Hunter Biden Laptop Scandal Is the Ultimate American Information Operation | Opinion

How did Hunter Biden's depraved behavior and his and his family members' dubious dealings with adversaries and oligarchs compromise and corrupt Joe Biden? What did Joe know, when did he know it and did he directly or indirectly profit? To what extent would—and today, does—the Biden family's conduct loom over vital issues of American foreign policy, and thus national security?

We were deprived of the answers to these critical questions during the 2020 election—deprived of hearing the questions asked themselves—because of one of the gravest American information operations in history, masquerading as a defense against a Russian information operation.

Now, our Ruling Class' chief organ has admitted it. It took 17 months, and 24 paragraphs into an article at first glance unrelated, but buried in a New York Times report on the apparently sprawling federal investigation into Hunter Biden, the "Paper of Record" revealed the truth we've long known: Hunter's "laptop from hell" is real.

We knew this before Joe Biden was elected. But millions of Americans didn't because the corporate media, the Deep State for which it serves as a conduit and the Big Tech that propagates their Official Narratives conspired together to suppress the true story while amplifying the politically beneficial one.

One poll shows this operation—part and parcel of a coordinated effort by our Ruling Class to use every lever of power to undermine Donald Trump while protecting Joe Biden—alone may have swung the 2020 election.

The people who purport to defend "our democracy," in other words, thwarted the republic by concealing from the public the kind of crucial information on which war and peace hinges.

The many layers to this scandal are worth recounting because they so vividly reveal a pervasive rot at the core of our country that is poised to fester absent a massive reckoning.

There's the fact the corporate media dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop story out of hand, refused to pursue it and even ran interference for then-candidate Biden when directly questioned on it by then-President Trump in debate.

There's the fact the corporate media unquestioningly ran with a narrative that the story was "Russian disinformation" to justify its dismissal of it, despite lacking a scintilla of concrete evidence to substantiate that dubious claim.

There's the fact dozens of senior then-ex intelligence community (IC) officials—people whose profession ostensibly demands equipoise, analytical rigor and the setting aside of politics—fed the corporate media that narrative, abusing their positions with reckless abandon.

The more than 50 prominent IC members, former CIA directors and on down, used their names and reputations to baselessly speculate that the laptop contents and circumstances around their release "ha[d] all the classic hallmarks of a Russian information operation"—naturally in contravention of the ignored Trump administration officials actually in command of the intelligence apparatus at the time, who vigorously denied the charge. The Trump-hating spooks, like the corporate media, presented not one scintilla of evidence to justify their charge.

Sure, they hedged, admitting that"we want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails...are genuine or not and that we do not have evidence of Russian involvement... ." But they knew well Politico and others would run with headlines like: "Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say."

How contrived was the operation? Consider that it was a former top aide to former CIA Director John Brennan—perhaps the most Trump-deranged and notoriously dishonest of the overwhelmingly Democrat-serving officials endorsing the letter—who arranged for the letter's distribution to Politico. He delivered it to one of the Trump-loathing Deep State's friendliest of reporters—perhaps most well-known for promoting the notorious Steele dossier at the heart of the Russiagate hoax—surely knowing this would set the narrative in motion.

Almost universally, the signatories show no remorse for the con they pulled. It was all worth it for them to replace Trump with someone who spent 50 years getting every major foreign policy issue wrong, and who has kept that imperfect streak alive since he's been in office.

There's also the fact Big Tech engaged in Rubicon-crossing censorship, not only preventing people from sharing the story publicly, but in private messages, and de-platforming the sharers. Twitter admitted as much, months after the election, when the damage had been done. This set the precedent for the ever-more widespread, almost desensitizing Wrongthink censorship we see today. Donald Trump is of course banned on Twitter, and the likes of Vladimir Putin and crony Ayatollah Khamenei are free to tweet at their leisure. Chinese coronavirus information that got people banned six months ago is now the official CDC narrative promoted on social media.

The Hunter Biden laptop story looms over it all.

And where was the aforementioned media on the censorship? At very best, silent. Those who benefit most from the First Amendment have too often become the most outspoken proponents of censorship, particularly when it serves their political agenda.

