Not surprisingly, the few articles around are character-assassination pieces. It’s not like I personally knew the man but I generally found his analysis to be insightful.
Mr Steele was Marine infantry, who later worked for the CIA and then served as a civilian for Marine Intelligence, amongst other things.
As I understand it, he promoted open-source intelligence and holistic analysis; basically, instead of wasting time and money on secret stuff and getting only a fraction of what is needed, one can spend a fraction of that time and money gathering the stuff that is already floating out there and get most of what one needs anyway whilst keeping in mind the big picture. (He never denied that secret stuff can’t be useful within certain contexts.) Sounds commonsensical to me.
His blog is presumably part of that where he collates what he and his contributors find, sometimes offering his view. I am not sure how the blog will continue (if at all) now that he is gone.
Like I said, I didn’t know the man but I think he deserves better than character assassination. It’s one thing if the person deserves it and it’s true, but character assassination based on half-truths and lies after they’re dead is worse than cheap. Take the piece from the Independent as an example.
Robert David Steele, a veteran of the US marine corps and a QAnon supporter, promoted several conspiracy theories, including one that said Covid-19 was a hoax. He also promoted an anti-vaccination campaign.
Earlier this month, Steele was hospitalised with coronavirus symptoms, including severely damaged lungs. The former marine, however, continued calling the infection a hoax and refused to get inoculated.
Oh dear, there’s “conspiracy theories”. Can’t have that. And if one dares to question the vaccine publicly, they are promoting an “anti-vaccination campaign”. And let’s automatically dismiss QAnon. I am no Q/Anon expert and I am not sure what to think of it, but Mr Steele would be contradicting his own MO if he didn’t consider information available to him.
And he “refused to get inoculated”. Well, of course he refused. Even if one believes the vaccine to be safe and effective, there is no point in getting one when one is already sick. Seriously, do people even know how to write hit pieces properly?
And notice the use of the word “hoax”, a conveniently vague term that may make it sound like the man crazily denied the existence of the disease entirely. As someone who half-followed his work—and I am going from memory here as well as using my own words—Mr Steele acknowledged the disease as real but pointed out the West’s initial information warfare (e.g. that the disease is totally natural and from China etc), the possibility of 5G augmenting the effects (e.g. terrain theory, symptoms consistent to radiation sickness etc), and the generally inconsistent response to the disease which we have experienced for the past 20 months. It is in this sense that “hoax” should be understood if the word is to be used at all.
One final comment: on a post dated 17 August 2021, he wrote that his oxygenation levels were back up. “The good news is that I will survive with a few days off. I should be back up and at least functional soon.” There doesn’t seem to be any dispute that Mr Steele has passed away and I don’t get the sense that he needs to fake his own death. And he seems old enough to be in the at-risk group. Foul play?
Nothing would surprise me.
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