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‘Russian bounty’ story shifts: NYT now claims Afghan CRIMINALS & not Taliban were paid, cites anonymous sources again

RT | June 30, 2020

The New York Times is doubling down on claims that Russia offered bounties for the killing of US troops in Afghanistan, but now says local criminals and not the Taliban were the recipients, again offering no actual evidence.

The new article, published Tuesday, says that “electronic data showing large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account” was intercepted by US spies and “bolsters suspicions” that Russia offered bounties to militants – as claimed by the Times last week.

Once again, the Times quotes anonymous sources – “three officials familiar with the intelligence” – so the claim is impossible to verify. No evidence of the alleged electronic transfer is provided, only a third-hand hearsay that “analysts concluded from other intelligence that the transfers were most likely part of a bounty program.”

The article eventually gets around to quoting several local officials from Afghanistan, who say that several people who transfer money through an Islamic banking system are suspected of being part of a ring of middlemen” between Russia and “Taliban-linked militants.”

The ‘hawala’ banking system does not actually use electronic transfers. Moreover, the article says the Afghan security forces found “a half-million dollars” – presumably in cash – in one Kabul home about six months ago. Safiullah Amiry, described as “the deputy provincial council chief” in Kunduz, “said the Afghan intelligence agency had told him the raids were related to Russian money being dispersed [sic] to militants.”

In the original article, the Times claimed President Donald Trump had been briefed on this alleged plot sometime in March. The White House, the CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have since denied this.

So the narrative has now shifted, with the Times citing “two officials” who say the information was included in Trump’s written presidential daily brief (PDB) “in late February,” accompanied by the – likewise unverified – claim that Trump typically doesn’t read those. The article also claims the CIA mentioned the intelligence in its World Intelligence Review newsletter, also known as The Wire, dated May 4.

The identity of the suspected recipients of the “Russian bounties” has shifted as well, from the Taliban to “criminals closely associated with the Taliban” – according to yet another anonymous US official.

Most mainstream US media outlets and the Democrats have taken the original New York Times reporting at face value, denouncing Trump as “Putin’s puppet” and a traitor for allegedly not doing anything to “punish Russia” based on the purported intelligence assessments, rather than demanding to see evidence there was anything to it.

June 30, 2020 - Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , ,

3 Comments »

  1. “electronic data showing large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account” was intercepted by US spies and “bolsters suspicions” that Russia offered bounties to militants – as claimed by the Times last week”.

    So, “Russia’s military intelligence agency” Bank account is available to U.S Military Intelligence, is it? Maybe the U.S. Intelligence spies should have a look at what happened to the TRILLIONS of Dollars that the Pentagon is unable to account for?
    Is ANYTHING being done to investigate the missing $Trillions??
    If Bullshit was money, America’s National Debt could be eliminated tomorrow.

    How does the U.S, Government keep getting away with the unmitigated LIES is spews over the American people?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by brianharryaustralia | June 30, 2020 | Reply

    • Brian, you’re good with pungent quotes. Didn’t the Third Reich’s Goebbels say something like “Tell ’em a lie often enough and they’ll accept the lie as holy gospel”?

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by roberthstiver | July 1, 2020 | Reply

  2. This was worth the read, even as I’m yawning here and yearning for my bed, if only for comic relief. You go, NYT! (to the Hall of Journalistic Shame…for the umpteenth time, so what’s one more?)

    “Putin’s puppet…”: Put that in your pipe, NYT and all-and-sundry dumbed-down Americans, along with some intoxicants the “criminals” will be glad to give you free or at a steep discount, and inhale it (beware of hallucinogenic side effects) if you dare. I’ll pass….

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by roberthstiver | July 1, 2020 | Reply


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