The FBI presenting the Steele Dossier to the FISA Court is your learning lesson in how “a half truth – is a whole lie” !
The FBI had a problem. How could it get a warrant to spy on the Trump presidential campaign ? Then the opportunity seemed to present itself, with the Steele Dossier, a hodge-podge of unvetted third-hand hearsay provided by Russian state operatives.
But the FBI realized that it had an even more serious problem: How could it get such “tainted” and “prejudiced” material, provided by presidential opponent Hillary Clinton and the DNC, in front of a FISA judge and get him to accept it.
The FBI (and DOJ) knew to a moral certainty that no judge worth his salt would accept such a poison pen send-up as reliable, reasonable accurate and vetted basis for a warrant to spy on an American citizen, much less an American presidential campaign.
But never fear. The FBI’s Comey knows how: “ THE FBI CAN ALWAYS GET ANY MAN” ! And now we come to the sublety of how to tell the truth to tell a lie.
First, the FBI engages in the Magician’s Art of Mis-Direction. It informs the Court that the “source” is a source they have previously used – and was reliable then. So Court, ‘trust him now, because we trusted him in the past.’ This is literally true. But it is used to wilfully mislead the Court to reach the wrong conclusion that the past “trusted” source is thus a “trusted” source now; and then to wrongly conclude that current (tainted / prejudiced) material is also to be “trusted.”
Second, the FBI then makes Clinton’s spy – their own paid “source” (never mind Steele’s double-dipping). It then informs the court that the material comes from their “trusted” source. This is again literally true. But again, it is used to wilfully mislead the Court to wrongly conclude that the “trusted current source’s” (tainted / prejudiced) material is “trusted.”
Third, the FBI engages in sleight of hand: it uses a third party using the “source” as the vetting of the material as independently verified. And, so yet again, it is literally true that a third party has “reported” the material. But yet again, it is used to willfully mislead the Court to wrongly conclude that the (tainted / prejudiced) material has been vetted and verified.
And so telling half truths,
the FBI turns an opponent’s bag of dirty tricks against another candidate
into the BIG LIE.