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After years of being the right wing’s punching bag, Hunter Biden is fighting back.
The 52-year-old attorney, investor, lobbyist, father of five, and Navy veteran who just happens to be the son of the President of the United States, is calling for state and federal investigations into how his personal, private information from his now-infamous laptop was disseminated, according to CBS News.
Biden is also threatening a defamation lawsuit against Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
The “flurry of letters to the Delaware attorney general, the Department of Justice, the I.R.S. and attorneys for Fox News and Carlson,” CBS reports, “represent an aggressive new strategy for the president’s son, who is facing long-running federal criminal investigations, as well as new probes promised by congressional Republicans, according to a source familiar with Biden’s approach.”
“This marks a new approach by Hunter Biden and his team,” the source told CBS News. “He is not going to sit quietly by as questionable characters continue to violate his rights and media organizations peddling in lies try to defame him.”
Biden lost his mother and sister in a car crash injuring him and his brother when he was just two years old, and later, that same brother, Beau Biden, the longtime Delaware Attorney General, died from an aggressive cancer of the brain.
CBS reports Biden’s “computer data that was turned over to the FBI showed no evidence of tampering or fabrication, according to an independent review commissioned by CBS News.”
But The Washington Postlast year hired two forensic investigators, and they reached different conclusions.
“From a forensics standpoint, it’s a disaster,” said Jake Williams, whom the Post describes as “a forensics expert and former National Security Agency operative who once hacked the computers of foreign adversaries.” The other investigator, Matt Green, the Post says is “a Johns Hopkins University security researcher who specializes in cryptography.”
The drive is a mess,” Green told the Post.
The Post found that “the lack of what experts call a ‘clean chain of custody’ undermined Green’s and Williams’s ability to determine the authenticity of most of the drive’s contents.” The “clean chain of custody” refers to the fact that countless individuals have had access to the hard drive.
“The vast majority of the data — and most of the nearly 129,000 emails it contained — could not be verified by either of the two security experts who reviewed the data for The Post,” the newspaper reported. “Neither found clear evidence of tampering in their examinations, but some of the records that might have helped verify contents were not available for analysis, they said. The Post was able in some instances to find documents from other sources that matched content on the laptop that the experts were not able to assess.”
Meanwhile, CBS News also reports that in a ” letter sent Wednesday, Biden attorney Bryan Sullivan demanded that Fox News and Tucker Carlson devote airtime to retracting statements made about Biden paying ‘rent’ to his father, ‘in what Mr. Carlson implied was essentially a money laundering scheme to finance President Biden’s lifestyle prior to his election … and alluding to Mr. Biden having unauthorized access to classified documents because of his presence at President Biden’s house.’ Sullivan writes that the claims were false, and even after others acknowledged as much, Carlson continued to make them.”
“The letter, which cites California’s defamation statute, notes that the Daily Caller website retracted an article that made similar claims.”
Reprinted with permission from AlterNet
I write about human beings in every one of my columns. To read more of my work about issues like immigration as more than numbers and pejoratives, you can buy a subscription here.
There was a headline in one of the major newspapers yesterday – I won’t say which one, because other papers have posted similar headlines before, and they will all post them again: “Illegal border crossings fell sharply in January, U.S. figures show.” Those figures! They’re always rising, or falling, or up slightly, or close to last month’s.
So many of the stories are about illegal border crossings, and why? Because they can count them, so some headline writer up in New York City or Washington D.C. can get a tight enough word count to fit in the space of a newspaper headline.
You want to know what’s wrong with these headlines and their numbers? They’re flat, they’re emotionless, they’re imprecise, and they don’t tell you what’s really going on. Oh, the story quoted above goes on to tell you that the Biden administration has come up with a program offering “parole” to a certain number of migrants from four countries, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Haiti after the U.S. expelled 30,000 of them – there’s another number -- back into Mexico earlier in January before following that move with the so-called “parole” program permitting migrants from those countries to enter the U.S. legally if they fill out an online application and have a sponsor in this country.
