Friday, October 30, 2020

Did The Hunter Biden Laptop Come From China?

 The election season is nearly over, thank heavens, but I guess I shall throw one more story for it out there, one I really did not expect and find plenty weird, but with two different sources pushing it, well.  As it is, I must say that given how totally lacking in any credible support this whole Hunter Biden story was from the get go, I found it hard to believe that the Russian GRU was behind it. I think they are more competent that that. The Chinese I think are maybe less practiced at this sort of thing, although the versions of this going around are plenty weird.

So one version I saw this morning in in the editorial page section in the Washington Post by Josh Rogin, who, it must be noted, seems to have somewhat of an anti-China bias, so I note that and would not have posted this if that were the only source.  According to him the story was promulgated by a supposedly dissident Chinese figure who many now think has switched and is now working for the CCP, attacking various dissidents abroad.  This story is a serious mess, frankly, and Rogin at the end of it admits that he really cannot figure it out and is not sure what is going on.

I saw the second one on daily kos in a post by Mark Sumner.  In that one he reports that various right wing social media sites have been claiming that the laptop and its emails are for real based on an analysis by a "Marten Aspen," supposedly a cybersecurity expert in Switzerland.  But, according to Sumner (he does not report his sources), there is no such person, certainly not one in Switzerland, and that the photo supposedly of him seems to have been artificially created.  

According to Sumner, the story was initially reported by Christopher Balding, an economist and blogger based in Beijing, although with him not reporting the ultimate source.  Also supposedly there were three laptops taken from California to the blind, pro-Trump, repairman in Delaware, who not only sat on in for several months but then broke the law by recording what was on it.  Where all these laptops are is unclear, although supposedly the FBI has one, with them saying zero about it, and maybe Rudy Giuliani has one?  Where is the other?

I note that these two accounts do not seem to agree with each other, so I really do not know what to make of this.  I am also not going to comment on the resignation of Glenn Greenwald, who apparently has been taking the story seriously, but I have not seen his piece the Intercept reportedly would  not publish as is. 

Again, bottom line: I do not know where this wild laptop story originated, but it looks pretty phoney, with the proof on that pudding being in the New York Post story that initially reported on it, which repeated the repeatedly discredited claim that Ukrainian prosecutor Shokin was fired at Joe Biden's request because Shokin was investigating Burisma.  This is simply a lie, but I have no doubt that if Biden wins, Fox News will continue to spout this lie as they have been doing for a long time now, with it being the leading candidate to become the first Fox Benghazi story of the Biden administration they can keep their faithful hooked on watching them to see repeated over and over yet again.

Barkley Rosser


Anonymous said...

October 31, 2020

Statement regarding former university employee Christopher Balding

In a recently published story “How a fake persona laid the groundwork for a Hunter Biden conspiracy deluge,” NBC News reported that Dr. Christopher Balding is an associate professor at Fulbright University Vietnam. In fact, Dr. Balding has not been employed by the University since September 10, 2020.

The University has asked NBC News to update its story by clarifying that Dr. Balding is not employed by Fulbright University Vietnam, nor is he associated with the university in any way.

The Fulbright community expects its members to hold the highest standards of integrity and excellence. We do not support any action to create untruthful information.

[ The person referred to has long been maniacally-maliciously writing about China. ]

Anonymous said...

The story told here has nothing to do with China other than having in some manner been told by an unfortunate columnist at the Washington Post who has long been writing maliciously about China.

Anonymous said...

Did The Hunter Biden Laptop Come From China?

[ China does not as a matter of long-standing national policy interfere in American political affairs. The questioning headline is unfortunate in implication, but of course the answer would be "no." ]

Anonymous said...

According to him the story was promulgated by a supposedly dissident Chinese figure who many now think has switched and is now working for the...

[ Please understand how malicious and absurd the writing of "him" is. The supposed dissident is simply an Interpol red-noticed financial criminal. ]

Kaleberg said...

Is this like the Zimmerman Telegram?

What evidence is there that this laptop even exists? Has anyone seen a photograph of it? Has anyone tracked its serial number to find its warranty registration? What version of Windows was it running, assuming it was running Windows?

Actually, it's an awful lot like the typical origin of a cocktail story. e.g. "The story is, that an American Army Captain would often travel to the bar in the sidecar of his friend’s motorbike. He wanted a drink to warm him up before dinner.... So, the sidecar was born." OK. Who was the Army captain? Who was the friend? When was the drink first mentioned by name? That story is fine for ad copy or travel writing, but it isn't journalism, and it is not particularly credible. (One would think a sidecar, the drink, would be an accompaniment for something else.) said...

Something that has occurred to me is that it could be that the original laptop story was cooked by the GRU, but with Putin foreseeing likely victory by Biden and wanting to distance himself and Russia a bit from Trump, which he has already done in some public statements, such as disputing Trump's claim that Hunter Biden got a big payment from the wife of a former Moscow mayor, that GRU is the one that has cooked up the apparent evidence that the laptop, or laptops, or claims of laptops, originated in China.

This really is a very murky business.

Anonymous said...

October 22, 2020

Report on Biden Activities with China

A number of months ago, I was approached by an individual I had known for the better half of a decade. I had known this individually professionally and enjoyed their company and deep insight into our overlapping professional interests....

Anonymous said...

There is the atrocious statement from the person in question who was dismissed from Fulbright University Vietnam on September 10, 2020. The person had nothing whatsoever to do with China, but has long been ceaselessly attacking China. The person has been beyond atrocious.

A person beyond atrocious, having nothing to do with China beyond ceaseless attacks. said...


Do please note that in my initial post I have expressed doubt about the validity of both of these reports, and have now put forward a possible explanation that puts it all on Russia and none of it on China, although it is clear none of us know at this point what the heck is going on here or who is really responsible, which, given that there are in fact two different stories flying around may be multiple parties. I have yet to see what the link is, if any, between these two different stories that both allege some sort of Chinese origin or connection.

I also wish you would not be so darned mysterious here. I have no idea who your "friend" and without further explanation do not care. As for this "person beyond atrocious," do please not be so mysterious and be clear to whom you are referring. Is this WaPo's Josh Rogin. Is it the apparent dissident, Guo Wengui, that Rogin has his main source? Or is it somebody from the competing story, Charles Balding (you did make reference to his being fired from Fulbright U. in Vietnam), or maybe the apparently fictional "Marten Aspe," or maybe yet somebody else entirely like Rudy Giuliani or Steve Bannon. Quite a few of these people are candidates for being "A person beyond atrocious." Really.

Anonymous said...

Barkley Rosser wrote a necessary and fine post.

Though I mentioned no names, since I prefer never to mention the names of the disreputable and malicious people trying to interfere in America's election and pretend the interference comes from China, I was indeed clear and provided references links.

Another relevant reference link:

I appreciate this essay, but wished to make clearer that China is blameless.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, Barkley Rosser. said...

OK, you are welcome, A., although in the end I do not know who is responsible for what here, with both of these tales seriously bizarre.

It really does not seem all that likely that the Chinese leadership would favor Trump over Biden, although I can believe that perhaps at least some elements of it might enjoy seeing political confusion and disunity in the US. But indeed a lot of the figures involved in each of these tales are either clearly creepy jerks, somewhat mysterious, or in the case of "Martin Aspen," nonexistent, just to really top the mess off.

In any case, hopefully this all will be over very shortly now, with it pretty obvious how I would like it to turn out, whatever are the realities behind these wild stories, which maybe we shall figure out some day.