Sunday, October 25, 2020

Uniform Mainstream Complicity With The Biden Crime Syndicate

theatlantic  |  For those trying to follow along at home, the emails produced by Tyrmand are not the same emails that originally appeared on a laptop that Hunter Biden supposedly left at a Delaware computer-repair shop, the laptop that then became a story in the New York Post (and whose contents, according to a report in Time, were circulating previously in Ukraine). This is a different cache, one that is even more tangential to the U.S. presidential campaign and even harder to understand. In order to even make sense of the messages’ content, the reader must learn the backstories of a whole new cast of characters, not just Cooney but two other convicted fraudsters named Devon Archer and Jason Galanis; the wife of the former mayor of Moscow, Yelena Baturina; and Chris Heinz, John Kerry’s stepson, who broke away from the group; as well as their relationships, their jokes (they refer to Baturina as the “USSR woman’s shot put champion”), and the rules of the ugly world they inhabit. In order to link them to Joe Biden, you have to turn somersaults, do triple flips, and squint very hard.

Those who live outside the Fox News bubble and intend to remain there do not, of course, need to learn any of this stuff. Judging by what has been published, the very worst thing that Tyrmand’s email cache could reveal (if it is authentic) is that some unattractive people sought to use Hunter Biden’s surname and connections to get business deals or score a visit to the White House for their clients. But we already know about Hunter Biden’s involvement with unattractive people, and his struggles with addiction; we also know that, under normal circumstances, dozens of people visit the8 White House every day. On the grand scale of misdeeds committed by politicians and their relatives, this kind of thing barely registers. Compare that with, say, the Trump family’s well-documented hotel deal with an Azerbaijani business family linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Or the Trump family’s blatant use of its status to funnel money to its own companies. Or the Trumps’ illegal abuse of their charitable foundation. Or the president’s secret Chinese business bank account. The Trump family is a living, breathing, walking conflict of interest—so much so that much of Donald Trump’s foreign policy is most easily explained through the lens of his personal greed and his hotel investments, not as the emanation of any kind of American national interest.

But this, of course, is not the point. In releasing the 26,000 emails, Tyrmand and his collaborator, the Breitbart News contributor Peter Schweizer, are not bringing forth any evidence of actual lawbreaking, or an actual security threat, by either Hunter or Joe Biden. They are instead creating a miasma, an atmosphere, a foggy world in which misdeeds might have taken place, and in which corruption might have happened. They are also providing the raw material from which more elaborate stories can be constructed. The otherwise incomprehensible reference in last night’s debate to “the mayor of Moscow’s wife,” from whom Joe Biden somehow got rich, was an excellent example of how this works. A name surfaces in a large collection of data; it is detached from its context; it is then used to make an insinuation or accusation that cannot be proved; it is then forgotten, unless it gains some traction, in which case it is repeated again.