning.

    • Jo

      Let’s not forget those Brits involved in all this stuff. It’s a special relationship after all.

    • Stu

      “is the very low grade of the people running the Police and Intelligence agencies in the USA”

      I think it’s more likely that they believe that given the pliant MSM it’s better to keep disinformation simple enough that the masses can follow it.

      The New York Review of Books has an article which demolishes the hacking report yet the ‘quality media’ constantly refer to the report as if it is prima facie evidence of hacking rather than incoherent conjecture. The Guardian at the moment has no article on their website which is the least bit skeptical of the report released yesterday. The political instabilty of 2016 – Bernie, Trump, Chicken Coup – has completely exposed the function of the corporate media.

  • lysias

    Any guesses on the significance of this? Fire Breaks Out At The Watergate.

    I get several looks a year at the recently refurbished Watergate, as I have season tickets to the Washington National Opera and the Watergate is right across the street. The Watergate is a hideously ugly building.

  • lysias

    The MI6 guy has apparently been identified. Identity Of “Former Intelligence Officer” Who Prepared The Trump Dossier, Has Been Revealed. Christopher Steele, a director of London-based Orbis Business Intelligence.

    According to Steele’s LinkedIn profile, at least before he scrubbed it, he was a counselor in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, with foreign postings in Brussels and New Delhi in the 2000s. The Foreign Office declined to comment to the WSJ. Furthermore, the LinkedIn profile for Mr. Steele doesn’t give specifics about his career, however notes that intelligence officers often use diplomatic postings as cover for their espionage activities. That, or they are dumb enough to actually reveal where they are stationed.

    It’s common for intelligence operatives to operate under diplomatic cover. Most CIA officers do, for example.

    Now, if they can identify the ambassador.

    • lysias

      ZeroHedge piece goes on with information from the Wall Street Journal about Orbis:

      Orbis Business Intelligence was formed in 2009 by former British intelligence professionals, it says on its website. U.K. corporate records say Orbis is owned by another company that in turn is jointly owned by Messrs. Steele and Burrows. It occupies offices in an ornate building overlooking Grosvenor Gardens in London’s high-end Belgravia neighborhood.

      The firm relies on a “global network” of experts and business leaders, provides clients with strategic advice, mounts “intelligence-gathering operations” and conducts “complex, often cross-border investigations,” its website says.

      If Steele and Burrows had been CIA officers, I would say that the retirement of Steele and Burrows was only nominal, and that Orbis was one of the CIA’s dummy companies.

      I suspect the same is true about MI6, Steele, and Orbis.

      • Anonymous

        Interestingly Chris Steele served as a Second Secretary to the British Embassy in Moscow in the 1990’s. The wiki for the most recent ‘former’ UK Ambassador to Russia, Tim Barrow, was also Second Secretary to the British Embassy from 1990 to 1993. I guess they inevitably came across each other in their similar roles. From Steele’s bio, ‘Second Secretary’ sounds like a typical spook cover. Maybe Criag would know more?

        • lysias

          That is certainly the kind of title they give CIA officers operating under diplomatic cover.

        • lysias

          When Philby was in fact chief of station of SIS first in Istanbul and later in Washington DC in the years after World War Two, his official position was as First Secretary.

    • lysias

      Courtesy of the WSJ, we now know his name: the former British intelligence officer now working for a private security-and-investigations firm “who produced the dossier of unverified allegations about President-elect Donald Trump’s activities and connections in Russia” is Christopher Steele, a director of London-based Orbis Business Intelligence…. and before readers google him, beware, there is a male gay porn star with the same name, who may or may not be into “golden showers.”

      I’m not sure I share the confidence ZeroHedge purports to have that the MI6 guy and the porn star are different men.

        • Anonymous

          The registered office is just an accountants office (standard practice for small firms). However it appears to be quite a large firm of accountants and their advice won’t come cheap. Mind you, our Super Sleuths seem to be sitting on £155 thousand in cash. Nice.

          • Anonymous

            Even better, Steele and Burrows have multiple directorships. They are both directors of two other companies – Orbis Business International (£200,000 in cash) and a new company Walsingham Training. All companies operate in the same areas and all are registered at the same accountants. Both Barrows and Steele have elected to keep their home addresses secret, sorry – private. There must be lots of money going around in their line of work with all these companies and big accountants on the go.

      • lysias

        Rio? Somebody tell Glenn Greenwald to investigate.

