'Truth spoken without moderation reverses itself'
This blog is a source for intellectual exploration. It includes a list of alternative resources and a source of free books. The placement of an article does not imply that I agree with it, merely that I found it thought-provoking. There are also poems and book reviews. Texts written by me are labelled. Readers are free to re-post anything they like.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Nick Hopkins and Luke Harding - Intelligence sources vouch for credibility of Russia dossier author / Mark Sumner - Trump Was Bailed Out of Bankruptcy by Russia Crime Bosses
It was Steele, sources say, who correctly
and quickly realised Litvinenko’s death was a Russian state “hit”.
His denials – at least
some of them – were emphatic, even by the standards that Donald Trump has
come to be judged by. The dossier, he said, was a confection of lies; he
compared it to Nazi propaganda; it was fake news spread by sick people. At his press briefing
on Wednesday, the president-elect effectively dared the world’s media to
scrutinise the 35 pages of claims, before throwing down a challenge – where’s
the proof? Nobody had any. Case closed.
But in the rush to
trample all over the dossier and its contents, one key question remained. Why
had America’s intelligence agencies felt it necessary to provide a compendium
of the claims to Barack Obama and Trump himself? And the answer to that
lies in the credibility of its apparent author, the ex-MI6 officer Christopher
Steele, the quality of the sources he has and the quality of the people who
were prepared to vouch for him.
In both respects, the
53-year-old was in credit. Former colleagues of Steele describe him as “very
credible” – a sober, cautious and meticulous professional with a formidable
track record. One former foreign
office official who has known Steele for 25 years and considers him a friend,
said: “The idea his work is fake or a cowboy operation is false, completely
untrue. Chris is an experienced and highly regarded professional. He’s not the
sort of person who will simply pass on gossip.”
The official added:
“If he puts something in a report he believes there’s sufficient credibility in
it for it to be worth considering. Chris is a very straight guy. He could not have
survived in the job he was in if he had been prone to flights of fancy or doing
things in an ill-considered way.”.. read more:
In 2008, Donald
Trump Jr. attended a real estate conference, where he stated that Russians make up a
pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of
money pouring in from Russia. As it turns out, that
may have been an understatement. Human rights lawyer Scott Horton, whose work in the region goes back to
defending Andrei Sakharov and other Soviet dissidents, has gone through a
series of studies by the Financial Timesto show how funds from Russian
crime lords bailed Trump out after yet anther bankruptcy. The
conclusions are stark.
Among the powerful
facts that DNI missed were a series of very deep studies published in the
[Financial Times] that examined the structure and history of several major
Trump real estate projects from the last decade - the period after his seventh
bankruptcy and the cancellation of all his bank lines of credit. ... The money to build
these projects flowed almost entirely from Russian sources. In other words,
after his business crashed, Trump was floated and made to appear to operate a
successful business enterprise through the infusion of hundreds in millions of
cash from dark Russian sources. He was their man. Yes, even that much
seems fantastic, and the details include business agencies acting as a front
for the GRU, billionaire mobsters, a vast network of propaganda sources, and an
American candidate completely under the thumb of the Kremlin.
It reads like the a
B-grade spy novel, a plot both too convoluted—and too bluntly
obvious—for John le Carré. The problem is it may not be a conspiracy
theory. It may be a conspiracy. Horton’s analysis
comes from piecing together information in three Financial Times “deep
reports.” One of these focused on Sergei Millian, the head of the Russian
American Chamber of Commerce in the US at the time of Trump Jr.’s “money
pouring in from Russia” claim.
Mr Millian insists his
Russian American Chamber of Commerce (RACC) has nothing to do with the Russian
government. He says it is funded by payments from its commercial members alone.
Most of the board
members are obscure entities and nearly half of their telephone numbers went
unanswered when called by the Financial Times. An FT reporter found no trace of
the Chamber of Commerce at the Wall Street address listed on its website.
Why was RACC’s
background filled with so many holes? The Financial Times quotes
former Russian MP Konstantin Borovoi in tagging the chamber as a front for
intelligence operations that dates back to Soviet times. “The chamber of
commerce institutions are the visible part of the agent network . . . Russia
has spent huge amounts of money on this.” Read more: