The FBI factor

I wish National Review would let Andrew McCarthy’s columns out from behind its paywall, but it is not to be. I have paid the big bucks to read Andy’s columns and found the fee worth it, but it rubs against the grain of the Internet. Surely some one or two of NR’s benefactors could spring for whatever it would take to free up Andy’s columns, at least on occasion.

I recommend his most recent column, this one on the Twitter Files: “The ‘Twitter Files’ Miss the Real Scandal: FBI Interference in the 2020 Election.” I don’t think we have missed the real scandal, but Andy would like to make sure we understand. He highlights the role of the FBI working in conjunction with the Deep State 51 and concludes with reference to “the proclamation” (i.e,, open letter) of the Deep State 51 publicized by Natasha Bertrand/Politico:

The proclamation is itself classic disinformation: It is careful not to come out and say the Biden story is Russian disinformation . . . only that our crack national-security pros keenly discern all the “classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” If you pressed them on it, Clapper, Brennan, et al., would claim they weren’t trying to deceive anyone by exploiting for partisan gain their privileged access to the nation’s intelligence secrets, no siree. They’d point you to the fine print: the proclamation’s fleeting admissions that, actually, the Gang of 51 has no idea whether the laptop data are “genuine,” and similarly lacks any hard “evidence of Russian involvement.”

But they sure got their point across, didn’t they? The social-media execs relied on this disingenuous, hyperpolitical, factually baseless proclamation to fortify themselves in the conclusion that the Biden reporting should be suppressed as hacked Russian disinformation. And Joe Biden himself pronounced, in a presidential debate watched by tens of millions of Americans, that the laptop story must be disinformation because, after all, dozens of former national-security officials — bipartisan, professional, patriotic, credible — had said so.

Here is the most galling part: They think we’re morons. They think they’re so very clever, manipulating words and putting their thumbs on the scale with the power we entrust to them. They think they’ve covered their tracks with so much deniability that we, the benighted rabble, could not hope to keep up with them.

I guess we’ll see if they’re right.

In my opinion, McCarthy’s Ball of Collusion remains the best book published to date on the Russia hoax.

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