After dozens of former U.S. intelligence officials called the Hunter Biden laptop story “Russian disinformation” on the eve of the 2020 presidential election, none appear interested in apologizing now that the authenticity of the laptop has finally been confirmed.
The Biden campaign and the corporate media were fast to emphasize the joint statement of the officials in an attempt to defuse the scandal. Now that the New York Times has contradicted the administration’s narrative, the officials who created the story about Russian interference are unrepentant.
The New York Post reported late last week on its efforts to seek clarification from the group of 51 former intelligence officials. They were led in signing the public letter dismissing the laptop story by former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who infamously lied under oath to Congress about the federal government’s surveillance of every American’s communications.
The conclusion of the letter was that the laptop had the “classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” Even though the letter went on to say that the signers had no actual evidence, the conclusory statement about Russian involvement captured the headlines. The group admitted that they did not know if the emails stored on the laptop were genuine or not.
At the time the letter was published, the laptop story was only five days old and had not been denied by any member of the Biden family. The Biden campaign was eager to tout the letter as being endorsed by people who worked for both Democratic and Republican administrations.
Politico publicized the letter in a story that was tweeted by virtually every important Democrat as proof that the laptop story was a fabrication. The media rapidly took up the narrative that the laptop was “fake news” generated by the Russians. Twitter suspended the New York Post’s account and it and Facebook censored the Post’s reporting on the laptop.
The Post attempted to obtain comments from the officials who signed the letter regarding the confirmation that the contents of the laptop are indeed authentic.
Clapper doubled down, saying he stands by the statement he made at the time. None of the officials acknowledged that the letter was incorrect or was used in misleading ways by the Biden campaign or the media.
Among the officers who declined to comment or did not respond were former CIA director and defense secretary Leon Panetta, former CIA director John Brennan, former CIA acting director John McLaughlin, and former CIA acting director Michael Morell.