        Come to think of it, doesn’t Rio have quite a gay scene? I wonder if any of Chris Steele’s porno films have been shot there.

    • Sharp Ears

      You identified Steele above at 19.55.

      Emily Maitlis, a presenter on Newsnight, just said at the start of the programme at 10.45 –
      ‘An hour ago, the BBC identified the agent as Christopher Steele’.

      Just a little lie Emily. They can turn into big ones as you have been told.

      They had Glenn Greenwald on who gave her a hard time with facts on the CIA and so on. She did not like it one bit and tried to talk over him.

      PS I loved Trump with the CNN reporter today when he refused to take his question and said ‘You are fake news’ 37 secs

  • Hieroglyph

    It’s a marvellous thing, watching The Guardian, and The WaPo, as well as the head of the NSA, CIA, and FBI make such utter fools of themselves. Over at the WaPo in particular, they aren’t far short of suggesting Trump be assassinated. Trump is on the defensive – but he’s also laughing at them, kind of a political rope a dope. I agree that the Editor of the Guardian should resign, this is basically just embarrassing now, and they’ve got an ‘explainer’ from Luke Harding now, just to make themselves look more stupid. I genuinely do wonder at Kath Viner, and what is really going on at The Guardian, pressure from the CIA Board perhaps? Very very odd.

    Still, I am quite positive. I’ve never thought Trump was some sort of fascist. Chris Hedges has been writing that Trump is a ‘demagogue’ and that the arrests will begin soon (not kidding). I love Chris Hedges, usually, but this Trump hatred on the left is just strange. He may be a terrible President, of course, but still much better than Clinton, and we’ll probably avoid war with Russia. Win. And, no, the arrests are not about to begin. Apparently they were if Clinton got in, mind. No, I’m positive about Trump because he’s calling out the Mockingbird Media, and the pathetic leadership of the security services; long overdue, and utterly necessary. I regard this as a positive start, and would rather Trump is a decent president than a terrible one. Don’t think much of his climate change denial, or that stupid wall, but a few bad policies does not a fascist make.

    • Jo

      “I genuinely do wonder at Kath Viner, and what is really going on at The Guardian”

      You’re not alone. I’ve posted there regularly for more than ten years and had NEVER had a post deleted. In recent months, since the US election, I’ve lost count of the posts I’ve put on there that just vanished for no reason! They weren’t aggressive, they were measured but the Mods still removed them. All the more infuriating when they keep asking me for money to keep them going!

    • RobG

      I probably wouldn’t be alone in saying that things really/noticeably turned around at the Guardian following the Snowden revelations in the summer of 2013. There was a CIA take-over job of what had once been a great newspaper, and now it just pumps out childish propaganda from Washington, without a care about the fact that it’s losing readers in droves.

      • J

        “…without a care about the fact that it’s losing readers in droves.”

        New Guardian seduces liberal middle class ‘gatekeepers’ into believing that its output is news, in that case, an establishment win.

        New Guardian alienates its traditional audience, including many of the above and goes under. In that case, an establishment win.

        Agreed, from some point in 2013 onward the Guardian was on the wrong side of almost every story and manufactured several others, way above average. Was the fossil divestment campaign (one of the few high points) also a factor?

      • R. KatieAnn

        I completely concur with your impression of the changes in the Guardian, and the timing. It seemed like directly after the Snowden affair, everything changed there. Has Glenn Greenwald or anyone else weighed in on why it changed? Do you have links to your statement that there was a take-over?

        • SA

          I agree with all of above comments. My observations are that there is now serious censorship on comments. Most articles on Russia and Syria are not open to comments. Luke Harding’s fantasy articles are never open to comments. Any referral to concentrating on the damaging contents of the DNC leaks rather than their source are deleted. Anything referring to deliberate demonisation of Russia and the fake news aspects of it are also deleted. The changes in the Guardian came about soon after their hard discs were smashed byMI5 after the Snowdon leaks. They also now have serious connections with Soros in the form of something called the New East Network. Yet they claim they excercuse ‘fearless investigative journalism’.

  • xAnonx

    Simply hysterical, red scare all over again, pure racism actually. Trump engage in perversions with urine, yeah right, so stupid. MSM is engaging in fake-news 24/7 and most people believe them. Thats what scary.

    • Aurora

      But you are happy with one of the main culprits of fake news spreading being Trump himself? His ENTIRE campaign was built on transforming half-truths and outright lies – filled with racism (did you notice??!) – into a fake platform of ‘making America great/white again’ to win the election. With or without Russian assistance. Trying to sell Trump as some kind of victim now, disconnected from manipulating the media or making use of the intelligence services (hello FBI New York?) is surreal.

