Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Spy Stuff and Media: Buzzfeed Gets Hit with a Second Christopher Steele "Dossier" Lawsuit

Here's the introduction to January's "The ultimate conspiracy: a conspiracy against Reddit’s conspiracy community?" concerning the CIA's chief of Counterintelligence 1954 to 1975:

Over the years I've mentioned the CIA's James Jesus Angleton a few times, here's a 2009 example:
As a practitioner of The Grassy Knoll Theory of Investing (there is a 'They' and 'They know') I am dubious of most EVERYTHING.
Of course this can lead you into the "Wilderness of Mirrors" which term the CIA's counter-intelligence czar James Jesus Angleton coined* and which trap he fell into:
...Angleton came to suspect Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who commented wryly that even the most brilliant and loyal officers should not spend their entire career in such pressurized and paranoid fields. Angleton also privately accused numerous members of Congress and President Gerald Ford of treason. Angleton's notorious pursuit of the "5th Man," who he believed had penetrated a secret agency in Washington, was solved, he believed, when DCI William Colby fired him. No one was above suspicion, and even Angleton himself was accused by others of working for the Soviets. (Wikipedia)
Oh well, by the end of his time as a spy Angleton was pretty far gone, probably certifiable....

I put it there as more than just a cautionary tale, see after the jump, if interested.

From Courthouse News Service: 
Owners of Russian Bank Sue Buzzfeed Over Trump Dossier
MANHATTAN (CN) – Unhappy with BuzzFeed over its reporting of the infamous “Pissgate” dossier, the owners of a Russian bank that is being investigated by the FBI for ties to President Donald Trump brought a defamation complaint Friday.

Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan, who together own Russia’s largest private bank Alfa, filed the 12-page complaint this afternoon in Manhattan Supreme Court.

The lawsuit comes over four months after BuzzFeed published a 35-page dossier linking the president and Russia. Former British spy Christopher Steele had originally prepared the dossier for a “Never Trump” firm that wanted opposition research to prevent Trump’s seizing of the Republican nomination in last year’s presidential election.

A Democratic research company picked up the tab for Steele to keep working during the general election, but its stream of cash was set to run dry before Election Day.

Though many in Washington knew about the dossier, it remained out of the public eye because many of its allegations cannot be independently verified. Shortly after CNN broke the news about the dossier, reporting on Jan. 10 that Trump and then-President Barack Obama had been briefed on its details, BuzzFeed published the full salacious document shortly after. 

The dossier disclosed in the article, “These Reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties to Russia,” consists of 17 “Company Intelligence Reports 2016” prepared by Steele.

Alfa, which is Russia’s biggest private bank, is mentioned on page 25, buts its name is misspelled as “Alpha Bank.”...MUCH MORE
...Bloomberg reports that Fridman, 53, Khan, 55, and Aven, 62, are worth $12.7 billion, $8.8 billion, and $5.4 billion, respectively.
I think Mr. Christopher Steele, the guy touted as the second coming of James Bond, got played by the Russians.
Consider this, from William Smullen, Colin Powell's Chief of Staff and formerly an aide to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs during the cold war:
...“Typically, the Russian clandestine subversion specialists, being the best in the world in this demonical art form, operate in double, triple and sometimes multiple tactical plot lines,” said the former State Department official. “For example, in the media report … that the U.S. has intercepted a message from Kislyak to the Kremlin saying that Kushner had proposed a back-channel connection during the transition period, it has to be understood that Kislyak knows perfectly well that all his communications are being intercepted by the U.S.
They don't say anything they don't want the British and Americans to know.
That is the very last paragraph in Politico's May 27 story "Kushner’s alleged Russia back-channel attempt would be serious break from protocol"

Or, as noted in the introduction to January's "Eugene Volokh on Libel Law: 'When ‘there is serious reason to doubt’ rumors and allegations, is it libelous to publish them?'": 
More Just as importantly, after reading the schlocky, amateur, borderline retarded "35 pages" thing, how could anyone ever again justify paying Orbis Business Intelligence actual money for anything they produce?
Played. Made to look the fool. By his own hand.
Back to James Jesus Angleton:

*In 2012 we noted Angleton only coined the use of the term in relation to intelligence:

The term was developed into a theory by the CIA's James Jesus Angleton to describe a situation where nothing is as it seems. He lifted it from T.S. Elliot's 1920 poem Gerontion:
...These with a thousand small deliberations
Protract the profit of their chilled delirium,
Excite the membrane, when the sense has cooled,
With pungent sauces, multiply variety
In a wilderness of mirrors. What will the spider do,
Suspend its operations,

Typical spy. Stole his best line, without attribution.