Mudguard

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  1. US Politics- Stay Gold, Pony Boy

    So exactly what were his contributions in the FIFA investigation? Since you are claiming that he's the one who brought FIFA down, presumably he played a critical role in the effort. Everything I've read about Steele's involvement has been extremely vague. Do you have any citations that explain his role and contributions in detail? Seems to me like he was brought in when it was already pretty clear that there was evidence of wrongdoing. My statement says that I'm skeptical of the report after intelligence agencies and new agencies have failed to corroborate any of the substantive allegations after many months. What do you think my statement says about me?
  2. US Politics- Stay Gold, Pony Boy

    I've read plenty of articles where past colleagues vouch for Steele. I just don't give nearly as much weight to those recommendations as do you. His reputation is enough for me to take a look at the report, but after reading that mess of a report and the extraordinary claims it was making, I needed to see some evidence that corroborated the allegations. I come from a science background, and when you make extraordinary claims, you need to back it up with an extraordinary amount of evidence. This isn't science, so I'm not expecting a ton of evidence, but I do require at least some credible evidence to back up the extraordinary allegations made in the report. And there has been no corroboration by any intelligence agency or news agency, despite them having the report for many months now. I don't see why they need another few months at this point. Expecting corroboration of any of the substantive allegations at this point seems about as likely as expecting the recounts to find evidence of Russian hacking. If the report was just recently disseminated to reporters and intelligence agencies, I would agree waiting a few months to allow them to attempt to corroborate the allegations. But we are way past that point already. The report itself appeared to be shoddily put together. Numerous typos and factual errors, including falsely accusing Michael Cohen of going to Prague to make deals with Russia, one of the bigger allegations in the report. If he wasn't fabricating the report, then apparently he didn't really do any fact checking of his own. The Michael Cohen allegation was proven false within a day or two of the report being released to the public. Also, the report says nothing about the confidence level Steele had in his sources or the confidence level he had in his allegations. Why didn't he include this? How is the person commissioning the report supposed to interpret the allegations properly without that information. It just presents everything as fact without any corroborating evidence whatsoever, making the report essentially useless as opposition research, but great for tabloid fodder. This is the only work product I've seen from Steele, and based on what I've seen, I'm not impressed at all. It's possible that instead of fabricating the report, he was just completely inept and duped by sources feeding him misinformation. But given his reputation, is it likely that he would be this easily duped to believe all these incredible allegations? And what who was directing these people to feed this misinformation? There were at least half a dozen different sources, all with stories that implicated Trump conspiring with Russia, so it seems unlikely that his sources all would have independently created a consistent narrative. Doesn't seem like Putin would have anything to gain by feeding him allegations that he was conspiring with Trump. As to why he would have fabricated such a story. Who knows. Maybe he hates Trump. Lots of people hate Trump. There were reports that suggested that Steele hates Putin for poisoning Litvinenko, who Steele was the case officer for. I'd like to see Steele give an interview where he defends his report. Why does he think it's credible? Does he still think it's credible even after the Cohen allegations have been debunked? If he wants to rehabilitate his reputation, I think he's going to have to do an interview.
  3. US Politics- Stay Gold, Pony Boy

    It started as opposition research for Republicans, but when that money dried up, he found Democrats willing to pay for it. I call that shopping the report around. He eventually also passed the report along to a bunch of people, from intelligence agencies to reporters. Apparently, the existence of the report was widely known among reporters, the intelligence agencies, and both Democrats and Republicans. Would he have done this if he was really concerned about protecting his identity or the identity of his sources? After passing the report to so many different people, it was inevitable that it would get out. If there was any truth to his report, I think it's very likely that Putin can figure out who the leaks are. I doubt that many people would have knowledge of the allegations. All his sources, if they really existed and were telling the truth, have been put in jeopardy. His family would have been put in jeopardy. Seems massively unprofessional to burn your sources and it seems irresponsible to put your family in danger for a piece of opposition research. More likely, this report was fabricated. We still don't have any confirmation of any of the substantive allegations. If this was a fake, then nobody would be put in jeopardy.
  4. US Politics- Stay Gold, Pony Boy

    Even asking the original source for confirmation seems dangerous, not to mention the first time. If any of this was true, Putin would be tracking down leaks as we speak. I find it hard to believe that an ex- agent, unless they were a complete shit, would jeopardize the lives of so many people just for an opposition research paper. He would have burned all his sources. He was shopping his report all over the place. None of this adds up. Large parts of his report have already been debunked, so I'm convinced the report is a fake.
  5. US Politics- Stay Gold, Pony Boy