      • bevin

        Trump is not the victim, the people are.
        The point you make seems to justify the lies being told on the grounds that the public will not turn against him unless his positions are falsified and his character besmirched.
        The problem is that the Clinton camp and the media are corrupting the political process and public debate at every opportunity. Nothing could be more conducive to the production of a government of the sort that they profess to fear than to begin by discrediting all criticism of the man as they are doing.

        • Aurora

          Actually you invented the point I was making, I made no claims about any (alleged) lies being justified. So welcome to fake news world, you’re obviously a natural adept. Why not try breathing outside your own little stale bubble and not assuming anyone who disagrees with the blogger here must be on the Clinton side? It’s pathetic.

          • bevin

            “.. you invented the point I was making..”
            No I understood the implications of the point that you were making. You wouldn’t be the first person to misunderstand the implications of the talking points repeated uncritically in a fit of partisan enthusiasm or disgust.

  • Roderick Russell

    It seems that a “former” MI6 Operative and a “former” British Ambassador are being blamed (or praised, depending on whom you are) for providing this information, that seriously threatens to damage the integrity of the US President elect, to US intelligence and other sources. Presumably this is a part of the “special relationship” which I am sure that President Trump will greatly appreciate – all this just when, what with Brexit et al, the UK desperately needed a friend in the White House

    • lysias

      The cooperative arrangement between U.S. and UK intelligence agencies has been perhaps the most important part of the “special relationship”, which is much more important to the ruling class in the UK than it is to its U.S. counterpart. So any threat to the CIA in particular is regarded as a mortal threat to UK’s status as at least a middle-ranking power and thus to the self-esteem of its ruling class.

      • Roderick Russell

        Lysias, Could it be that the interests of the UK’s ruling class and its people sharply diverge on this issue? Following this story on American media (from Canada where I live) I notice that – while smearing Trump every way they can – Trump’s opponents in the US are very careful to stress that the story has not been verified, but relies on the integrity of its British sources.

  • Aurora

    Trying to remember the outrage here when Trump was happily generating fake salacious news about the women reporting that he had abused them. Not so important as the big man in power?

  • Mark Russell

    Trump is no more than a stooge for the financial elite. He has run on an antiestablishment ticket and attracted the support of the dispossessed and enlightened who are understandably repulsed by the corrupt lie that masquerades as democracy. Trump will fail – spectacularly- and with the carnage in the Middle East set to explode with the emboldment of Israel and Syria/Iran – the ‘civilised’ world will soon be pleading for the order and stability only our masters can provide.

    I’d fancy St Kilda if only the weather was better.

    • lysias

      If he’s just a stooge for the financial elite, it’s remarkable how much opposition he seems to have provoked from members of that elite.

      • Aurora

        It’s a capitalist financial elite – i.e. in competition with each other too. Just means another structure forming, or the same structure in a slightly different configuration. Hence the glee of the US banks a few days after his election when they realized he was going to deregulate.

        • lysias

          If Trump smashes the CIA, or at least cuts it down to size, that will be a big step forward. The CIA has been responsible for many awful crimes and atrocities. And they have certainly issued a challenge to Trump, who is notoriously thin-skinned.

          • lysias

            Interesting book I happen to be reading right now: Douglas Valentine’s The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World.

          • Silvio

            Here are two more books on the CIA recommended by ex-CIA case officer Robert David Steele:

            The Soft Coup Collapses – CIA Bluffing, Russia Did Not Hack, Blackmail Revealed – What Next?

            As a side note, it is not possible to understand the CIA without first recognizing  that it was created by Wall Street to serve as a secret secure foundation for the Deep State within the US Government; that CIA under Allen Dulles was the principal savior of fascists leaders and their treasures as WWII wound down and was also the principal actor in the assassination of John F. Kennedy; and that CIA has for decades, under the guise of “national security,” been using military aircraft and US military bases abroad to move drugs, guns, money and gold for the elite. I recommend two books on these points: The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government; and The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World. More recently of course CIA has been central to regime change efforts in Georgia and the Ukraine, in Libya and in Syria – indeed CIA has not only helped arm and train the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) but CIA has also been training Chechen and Uighur “terrorists” to send back to Russia and China – arguably an act of war!

