There are times when “irony” isn’t enough…
The State Department’s Global Engagement Center’s (GEC) section Disarming Disinformation: Our Shared Responsibility begins with this quote by President Biden:
“There is truth and there are lies. Lies told for power and for profit. And each of us has a duty and responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders – leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation – to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.”
Speaking of “lies told for power and profit,” doubtless Mr. Biden’s call to arms was issued after the bogus Hunter Biden laptop letter of October 19, 2020.
In that sordid statement, 51 current and former members of the U.S. intelligence community claimed the laptop was likely Russian disinformation. The goal was to provide the Biden campaign a “talking point” to rebut the truth that the discovered Hunter Biden laptop was real. Per the now infamous Public Statement on the Hunter Biden Emails:
It is for all these reasons that we write to say 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 is high time that Russia stops interfering in our democracy.
The mendacious missive exceeded expectations.
The knowingly false claim was amplified by the corporate media; and then cited by Big Tech as a reason to censor the New York Post reporting about it, all in a successful effort to get Mr. Biden elected president. As the New York Post’s Miranda Devine bluntly concluded: “The letter was a domestic disinformation operation by the CIA to deceive the American people and help Joe Biden win the 2020 election.”
Yet, the Hunter Biden laptop letter was but the spin-off of the deceitful Russia-gate disinformation campaign. As the New York Post editorial recounts, Special Counsel John Durham’s report on the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign “colluding” with Russia determined:
The FBI’s probe was “seriously flawed” and had no basis in evidence… FBI officials “discounted or willfully ignored material information that did not support the narrative of a collusive relationship between Trump and Russia.” Investigators put too much faith in information provided by Trump’s political opponents and carried out surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page without genuinely believing there was probable cause to do so.
Who was the instigator of this Russia-gate witch hunt? The Russians seek to sow domestic discord amongst the American body politic? Summing up the Durham report, the New York Post editorial provided the means, motive, and opportunity of the guilty party:
Top ranks at the FBI and Justice Department fought tooth and nail to kibosh any investigations of Hillary over both the hundreds of millions in shady donations her foundation raked in while she was Secretary of State and her casual, repeated violations of federal law around classified documents. Then they turned around and opened the Russiagate probe on the basis of third-hand rumor, soon using the Clinton-paid Steele Dossier to fraudulently justify surveilling the Trump campaign. This, though the entire top of the US government had been warned that the Clinton camp intended to create a bogus Trump-Russia scandal to distract from her misdoings.
Despite the ardent promotion by her media allies and fellow Democrats, the Russia-gate disinformation campaign failed to abet Ms. Clinton’s elevation to the Oval Office; however, this lie that refused to die did succeed in seditiously derailing the duly elected Republican president who defeated her.
As if it couldn’t get more absurd, in perpetuating the Russia-gate investigation, the agency endeavored to utilize and pay an individual who may well have been an actual Russian purveyor of disinformation:
Igor Danchenko, who was Steele’s “primary sub source” and boasted of contributing “80%” of the “intel” for the dossier, meanwhile, may have been spreading Russian lies, according to the report – which notes Danchenko was once investigated as a possible spy before becoming an FBI informant and getting paid $220,000 by the bureau for the privilege between 2017 and 2020. Despite the bureau using him as a source, Durham notes, the previous espionage investigation was never resolved.
It is a good time to reflect upon the GEC’s assessment of Russian disinformation:
Disinformation is one of the Kremlin’s most important and far-reaching weapons. Russia has operationalized the concept of perpetual adversarial competition in the information environment by encouraging the development of a disinformation and propaganda ecosystem. This ecosystem creates and spreads false narratives to strategically advance the Kremlin’s policy goals. There is no subject off-limits to this firehose of falsehoods.
Regarding the U.S., Russia’s disinformation seeks to sow political and social discord and widen the divide between Americans. In short, Russia is an equal opportunity dissembler, one who seeks to deceive all Americans to further its goal of debilitating and destroying our national security and strategic interests. As the GEC notes, Russia has been diligent in spraying its “firehose of falsehoods.” So why are the Democrats and the federal government doing Putin’s disinformation for him?
The answer is as elementary as it is inexcusable: the Democrats have played their “Russia to the Rescue” card for partisan gain, and even weaponized the police and counter-intelligence capacities of the federal government to fuel its potency and prospects for success. They have done so with relative impunity. The result is that in the 2016 and 2020 presidential races, the greatest font of election disinformation and interference was not the Russian government. It was the American government.
If, as President Biden earlier averred, “each of us has a duty and responsibility…to defend the truth and to defeat the lies”; and if, as the GEC informs us that “Truth disarms Russia’s disinformation weapons,” the solution to the U.S. government doing Russia’s disinformation job for them is straightforward: the American people must demand their servant government tell the truth – or suffer the legal and political consequences individually and collectively.
This will be difficult, for as the New York Post editorial board assessed:
Meanwhile, all the media that waxed hysterical for years over Russiagate stand largely silent, at best treating Durham’s revelations as old news… No wonder trust in the federal government and the media is at historic lows. Democrats from Biden on down regularly bewail the nation’s political divisions. Yet healing those will require Dems and their allies to stop ignoring (and even rewarding) abuse of power as long it benefits their side.
Thus, the crux: will the 2024 election cycle see a continuation of this execrable campaign tactic that abets Russia’s disinformation aims? Yep. Democrats, both in and outside the government, as well as their media allies will continue their disinformation and election interference practices. Why? Because, bluntly, they worked – just ask President Biden or former President Trump.
No, “irony” isn’t enough to fully capture the follies, foibles, and failings of the American government and its self-anointed ruling “elite,” especially when the Democrats are heedlessly doing Putin’s disinformation job for him by exacerbating the animosity, apathy, and doubt among Americans; and our government remains hellbent on proving the term “intelligence community” is an oxymoron.
An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003-2012, and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars; and a Monday co-host of the “John Batchelor Radio Show,” among sundry media appearances.