Christopher Steele, Student Radical

Diana West, hard-right scribe for the anti-communist Epoch Times, unearths some details about Christopher Steele, author of the famous Steele Dossier, which alleged Russian government agents had targeted candidate Donald Trump to get influence over him.

There’s a whole debate about whether the Steele Dossier has been partially confirmed (Lawfare blog) or whether some of the most sensational claims have proven not to be true (Mike Isikoff). I think both statements are accurate.

But I want to put that debate in favor of looking at Steele’s biography, which West finds problematic from a counterintelligence point of view.

I’m interested in the ways that youth shapes a future leader.

What does Christopher Steele’s youth tell us?

It turns out Steele was mild leftist in his university days. West writes:

Steele was known as a “confirmed socialist,” “an avowedly left-wing student with CND credentials.” Another detail that fits the context of ideological profiling is that Steele would eulogize his late first wife as “always on the progressive side of an argument.”

CND stands for Committee for Nuclear Disarmament. The very idea, West huffs, was treasonous. She describes CND as a

Marxist-infiltrated organization deemed subversive by MI5 for its links and efforts, especially in the 1970s and 1980s, to disarm Britain, force U.S. cruise missiles off British bases, and decouple Europe generally from the U.S.-led NATO alliance—at the time, the primary goals of Soviet foreign policy and its aggressive “nuclear freeze” and “peace movement” disinformation campaign.

This is tendentious. When West says “deemed subversive” she suggests this was an actual intelligence finding. But MI5 never found that CND was controlled by the Soviet Union. That’s because it wasn’t. The idea that anyone calling for a nuclear freeze was victim of a “disinformation” campaign is like saying anyone who favored the Vietnam War was an “imperialist lackey.” It’s a propaganda theme, not an objective assessment.

Another of Steele’s heresies: the future MI6 officer gave a platform to advocates of Palestinian rights.

as president of the Cambridge Union in 1986, Steele extended the debating society’s first invitation ever to a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, at the time still regarded as a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel, not to mention one of the Soviet Union’s proxy terror-armies against the West.

West is a person with very little tolerance for dissent. Steele, on the other hand, was a person open to divergent points of view. Biography doesn’t decide whether Steele’s dossier was more right than wrong or vice versa. But it does tell you he was an intelligence collector.

Source: A Radical Suggestion

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