Unraveling of Covid narrative reveals devastating U.S. intelligence failure

by WorldTribune Staff, June 4, 2021

On April 30, 2020, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said in a statement: “The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified.”

The statement was made despite the fact that other Trump administration intelligence officials and independent media, including WorldTribune.com, had been reporting on the strong likelihood the virus originated in a Wuhan lab.

‘There has long been enough open-source information to conclude with high confidence that the virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.’ / Reuters

Flash forward to this week when Team Biden gave intelligence agencies 90 days to investigate the origins of Covid-19. The sharp reversal of conventional wisdom by U.S. elites on blame for the devastating pandemic scare comes as the largely anti-Donald Trump Covid narrative is coming apart at the seams and as China launches a propaganda counter offensive (see below).

“Our intelligence community doesn’t need another 90 days to assess the origins of the coronavirus,” said Fred Fleitz, a longtime intelligence analyst and former chief of staff to the National Security Council. “There has long been enough open-source information to conclude with high confidence that the virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

What analysts said Biden really did was give the intelligence agencies 90 days to concoct a cover story for their devastating failure.

Related — Report: State’s January release of critical Wuhan intel met fierce internal resistance, June 1, 2021

A Trump administration investigation into the origin of Covid-19 that had reported on the high probability that the virus had originated at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology was shut down by China-friendly operatives in the Biden administration over fears of upsetting the communist regime in Beijing, a report said.

“The department denied a report that it had ended the scientific probe, but people familiar with the matter said that the entire team that was conducting the investigation during the Trump administration were reassigned to other bureaus not related to the virus origin controversy when the Biden administration took office,” security correspondent Bill Gertz reported for The Washington Times on May 26.

Nearly a month before the ODNI statement, the National Review published a devastating compilation of open-source intelligence pointing to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) as the possible original source of the virus.

For weeks and months after, more intelligence rolled in pointing to the lab, according to a report from Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.

The Nunes report noted:

• U.S. State Department intelligence showed “several researchers at the Wuhan lab were sickened with COVID-19-like symptoms in fall 2019.”
• Media reports that there was no cell phone activity inside the WIV between Oct. 7, 2019 and Oct. 24, 2019, suggesting a possible shutdown or blackout at the facility.
• Warnings from U.S. diplomats in China in 2017 that the Wuhan lab was “conducting dangerous research on coronaviruses without following necessary safety protocols, risking the accidental outbreak of a pandemic.”
• China has a history of viral leaks from its research labs, including one in 2004 in Beijing tied to an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, an earlier coronavirus known as SARs.

Kash Patel, a former National Security Council adviser to Trump, said the failure to properly report on the origins of Covid is the latest episode showing the intelligence community and the major media taking positions contrary to Trump’s for reasons other than facts.

“Every single time President Trump had the intelligence correct and based policy decisions in sound reasoning,” Patel said. “The only people rejecting the proper course of conduct was the mainstream media, aided by the clown show that is Adam Schiff.”

As WorldTribune.com noted in a June 2020 report: “False reporting by China to the World Health Organization (WHO), inconsistent advice from so-called ‘experts’, and misleading reports from the major media all contributed to U.S. intelligence agencies underestimating the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak in the crucial early stages.”

Related: Report: After U.S. intelligence failure, Trump acted quickly on NSC warning, June 10, 2020

In a May 31 report by Just the News, Daniel Hoffman, a retired CIA station chief, said the fact that U.S. intelligence still doesn’t have a consensus on Covid’s origins more than a year into the pandemic is a clear spy agency failure.

“We should have detected the threat when it first emerged in Wuhan,” Hoffman said. “We failed, and that is how we got to the right of boom, and now it has visited our shores and caused so many deaths.”

Fleitz said there is a broader problem in the intelligence community when it comes to matters involving chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction: a fear of being wrong and facing the wrath of liberal critics.

“Since the 9/11 and Iraq War WMD intelligence failures, U.S. intelligence agencies have been ‘gun shy’ about major WMD intelligence assessments because they fear the political repercussions of being wrong, especially from the Left,” Fleitz said.

“For this reason, intelligence agencies since 2003 have consistently provided muddled and inconclusive assessments of WMD threats from Iran and North Korea. This may have been partly because liberal intelligence analysts did not want to issue assessments they thought might advance the foreign policies of supposedly hawkish presidents.”

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