Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON THE THOUGHT OF KARL MARX. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for Robert Paul Wolff Marx."





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Friday, December 28, 2018

STEELE, STOLEN, STOLED


Well, the government is shut down, the days are painfully short, I am on hold until Susie and I go to Paris on January 3rd, so having nothing better to do I surfed the web and located a complete text of the famous Steele Dossier.  I read it all, from start to finish, working past the occasional strings of typos which I recognized as a consequence of the document having been scanned into a word processing program.  You can find it here.

I was prompted to engage in this bit of background research by the news that evidence has surfaced confirming the dossier’s claim that Michael Cohen met with Russian agents in Prague.  Apparently his cellphone pinged off a Prague cellphone tower.  [Stop for a moment to contemplate how many terabytes of data must exist in the cloud for that fact to be discoverable!  It is astonishing.]

Keep in mind what this document is.  It is a report by Steele of raw intelligence.  Steele makes no attempt at any point to evaluate the data, to argue for or against its accuracy, and certainly not to estimate its significance.  Nor does he organize it into a coherent story.  The dossier is a series of discrete reports of what he has been told by sources.  I am not going to try to summarize the dossier, because inevitably that will make it appear that I am endorsing it, vouching for it, and I have absolutely no basis whatsoever for doing that.  I urge you to take the time to read it yourself.

Thus far, portions of the dossier have been confirmed in detail by Mueller’s indictments, and none of its reports have been disconfirmed.  I do in fact believe those indictments, but that is just me.  

Two things struck me in the dossier, one potentially very big, one small.  Big first.  One of Steele’s informants asserts that the Cohen meeting in Prague [confirmed by the cell phone ping] was for the purpose of arranging payments from Trump to the hackers.  If that is ever confirmed, it is game over.  The small bit is that twice in the dossier Jill Stein is identified as someone the Russians were using to try to weaken Clinton’s election chances.  It is also claimed that the Russian IT team were targeting young educated Bernie supporters in an attempt to use their dislike for Clinton to get them either to vote for Trump, vote for Stein, or just not vote.

Inasmuch as Mueller has had this document for a year, I suspect we will fairly soon learn what more, if anything, he has been able to confirm of its reports.



7 comments:

J. Bogart said...

For a legal analysis of the dossier, see LawFare:
https://www.lawfareblog.com/steele-dossier-retrospective

Anonymous said...

Though you call it small, the Jill Stein connection was particularly toubling to many democrats based on lengthy online threads about this very topic. It was contentious and polarizing. I doubt if Bernie and the Green Party will ever recover.

anon. 2 said...

There is, isn’t there, a huge difference between someone deliberately conniving with foreign hackers—maybe even paying them to hack—and someone, or some group, e.g., Bernie, Jill Stein, or the Greens, being exploited by such foreign hackers to achieve their ends?

And surely some distinction ought to be drawn between hacking conducted by foreign computer mercenaries and hacking conducted by foreigners acting to try to advance the foreign policy objectives of their own government?

On this last point, I certainly would not be surprised to learn that all governments with the computer capacity/expertise to do so, intervene as best they can in all sorts of political activity in all sorts of countries, and that we’d find it being supported, applauded even, by so many who are outraged when it is done to themselves.

As to the Russian government for its own reasons having it in for Clinton, one would have to be ignorant of the international history of the last 30 years to fail to understand why that would be so.

Clipping Path Service said...

Thank you so much for the detailed article

Jerry Fresia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerry Fresia said...

Barbara McQuay, former prosecutor with the Eastern District of MI, stated on MSNBC that the ping "doesn't necessarily confirm" that Cohen was in Prague, that eastern European intelligence agencies could be putting out misinformation, and that all of this still has to be "proven." Might the word "suggests" be more appropriate than "confirmed?" What is the likelihood that Eastern European intelligence agencies would play western investigators? Mueller, as yet, hasn't charged Cohen with lying.

https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/cohen-again-denies-prague-visit-despite-report-of-intel-evidence-1411355715999

J. Bogart said...

Czech Republic is part of NATO. I would discount McQuay's comment. Why would Czech Republic be interested in disinformation on this point?

For a fairly complete timeline of evidence, I suggest In the Belly of the Beast, at:
https://thelawyerbubble.com/