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Another anti-Russian smear from the New York Times
by Patrick Martin (WSWS Repost)
Monday Jun 29th, 2020 7:54 AM
Patrick Martin at the World Socialist Web Site describes the New York Time's ongoing aversion to facts. [Illustration shows how a current Google Search simply amplifies the propaganda.]
sm_new_tune_from_the_mighty_wurlitzer.jpg
29 June 2020

Another anti-Russian smear from the New York Times

By Patrick Martin at the World Socialist Web Site

Another weekend, and another sensational and fact-free, front-page report in the New York Times aimed at portraying the Russian government as the focus of all evil in the world.

Saturday’s front page of the Times carried an article headlined, “Russians Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say.” A subordinate headline indicated the secondary target of the latest blast: “Trump Administration Has Spent 3 Months Debating Response.”

The article thus has several political purposes: to incite a war fever against Moscow, and to denounce the Trump administration for its supposed reluctance to confront Russia and President Vladimir Putin.

The article served to signal the American media as a whole to step up its propaganda to convince the American people to regard Russia as a deadly enemy and to condition them to support war with a country that possesses the second-largest stockpile of nuclear weapons on the planet.

Moreover, as Trump’s polls plummet due to his disastrous handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and violent threats against peaceful protesters, a major aim of the media’s renewed anti-Russia campaign is to divert mounting popular opposition in a prowar direction.

At this point in a commentary, it would be appropriate to review the factual contentions in the Times article and rebut any distortions. But in this particular example, there is no factual substratum, no matter how dubious, to address. The 1,500-word article, carrying no less than three bylines (Charlie Savage, Eric Schmitt and Michael Schwirtz), does not adduce a single fact to support its claim of Kremlin blood money.

Instead, the article reports the opinions of top officials of the US military-intelligence apparatus as though they were facts, beginning with, “American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan—including targeting American troops…”

This is followed by a paragraph beginning with the inimitable words, “The United States concluded,” in which the CIA official dictating to his Times stenographers is given the authority of all 330 million inhabitants of this country.

The third paragraph claims that Trump and other top officials were briefed on the alleged Russian operation and discussed how to respond, a revelation attributed to the same “officials.” The article continues, attributing its assertions in the same vein:

· “The officials familiar with the intelligence …”

· “The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity …”

· “… officials were said to be confident about the intelligence …”

· “Some officials have theorized …”

· “The officials briefed on the matter said …”

Perhaps the most specific sentence refers to what these unnamed informants did not say: “The officials did not describe the mechanics of the Russian operation, such as how targets were picked or how money changed hands.”

This is a particularly significant omission, given that only 20 Americans died in Afghanistan in all of 2019, many of them killed by the Afghan soldiers they were training, or by suicide attackers, neither of whom could credibly be described as motivated by the desire to receive Moscow gold.

The article admits, “it was not clear which killings were under suspicion.” In other words, this is an alleged conspiracy to commit murder in which no victims have been identified. This is convenient, allowing the Times to evade the thorny problem of naming names and attributing any specific death to a Russian connection.

The article notes the flat denials from the Russian government and the Taliban (whose fighters, after waging war on the US invaders for 18 years on religious and nationalist grounds, have supposedly become Russian mercenaries), as well as the refusal of any official representative of the CIA, Pentagon, State Department and National Security Council to comment.

Subsequently, the White House flatly denied the most politically charged claim in the article—that Trump had been briefed on the alleged Russian conspiracy and had done nothing about it. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany issued a statement declaring: “The CIA Director, National Security Advisor, and the Chief of Staff can all confirm that neither the President nor the Vice President were briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence.”

This denial gained confirmation from a source hostile to the White House—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one of the “gang of eight” congressional leaders who are regularly informed by the intelligence agencies about the most sensitive operations and issues. While denouncing Trump for doing nothing to respond to the supposed Russian attack, Pelosi said she herself had not been briefed on it.

