In an interview with The Washington Post’s “fact-checker,” former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper contends that Politico misled the public about a letter he and 50 other former intel officials signed during the 2020 presidential campaign warning that the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story could be Russian deception. “There was message distortion,” Clapper tells The Washington Post. “All we were doing was raising a yellow flag that this could be Russian disinformation. Politico deliberately distorted what we said. It was clear in paragraph five.”
It was not clear, at all. The purpose of the letter, apparent then as it is now, was to discredit the Post’s scoop and provide Democrats and the media with ammunition to reject it. (SET ITAL) Of course (END ITAL) intel officials couldn’t definitively say that Hunter’s emails, which implicated Joe Biden as a business partner, were concocted by Vladimir Putin’s spooks. They had no access to the laptop. The purpose was to enlist former intel chiefs to cast doubt on the story. A perfunctory CYA paragraph doesn’t change anything.
The laptop lie began, as is often the case, with Adam Schiff, the California congressman who used the intelligence committee as a partisan disinfo clearinghouse. As soon as the story broke, Schiff claimed that “we know” — a phrase he used numerous times — that the emails had been planted by the Kremlin. By then, though, everyone understood the congressman was an irredeemable liar. The director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, issued a statement stressing that, actually, there was no evidence to back Schiff’s claims.
That’s when Politico reported that more than 50 former senior intelligence officials had signed a letter asserting that the laptop “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” The most notable signees were Clapper, a man who ran a domestic surveillance program and then lied about it to Congress, and former CIA director John Brennan, a man who once oversaw an operation of illegal spying on a Senate staffer, and then also lied about it to the American people.
The letter worked exactly as intended. “Look,” Biden said during the last 2020 presidential debate when asked about the laptop, “there are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he’s accusing me of is a Russian plan.” On “60 Minutes,” Biden called the story “disinformation from the Russians.” Clapper tells The Washington Post that he had absolutely no idea how the former vice president had framed the contents of the letter — which is, to be generous, implausible nonsense.
If Clapper’s letter was merely a good-faith warning, then why didn’t any of the other signees push back against Biden’s contention during their numerous television appearances? Did none of them watch the presidential debates? Why didn’t Clapper send a follow-up statement clarifying his position after the Politico headline purportedly “distorted” the letter? Did he not see the piece until now — just as Republicans are about to investigate?
All the Post’s pedantic “fact check” does is offer the signees, and itself, cover. The Washington Post excuses the media’s (ongoing) suppression of the Hunter Biden story by arguing that the “leak of emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta,” which “may have contributed to Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in 2016,” made journalists extra cautious about relaying uncorroborated information. That contention is gravely undercut by the hundreds of pieces and columns the Post ran based on the Democratic oppo research that contained what was almost surely Russian disinformation. Any skeptical journalist would have also immediately identified the letter, and the Politico piece, as a nakedly partisan attempt to undermine the legitimacy of a story.
Indeed, the New York Post’s Hunter story had far more substantiation than any of the histrionic Russia-collusion pieces that the public was subjected to during the Trump years. The Post detailed how it came into possession of its evidence. It interviewed the owner of the Delaware computer shop where Hunter had abandoned his laptop. It provided Hunter’s signature on a receipt. The Post had on-the-record sources with intimate knowledge of Hunter’s business dealings. They had on-the-record interviews with people who claimed to have interactions with the presidential candidate — incidents we now know Biden had lied about for years. And later, the emails were authenticated by forensic specialists at other outlets, as well.
Virtually the entire censorious journalistic establishment, including The Washington Post, with the help of tech giants and former spooks, limited the story’s exposure by either banning it outright as disinformation, creating the impression that it didn’t meet proper journalistic standards or implying that it had been planted by Russians. The media wasn’t going to allow another Hillary Clinton-like scandal to sink the prospects of a Democrat. And Clapper played a big part in that deception.
Steven Brizel says
Clapper should be indicted for perjury
Tom, glad I'm in Texas says
Then hanged after conviction, publicly.
Jeff Bargholz says
Crapper should be buttfucked by convicts until he die of ass septis. And John imam Brennan should take it in his mouth until he expires in agony from chapped, cum covered lips.
I hate those motherfuckers.
I couldn’t tell from your comment.
Tom, glad I'm in Texas says
I second your comment.
The signatories to the letter knew exactly what they were doing. They were providing a news hook that the media and Biden could use to dismiss the laptop. It was what is known as an information operation. All 51 should go to jail for election interference, which it surely was.
Clapper and Brennen are patently guilty of perjury.
Trump should have stripped them of their clearances the moment he came into office.
Trump should have fired and booted Jeff Sessions the moment he ‘recused’ himself from being the AG.
David Palmer says
Almost within the same breath as Schiff announcing the ‘we know..’ about the laptop, Senator Chris Murphy of CT jumped on the bandwagon. He lied to the people of CT so many times I’ve lost count. First there was the Russian Collision lie, then there was the Russian Dossier lie, then there was the Laptop Lie. And this went on for years. Between the lies my senator told me and the lies the MSM told me, and the truths that MSM didn’t tell me, that swayed the election, so it was stolen, by the democrats. I can’t wait until 2024, when many of these democratic RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) members will be charged with election interference and fraud and jailed for long terms. Clapper and Brennan need to be hauled off in chains for the damage they did to the USA.
Tex the Mockingbird says
How can you tell when James Clapper is lying? A. His lips are moving
Steven scott says
Forget the letter. Voting for that imbecil Biden under any circumstances is just about as nuts as it gets. I’ve taken dumps smarter than him.