An exercise in disinformation

By ROBERT ERINGER, Former FBI undercover officer

I have seen all this before. A sensational report purporting to reveal secrets based on unnamed mysterious sources.

Those who commissioned it want so badly to believe it. And so, without the fact-checking any decent magazine would do, they run with it, leaking it out.

And they sex it up with important sounding intelligence credentials aimed at lending it credibility.

But for those who understand the smoke and mirrors, what's going on is a disinformation campaign. I have regularly liaised with senior MI6 officers.

One told me, "The best disinformation is 98 per cent truth and two per cent of what they want you to believe. It's amazing what the Russians will give away to get you to believe something untrue" This is why the explosive dossier on Donald Trump is so ridiculous.

Having read its 35 pages it seems its authors have reversed the disinformation equation: two per cent reality to 98 per cent bunkum.

No wonder the Russians, who usually respect professionalism in rival intelligence services, are aghast. It's amateurish. The biggest surprise for most people is how the US intelligence community was so duped four busy directors grouped together to brief Trump in person.

It's no surprise to me though. When I headed up the Monaco Secret Service I liaised with 20 foreign intelligence services. And the CIA was the least efficient and professional of them all.