          • SA

            You assume that the CIA is an integral part of the US government and are under the command of the President. Since after as president, and perhaps even before, it has been clear that at least in foreign policy there are three players, the White House , the Pentagon and the CIA. This always blurs the focus on responsibility when things go wrong.

  • Jo

    ITV now matching the BBC when it comes to putting out “unverified” information. Dearie me.

  • RobG

    The ‘alternate media’ called this out as patent bullshit within hours of CNN and Buzzfeed publishing it.

    This is the response from Morning Joe earlier today. It’s a 20 minute clip, and I doubt if many will watch it, but it’s quintessential of the wacko world that is present day America…

    • michael norton

      There now seems to be a chance that al nusra will stop poisoning the well water for the Damascus area, they will be re-located to Idlib Province, where the Americans will bomb them with B-52 aircraft, to keep them from spilling their beans.

    • bevin

      Give those guys a Peace Prize! (To go along with the millions that have been diverted from the NHS budget to finance the ‘Revolution’ in Syria.)

    • SA

      I was sorely dissappointed by an email from JC just before Christmas asking me to donate money, indirectly, to the White Helmets through the Jo Cox charity. I wonder whether the labour leadership is aware that they are encouraging donations to a terrorist associated organisation.

  • lysias

    Daily Mail says UK government initially issued a D-notice telling journalists not to name Chris Steele. If he was acting in a purely private capacity, why would the government issue a D-notice.

    Daily Mail also says Steele has fled his home in Surrey and is said to be “terrified for his safety,” fearing Russian retaliation. If his story is as false as it appears to be, why would the Russians retaliate?

    I wonder if there is still a D-notice protecting the identity of the ambassador.

    • lysias

      According to the Daily Mail article, the unnamed ambassador took the report to Sen. McCain shortly after the U.S. election. One does wonder why he would do so then, when there was a very high probability that Trump would soon become president.

      • frances

        I believe they went with the story because after their election failure the opposition moved to Plan B, a soft coup leaving them with Pence who they can control (you may recall he said he was all for bombing Syria). This doc weak as it is was needed fodder for their plan to discredit Trump. The strategy appears to have been to say they had damning information but could not fully disclose it, state secrets and all. The fact they didn’t even give Trump the two page summary during their briefing but gave it to some of the press speaks volumes. BuzzFeed did Trump a great service by revealing the full document for I believe they planed to danced around Dervish-like with wails of innuendo for months instead thanks to BuzzFeed the story dies in days. The question now becomes, what is Alternate Plan B?

      • lysias

        New Daily Mail article on Steele stops just short of identifying the ambassador as Tim Barrow.

    • frances

      Perhaps the reason for his flight is he fears for his pocket, he was paid probably handsomely for that bit of dross and someone(s) may be quite upset:)

    • bevin

      “..Steele has fled his home in Surrey and is said to be “terrified for his safety,” fearing Russian retaliation.”
      Why would the Russians retaliate in any case?
      What would be the point,? To give the nonsense credibility?
      Nobody in his right mind believes any of this stuff.
      And who cares what people driving themselves crazy think? Just so long as they are not running the Pentagon or spending billions employing proxy terrorist armies, let them stew in their own juvenile fantasies.

    • Jo

      @ Lysias

      Thanks for the link.

      Interesting the article also says that Number 10 is refusing to comment further on the matter and stresses the embarrassment this is all causing the UK government given its wish to restore good relations with Trump. (May is to visit the US soon following the inauguration. Boris has just returned from a visit.) Awkward then that the UK is up to its neck in all these “fake news” reports provided by someone who used to be one of their own.

  • Chris Rogers

    I was under the opinion that the MSM and persons like the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party (Watson) were opposed to ‘fake news’, despite the fact that it’s the MSM itself that are the purveyors of most of the tripe we read on a daily basis. The suggestion that Trump is a pawn of Putin and that Russia influenced the outcome of the US Presidential Election is the greatest lie since claiming Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone assassin who shot Kennedy. I’m with Bevin on this and JC, total tripe to smear trump and a case of sore losers unable to accept the fact they dug their own graves and required no assistance from Putin whatsoever!!!

    • Chris Rogers

      Typo Alert:

      Its ‘CM’ and not JC, don’t know where the JC came from and certainly not thinking about the Labour leader presently.

  • Sharp Ears

    The corporate media have got their spades out to do some digging on Steele. About all you learn here is that he left his cat with a neighbour and that he owns a des res in a Surrey enclave.