Hunter Biden art show sale president ethics
Hunter Biden, son of Democratic President Joe Biden, has said that deciding to exhibit art and opening one's self up to criticism while having a prominent family is "pretty courageous." Meanwhile, the White House is facing potential ethics issues regarding details of the sale. In this photo, Hunter Biden and Joe Biden attend the World Food Program USA's Annual McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony at Organization of American States on April 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. Teresa Kroeger/World Food Program USA

These conspirators cared nothing for combating disinformation. Far from it, they are some of its most prolific purveyors.

These conspirators cared nothing about "protecting democracy." Rather than grapple with the New York Post's reporting on the laptop, and the corroborating investigations from Tucker Carlson and elsewhere, they obfuscated in service of a candidacy that would predictably result in disaster for America, liberty and justice.

They did so because of the imperative to unseat a president whose agenda was far more aligned with the ruled than the ruling. That is, they did so out of perceived self-interest, which they may believe coincides with the national interest, but which in practice has proven to do anything but. Trump threatened their power, privilege and prerogatives. He had rebuilt our military, fostered alliances and partnerships to deter enemies while reducing America's direct obligations abroad, and confronted and kept our worst adversaries at bay—led by the greatest adversary of all, Communist China. Trump consequently kept America out of wars. Trump was neither the crazed cowboy with the nuclear codes nor the isolationist Russian stooge his adversaries vacillated in attacking him as, depending upon the week. He was a peace-through-strength nationalist, and his record proved it. Was this his great sin in the Ruling Class' eyes?

There is still more intrigue to this story. Why did The New York Times feel compelled to admit it only now, after reporters for mainstream publications like the aforementioned Politico had confirmed the authenticity of much of the laptop's contents months back?

Is it simply because the case against Hunter Biden, billed as a tax matter, but which the Times reports has evolved into one centering on money laundering and potential Foreign Agents Registration Acts charges, is built so heavily on the substance of the laptop, making it impossible to report on the case while outright ignoring it?

Or is there something bigger at play concerning the president, and his troubled son?

Regardless, the Times' almost-inadvertent admission perfectly reflects the entire contrived effort.

Our Ruling Class' over-the-top obsession with Russian information and influence has served as a diversion from the information operations it has been running against domestic political foes—even in league with foreign actors like the Ukrainians, as my RealClearInvestigations colleague Paul Sperry has reported.

Trump-Russia collusion was an American information operation.

Hunter Biden's laptop being "Russian disinformation" was an American information operation.

Phony stories, particularly those leaked out by our national security apparatus—like those of "Russian bounties in Afghanistan," or "Trump called dead American soldiers 'losers'"—are American information operations.

These operations raise further questions: What other such gambits have they executed that we don't know about? What else could they do, and will they do, to a Trump in 2024, or any other candidate they perceive to be a threat going forward?

The American mind, and therefore the body politic, is not imperiled by some Russian troll farm.

No, outside of the schools, which cultivate suicidal anti-American self-loathing and Wokedom, the great threat in the information sphere derives from a weaponized, hyper-political national security apparatus unmoored from the people it exists to defend, a progressive press that does its bidding and a like-minded Big Tech behemoth that works hand-in-hand with them to censor and control narratives.

It is infinitely more insidious when the institutions we rely upon to keep us safe, to inform us and to enable free and open discourse conspire against those countrymen with whom they disagree than when foreign adversaries themselves meddle.

We expect adversaries to attack us. To attack Americans like adversaries is to make America like its adversaries.

This is an existential threat to our republic.

And if none of these actors are ever held to account, it guarantees infinitely worse to come.

Ben Weingarten is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, fellow at the Claremont Institute and senior contributor to The Federalist. He is the author of American Ingrate: Ilhan Omar and the Progressive-Islamist Takeover of the Democratic Party (Bombardier, 2020). Ben is the founder and CEO of ChangeUp Media LLC, a media consulting and production company. Subscribe to his newsletter at bit.ly/bhwnews, and follow him on Twitter: @bhweingarten.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.