It is hard to argue with the assessment issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry, which wrote:

“This unsophisticated plant clearly illustrates the low intellectual abilities of the propagandists of American intelligence who, instead of inventing something more plausible, have to make up this nonsense.”

But neither the entirely nonexistent factual support for the Times account nor the subsequent across-the-board denials slowed the media response to this anti-Russian stink bomb.

Within 24 hours, the entire continuum of the corporate media, from local daily newspapers to the main television networks, was dominated by reports on the supposed Russian campaign to kill American soldiers. The Washington Post , Wall Street Journal, CNN and Fox News all said they had confirmed the Times report, but since it was merely publishing the opinions of unnamed intelligence officials, this proves only that the officials expressed the same views to the other media outlets —again without the slightest factual substantiation.

The media outcry was accompanied by demands from Democrats that Trump account for his alleged three-month silence on the issue, and from both Democrats and Republicans that retaliatory measures be carried out immediately against Moscow.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) tweeted on Sunday morning: “If reporting about Russian bounties on US forces is true, the White House must explain: 1. Why weren’t the president or vice president briefed? Was the info in the PDB [Presidential Daily Brief]? 2. Who did know and when? 3. What has been done in response to protect our forces & hold Putin accountable?”

Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) wrote: “President Trump was cozying up to Putin and inviting him to the G-7 all while his Administration reportedly knew Russia was trying to kill U.S troops in Afghanistan and derail peace talks with the Taliban.”

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), an Afghanistan war veteran now being vetted as a possible vice-presidential nominee, wrote on Twitter, “Donald ‘America First’ Trump is literally placing Russian interests ahead of American lives, and Republicans do nothing. Putting party before country doesn’t just empower Trump to continue serving his own interests, it can cost American lives too.”

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, told a virtual town hall meeting ,“Not only has he failed to sanction or impose any kind of consequences on Russia for this egregious violation of international law, Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin.”

Biden continued, “His entire presidency has been a gift to Putin, but this is beyond the pale,” adding, “It’s a betrayal of the most sacred duty we bear as a nation, to protect and equip our troops when we send them into harm’s way.”

The WSWS is implacably opposed to the right-wing Russian nationalist regime of Putin. He represents the billionaire oligarchs, who enriched themselves from the destruction of the Soviet Union by Stalinism, and the subsequent impoverishment of the Russian and Soviet working class through the restoration of capitalism.

But it must be said that, even if the allegations about “Russian bounties” were true, they would represent a drop in the bucket compared to the decades of American military-intelligence operations aimed at killing Soviet and then Russian soldiers, or allies of the Soviet bloc, as well as supporters of revolutionary-nationalist groups in various countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The death toll rises into the millions: Vietnam, Korea, Indonesia, Brazil, Argentina, Angola, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen …

In Afghanistan itself, the Carter administration initiated what its national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, proudly predicted would become Russia’s Vietnam: an effort to bleed Soviet military forces by recruiting, arming and training the guerrilla fighters of the mujaheddin , the Islamic fundamentalist forces from which both Al Qaeda and the Taliban would ultimately emerge. This operation killed tens of thousands of Soviet troops in the course of nearly a decade of war.

More recently, US-backed Islamic fundamentalist groups have been unleashed within Russia, in the insurgency in Chechnya, and in Syria, where Al Qaeda-linked fighters financed by Saudi Arabia and armed by Washington have killed dozens, if not hundreds, of Russian soldiers and advisers. In one particularly bloody incident, US warplanes incinerated an estimated 200 Russian soldiers, designated as pro-Assad “mercenaries” in order to avoid admitting there had been a direct military clash between two nuclear-armed powers.

Not a word of this bloody record appears in the media screeds about Putin’s “bounties” or the warhawk pronouncements of Washington politicians from both the capitalist parties.

