Four former intelligence officials who in October 2020 called reports about Hunter Biden’s laptop and the damaging information it contained have been silent since Twitter files detailing internal emails that contradicted that narrative were released on Friday.
The New York Post, which originally broke the laptop story, reported:
Leon Panetta, a former CIA director and defense secretary, John Brennan a former CIA director, Mike Hayden, a former CIA director, and Jim Clapper, a former director of national intelligence — who all once said The Post’s reporting had ‘all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation,’ — declined or did not respond to request for comment about whether the latest disclosures had changed their opinion.
The emails questioned the official Twitter reasoning for suppressing the story, which is that the information was or may have been obtained through hacking.
No basis for suppression
“I’m struggling to understand the policy basis for marking this as unsafe,” then-Twitter communications official Trenton Kennedy said in an email to other Twitter higher-ups.
Then-Vice President of Global Communications Brandon Borman, asked in an email, “Can we truthfully claim that this is part of the policy?”
Twitter eventually ended up using the hacking reasoning to suppress the story despite no evidence that the material was obtained from hacking.
Intelligence officials jumped on board
Only five days after it was learned that Twitter was suppressing the story, 50 former intelligence officials signed on to a letter stating their collective belief that the laptop story originated from the Russian government and was disinformation.
“If we are right, this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this,” they wrote.
Part of the information that was on the laptop said that Hunter Biden was getting payouts from Chinese state-owned business interests, and that 10% would be held for “the big guy,” who was identified by Biden associates as Joe Biden.
At the time, Joe Biden was between his terms as vice president and president, and was not in office. Still, it cast aspersions on Biden’s actions and whether he was giving access to foreign governments through his son Hunter.
Musk says media needs to accept responsibility for deception
Not surprisingly, the intelligence officials are not leaping forward to admit that they were wrong about the laptop, even after mainstream media outlets like NBC News and the New York Times finally had to come out and say that it was authentic.
The mainstream media is still way behind the curve on breaking news, however. The big three networks devoted a total of seven seconds of air time to Matt Taibi’s release of the Twitter files over the weekend.
Their obvious snubbing of the story infuriated Musk, who responded with outrage.
“I think those people should be looking in the mirror and wondering why they were deceptive. Why did they deceive the American public?,” Musk asked. “And instead of trying to redirect blame to Matt Taibbi, they should be accepting some responsibility themselves for not being truthful to the American public.”