FBI response to Twitter Files is on brand

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Michael Shellenberger’s revelations about the FBI’s efforts to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story should have been shocking. But we are long past the time when we can legitimately expect our top government officials to be more than a power-grabbing group of grifters.


Among the revelations was the fact that the FBI had 80 agents monitoring Twitter and feeding suggestions about accounts and tweets to censor. Lots of people are rightly outraged about that, but in itself it is hardly surprising. The growth of the security state has become pervasive enough to make me almost shrug. Sad, I know.

What stood out to me is the fact that the FBI outright lied to Twitter (and I assume to Google, Apple, Facebook, and others) about the Hunter Biden laptop and encouraged these companies to suppress the stories based upon the lie that it was Russian disinformation. The FBI had the laptop and knew it was genuine, but they carried out an operation to convince others that it was a Russian plant and that the information on it would be released in a foreign government’s attempt to sway the 2020 election.

The FBI self-consciously interfered in the 2020 election in order to stack the deck, hoping to ensure that the preferred candidate of its leadership won the election. This is a much, much worse threat to our democracy than anything a foreign government’s propaganda efforts could possibly be. We expect our adversaries to screw with us; we depend upon our own government’s law enforcement agencies to protect elections.


They interfered with one instead.

The FBI is a key player in protecting our elections. They are supposed to be the most professional law enforcement agency in the world. Instead the agency is run by political hacks, apparently. Americans were appalled when they learned of the political manipulations of J. Edgar Hoover, and the FBI was subject to numerous reforms after his death. Yet none of it stuck.

The FBI clearly wants to be the Praetorian Guard, choosing their emperors and (politically) assassinating the ones they don’t care for.

During Trump’s presidency the FBI was clearly his enemy. They ran operations against him (remember when FBI Director Comey considered wearing a wire to tape Trump?) Comey illegally leaked documents, the FBI spread falsehoods about Trump, and clearly there was a vendetta against the former president. They pretended that the Steele Dossier was credible and led the media to this conclusion, all the while knowing it was trumped up oppo research from the Clinton campaign.

They are liars. The top rungs of the ladder are filled with power hungry liars who are cashing in.

Whatever you think of Trump, the FBI was obviously his enemy and acted the part. They really were out to get him, and with the Hunter Biden laptop story suppression, they eventually did.

The FBI’s response to the revelations is classic. They can’t dispute the facts, so they spin the story. “Nothing to see here, move along.”


“The men and women of the FBI work every day to protect the American public,” the statement concluded. “It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency.”

It’s only a conspiracy “theory” when it is remains unproven. This is proven.

Misinformation? What, pray tell, is being misstated? Do they dispute the facts? Of course not. Shellenberger has the receipts.

So they throw chum into the water, hoping the Left’s piranha-like feeding frenzy will create enough bubbles in the water to hide the facts. If you say “misinformation,” the Left will latch onto the term and never let it go. They love nothing more than an opportunity to discredit the truth if doing so helps them. It’s almost a sport.

The FBI is one of those institutions, like the CDC, that once appeared to be above reproach. As with the military, these institutions seemed to retain their shine even as the rest of government looked bloated and corrupt.


But no, that was an illusion. They are all bloated and corrupt. There are still plenty of fine people doing the work that keeps us safe, but the fish is rotting from the head down. I can’t imagine what it is like to be a good guy employed by these corrupt men. It must hurt terribly.

I imagine most people join the FBI to be the good guys, and that most still are. It is even likely that many or most of the folks doing this work thought they were doing the right thing.

But the enterprise itself is now corrupt. I don’t see how it can be fixed, either. As an institution it is compromised.

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John Stossel 5:30 PM | July 13, 2024