by Angelo M. Codevilla
Joe Biden’s instruction to the U.S. intelligence community to report whether the novel coronavirus escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology is a comical attempt to avoid being discredited by the unraveling narrative that China’s role in the pandemic is another manifestation of racism. You know, the racism that results in Asian Americans being beaten in the streets by white Trump voters insidiously disguised as black Democrats. Having much invested in that narrative, the Democratic Party wants to distance itself from its unavoidable collapse.
Basic facts should be stipulated.
U.S. intelligence does not possess hard facts to prove exactly what happened in that lab. If it had them, it would have informed the previous president as well as the current one.
Nor does U.S. intelligence have sources in China, human or technical, placed and uncompromised, capable of yielding such information. This is not the place to rehearse the well-known near absence of American intelligence agents with the language and cultural skills to penetrate China, or the total lack of operatives with cover to do so, or our intelligence agencies’ deadly allergy to operational security, or the Chinese government’s demonstrated success in corrupting, intimidating, silencing, discrediting, removing, and “disappearing” intelligence assets, or the competence of China’s electronic security.
Or, for that matter, the Chinese government’s success in persuading the U.S. government—the Biden Administration in particular and woke media up till now—in agreeing to an “investigation” of COVID-19’s source designed ab initio to hide rather than reveal.
That stipulated, there has always been ample circumstantial evidence that the bat virus came from the Wuhan lab, especially since its capacity to “jump” from one species to another is precisely the “gain of function” experiment in which the lab was engaged—paid for in part by money supplied by the U.S government. The evidence for this is documentary, entirely definitive, and involves none other than the unerring, well-remunerated Anthony Fauci.
America’s video and print archives are bursting with records of the very best, most authoritative, most impeccable, figures of government, medicine, and the media shouting down and canceling with identical invectives—“conspiracy theories,” “unfounded,” being the mildest—any and all who suggested the mere need to take seriously the possibility that accounts from Chinese personnel involved in the lab as well as from U.S. diplomats who had visited it are correct.
The corrupt narrative having served its immediate electoral purpose in 2020, and it being impossible for absolutely all in the media and government to continue prostituting themselves to it, its unraveling was inevitable. Facebook and Twitter don’t have to explain why what was banned yesterday is no longer banned, and vice versa. But the politicians?
Today, the U.S. intelligence community’s leadership is the group on which the Democratic Party can rely most securely to spin and massage reality in a manner convenient to itself and (thanks to claims of “security”) difficult to challenge.
That is why during President Biden’s prescribed 90 days the “investigation” will consist of endless high-level sessions, during which the report’s every word will be weighed and focus-grouped to place the Biden Administration in the most favorable light.
Hence the report will be mostly about itself, citing its scrutiny of short and contradictory information, but then citing growing numbers of (unnamed, secret) expert sources that are giving increasing credibility to the “theory” that the virus escaped from the lab (never mind that the very first infections were of lab workers). But the report will stop short of a full-on indictment of China, instead urging increased transparency through “cooperation.” The chances of this report mentioning U.S funding for “gain of function” are zero.
Unless of course the Biden Administration decides to indict . . . Donald Trump for saddling America with Anthony Fauci.
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Angelo M. Codevilla is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness. He is professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University and the author of To Make And Keep Peace (Hoover Institution Press, 2014).
Photo “Wuhan Institute of Virology” by Ureem2805 CC BY-SA 4.0.