Here’s what we know about dossier author Christopher Steele. He was a former MI:6 agent in Britain. He was hired by Fusion GPS to dig up political dirt on Donald Trump in service of Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. He proceeded to write up a fantastical piece of nonsense that came to be known as the dossier, based partly on what is almost certainly Russian disinformation, partly on publicly-available reports, and partly on whatever Clinton’s friend Sidney Blumenthal was feeding him. After being hired by the FBI as a consultant, he proceeded to blab to the media about his findings. Oh, and he badmouthed Trump to his source at the State Department.
To Christian Caryl of the Washington Post, all of this makes him a “hero.” In Caryl’s opinion, “Americans owe him their thanks.”
“Steele knows only too well what happens to people who get in Putin’s way,” Caryl breathlessly tells us. “Yet even this awareness didn’t divert him from his path as he began to expose the Trump-Russia nexus. There was a reason why he and his family went into hiding when his name was first made public last year.”
Er, yeah…out of embarrassment.
“This is the world of Kremlin intrigue, where mysterious deaths are a common tool of statecraft,” Caryl warns. “This is the world that Christopher Steele had to plumb, at considerable personal risk to himself, to chart Trump’s illicit entanglements.”
Caryl makes much of the danger Steele faced as he brought America a warning about the, um, compromised Russian double-agent who was about to win the presidency, and he makes sure to quote Diane Feinstein, who recently said that none of the dossier’s facts had been discredited. But that’s not the way things work in the world of claims and facts. You make the claim, YOU have to prove it. This is not just the foundation of science, it’s the foundation of our entire justice system. The burden of proof lies with the prosecutor. Or, in this case, the dossier author. Has the dossier been discredited? That’s the wrong question. The right question is: Has even ONE WORD of its original research been proven correct? And the answer is no.
Any damn fool can go traipsing around Moscow looking for trouble. That doesn’t make you a hero, though, and it certainly doesn’t warrant any gratitude on the part of the American people. All Steele has done is make himself a nice payday by – wittingly or not – spreading Russian propaganda through the U.S. intelligence community and mainstream media. He is a tool of the Kremlin and a tool, period.