    ‘Christopher Steele | A career in the shadows
    Christopher Steele, who wrote reports on compromising material Russian operatives allegedly had collected on US President-elect Donald Trump, is a former officer in Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, according to people familiar with his career.

    Former British intelligence officials said Steele spent years under diplomatic cover working for the agency, also known as MI6, in Russia and Paris and at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

    After he left the spy service, Steele supplied the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with information on corruption at FIFA, international soccer’s governing body.


  • Ron

    Dear Mr Policeman
    I wish to report the theft of the draft of my new novel, which was stolen last week from my car, a blue Vauxhall Astra parked in Grosvenor Gardens.
    The novel is mostly set in the US and Russia and uses Mr Putin and Mr Trump as characters.
    I am very scared of Mr Putin and I am very sorry for doing anything that might have displeased him or his friends.

    Christopher Steele
    Novelist and Spy

  • Jo

    Guardian now calling Steele’s report “the dirty dossier”. I suppose that will be to distinguish it from Blair’s “dodgy dossier” which we will all recall from pre the Iraq invasion.

  • Jo

    SIX separate articles in the Guardian today re the Trump issues, including one claim about his “hysterical hostility” towards the media at yesterday’s press conference and a description of said press conference as a “train wreck”. Comments disabled on all six.

    • Stu

      The Guardian have clearly decided that allowing comments on political articles is completely destroying their ability to influence public opinion (or being less charitable produce effective propaganda).

      Seeing a newspaper which should be the standard bearer of the left in the UK reduced to an ineffective public relations arm of the Atlanticist elite is tragic. They do have some excellent writers such Monbiot, Harris, Younge and Owen Jones but I don’t see them surviving Viner.

      A massive crackdown on freedom of expression on the internet is coming.

      • Jo

        “A massive crackdown on freedom of expression on the internet is coming.”

        Clearly it’s already arrived at the Guardian. So many articles on a subject about which there is so much debate yet they won’t allow it. Previously, on articles about the same subject that were comment-enabled the Guardian clearly had many mods standing by to delete those that challenged what was being said. It happened a lot too during other debates on anti-Semitism when some posting challenged the view that criticism of the actions of Israel in relation to the building of illegal settlements was anti-Semitic. Those posts were deleted too.

        As you say, seeing this at the Guardian, is bizarre indeed. Ironic too when one considers that the internet was meant to assist in allowing a greater level of engagement.

        • Stu

          It’s pretty clear why they have disabled commenting.

          There is no benefit in creating an editorial strategy if that strategy can be exposed as a lies on a platform you provide eg. The Guardian ran an article by Richard Woolf stating that Sanders should withdraw from the primaries on 2/3/2016.

          The below the line reaction is vitriolic. No one reading the article then even quickly browsing the comments is going to conclude that the primary process is over. Sanders went on to win a further 18 states proving the article ludicrous.

          Below The Line comments whether on the Presidential election, Corbyn, Scottish Independence or immigration were completely destroying the propaganda value of the Guardian so they are being phased out.

          • Jo

            Increasingly, in the Guardian, the BTL comments are more facts-based than many of the articles! But then they got tough and started removing hundreds of comments. Articles which were comment-enabled would stay that way for a couple of hours tops and then we’d get the “Comments are closed on this article.” message! And now more and more articles aren’t comment enabled, full stop.

            Bonkers. Completely bonkers.

            I actually challenged one deletion of a comment of mine. (The Guardian emailed me to tell me it had been deleted.) I sent the email questioning why it had been removed and the person who responded agreed the comment had been perfectly reasonable and couldn’t understand why it had been removed either. They gave me another email address in order to take it further but, to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered. The situation has, if anything, only worsened since then at the Guardian.

          • Hieroglyph

            Yup. It used to be more subtle, but now it’s blatant, they just don’t allow comments on political matters. I suspect, long term, they’ll just disable comments entirely. Clinton lackey, Richard Woolf, popped up within an hour or so, to discuss Trump’s prezzer, declaiming it, naturally, as a train-wreck (comments disabled, of course). Word of advice for Richard. Your candidate got beat, and you still haven’t learned a thing. Trump’s prezzer went down very well amongst those people who used to vote Democrat, and those folks won’t be voting Democrat for a long, long time. Might want to consider that, unless they intend to do away with the pesky electoral college thing. And it looks like they may well be planning that, or something else …

            Oh well, I hope the Guardian readership plummets, and they go bust. Shame for all the good journalists (they do exist) and staff, but unless they stage some sort of coup, I’m afraid there isn’t much they can do.

