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OPINION

Enact Reforms to Keep Intel Officers from Meddling in Politics

former cia director michael morrell

Michael Morell, former acting director of the CIA , prepares to testify to a House Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill, Jan. 12, 2016 in Washington, D.C. The committee heard testimony from an outside view on the U.S. Strategy for Iraq and Syria and the Evolution of Islamic Extremism. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Fred Fleitz By Friday, 12 May 2023 04:22 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

A bombshell U.S. House report issued this week revealed that a controversial October 2020 letter signed by 51 intelligence officers on the Hunter Biden laptop scandal was perceived as so nakedly partisan that many intelligence officers refused to sign it, and the first two reporters approached to publish the letter declined.

This report, issued on May 10, was prepared by the majority staff of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government and the House Intelligence Committee and is part of an ongoing House investigation into the letter on the Hunter Biden laptop issued just before the final 2020 presidential debate.

The House report revealed that the American people and the press were misled about the letter’s content and purpose.

Reporters were told by letter organizers that "a large group of former career intelligence officers, many specializing in Russia, joined by a group of former intelligence community leaders, are all saying the Russians are somehow involved here."

This was not true — ​former CIA Director Michael Morell initiated the letter without any input from Russia experts.

There was, however, an effort by letter organizers to convince U.S. intelligence Russia experts to sign so the letter would look like it represented their general view of the Hunter Biden laptop story.

Most of them refused to sign, and the report notes that 26 of 36 intelligence officers asked by Morell to sign the letter declined to do so.

In addition, two major media outlets refused to run the letter.

Morell first tried to get the letter placed with a reporter from The Washington Post, designated by the Biden campaign.

According to The Washington Free Beacon, this reporter was Shane Harris, who covers national security for the Post.

When The Washington Post reporter declined, an Associated Press (AP) reporter was approached, but also declined.

The organizers then contacted Natasha Bertrand of Politico.com who ran a story on the letter on October 19, 2020 titled "Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say."

The House report contained several other major findings.

First, the report claims that a CIA reviewer promoted the letter by the 51 intelligence officers. As a former CIA analyst, this writer was not surprised that this letter was rushed through a CIA prepublication classification review, given the chummy relationship between the CIA and former senior career officials.

However, this writer was concerned at allegations in the report that a member of the CIA classification review board may have promoted the letter and recruited someone to sign.

If true, this would be a serious instance of the CIA meddling in U.S. politics.

Second, the letter’s organizers openly admitted its purpose was to help Biden win the final presidential debate and the 2020 election.

It was known from previous press reports that then-Biden campaign official Antony Blinken initiated the letter by contacting former CIA Director Michael Morell, and he organized the letter.

The report explains that Morell and other former intelligence officials prepared the letter as a "talking point" for Biden to use in the final presidential debate and congratulated themselves for a "job well done" after Biden cited the letter in the debate.

And third, the report revealed that Stanford University viewed the letter as political and refused to promote it.

Thomas Fingar, a senior Obama administration intelligence official who is now on the Stanford University faculty, attempted to have Stanford’s networks promote the letter signed by the 51 former intelligence officers (including himself), claiming that 50 former senior intelligence officials concluded the laptop story "is actually Russian disinformation."

Stanford’s public affairs office declined to promote the letter because it concluded it was "political" and explained that Stanford cannot endorse these sorts of "political opinions."

The above findings from the draft House report are damning.

Why?

Because they detail how the credentials of former intelligence officers were misused to mislead the American people to affect the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

I fear this letter severely damaged the reputation of America’s intelligence agencies as nonpolitical and objective organizations.

As a result, future presidents may refuse to accept or act on critical intelligence because they don’t trust our intelligence agencies.

I therefore hope all those involved in the creation and dissemination of this political and corrupt letter will be held accountable.

New standards and reforms also must be implemented to keep current and former intelligence officers from abusing their credentials to meddle in U.S. politics.

Fred Fleitz is a Newsmax TV Contributor and vice-chair of the America First Policy Institute Center for American Security. He previously served as National Security Council Chief of staff, CIA analyst, and as a member of the House Intelligence Committee staff. Read more reports from Fred Fleitz — Click Here Now.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Fred-Fleitz
A controversial October 2020 letter signed by 51 intelligence officers on the Hunter Biden laptop scandal was perceived as so nakedly partisan that many intelligence officers refused to sign it, and the first two reporters approached to publish the letter declined.
blinken, morell, obama
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2023-22-12
Friday, 12 May 2023 04:22 PM
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