As I note in my post, the mix of confirmation bias and tantalizing by unconfirmable tidbits of information should have made anyone but an FBI counterintelligence agent to conclude that this was definitely “too good to check.”
The thing that reaches out an grabs you is the number of current and former KGB/FSB/GRU/SVR thugs who were willing to dish information that could get them accused of treason or espionage. The odds of questions being asked about derogatory information on a US presidential candidate not coming to the attention of the FSB approaches zero. That they couldn’t have pinpointed the focal point as Steele and made a guess as to the purpose is in √-1 country.
As it turns out, back in January 2018, New York Times reporter Scott Shane, the lead reporter on this story, was a member of a panel that somewhat resembled the Star Wars cantina scene at the International Spy Museum titled “Unpacking the Russia Story with the Experts Who Have Covered It.” The video is cued up to the appropriate cut for your convenience:
Yeah, I was just going to sort of throw up a curve ball out for people to contemplate, and maybe Jonna would want to respond to this, but it’s something that has bothered me for the whole past year. Since the dossier became public, and actually before that because we got a look at some of that stuff earlier than a year ago, and that is if if Michael Cohen did not go to Prague, that one in particular I spent some time trying to prove or disprove because it had some detail. Some of the things in the dossier are very vague and a little hard to, you know, nail down; that one said that he had met with a guy named Oleg Solodukhin who was with a Russian cultural organization called Rossotrudnichestvo which has an office in Prague. The question…here’s the question if that’s not true who made it up? And the thing that occurred to me was this was not planted by some Clinton operative this was probably concocted by Russian Intelligence because of that level of detail–and when you think about Christopher’s Steele, the retired British intelligence agent, calling his buddies who called their buddies in Moscow to get this information–you know the the FSB is is certainly capable of following those trails and polluting them with certain, you know, disinformation so if–this is just a complete, you know, speculative hypothesis but I think one that we should all keep in mind–we believe that Russia carried out a very successful information operation aimed largely at Hillary Clinton, what if they also kind of hedging their bets also carried out an information operation aimed at Donald Trump? And that some of the dossier is was put there by Russian Intelligence with the idea, essentially, of casting a shadow over Trump. If that happened, you know, that the operation against Clinton was, I think everyone would agree, extremely successful; if there was an operation against Trump, it’s cast a shadow over the first year of his presidency right? So if he did nothing, if there was no collusion, it’s, you know, kind of daunting to think about this as a Russian achievement.
Yeah, it’s even more daunting to think that you spent two years acting as Putin’s bitch, pushing his propaganda and carrying out his agenda.
It is kind of funny listening to Scott become sort of apologetic in this and see his, as it turned out, prescient analysis dismissed by this Jonna Mendez creature. Mind you, this is former senior CIA officer involved in operations in “denied areas” during the Cold War pooh-poohing the idea that the Russians had probably sniffed out Steele’s little operation, showing, again, that we won that war simply because the Soviets were more incompetent than we were. While we’re chortling, it’s useful to recall that the New York Times never, ever did any reporting that asked any of these questions and they should be asked why.