  • Matt


    why do you call it a forgery? It clearly seems to be a dodgy dossier, with a strange history that throws much unflattering light on US election shenanigans, but surely “forgery” indicates that it wasn’t written by the claimed or attributed author. Nobody else is claiming that, are they?



  • Stu

    The Guardian have published a lengthy hagiography to Christopher Steele.

    “As good as he was, Steele was unlikely to get the top MI6 job, perhaps because his specialisms were not a priority in that period – Russian espionage was taking a back seat to Islamic terrorist and non-state threats.

    And, of course, there was money to be made in the private sector – lots of it, particularly in the last two years. He decided to quit the service in 2009.”

    It reads like Lee Child.

      • Stu

        More highlights…

        £As the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, exerted influence in all kinds of spheres, so Steele’s background made him hot property indeed.”


        “He was in London, thinking about where to take Orbis next, eating his favourite tapas and pottering around Victoria, home to his newly refurbished office.”

        He is accusing the next US President of being a Kremlin puppet guilty of massive treason but he’s also just a normal guy who eats tapas.

        “But intelligence is not evidence and Steele would have known, better than anyone, that the information he was gathering was not fact and could be wrong. In the smoke and mirrors world of counter-espionage, there are few certainties.

        Those caveats do not appear on the documents – but they are given by Steele as a warning to prospective new clients.”

        This is all likely false and if it is proven so or the US intelligence community decides so then it’s nothing to do with Chris or the ambassador or MI6! Indeed!

  • lysias

    New Daily Mail article that goes even further in suggesting that Tim Barrow is the ambassador who was involved in the dirty dossier case, but still does not come out and say it. Revealed: Extraordinary life of dirty dossier British spook and his late wife whose high heels were stolen by the KGB and had a Russian tank aimed at their flat in Moscow.

    I imagine there is still a D-notice in effect that does not allow the Daily Mail to come out and say it.

    If it is Tim Barrow, he is the one former UK ambassador to Russia still working for the UK government. When he handed over the dirty dossier to John McCain in December, he was political director at the Foreign Office. (He has since been named UK ambassador to the EU.)

    So the UK government was very much involved in this dirty dossier business, I would speculate at the behest of the CIA and/or the Obama administration.

    • Jo


      Amazing we can have all these D notices to protect the Brits but it’s ok with the UK government for the BBC to go 24/7 with “unverified” information about the President-Elect of the US!

      As we say here, Lysias, “Ye really couldnae mak it up!”

  • Marie

    I can’t believe no one has considered the warhawks did an inside psyops for U.S. regime change. Crowdstrike, Ukraine, U.S., UK all have their fingerprints on this.

    • Jo

      I suggested that possibility in an earlier post when I pointed out that the US is so used to over-throwing other legitimate leaders in foreign countries that some within it thought they’d try it in their own country this time.

  • Jo

    I sent a complaint earlier to the BBC’s Newswatch about coverage of so much “unverified” news concerning Trump. I thought, as is usual when one complains to the BBC, I would just receive the usual standard response, “Hi, Thanks for your complaint. We will read it but we genuinely don’t really care and probably won’t write further regarding your specific complaint.”

    An hour later, however, I got a real reply from someone asking if I had a webcam and whether I would like to make a short video about my complaint to send them which could (possibly) be included in this week’s programme. If not, the writer said they may include quotes from my email instead.

    We’ll see if they do use any quotes from my email. (I wasn’t able to make a short vid as I don’t have a web cam.)

    If anyone else wants to make a complaint to Newswatch about the Trump coverage the email address is
    [email protected]

  • lysias

    Interesting tidbits in a new Daily Mail article on Steele:

    Today it was revealed Sir Tim Barrow, a former British Ambassador to Moscow who is now the UK’s top EU diplomat in charge of Brexit regotiations, worked in the same office as Steele when the Soviet Union collapsed.

    Sir Tim is understood to have told bosses he had ‘nothing to do with’ leaking Steele’s Trump memos, a Foreign Office source told MailOnline. . . .

    MI6 bosses told the Mirror the former spy may now be hiding at a safe house, which could in a different country.

    A source said: ‘Once his name came out the view was that he could be under threat so steps are being taken to protect him and put him in a more secure environment.’

    I thought from the headlines that the Mail article would include a denial to the Mail by Barrow, but the denial, such as it is, is second-hand and curiously expressed.

    MI6 is sure acting as though Steele is still one of theirs. Which the D-notice already indicated.

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