Thursday, March 22

Was Skripal the "Russian intelligence source" for the Steele Dossier?

Gregory Copley, the Editor of GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs states flatly in his March 21 article for the World Tribune that Sergei Skripal was indeed Christopher Steele's "Russian intelligence" source for reports in the dossier. 

(As to Gregory's reliability -- I won't call him the best in the business because I'm not familiar with the work of every defense analyst, but I do know many would agree that he is among the very best.)

And if Gregory's claim about Skripal's contribution to the dossier is correct, it could explain the Russian government's stunning accusation on March 21 that the British government was hiding and possibly planning to destroy evidence in the Skripal poisoning case. (See Russia accuses UK of hiding evidence in Skripal case;  the Guardian, March 21. )

During the March 21 John Batchelor Show Gregory spoke about the connection between Skripal and the Steele Dossier and said there was every indication Skripal was willing to talk openly about his contribution to Steele's dossier. (JBS Podcasts Part 1 of 2 and Part 2 

If Skripal indeed said he was willing to sing like bird, he could well have signed his death warrant with his tongue, given the Steele dossier connection with the highest levels of the Obama Administration, the U.S. Democratic National Party, and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. 

So talk about a solid motive for murder. 

From Gregory's World Tribune article (Murky waters: The attack on Sergei Skripal, the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam, and the ‘Steele dossier’, which point-by-point examines the British claim that 'Russia' ordered the hit on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia (who surely knew all about about her father's involvement with the Steele dossier):
5. Again, what is significant is the obvious matter which has not been raised in any of the discussions of the attack on the Skripals: the ongoing links between Sergei Skripal and SIS [aka MI6].
It is worth bearing in mind that Skripal’s period as a double agent for MI6 overlapped the period when now-former MI6 officer Christopher David Steele worked under diplomatic cover in the British Embassy in Moscow (1990-93) and as head of the Russia Desk at MI6 between 2006 and 2009. 
A number of sources have indicated a series of ongoing links between Steele and Skripal, and certainly, as head of the Russia Desk, Steele would have overseen aspects of Skripal’s handling in retirement in the UK. 
Furthermore, Skripal was known to have undertaken freelance work “in retirement”, preparing reports on Russia. He was well known to be an “author for hire” for anyone seeking a supposedly authoritative assessment on Russia or on Russian intelligence issues. 
He was, in short, the “Russian intelligence source” for the Steele Dossier compiled for the election campaign of Hillary Clinton on then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump. 
This Service raised the issue of the witting compliance of SIS/MI6, or its tacit support of, the activities of Christopher Steele — by this time retired from SIS, and working from his corporate base, Orbis Business Intelligence, Ltd. — in preparing what was clearly a document designed for political warfare use against a U.S. presidential candidate. Moreover, this was not an isolated example: 
If the British secret service was involved in the creation and/or use of the Steele dossier to influence the U.S. 2016 presidential election, would this be considered a crime in the United States? Well, the British government has deniability given that Steele was a former MI6 agent at the time he put reports together for the dossier. That wouldn't be the same for Steele -- unless he too has a story to tell the media, one he hasn't divulged yet. 

And although it's is behind a paywall at GIS/DFA, just the title of this special analysis, “Significant Ramifications for UK-USA Accord Signatories of Possible Unauthorized US Recruitment of a UK Intelligence Professional” (February 6, 2018) indicates there are very serious questions related to the matter.

Of course the attempted murder of the Skripals would be different story altogether and also raise questions about unauthorized recruitment. 

In any case perhaps the U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller should cast his net just across the Pond if he's still looking for evidence of a foreign influence in the U.S. election. 

I'll close with a few more quotes from Gregory's article, which I recommend needs to be read in its entirety:
What seems clear is that the “rush to judgment” against the Russian Government seemed necessary to many parties because there were too many unpleasant realities — many of which had immediate political and legal consequences — to be faced by (a) the U.S. Democratic National Committee (DNC); (b) the Clinton campaign; (c) former U.S. President Barack Obama; (d) SIS/MI6 and Christopher Steele; and (e) the UK Government (which may have felt that it had no other alternative but to pay a price to sweep the actions of recent years under the carpet).

Moreover, the whole nature of the attempt to stop Skripal from talking to the media (and this was apparently being mooted, according to GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs sources) was designed in such a way that the immediate “suspect” would be Moscow.

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