    His reports don't name any sources. You wouldn't be able to tell if you were using the same sources or not. Aren't the ex-officers sources Russians? Were all these people putting their lives on the line so that he could complete his opposition research report? That's even more unbelievable.
  6. US Politics- Stay Gold, Pony Boy

    I don't get why the CIA or British intellgence would have to risk a life to get the same information that the ex- officer got. Or do you think the ex- officer also risked lives to compile his opposition research report? If so, how likely is that?
  7. US Politics- Stay Gold, Pony Boy

    Well, back to my original point. If the report by the ex-officer was true, shouldn't the CIA, with assistance from British intelligence, been able to verify the claims made in the report by now? How likely is it that the ex-officer has sources that cannot be corroborated by any sources of the CIA or British intelligence? Or is it more likely that the report is full of shit?
  8. US Politics- Stay Gold, Pony Boy

    How would you know what the current Russian sources of the CIA are? That seems like pure speculation. Regardless, couldn't the CIA ask British intelligence for help if they lacked the resources?
  9. US Politics- Stay Gold, Pony Boy

    Appointing an independent board to run his companies wouldn't do anything to eliminate conflicts of interest. If he maintains ownership, regardless of who is running his companies, he would still be able to enrich himself by doing things to benefit his companies. The only way to eliminate the potential conflicts of interest is to sell off all his companies and place the proceeds in a blind trust that is managed by an independent entity and/or to invest the proceeds in certain highly diversified mutual funds like index funds. I'm not a big fan of Rex Tillerman, but one thing he did right was selling off all his Exxon stocks and options and putting the proceeds into a blind trust.
  10. U.S. Politics: Confirming The Trumpocalypse

    Great. Hopefully he'll do an interview. If his report completely falls apart, that should be interesting.
  11. U.S. Politics: Confirming The Trumpocalypse

    This is only true if his identity is released. I think the fabrications regarding Cohen are enough to put the ex-officer into the low credibility camp and should lead to his identity being released. If it turns out that the report was largely a bunch of fabrications, which it looks more and more like, there should be consequences.
  12. U.S. Politics: Confirming The Trumpocalypse

    Haha. I remember that interview. Super awkward.
  13. U.S. Politics: Confirming The Trumpocalypse

    The main reason for me is that many news organizations and the intelligence agencies have had these reports for months, and still no one has been able to corroborate any of the details that matter. It's not for lack of trying either. I watched a clip where Maddow talked to an NBC reporter that had access to the report for months, has been trying to corroborate the details, but still has nothing to show for it. Things like Michael Cohen, Trump's lawyer, being in Prague have yet to be corroborated. Here's a report that apparently debunks the claims that Cohen was making a bunch of nefarious deals in Prague. Cohen played a huge role in the report. If all of that was false, why believe any of it? Are people going to argue that the other Cohen must have been the one making all those nefarious deals with Russia? Why haven't the intelligence agencies been able to corroborate the reports yet? The CIA lacks the resources and connections that this one British intelligence agent has? I find that hard to believe. Another thing is the lack of supporting evidence for a report that was supposedly commissioned as opposition research. What use is opposition research that completely lacks supporting evidence and cannot be used against Trump? Seems to me that the ex-intelligence officer reeled in some suckers willing to pay for useless information that he may have just made up. If any of this was real, don't you think that the information would have been verified and used during the campaign? All this added up make me extremely skeptical about the report, and I have very little expectation that anything important gets verified because they've had many months to do so and still nothing. If anything, the more people look into the details, the more errors are found.
  14. U.S. Politics: Confirming The Trumpocalypse

    It looks to me like this was included in the briefing just to inform Trump that this information was floating around, not that any of the information was credible or that they were still looking into it. Wake me up when there's actually some verified information.
  15. U.S. Politics: Confirming The Trumpocalypse

    The report was prepared as opposition research for an opponent of Trump. It would make sense to ask for supporting evidence rather than a collection of unsubstantiated claims if you actually wanted to use any of this against Trump during the election. It's very convenient for the author that he can't reveal any of his sources. Makes it way easier to just make shit up. Reid claimed he read the report before he made his claim during the election that the FBI was sitting on explosive information.  The buzzfeed article claims that a MotherJones reporter also had access months ago. I'm surprised that the report wasn't leaked earlier. Another interesting part of the Buzzfeed article: Probably got well paid for all this work. Who exactly commissioned the report?