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December 07, 2022

Byron York: The FBI Might Have Prepared the Battlespace So That Twitter Would Believe That the Hunter Biden Laptop Was "Hacked" By the Russians -- and Get Them To Censor It Without Ever Officially Giving the Order to Do So

Yes, I think this is obviously what happened, but here's what happened, all spelled out:



Turns out there was a complaint to the Federal Election Commission concerning Twitter's action, dating from October 2020, when the New York Post story was published. The complaining group was the Tea Party Patriots Foundation, which alleged that by censoring the Hunter Biden article, Twitter had essentially made an "in kind" contribution to the Biden campaign. The group lost the complaint, but as part of the process, Twitter's chief censor, Yoel Roth -- his actual title was "head of site integrity" -- filed a declaration with the FEC.

In that declaration, Roth said that since 2018, he had had "regular meetings with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and industry peers regarding election security." Roth revealed that in those meetings, the federal government officials said they were expecting some sort of 2016-style foreign election interference in the lead-up to the 2020 election. Here is what Roth said, in its entirety:

During these weekly meetings, the federal law enforcement agencies communicated that they expected "hack and leak" operations by state actors might occur in the period shortly before the 2020 presidential election, likely in October. I was told in these meetings that the intelligence community expected that individuals associated with political campaigns would be subject to hacking attacks and that material obtained through those hacking attacks would likely be disseminated over social media platforms, including Twitter. These expectations of hack-and-leak operations were discussed throughout 2020. I also learned in these meetings that there were rumors that a hack-and-leak operation would involve Hunter Biden.

Just to review: Yoel Roth, Twitter's head of site integrity, was warned by the FBI to be on the look-out for Russian "hack and leak" operations and was specifically told that they would "likely" be coming in "October" 2020, and further, that there were "rumors" an "operation would involve Hunter Biden."

So, when the Hunter Biden laptop does surface in October 2020, what would Twitter think?

They would think what the FBI had deliberately pre-programmed them to think: That it was a Russian "hack and leak" operation.

Remember that Mark Zuckerberg, head of Facebook, said something similar in an interview with podcaster Joe Rogan. "The FBI, I think, basically came to us, some folks on our team, and was like, 'Hey, just so you know, like, you should be on high alert. ... We thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that, basically, there's about to be some kind of dump that's similar to that. So just be vigilant.'"

Let me add a note that Zuckerberg would not confirm that they also mentioned Hunter Biden specifically to him -- but he also did not deny it.

Byron York now quotes Miranda Divine, who reminds you that the FBI had Hunter Biden's laptop for a year and so knew it was damning.

Further, given that they were spying on Trump, and they were also spying on Rudy Giuliani, the man in Trump's camp who had the laptop-- AND THEREFORE WOULD KNOW GIULIANI WAS ABOUT TO LEAK IT TO THE PRESS.

It looks very much as if the FBI pre-bunked a story it knew was coming about Hunter Biden. But how would it know The Post was going to publish the story in October 2020? Well, the FBI was spying on Trump's then-lawyer Rudy Giuliani's online cloud, under the pretext of an investigation into alleged foreign agent registration violations, a probe which conveniently was dropped this year. The covert surveillance warrant on Giuliani gave the FBI access to emails in August 2020 from Delaware computer repair store owner John Paul Mac Isaac disclosing information damaging to Joe Biden from the laptop Hunter Biden had abandoned at his store in April 2019. The FBI also had access to my messages with Giuliani in October discussing when The Post would publish the story.

So the FBI knew about the laptop, knew what was on the laptop, knew that Trump's key advisor Giuliani was about to get the laptop leaked to the Post in October 2020 -- at the same time the FBI has sent out FBI agents to tell the heads of the social media monopolies that there are Russian "hack and leak" operations coming specifically in October 2020, specifically about Hunter Biden.

You'll have to trust my memory on this, but I just read that when Elvis Chan was directly asked by people at Facebook or Twitter (forget which) if they were right to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop -- if it was the Russian "hack and leak" operation he had warned them of -- he refused comment.

He knew it was not a Russian hack and leak operation.

But, having worked hard to suggest to them the laptop was a Russian hack and leak operation, he wasn't going to admit that it wasn't when directly asked.

They were doing what the 7th Floor of the Justice Department directed him to direct the social media companies to do.

Back to Byron York:

If that is accurate, the authorities might have had a very specific purpose when they warned Roth that "there were rumors that a hack-and-leak operation would involve Hunter Biden." And when the New York Post published its story on Oct. 14, 2020, less than three weeks before Election Day, Roth knew just what to do.

What does it mean? Think about this. There has been a debate about whether Twitter's suppression of the Hunter Biden story violated the First Amendment. In a previously unknown and improbable development, a Democratic member of Congress, Rep. Ro Khanna, told Twitter at the time that the censorship decision "seems a violation of the 1st Amendment principles" and "seems not in the keeping of the principles of NYT v Sullivan," referring to the famous Supreme Court press freedom case. Twitter, obviously, went ahead anyway.

Elon Musk has called that a clear violation of the First Amendment. But remember that Khanna said the decision violated the "principles" of the First Amendment, not necessarily the amendment itself. Twitter defenders quickly charged that Musk has a "profound misunderstanding" of the First Amendment because "the First Amendment regulates government conduct. It does not regulate private actors," in the words of writer David French. Twitter is a private company, the argument goes, and can censor whatever it wants without violating the First Amendment.

Fine. But now a more complex story is emerging. What if the government, through selective leaking of secret information to Twitter officials, created the conditions under which Twitter's natural response when the New York Post story was published, a response following government guidance, would be to censor the story? If that is the case, then no, the federal government did not violate the First Amendment. Indeed, it would have caused an uproar and would have been a gross violation of the First Amendment had the FBI shut down the dissemination of a press story. So the FBI persuaded Twitter to do it. And since Twitter is a private company -- Voila! -- there's no violation of the First Amendment.


Oh?

I think we're talking about a fucking coup here, myself.

"It's like an insurance policy"

...commenter "Suppressed Flasher" says.


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posted by Ace at 03:16 PM

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