 

The author also recommends:

Russians reported killed in US strikes in Syria
[10 February 2018]

Zbigniew Brzezinski, architect of the catastrophe in Afghanistan, dead at 89
[29 May 2017]

Source:

by memory
Monday Jun 29th, 2020 3:22 PM
Does anybody remember the old days when indybay.org showed up on Google Search?
by Register Peace & Freedom or Green
Monday Jun 29th, 2020 10:40 PM
This latest anti-Russian smear by the US spy organizations without even bothering to provide any evidence by the Democrats is why we call the Democrat-Republicans the twin parties of war and fascism. A good source for updates exposing the lies inherent in the anti-Russian smear is https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal
Only Peace & Freedom Party and the Green Party never participate in the anti-Russian hysteria of the Democrat-Republicans, which has gone on since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, and has not stopped despite the CIA's overthrow of the Soviet government in 1991. It was after all Democrat Woodrow Wilson who sent American troops to the Soviet Union in 1918, joining with other capitalist armies, to try to overthrow the Bolshevik Revolution. Fortunately, they failed. Wilson is the same Democrat who introduced segregation in federal offices.

This is all instead of promoting Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, housing all of the homeless in hotel rooms and vacant housing units, housing prisoners currently infected with COVID19 in hotels if they have nowhere to go as Democratic Gov Newsom just admitted is the problem, abolishing the military and the police, and much more. If you have had enough of this anti-Russian warmongering hysteria, change your registration to Peace & Freedom or Green. To all Californians and others where your state always gives all of its Electoral College votes to the Democratic candidate for president: You have no excuse for playing the downward spiral and reactionary "lesser" evil game since the Democratic Party registration is so high in California and similar states that the Democrats automatically receive all of their Electoral College votes. You can register online at https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration/
For more information on Peace & Freedom and the Green Party, see:
http://www.peaceandfreedom.org/home/
and
http://www.cagreens.org/

by putin is trump is putin is trump
Tuesday Jun 30th, 2020 8:35 AM
who strips entire groups of humans of their rights as humans.

And WSWS defends Russia... disgusting.
by Repost
Tuesday Jun 30th, 2020 7:15 PM
The author of the below article, Scott Ritter," is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer. He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter"

"New York Times Takes Anti-Russian Hysteria to New Level with Report on Russian ‘Bounty’ for US Troops in Afghanistan" 6/30/20 at
From: https://www.globalresearch.ca/new-york-times-takes-anti-russian-hysteria-report-russian-bounty-us-troops-
afghanistan/5717414

"The New York Times published an article claiming that Russia was paying out monetary bounties to the Taliban to kill US troops in Afghanistan. There’s just one problem — none of what they reported was true."

"As news reporting goes, the New York Times article alleging that a top-secret unit within Russian military intelligence, or GRU, had offered a bounty to the Taliban for every US soldier killed in Afghanistan, was dynamite. The story was quickly “confirmed” by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers, and went on to take social media by storm. Twitter was on fire with angry pundits, former officials, and anti-Trump politicians (and their respective armies of followers) denouncing President Trump as a “traitor” and demanding immediate action against Russia."

by Register Peace & Freedom or Green
Thursday Jul 2nd, 2020 7:24 PM
Even though the CIA destroyed in the Soviet Union in 1991, the Democratic Party is pushing capitalist Russia as a communist state, and by association, Nazi Trump as a communist. Max Blumenthal has a good interview on his site, The Grayzone, at
https://thegrayzone.com/2020/06/30/us-claim-of-russian-bounty-plot-in-afghanistan-is-dubious-and-dangerous/

'MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, it just feels like so many other episodes that we’ve witnessed over the past three or four years, where American intelligence officials basically plant a story in one outlet, The New York Times, which functions as the media wing of the Central Intelligence Agency. Then no reporting takes place whatsoever, but six reporters, or three to six reporters are assigned to the piece to make it look like it was some last-minute scramble to confirm this bombshell story. And then the story is confirmed again by The Washington Post because their reporters, their three to six reporters in, you know, capitals around the world with different beats spoke to the same intelligence officials, or they were furnished different officials who fed them the same story. And, of course, the story advances a narrative that the United States is under siege by Russia and that we have to escalate against Russia just ahead of another peace summit or some kind of international dialogue. "

