Trump Trump Trump Trump!
(Putin, Putin, Putin, Putin)
Trump Trump Trump Trump!
(Putin Putin Putin Putin)

Barrel bombs, barrel bombs!
Save the children (boo hoo hoo!)
Venezuela, Venezuela!
(Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo!)

Trump (Putin) Trump Trump Trump!
(Putin Putin) Trump Trump Trump!
Trump (Putin) Trump (Putin)
Trump Trump Trump Trump

And that's the way it is (according to the New York Times and all the rest
of them).

‘Progressive’ Journalists Jump the Shark on Russiagate
March 7, 2018

A lack of skepticism has characterized much of the reporting on Russiagate,
with undue credibility being given to questionable sources like the Steele
dossier, and now progressives like Jane Mayer and Cenk Uygur are joining
the bandwagon, Ray McGovern observes.

*By Ray McGovern*

Russiagate reporting has increasingly taken on a tabloidish and
sensationalist character.

Jane Mayer of *The New Yorker *and Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks are the
latest progressives to jump on the anti-Trump, pro-Russiagate bandwagon.
They have made it crystal clear that, in Mayer’s words, they are not going
to let Republicans, or anyone else, “take down the whole intelligence
community,” by God.

Odd? Nothing is too odd when it comes to spinning and dyeing the yarn of
Russiagate; especially now that some strands are unraveling from the thin
material of the “Steele dossier.”

Before the 2016 election, British ex-spy Christopher Steele was contracted
(through a couple of cutouts) by the Clinton campaign and Democratic
National Committee to dig up dirt on candidate Donald Trump. They paid him
$168,000. They should ask for their money back.

Mayer and Uygur have now joined with other Trump-despisers and new
“progressive” fans of the FBI and CIA – among them Amy Goodman and her
go-to, lost-in-the-trees journalist, Marcy Wheeler of All
of them (well, maybe not Cenk) are staying up nights with needle and thread
trying to sew a silk purse out of the sow’s-ear dossier of Steele
allegations and then dye it red for danger.

Monday brought a new low, with a truly extraordinary one-two punch by Mayer
and Uygur <>.

*A Damning Picture?*

Mayer does her part in a *New Yorker* article, in which she – intentionally
or not – cannot seem to see the forest for the trees.

In her article, Mayer explains up front that the Steele dossier “painted a
damning picture of collusion between Trump and Russia,” and then goes on to
portray him as a paragon of virtue with praise that is fulsome, in the full
meaning of that word. For example, a friend of Steele told Mayer that
regarding Steele, “Fairness, integrity, and truth, for him, trump any

Now, if one refuses to accept this portrait on faith, then you are what
Mayer describes as a “Trump defender.” According to Mayer, Trump defenders
argue that Steele is “a dishonest Clinton apparatchik who had collaborated
with American intelligence and law enforcement officials to fabricate false
charges against Trump and his associates, in a dastardly (sic) attempt to
nullify the 2016 election. According to this story line, it was not the
President who needed to be investigated, but the investigators themselves.”

Can you imagine!

I could not help but think that Mayer wrote her piece some months ago and
that she and her editors might have missed more recent documentary evidence
that gives considerable support to that “dastardly” story line. But
seriously, it should be possible to suspect Steele of misfeasance or
malfeasance – or simply telling his contractors what he knows they want to
hear – without being labeled a “Trump supporter.” I, for example, am no
Trump supporter.  I am, however, a former intelligence officer and I have
long since concluded that what Steele served up is garbage.

*Character References*

Mayer reports that Richard Dearlove, head of MI6 from 1999 to 2004,
described Steele as “superb.” Personally, I would shun any “recommendation”
from that charlatan. Are memories so short? Dearlove was the intelligence
chief who briefed Prime Minister Tony Blair on July 23, 2002 after a quick
trip to Washington. The official minutes of that meeting were leaked to the
London Times and published on May 1, 2005.

Dearlove explained to Blair that President George W. Bush had decided to
attack Iraq for regime change and that the war was to be “justified by the
conjunction of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.” Dearlove added
matter-of-factly, “The intelligence and facts are being fixed around the

Another character reference Mayer gives for Steele is former CIA Deputy
Director John McLaughlin (from 2000 to 2004) who, with his boss George
Tenet, did the fixing of intelligence to “justify” the war on Iraq. State
Department intelligence director at the time, Carl Ford, told the authors
of “Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq
War” that both McLaughlin and Tenet “should have been shot” for what they

And then there is CIA veteran spy John Sipher who, Mayer says, “ran the
Agency’s Russia program before retiring, in 2014.” Sipher tells her he
thinks the Steele dossier is “generally credible” in “saying what Russia
might be up to.” Sipher may be a good case officer but he has shown himself
<> to be something of a cipher
on substance.

