The whole world knows now that Hunter Biden’s legendary laptop is real, and as Matt Margolis noted Friday, “all that’s left is anger — anger at how the media and Big Tech deliberately suppressed this damaging story about Hunter Biden to protect Joe Biden in the waning weeks of the presidential campaign.” Foremost among those protecting Old Joe were 51 senior American intelligence officials who on Oct. 19, 2020, published a statement asserting that “the arrival on the US political scene of emails purportedly belonging to Vice President Biden’s son Hunter, much of it related to his time serving on the Board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” It wasn’t. None of these alleged intel agents, however, have come clean and admitted that they lied and that Hunter’s laptop was genuine. Not a single one.
The statement did contain this weaselly caveat: “We want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails, provided to the New York Post by President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, are genuine or not and that we do not have evidence of Russian involvement — just that our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case.”
Nonetheless, the intended effect was created: Politico dutifully ran a story entitled “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say.” Jen Psaki tweeted those exact words. Old Joe Biden used the officials’ lie in a debate against Trump, saying: “There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he’s accusing me of is a Russian plant.… Five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage. Nobody believes it except his good friend Rudy Giuliani.”
The New York Post pointed out Friday that these 51 officials shouldn’t be the partisan hacks they obviously are; they “are the supposed nonpartisan group of top spies looking out for the best interest of the nation,” and that means we are in even worse trouble than most people realize. It’s clear now that their statement saying that the laptop was Russian disinformation was not the result of an actual analysis of its provenance and contents but was simply a manifestation of the fact that these agents “really were just desperate to get Joe Biden elected president.” Now that they’ve been shown up as the corrupt, self-serving officials they are, they’ve closed ranks and admitted nothing. The establishment media will, of course, give them a pass.
The Post initially broke the Hunter laptop story, and now the Post has gone back to all of the signers of the statement now that their story has been definitively authenticated. The leading signer of the statement, Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, took refuge in the weaselly paragraph of the original statement: “Yes, I stand by the statement made AT THE TIME, and would call attention to its 5th paragraph. I think sounding such a cautionary note AT THE TIME was appropriate.” The fifth paragraph was the one in which the officials said they didn’t know whether or not the emails were genuine.
Russ Travers, former acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, also took refuge in that weasel clause: “The letter explicitly stated that we didn’t know if the emails were genuine, but that we were concerned about Russian disinformation efforts. I spent 25 years as a Soviet/Russian analyst. Given the context of what the Russians were doing at the time (and continue to do — Ukraine being just the latest example), I considered the cautionary warning to be prudent.”
Former national security executive Don Hepburn signaled his determination to go down with the ship, saying defiantly: “My position has not changed any. I believe the Russians made a huge effort to alter the course of the election…The Russians are masters of blending truth and fiction and making something feel incredibly real when it’s not. Nothing I have seen really changes my opinion. I can’t tell you what part is real and what part is fake, but the thesis still stands for me, that it was a media influence hit job.”
Emile Nakhleh, former director of CIA’s Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program, likewise was ready to burn his reputation for good: “I have not seen any information since then that would alter the decision behind signing the letter. That’s all I can go into. The whole issue was highly politicized and I don’t want to deal with that. I still stand by that letter.”
Most of the other signers, including three former CIA directors, Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta, and John Brennan, didn’t even bother to respond. They have nothing to lose. They know the establishment media, the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party, will never challenge them. Their lies accomplished their intended purpose, and that’s that. On to the next caper.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.