Let us remember that it was Democratic Pres. Truman who in 1950 framed Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Morton Sobell on the false and phony charge of conspiracy to commit atomic espionage in an effort to make Jew, Communist and traitor synonymous so as to justify the anti-Communist war against Korea and China, the latter of which had its revolution in 1949. We can only wonder when the Democrats will frame and murder someone or some couple with small children, as the Rosenbergs were, to promote its latest anti-Russian war, all to maximize the profits of the oil companies and munitions makers, the only reason the military exists. After all, Biden said this, quoted in the above article:

"FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin. He had has [sic] this information according to The Times, and yet he offered to host Putin in the United States and sought to invite Russia to rejoin the G7. He’s in…his entire presidency has been a gift to Putin, but this is beyond the pale. "

It is of course, the Democrats, like the Republicans, who are beyond the pale. That is why you should change your voter registration to Peace & Freedom or Green. When hearing this anti-Russian warmongering hysteria, we should remember that Nazi Germany also promoted anti-Russian warmongering hysteria to benefit the warmongers in Nazi Germany and in the USA, who helped promote Hitler to attack the Soviet Union, which it did in 1941. Fortunately, the Red Army prevailed, defeating the Nazis at the Battle of Stalingrad 1942-1943, the turning point of WW2, without American Lend Lease aid, and it was the Red Army that was the first to arrive in Berlin in 1945, literally saving all our lives. The Red Army also liberated Auschwitz. To both Biden and Trump, we must say the battle cry of the Warsaw Ghetto Resistance: Never Forgive! Never Forget! We will never forgive Nazi Germany and all its supporters and never forget that it was the Red Army that saved our lives.
by repost
Friday Jul 3rd, 2020 11:04 AM
Another outstanding article with much research denouncing the Democrats' constant anti-Russian warmongering hysteria was written by Margaret Kimberley at Black Agenda Report on 7/1/20 entitled "Freedom Rider: Russia, Afghanistan and the Big Lie" at
https://www.blackagendareport.com/freedom-rider-russia-afghanistan-and-big-lie

It states in pertinent parts:

"Far from being an enemy, Russia assisted the U.S. and its coalition in their fight against the Taliban."

"Russia is the nation least likely to do business with jihadists. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, jihadists nearly tore Russia apart. Separatists from the Chechnya region terrorized the entire country which was weakened and divided after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Because of that experience Russia eagerly assisted the United States after the September 11 attacks. Far from impeding the U.S. presence, Russia and other former Soviet republics were steadfast participants in the Northern Distribution Network (NDN). NDN was a supply line carrying materiel from Russia, through central Asian nations and finally to Afghanistan. Russia allowed the use of its air space in troop transit flights. Far from being an enemy, Russia assisted the U.S. and its coalition in their fight against the Taliban. "

A good rule of thumb is that anytime the capitalist press promotes anti-Russia hysteria, they are promoting war and are having some problem on the home front, in this case, with their very weak candidate for president, Joe Biden. So far, Nazi Trump has about a 40% approval rating, and it has been around 40% for his entire term in office. See https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/
Due to the Constitution's concession to the slaveholders, the Electoral College, the Republicans only need 66 Electoral College votes to achieve the 270 EC votes to win the presidency. They won in 2000, 2004 and 2016 by tossing the black vote in the contested states and after what we have seen in this year's primaries, plan to do the same in this election. The weakness of the Democrats may be seen at https://www.270towin.com/maps/consensus-2020-electoral-map-forecast

The reason the Democrats are weak is that they have no anti-poverty program and are proud to promote the same war and fascism agenda as the Republicans as they represent the same capitalist class which benefits from the profitable war machine and its police state at home.
by follow-up
Friday Jul 10th, 2020 8:18 AM
"Less than two weeks after it kicked off a media frenzy with its front-page report claiming that the Russian military intelligence agency GRU had paid bounties to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan to kill American soldiers, the New York Times published an editorial effectively conceding that there was no factual basis for its reporting."

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