|A Second Look at the Steele Dossier
It has been eight months since the leak of the so-called Steele Dossier, a private intelligence report containing allegations of ties between Donald Trump and Russia. The dossier was a past topic of interest in the American media. Now, a new article by a highly respected former member of the CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service, John Sipher, offers a second intriguing look at it from an intelligence perspective.
The dossier, which was originally published by BuzzFeed, comprises a collection of reports produced by Orbis Business Intelligence, a private intelligence firm, of which the author of the dossier, Christopher Steele, is a co-founder. The reports, produced between June and December 2016, contain allegations of collusion between the Kremlin and key Trump campaign officials, as well as claims that Russians have compromising material on Trump that could be used to blackmail him. Even though the dossier’s publication triggered an uproar, the media repeatedly pointed out that the reports were “unsubstantiated”, and the topic slowly faded away. So, what news does Sipher’s article bring us?
With a 28-year career in the CIA, Sipher looks at the dossier from the perspective of someone who is familiar with the procedures that lead to the creation of such a document and is able to assess the dossier using his expertise. After a thorough examination, which takes into account events that happened after the dossier was leaked, Sipher concludes that information contained in it is generally credible. He points out, for example, that a lot of information learned in past months support the narrative that was presented in the dossier. Even though Sipher also considers certain parts of the reports to be incorrect or questionable, the core of the dossier is, in his view, now more reliable than before.