A Spy Story

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During the last Christmas holiday, we have astonished and attentively observed every day the US political crisis issue motivated by the alleged interference of Russia in the last US presidential elections, and how such interference could have changed the direction and the result of the election. There has also come to the forefront, the very existence of a dark dossier on possible links during the last five years between the next US President and the Russian Government. From the beginning, no one wanted to give enough credit to this alleged dossier to bring it to light, but the information has erupted with just a week left for Donald Trump to make the Presidential oath.

This dossier has been classified as ‘unverified information’ by all those media which have published it. But the reality is that the content has placed the President-elect on the ropes during his first press conference after several weeks, and only a few days before his swearing-in as President of the United States. According to the report, there would have been some plot among Trump’s team and Putin’s government to injure during the election to the Democratic Party and its candidate Clinton. On the other hand, it is said in it that Russia could use the information collected for several years on the tycoon, information which might include an alleged orgy with prostitutes in a luxurious hotel in Moscow, in order to blackmail him once he is officially the President of the USA.

Trump called the report ‘fake news,’ and blamed to the US intelligence agencies about being behind the dossier. He has described these facts and information as a ‘witch hunt,’ although in the document it is pointed out that the Russian Intelligence would have material and compromising information about the President-elect, both economically and personally. It has now been reported that the dossier was written by Christopher Steele, a former MI6 spy, who worked as a spy in Russia during the 1990s and right now runs the private ‘Orbis Business Intelligence’ company in London, and who recently has been forced to leave his home in Surrey together with his family and hide in an unknown location in the face of fear of retaliation by the Russian secret services. In his report, Steele concludes that Moscow has been tracking Donald Trump for five years and has accumulated enough embarrassing material of unorthodox behaviour to blackmail him.

But that is not the most disturbing part of the report: it is affirmed that Trump has been receiving assistance, support and information by the Russian administration, under the name ‘Operation Trump’ which has been commanded by Putin directly. The Kremlin would have been providing intelligence about Trump’ opponents in the electoral race. The dossier also contains information accumulated over many years about candidate Clinton, including the communications interception, led directly by Kremlin spokesman, Mr. Peskov, reporting directly to Putin.

The report relates about continued conspiracy between Donald Trump’s campaign team at the highest level, which would include Russia’s diplomatic staff in the US as well as the use of hackers who would be behind the appearance of Clinton’s e-mails in the WikiLeaks platform, to create distrust and hatred towards the Democratic candidate. In exchange, Putin would receive intelligence from the US, especially about the Russian oligarchs, their businesses, and their families in the US, and would have managed to get rid of the candidate Clinton to whom Putin detests.

In the Steele’ report are concrete data, dates, details of actions and events which makes it very difficult to reject it in advance. Both, the US intelligence services are giving it the highest credibility and the FBI is investigating its authenticity. The only fact admitted by Trump, but only a little bit, is that Russia might have entered the Democratic National Committee’s servers to steal damaging information for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. But then, he clarified his words. “The US is being ‘hacked’ by the whole world. It includes China, Japan and Russia and everyone.” Trump said in a new example of his tendency to talk about China, Mexico or Japan, whenever he is asked about Russia.

WikiLeaks has pointed out that the dossier “is not an intelligence report. Neither its style, facts nor data shows any credibility.” The Kremlin was quick to dismiss the revelation as an ‘utter falsehood’ aimed to damage the relations between the two countries. “The sources are one of the flimsiest aspects of Trump’s report,” wrote the journalist Luke Harding at the ‘The Guardian.’ Despite those holes in the style and content, the very report has been circulating for weeks on the heights of the American power. Here is the rarity. Even the Arizona Senator John McCain has acknowledged that the FBI sent it for review to him.

Now there are two possibilities: if the accusations were verified, their very serious character could trigger further investigations, and even a possible impugnation which might undermine Trump’s Presidency. If they were false or unconfirmed, it would further aggravate the relations among Trump’ administration and American intelligence. If the report were verified, it would explain the Trump’s always favourable stance towards Russia; His compliments to Vladimir Putin and his strategy in Syria; The open door to recognize the annexation of Crimea; The not responding, within the NATO framework, to an eventual Russian aggression in Europe; The refusal to acknowledge the Russian ‘hacking’ during the campaign to the Democratic Party, despite the insistence of American intelligence, and finally, the appointment as the Head of Diplomacy of Rex Tillerson, an ex-ExxonMobil who is a close person to Vladimir Putin. It is ironic that Mitt Romney was dismissed as Secretary of State just when his very main opinion on foreign policy is being now vindicated. Romney said in 2012 that “Russia was the geopolitical adversary number 1 of the US.”

 Trump has at least acknowledged for the very first time that it may have been Russia which has pirated the accounts of the Democratic National Convention, although he also said that “Russia will have a lot more respect for our country when I am leading it than before, when other people were leading.” A typical intelligence play, worthy of a former KGB colonel, which is working up to date, but it has already created many shadows of doubt, and has begun to make water even before Trump assumes his new role as President of the USA. But if this report were verified, i.e., the violation of the most basic rule of International Law, the, ‘non-interference in the affairs of another country’, it would be too serious for the interests of the American citizens, because their will would have been vitiated, annulated and manipulated.

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