A previous top intelligence executive, who was responsible for signing the letter which struck down The Post’s jaw-dropping 2020 report concerning Hunter Biden’s laptop scandal and labeled it as Russian disinformation, has now accepted that he very well knew a “significant portion” of the extracted files “had to be real”.
However, he does not regret the disbanding of the expose.
The former deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Douglas Wise, was one of the intelligence officials who proceeded with the public letter on October 19, 2020. The letter was issued after five days, in reaction to a chain of reports initiated by The Post on the current-first son’s questionable business dealings executed overseas.
“All of us figured that a significant portion of that content had to be real to make any Russian disinformation credible,” said Wise — who did not give out any response when The Post asked for an elaboration, back in March last year, but began to speak when he talked with the Australian.
The October 19th letter, which was signed by the previous CIA Director, John Brennan, the previous Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, and the previous Defence Secretary, Leon Panetta, made special efforts to raise doubts concerning the validity of the scoop published by The Post, with five paragraphs describing the “factors that make us suspicious of Russian involvement” while slipping in the caveat that “we do not know if the emails … are genuine or not and … we do not have evidence of Russian involvement.”
The letter was disclosed to Politico and published a news story related to it, under the headline: “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say.”
Following the letter’s proclamation, the retrieved laptop “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation”, was exploited by President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and several news media outlets to put an end to the suppression of the Hunter Biden’s laptop scandal story by Twitter and Facebook.
Since then, the data retrieved from Hunter Biden’s laptop has been acknowledged by the likes of the Washington Post, the New York Times, and CBS News. All the media outlets also confirmed that the laptop’s contents were legit the previous year.
“The letter said it had the earmarks of Russian deceit and we should consider that as a possibility,” Wise told The Australian. “It did not say Hunter Biden was a good guy, it didn’t say what he did was right and it wasn’t exculpatory, it was just a cautionary letter.”
The letter referred to “[o]ur view that the Russians are involved in the Hunter Biden email issue” and concluded with the message: “It is high time that Russia stops interfering in our democracy.”
Even with the letter’s black-and-white statements, Wise, after taking retirement from the government services and now mentioned on his Linkedin page as the sole owner of a new Mexico-based Southwest National Security Consultants LLC, is insisting that its observers, “whether they‘re members of the conservative journalist community, conservative politicians or just ultra-right wing extremists, they haven’t paid attention to the content.”
“I don’t regret signing it because the context is important,” he added. “Remember [former Mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy] Giuliani had just been in Ukraine trying to dig up evidence on the Bidens and he met with a known Russian intelligence official” — a clear reference to a Ukrainian pro-Moscow politician, Andriy Derkach.
Wise also added his opinions concerning the laptop’s “chain of custody” which left it vulnerable to alterations.
“Russians or even ill-intended conservative elements could have planted stuff in there,” he said.
Back in April 2019, Hunter Biden dumped the laptop at a repair shop in Delaware. The repair shop owner, John Paul Mac Isaac, kept it in his custody and reviewed its data. The shopkeeper informed the FBI, who seized the laptop with its hard drive, in December 2019.
After detecting no progress from the investigating officials, Mac Isaac handed over a copy of the hard-drive data to Giuliani’s legal advisor, Robert Costello. On October 11 2020, Giuliani gave a copy of the data to The Post, just three days before the initial report was made public.
Wise opined a week later when the new GOP-controlled House of Reps. confirmed the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, which is assigned to inquire about the ordeal as part of its operation to look for undesirable connections between the social media platforms and the intelligence agencies, following the rumors that Twitter was pressurized by the FBI to censor the Hunter Biden laptop scandal.
It came to light following the launch of the House Oversight Committee’s investigation into the Biden family’s notorious business settlements. The investigation was partly triggered by The Post’s report.