See how easy that was for me to write the word “people?” Because that’s what the newspaper headline is actually talking about. It is people who are crossing the border illegally, and people from the countries left out of the parole program, amounting to about 150,000 in January, “down from the record-high 251,487 tallied in December,” again using typically flat language to describe the ongoing humanitarian crisis along the U.S. border with Mexico.
A group of 20 states, which the post tells us were “led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R),” because of course they were, filed a lawsuit on January 24 against the new parole policy, calling it an “unlawful amnesty program, which will invite hundreds of thousands of aliens into the U.S. every year.” As if that prospect is a terrible thing that must be avoided because the United States, described in high school and college history text books as “a nation of immigrants,” might continue on that heretofore unthinkable path.
In other news this afternoon, Rep. Andy Biggs, a Republican from Arizona who was deeply involved in the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, including speaking at the Trump rally on the Ellipse before the riot and voting to help Trump attempt to overturn the election results only hours later, filed articles of impeachment against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, accusing him of “high crimes and misdemeanors” for attempting to end Trump-era policies such as Title 42 that restricted immigration at the southern border.
Texas Republican Rep. Pat Fallon, another signatory to Biggs’ articles of impeachment, said in a statement that Secretary Mayorkas “has willfully abdicated his duties as Secretary of Homeland Security and actively misled Congress and the American people. To make any progress at our southern border, he must go.” The articles of impeachment have been referred to the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio.
You will not find the word “people” anywhere in the story posted today about “illegal border crossings.” You’ll find the words “migrant,” “individuals,” “aliens,” and “asylum seekers.” You’ll find “enforcement tool,” and “expulsion,” and “illegal entries,” but you won’t find the word “people,” which apparently does not fit into the dry language of these stories.
But sadly, every one of these stories is about the people who are attempting to immigrate to the United States. What must it be like to be one of these people? Some are men, some are women, some are children of school age, some are babies, but they are all people living lives of loud desperation. I say “loud” because everything about being a migrant is loud. It’s loud in the places where people attempt to cross the border, children yelling for parents who have slipped from their view in the crowds, babies crying from hunger and fatigue, husbands calling out to wives, and once across, border police yelling to crowd into the back of this truck or that van, to line up to file into pens and confinement facilities, more yelling to line up for food and water if they’re lucky.
Arrested for illegally crossing the border, people are penned up in wire enclosures and then crowded into temporary shelters like tents and converted schools and warehouses where frightened children and babies cry and guards yell and family members try to find each other by calling out names of wives or husbands or children. Try imagining the clamor of a crowded cafeteria in junior high school, two or three hundred kids all talking over each other trying to be heard, teachers yelling fruitlessly for order -- it's loud in a way we have conveniently forgotten at this point in our lives, and not just a 30-minute lunch hour.
Now imagine it is hundreds and hundreds of desperate frightened people crowded together hour after frightening hour, tumultuous and scary and frantic with no let-up, no one knowing what’s going on, what’s going to happen to them, watching fearfully as a man or two men or a whole family are escorted out of the big holding facility through a door, no one knows where, and never returning.
It is loud and it is desperate. People, these hundreds and hundreds of people from a dozen different countries, were desperate to flee from gangs in Guatemala and Nicaragua, from poverty and unrest in Venezuela, from crime in Columbia, some of them all the way from Ukraine, desperate from crime and hunger and war and persecution. They’re desperate on the other side of the border and desperate once they get across, hungry and frightened and desperate to be able to stay here, desperate for someone to listen to them, desperate for food and water and blankets to cover them from the unseasonable cold which has recently gripped the border region, desperate for their children not to be terrorized by men in helmets and bulletproof vests with guns, desperate from the noise and confusion in a place where everything is foreign and strange and threatening, desperate because money and papers were stolen from them along their journeys, desperate because in all of the noise and madness surrounding them there is plenty of terror and so, so little hope.
They may be seeking asylum, they may be migrants, they may have indeed broken a law by not crossing at a customs and immigration checkpoint and gone through the proper, lawful process, but they are people, each and every one of them. They are our parents 50 years ago, our grandparents 100 years or even 200, or 300 or 400 years ago. In 10 years, or 20 years, they will be Americans, but even right now, right this minute, they are human beings and they are us.
Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.