- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 5, 2023

As though there was ever any real doubt, Hunter Biden now admits the infamous laptop left at a Delaware computer repair shop belonged to him. Believe it or not, he now wants federal and state law enforcement agencies to investigate how the information on it came to light.

It would be funny if it were not so tragic. Mr. Biden is a broken man, addled by addictions that lead him to make bad choices that may have consequences for the country.  Some of what was on his laptop, had it been fully brought to light, might have changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential contest. Instead, thanks to the collusion of social media platforms and elite media info-giants, stories about it were largely buried until they couldn’t do the senior Biden electoral harm.

It would have been fun to see the Biden flacks explaining away phrases like “10 percent for the Big Guy” in believable terms. It would have been like watching “Baghdad Bob” tell CNN there were no American tanks in Iraq’s capital city.

The story will stay alive as long as Republicans in the House pursue it. Yet some aspects are more important than others and need careful examination by Congress, like the former Obama administration officials and others who were a ubiquitous presence in the media trashing President Trump and, later, proclaiming the need for caution regarding anything having to do with the Hunter Biden laptop story.

The story was, in fact, stopped cold by an October 2020 letter signed by dozens of former highly placed U.S. intelligence officials cautioning the press and the public to proceed carefully because the laptop story had all the hallmarks of a Russian disinformation operation.

The signers included five former CIA directors, a former director of National Intelligence, and others from the Washington-based intelligence community who used their bona fides and supposed insider’s perspective to give editors, publishers, and TV news execs the fig leaf needed to quash the story.

This is what Congress needs to look at. Like most Americans, we take a dim view of former executive branch officials using their credentials and access to information to cash in on their government service. This goes beyond that – as it goes beyond the outrageous instance of former Clinton National Security Adviser Sandy Berger smuggling documents out of the National Archives in his sock.

Mr. Berger got a slap on the wrist. The former members of the intel community who helped kill the laptop story, even temporarily, deserve more because they used their positions to shape public opinion in a way that ultimately may have subverted the American electoral process.

If they’d done it in Venezuela or Iran or Syria – or oversaw the work of others who did it – we’d pin medals on them. But, using what we trained them to do, they did it here in the United States, where such things are not only frowned upon but are expressly prohibited by law. Some, including many of our U.S. media colleagues, may scoff. Still, it is now unequivocally clear the effort to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story as possible Russian disinformation was itself a disinformation operation launched by former members of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Congress must investigate. Reform is needed, like a law requiring any former or future government diplomatic or national security official who refuses to cooperate with a congressional investigation unless ordered to do so by the president immediately loses their clearance. That’s the way to get to the bottom of the story behind the suppression of the laptop story. Meanwhile, everyone needs to remember access to highly secret information is a privilege. The people who signed the laptop letter abused theirs. It’s time they paid a price.

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