Worse still, he displays a distinct inclination toward the remarkable view
of former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who has said that
Russians are “typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate,
gain favor, whatever.” If Mayer wanted to find some ostensibly
authoritative figure to endorse the kind of material in Steele’s dossier,
she surely picked a good one in Sipher.

Mayer notes, “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. She includes, as flat
fact, his claim that the Kremlin and WikiLeaks were working together to
release the DNC’s emails, but provides no evidence.

*Major Holes*

Mayer, however, should know better. There have been lots of holes in the
accusation that the Russians hacked the DNC and gave the material to
WikiLeaks to publish. Here’s one major gap we reported
on Jan. 20, 2017: President Barack Obama told his last press conference on
Jan. 18, that the U.S. intelligence community had no idea how the
Democratic emails reached WikiLeaks.

Using lawyerly language, Obama admitted that “the conclusions of the
intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not
conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit
through which we heard about the DNC e-mails that were leaked.”

It is necessary to carefully parse Obama’s words since he prides himself in
his oratorical constructs. He offered a similarly designed comment at a
Dec. 16, 2016 press conference when he said: “based on uniform intelligence
assessments, the Russians were responsible for hacking the DNC. … the
information was in the hands of WikiLeaks.”

Note the disconnect between the confidence about hacking and the stark
declarative sentence about the information ending up at WikiLeaks. Obama
does not bridge the gap because to do so would be a bald-faced lie, which
some honest intelligence officer might call him on. So, he simply presented
the two sides of the chasm – implies a connection – but leaves it to the
listener to make the leap.

It was, of course, WikiLeaks that published the very damaging Democratic
information, for example, on the DNC’s dirty tricks that marginalized Sen.
Bernie Sanders and ensured that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would
win the Democratic nomination. What remained to be demonstrated was that it
was “the Russians” who gave those emails to WikiLeaks. And that is what the
U.S. intelligence community could not honestly say.

Saying it now, without evidence, does not make it true.

*Cenk Also in Sync*

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks at once picked up
<>, big time,
on the part of Mayer’s article that homes in on an “astonishing” report
from Steele in late November 2016 quoting one “senior Russian
official.” According to that official, “The Kremlin had intervened to block
Trump’s initial choice for secretary of state, Mitt Romney.” Steele’s late
November memo alleged that the Kremlin had asked Trump to appoint someone
who would be prepared to lift Ukraine-related sanctions and cooperate on
security issues like Syria.

Mayer commented, “As fantastical as the memo sounds, subsequent events
could be said to support it.” Fantastical or not, Uygur decided to run with
it. His amazing 12-minute video is titled: “New Steele Dossier: Putin
PICKED Trump’s Secretary of State.” Uygur asks: “Who does Tillerson work
for; and that also goes for the President.”

*Return to Sanity*

As an antidote to all the above, let me offer this cogent piece
on the views of Joseph E. diGenova, who speaks out of his unique
experience, including as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence (the Church Committee). The article is entitled: “The
Politicization of the FBI.”

“Over the past year,” diGenova wrote, “facts have emerged that suggest
there was a plot by high-ranking FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ)
officials in the Obama administration, acting under color of law, to
exonerate Hillary Clinton of federal crimes and then, if she lost the
election, to frame Donald Trump and his campaign for colluding with Russia
to steal the presidency.”

He pointed out that nearly half of Americans, according to a CBS poll,
believe that Mueller’s Trump-Russia collusion probe is “politically
motivated.” And, he noted, 63 percent of polled voters in a Harvard
CAPS-Harris Poll believe that the FBI withheld vital information from
Congress about the Clinton and Russia collusion investigations.

This skepticism is entirely warranted, as diGenova explains, with the
Russiagate probe being characterized by overreach from the beginning.

*Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical
Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served in Army and CIA
intelligence analysis for 30 years and, after retiring, co-founded Veteran
Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).*

Tags: Donald Trump <>
Progressives <> Ray McGovern
<> Russia
<> Russiagate

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