Daniel Greenfield is one the most prolific writers of our time…
Is it more likely that a British agent happened to independently come across a memo by a Clinton political operative that echoed his own material or that his dossier was based on the memo? Was the Steele dossier an original piece of work by a former British intel agent doing his own research or had he been hired to put some meat on a conspiracy theory created by a Dem political operative? Was the Steele dossier an original piece of work by a former British intel agent doing his own research or had he been hired to put some meat on a conspiracy theory created by a Dem political operative?
The (Clinton) Chicago sleaze machine is behind the salacious allegations in the dossier used to launch the FBI’s ‘investigation’ into Trump World, helping to undermine not only his campaign through incessant leaks, but to hamper his presidency as well.
The Steele Dossier and the Clinton Scandal Machine
But that’s not how it looked then.
President George H.W. Bush was enjoying high approval ratings. Bill Clinton would weasel and claw his way to the front of the line largely because the election seemed like a lot cause for the Democrats.
But the Clintons still had plenty of dirty tricks left to play. The Quayle cocaine story was one of them. Like most discredited Democrat smears, it was forgotten once it was no longer needed. It’s hard now to understand how so many reporters and politicians could be sucked in by a ridiculous smear campaign.
One of the Quayle accusers had confessed to lying both to prison officials and to 60 Minutes.
“This guy not only flunked the lie detector test, but he broke down and cried in front of Morley Safer and said that he had made it up because he wanted to get out of jail,” Don Hewitt, the executive producer of 60 Minutes, recollected.
But the more the story came apart, the more new conspiracy theories were spawned to bolster it. Like Michael Wolff’s smears, it was too good for the left not to believe. Much like Russian collusion, the story quickly shifted from whether Quayle had actually bought drugs to whether the Bush administration had tried to cover it up. The shift from a specific criminal accusation to nebulous conspiracy theories that can never be disproven, but that empower open-ended witch hunts, are a hallmark of Dem smears.
The second phase of a smear is to use the damage control tactics of the victim to create its own crime. The dubious original accusation, Quayle’s drugs or Trump’s Russian plot, never needs to be proven. It only needs to be shown that the target attempted to defend against the accusation.
Why does an old discredited Dem smear matter? Because it shares a number of troubling similarities with the Trump Russia smear, including the Clinton political operative who may have originated it.
In his syndicated column, Thomas Oliphant traced the popularization of the cocaine smear to Cody Shearer’s contact in the DEA. “I’ve known him for a long time and like him, but that wouldn’t stop me from looking out the window if he told me the sun was shining,” the columnist wrote.
Cody Shearer is also the author of another Russia-Trump dossier used by the FBI, a memo that Steele, the author of the better known dossier, passed along. How did Steele come to possess Shearer’s memo? Shearer was one of Bill’s plumbers, notorious for spreading and circulating scandals aimed at Republicans. He’s also been accused of targeting and intimidating Bill Clinton’s victims.
Is it more likely that a British agent happened to independently come across a memo by a Clinton political operative that echoed his own material or that his dossier was based on the memo? Was the Steele dossier an original piece of work by a former British intel agent doing his own research or had he been hired to put some meat on a conspiracy theory created by a Dem political operative?
We don’t know the answer. Yet. But it’s quite possible that Steele, Russian intel operatives and all the other elements of the vast campaign were never more than window dressing on a smear from the same guy who had peddled the Dan Quayle cocaine story the last time the Clintons needed help.
The Steele dossier, with its sloppy fact-checking and lurid tales of prostitutes urinating in a Moscow hotel, is far too unprofessional to be the work of a British ex-intel agent, but it reads like a Cody Shearer smear. Nasty and vicious has always been Shearer’s stock in trade as a variety of Republicans can testify.
The successful Shearer smear is a conspiracy theory built around a shocking image. A prisoner kept “in the hole” to stop him from testifying about Dan Quayle buying drugs or Senator John Tower starting a hotel fire in Dallas by drunkenly dropping a cigarette on an armchair. That’s followed by accusations of a cover-up, by Bush, the DEA, the CIA, the Russians, the Bureau of Prisons, and the media does the rest.
The Trump smear follows that same nasty pattern. And there are other curious overlaps.