FWIW, my money is on this whole saga being, if you dig deeply
enough, just briefings related to the 2016 Supermicro bad firmware
update incident filtered through so many games of telephone that
it’s eventually twisted itself into a story about tiny chips that
never happened. […]
This story is too big, and the refutations too blunt and too
numerous to support on this level of third- and fourth-hand
sourcing. If they have documents: go for it. Make fools of Apple,
Amazon, FBI, NSA, DHS and ODNI by publishing them. Otherwise, this
story should not have run.
Bingo. And there’s still nothing — nothing — that refutes the argument that the original 2018 story should be entirely, or at least largely, retracted.