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Wednesday, July 01, 2020


Headlines for July 2, 2020

Click here to listen to this week's segment on Loud & Clear Radio.  
Headlines with an * are the ones we managed to fit in in our allotted time slot.

Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines for July 2, 2020

*Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says
“American intelligence officials have concluded…”

Total actual NYT reporting in this article? Asking DoD and Russia and Taliban for comment.

Taliban spokesperson (9th paragraph): “These kinds of deals with the Russian intelligence agency are baseless — our target killings and assassinations were ongoing in years before, and we did it on our own resources,”

“Intelligence” which originates with “interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals”. 

“The officials briefed on the matter said the government had assessed the operation to be the handiwork of Unit 29155, an arm of Russia’s military intelligence agency…Western intelligence officials say the unit, which has operated for more than a decade, has been charged by the Kremlin with carrying out a campaign to destabilize the West through subversion, sabotage and assassination.” Really? How do the deaths of a handful of American soldiers in Afghanistan “destabilize the West”?  Also allegedly part of the same effort was the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal. Again, how exactly would Skripal’s death have “destabilized the West”? This is all such complete & utter nonsense.

And why now? NYT has no speculation on this.

Also not mentioned in this or any other article: U.S. spent $20 Billion arming and funding the mujahedin fighting the Soviet Union. 14,000 Soviets died.

Later, one of the authors tweeted this: “The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post have confirmed our reporting.” “Confirmed” does not mean to these stenographers what it means to most of us. To them it means the same anonymous sources called up other stenographers and got them to publish the story as well. This is not “confirmation”, it just confirms that the NYT didn’t simply make it up by itself.

And here’s where this leads: that very day, a friend on FB approvingly posted the following tweet: “I'm an Afghanistan vet. Came home as a passenger on a MedEvac. Spent that flight sitting feet from my critically injured brethren. 
He let the Russians put a bounty on our heads.
If you're in the GOP, if you voted for this traitor, you never get to thank me for my service again.”
So not only the whole “bounty” thing now accepted fact, but Trump apparently knew about it and “let” the Russians do it!

And now it’s a Biden (actually just a “not Trump”) ad from the Lincoln Project. “Now we know Vladimir Putin pays a bounty for the murder of American soldiers”.
Even the original NYT “reporting” said: “While officials were said to be confident about the intelligence that Russian operatives offered and paid bounties to Afghan militants for killing Americans, they have greater uncertainty about how high in the Russian government the covert operation was authorized and what its aim may be.”

Link to Brezinzski talking about the “Afghan Trap”: https://dgibbs.faculty.arizona.edu/brzezinski_interview

*Lawmakers Press for Answers on Russian Bounty Offers to Taliban to Kill U.S. Troops
From “intelligence claim” to fact in one day.

*Pentagon: 'No corroborating evidence' yet to validate troop bounty allegations
“The Department of Defense continues to evaluate intelligence that Russian GRU operatives were engaged in malign activity against United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan.  To date, DOD has no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports,” chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.
*Suspicions of Russian Bounties Were Bolstered by Data on Financial Transfers
Subhead: Analysts have used other evidence to conclude that the transfers were most likely part of an effort to offer payments to Taliban-linked militants to kill American and coalition troops in Afghanistan.
8th paragraph: The White House “pointed to statements late Monday from Mr. Ratcliffe; the national security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien; and the Pentagon’s top spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman. All of them said that recent news reports about Afghanistan remained unsubstantiated.”
*Republican lawmakers confirm intelligence reports on Russian operation to target U.S. troops but say material needs further review
9th paragraph: Chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement that the Defense Department continued to evaluate the intelligence. “To date, DOD has no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports,”

*WaPo front page: Deaths linked to Russian bounties
Subhead (much smaller type): Officials believe several U.S. troops were killed
“Russian bounties offered to Taliban-linked militants to kill coalition forces in Afghanistan are believed to have resulted in the deaths of several U.S. service members, according to intelligence gleaned from U.S. military interrogations of captured militants in recent months.
Several people familiar with the matter said it was unclear exactly how many Americans or coalition troops from other countries may have been killed or targeted under the program.
NYT: Spies and Commandos Warned Months Ago of Russian Bounties on U.S. Troops
“They believed at least one U.S. troop death was the result of the bounties.” Wow, that’s one extensive program. It may have helped cause the death of one person.
"United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan alerted their superiors as early as January to a suspected Russian plot to pay bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan, according to officials briefed on the matter."

Intelligence reports on Russian bounty operation first reached White House in early 2019

And where might the money they found come from? From December, 2019:
U.S., International Contractors Sued for Allegedly Paying Protection Money to Taliban
“That U.S. companies were paying millions of dollars to warlords and insurgent groups for protection at the height of the war, when over 100,000 U.S. troops were deployed to Afghanistan, has been widely documented by congressional investigations.
”In 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that protection money was a major source of funding for the Taliban. In 2010, a congressional report entitled “Warlord, Inc.” concluded that payments were systematically funding warlords, corrupt officials and likely the Taliban itself.”

*How The World Missed Covid-19’s Silent Spread
Subhead: Symptomless transmission makes the coronavirus far harder to fight. But health officials dismissed the risk for months, pushing misleading and contradictory claims in the face of mounting evidence.
Articles like this just serve as a coverup for the utter failure of Trump, Johnson, Bolsonaro, and others. Vietnam is adjacent to China and has had zero deaths. Why? Because they reacted immediately and strongly to the threat. Others chose to downplay or ignore the threat. No “mounting evidence” was needed.

Watch This Protest Turn From Peaceful to Violent in 60 Seconds
Original headline: Protesters March, Police Escalate: How Demonstrations Turn Violent
Thanks to @nyt_diff

Hong Kong is about to be governed by a law most residents have never seen. And it's already having an effect
Every single law passed by the U.S. Congress has never been seen by most Americans. Many have never even been seen by most members of Congress!

After weeks of protests, meaningful police reform appears unlikely
Ridiculous take of the day, based on the premise that the bills in Congress are the only meaningful path to police reform.

How the Trump Campaign Is Drawing Obama Out of Retirement
Nonsense. It’s the anemic Biden campaign that is drawing Obama out of retirement, not the Trump campaign.

What’s behind Russia’s growing ties with the Taliban
There is zero actual evidence in this article that Russia even has “growing ties” with the Taliban, but no matter. Russia, like the US, has communications channels with the Taliban. Aside from that, there are only unsubstantiated claims by the US.

Trump's ties to Putin under fresh scrutiny in wake of Russia bounty reports
Trump has no known "ties" to Putin, nor are any claimed in this article.

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