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Politics, Religion, Fist Fights, and other Tom Foolery

Let's talk about it. This is the place. Just remember we're all Brothers here.

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Latest Activity: Jul 1

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Comment by Harry Warner on July 1, 2020 at 6:40am

WASHINGTON — White House officials were first informed in early 2019 of intelligence reports that Russia was offering bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. and coalition military personnel in Afghanistan, but the information was deemed sketchy and in need of more confirmation, according to people familiar with the matter.

Several discussions were held with National Security Council staff members on the reports, which had been flagged as potentially significant and came at a time of growing tensions between Russia and the United States. Instructions were given to the intelligence community and the U.S. Central Command, one person familiar with the briefings said, to “find out more” about the bounty reports before proposing action be taken.

Intelligence provided by captured Afghan militants suggested the bounty operation was in existence as far back as 2018, according to three individuals familiar with the matter, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the subject’s sensitivity.

Senior members of President Donald Trump’s national security team indicated that they were not aware of the early intelligence, suggesting that it was mainly reviewed by lower-level officials.

It was unclear whether John Bolton, the White House national security adviser at the time, relayed information about that initial intelligence directly to Trump. Asked about it through an aide, Bolton said he had no comment.

Later, Bolton wrote on Twitter: “If reports that Russia offered bounty payments to Taliban forces for killing Americans in Afghanistan are true, it’s tantamount to an attack on Americans directly. At a minimum, we must consider strong economic sanctions as part of a comprehensive response.”

The White House’s awareness of the intelligence in 2019 was first reported by the Associated Press.

Intelligence analysts believe that the bounties resulted in the deaths of three Marines killed in April 2019 when the vehicle they were traveling in was blown up just outside Bagram, the main U.S. air base in Afghanistan, according to four people familiar with the matter.

This week, White House officials have said intelligence about the Russian bounty program — which was examined again by the NSC in March — was not sufficiently substantiated to be brought to Trump’s attention.

At a White House briefing Tuesday, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany did not deny media reports on the intelligence, but she repeated the administration’s insistence that the information has not yet been “verified,” a process she said had been hindered by news leaks. The leaks, she said, were “targeted … against this president” and had damaged “our ability as a nation to collect intelligence.”

While numerous intelligence and former government officials have said such reports would normally have reached the highest levels of government, including the president, McEnany said Trump is only briefed “when there is a strategic decision to be made.”

Trump, she said, has now been “briefed on what is unfortunately in the public domain,” though that “does not change the fact that there is still no consensus” within the intelligence community on its veracity.

But several people familiar with the matter noted that information is sometimes withheld from Trump, who often reacts negatively to reports that he thinks might undermine what he considers his good relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The White House was “not the kind of environment, as in almost any business office, where you look to confront your boss with something,” Bolton said last week. “And those are the circumstances we all worked in.”

Comment by Harry Warner on July 1, 2020 at 2:25am

Comment by Harry Warner on June 30, 2020 at 4:18pm

Comment by Shannon Ryan on June 30, 2020 at 11:04am

Corrrection, I found this story today. Are they Veterans or not?

Comment by Shannon Ryan on June 30, 2020 at 10:59am
Comment by Harry Warner on June 30, 2020 at 10:54am

Comment by Harry Warner on June 16, 2020 at 8:15pm

The irony of Trump wearing a helmet!  Everybody knows he got 5 deferments from military service. Those bone spurs must have been humdingers.  

Comment by Harry Warner on June 16, 2020 at 11:48am

Comment by Harry Warner on May 21, 2020 at 11:49am

Touche'

Comment by Dave Gettman on May 21, 2020 at 10:51am

This one is politics Harry, so I'm in the right place for a change...

Pinocchio, Snow White, and Superman are out for a stroll in town one day. As they walk, they come across a sign: "Beauty contest for the most beautiful woman in the world."I am entering" said Snow White.

After half an hour she comes out and they ask her, "Well, how did you do?
"First Place" said Snow White.

They continue walking and they see a sign: "Contest for the strongest man in the world.
"I'm entering" says Superman.

After half an hour he returns and they ask him, "How did you make out?
"First Place" answers Superman. "Did you ever doubt?"

They continue walking when they see a sign: "Contest! Who is the greatest liar in the world?

Pinocchio says, "This is mine.
"Half an hour later, he returns with tears in his eyes.

"What happened?" they asked
"Who the hell is Adam Schiff?"

 

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