The Betrayal continues:
@NYTimesbooks? Prznint Stupid has Bolton on the brain (eww, gross), but that’s not really the important bit of this story.
Russian bounties to Taliban-linked militants resulted in deaths of U.S. troops, according to intelligence assessments
“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. U.S. forces in Afghanistan suffered a total of 10 deaths from hostile gunfire or improvised bombs in 2018, and 16 in 2019. Two have been killed this year. In each of those years, several service members were also killed by what are known as ‘green on blue’ hostile incidents by members of Afghan security forces, which are sometimes believed to have been infiltrated by the Taliban.
“The intelligence was passed up from the U.S. Special Operations forces based in Afghanistan and led to a restricted high-level White House meeting in late March, the people said.”
The NYTimes picked up a detail: they followed the money!
“The crucial information that led the spies and commandos to focus on the bounties included the recovery of a large amount of American cash from a raid on a Taliban outpost that prompted suspicions. Interrogations of captured militants and criminals played a central role in making the intelligence community confident in its assessment that the Russians had offered and paid bounties in 2019, another official has said.”
The AP has some collaborating evidence:
“The officials the AP spoke to said the intelligence community has been investigating an April 2019 attack on an American convoy that killed three U.S. Marines after a car rigged with explosives detonated near their armored vehicles as they were traveling back to Bagram Airfield, the largest U.S. military installation in Afghanistan. Three other U.S. service members were wounded in the attack, along with an Afghan contractor.
“The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter. The officials the AP spoke to also said they were looking closely at insider attacks — sometimes called ‘green-on-blue’ incidents — from 2019 to determine if they are also linked to Russian bounties.”
The evidence seems to be falling into place that the Russian program existed. The evidence for Benedict Stupid sitting on the intel and not taking action is denial that anyone knew anything, and it’s hard to believe, despite the reporting that Trump doesn’t read the PDB.
Someone with a high-enough security clearance should testify: was he informed and when. It’s not enough to ask if it was in the briefing (he doesn’t or cannot read), so the real question is, when did he know.
“Just as I have said to the president: With him, all roads lead to Putin,” Pelosi said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “I don’t know what the Russians have on the president, politically, personally, or financially.”