Fact Check: 2020 Lie of the Year

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Fact Check: 2020 Lie of the Year

Fri, 01/08/2021 - 08:50
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Hunter Biden laptop and influence-peddling story was Russian disinformation

The 2020 lie of the year was that more than 50 former senior US intelligence officials signed onto a letter claiming that the story about Hunter Biden's laptop and emails implying Joe Biden's influence-peddling was Russian disinformation. When the New York Post broke the story of the Hunter Biden laptop and emails which implied influence-peddling on the part of Joe Biden while Vice President,  a letter was circulated that was signed by more than 50 former senior intelligence officials. The letter was signed by Jim Clapper, Former Director of National Intelligence, three Former Directors of the CIA (Mike Hayden, Leon Panetta, John Brennan), Michael Morell, Former Acting Director of the CIA, and many former leaders of intelligence agencies. This letter was reported by Politico journalist Natasha Bertrand to state that the Hunter Biden laptop story was a Russian disinformation operation. Disinformation means the information was false.

After the election former CIA senior operations officer, Marc Polymeropoulos told the National Review that he and former acting CIA director Michael Morell (name has been floated as a possible Biden CIA director pick) basically wrote the letter. "Polymeropoulos stressed, however, that the letter was not intended to question whether the Hunter Biden materials were authentic, but rather to raise the possibility that the Russians were trying to interfere in the presidential election by helping in some way to bring the information to the attention of the press."

“We talk about how this is a Russian information operation, it’s not disinformation,” he stated. “And that’s an important nuance to me as a former intelligence officer. It might not be for the rest of the public, or for people on the right, or the left, or wherever, who would criticize the letter, but it is an important nuance. Because we did not say it was Russian disinformation, we said it was a Russian information operation.”

The letter by the former intelligence leaders does not explicitly state that the Hunter Biden story was Russian disinformation, but it talks about the Hunter Biden story being a Russian information campaign and then goes into depth about Russian disinformation. The letter was crafted in such a way to imply that the Hunter Biden story was Russian disinformation and therefore these intelligence leaders were saying the story was false.  

The legacy media and big tech repeatedly claimed that the letter stated that the Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian disinformation. There is no reporting of the authors of the letters or any of the signatories ever attempting to correct the reporting by pointing out that they were only claiming that it was a Russian information operation. None of the "journalists" reporting on the story contacted any of the 50+ named intelligence leaders to clear up the confusion as to whether they were claiming that it was a Russian information campaign or a Russian disinformation campaign.  

The claim that intelligence leaders claimed that this was Russian disinformation had a real effect. Twitter locked the New York Post (5th largest newspaper in America) out of their Twitter account for 16 days because they refused to delete their article spreading "Russian Disinformation."  Many of the social media platforms censored the story or inhibited their users' ability to spread the story. The network news refused to cover the story because it was Russian disinformation. The blackout was so complete that polling has shown that many Biden voters were unaware of the whole story or aspects of the story including the FBI investigation.

The reason that the emails and laptop could not be disavowed or called disinformation is that Hunter Biden himself dropped off the laptop and did not return to pick it up, so it became the property of the computer shop. The owner gave the laptop to the FBI but made an image of the disk. He then provided a copy of the disk to the Trump campaign. The emails on the laptop were from Gmail so they contained a digital signature verifying their contents had not changed and that they had been sent through Gmail to the recipients.  

This letter by these intelligence officials was used by the media as justification for not covering the story since it was Russian disinformation. The letter was reported many times as claiming Russian disinformation and no one ever corrected that mischaracterization.

The claim that this was a Russian information operation is interesting since it implies that the President of the United States and his allies do not have the ability to spread a story about potential corruption by his opponent Joe Biden in the US.  The story of this corruption by one of two major candidates for presidents could only be publicized with the help of Russians.

The former intelligence officers knew that by calling it a Russian information operation and then talking about Russian disinformation that the story would be reported as a Russian disinformation operation since that is the term that has been used to refer to the Clinton Emails. If the story was called Russian disinformation then it could be censored by the media and Big Tech since disinformation means it is false.

The leaders of the intelligence community misleading the corporate media and public to prevent the investigation of allegations of corruption against their preferred candidate is what happens in failed totalitarian states, not healthy democracies. The members of corporate media were not innocent bystanders as they did not want to report this story and used the letter as a means of ignoring the story. This was a disinformation campaign run against the American people by intelligence leaders who are going to be in power during the Biden administration. This is why the intelligence leaders misleading the public through our willing media that the Hunter Biden story was Russian disinformation is our lie of the year.

 

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