It’s now a familiar pattern – a sensational news story is dismissed by serious journalists as bogus right-wing agitprop. You’d have to be a swivel-eyed conspiracy theorist to believe that. You don’t want to be one of those.
Then, a year or so later, the same important media organs, the same authorities who made you feel crazy for thinking that the story might be credible, turn around and tell you that, yep, it was true all along. It was just politically awkward to say so at the time.
We saw it in the Covid years with the Wuhan lab-leak theory. We saw it to some extent with Jeffrey Epstein. And now we see it with the Hunter Biden laptop story. Yesterday, the New York Times, which still does proper journalism when in the mood, published a long report into the very unusual business dealings of the President’s wayward son. Towards the bottom of the story, the report acknowledges that the evidence against Hunter Biden ‘appears to have come from a laptop abandoned by Mr Biden in a Delaware repair shop.’
Funny that. When the New York Post reported in October 2020 on Hunter’s marvellous laptop – and the potentially incriminating documents on its hard drive – the New York Times, CNN and others went to great lengths to attack the Post’s reporting: it was, liberals insisted, a Trump-led hit job so therefore not credible. Twitter and Facebook actually censored the story. There was an election on and almost nobody wanted to be accused of doing anything that might stop Joe Biden kicking Trump out of the White House.
But the Hunter laptop story raises serious concerns about the Biden family and the role Joe Biden played as Vice President, especially in 2014 when he took the lead on the Ukraine crisis. It’s well-known that Hunter had a ludicrously well paid job at the Ukrainian mining company Burisma, despite having little qualifications for the role beyond his surname. Hunter’s emails, as the Times reports, suggest he was using or hoping to use his father’s vice-presidential visits to Ukraine as leverage in his business dealings. This is potentially a major story that relates to what is now the biggest foreign policy crisis in the world. Yet the story was quickly hushed up and then for several months treated as fake news – even though clearly it wasn’t.
Biden’s past with Ukraine really ought to be better scrutinised. His current top foreign policy people – including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, national security adviser Jake Sullivan, and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland were heavily involved in America’s handling of the crisis in 2014. It’s not unreasonable to ask if what they did or didn’t do then had any bearing on what is happening now.
The role of Team Biden in Ukraine might also explain why President Barack Obama, who in 2014 delegated responsibility for Ukraine to his Vice President, has been somewhat mute in recent days. Maybe it’s because he’s contracted Covid. Maybe it’s that when it comes to Ukraine and his administration, something very bad went down.
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