Anyone who embraces the stupid and absurd claim that Russia's military intelligence outfit, the GRU, is paying (has been paying) the Taliban to kill U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan, is either guilty of ignorance or congenitally retarded. It is that simple. There is not gray area here. The claim is a lie.
Let us start with this fact–the Taliban do not need a financial incentive to kill U.S. military personnel. They have willingly taken up that cause for more than 20 years.
Then there is this fact–the number of U.S. military personnel who died in the last six months in Afghanistan are dwarfed by the number of young black men killed in Chicago over the Memorial Day Holiday. If the Russians goal is to kill Americans they would be better off spending their money on the drug gangs that infest the American cities governed by Democrats. They would get more bang for their bucks. Only eight U.S. military personnel have died in Afghanistan in 2020 and only four of those were killed in "hostile" engagements. The other four succumbed to accidents. Twenty six U.S. military personnel died in Afghanistan in 2019. Twenty of those were from hostile actions. (Icasualties.org provides the details).
If it is true that Russia's military intelligence unit is putting out hits on U.S. military personnel, then they are terrible at their job. The violence they are allegedly inflicting on our soldiers is so inconsequential that the U.S. media rarely does any detailed reporting when a soldier falls in action in sand pits of Taliban-land.
And then there are the actual peace talks with the Taliban that, despite dire warnings that this was a fools errand, appears to have paid off. U.S. forces are not being besieged nor savaged at their outposts in Afghanistan.
The Democrats supposed concern for the lives of U.S. military personnel fighting in foreign shit-holes stands in stark contrast to their silence about the mass slaughter of young black men in the major U.S. cities that have been ruled by Democrat politicians for more than a generation. Compare the murder body count in these cities (comprised largely of young, black males) with the U.S. soldiers allegedly killed in Afghanistan because of a Russian bounty–2124 U.S. citizens murdered in the United States in 2019 vice 20 U.S. soldiers killed in combat in Afghanistan:
New York City 2019–318
Philadelphia 2019–356, Blacks made up 85 percent of those killed, even though they make up about 41.5 percent of the city’s population.
Baltimore 2019–348, Blacks made up 93% of those killed.
Washington, DC 2019–166, More than 80% of those killed were black.
Chicago 2019–490, More than 80% of those killed were black.
Detroit 2019–273. More than 80% were black.
St. Louis 2019–194, 90% of homicide victims were African American.
Oakland 2019–74, Majority were black.
Los Angeles 2019–253.
You are a 19 year old black man and want to see your 20th birthday, join the military and ask to be deployed to Afghanistan. You will be safer.
The movement of money through Russian banks to Afghan accounts tied to the Taliban should not shock anyone. It is called proceeds from heroin. After more than 20 years of spilling the blood of U.S. warriors in Afghanistan, we have made no dent in the production, distribution and sale of heroin, which is funding warlords and corrupt politicians alike in Afghanistan. This is not Russian bounty money. This is U.S. funded mayhem. Every America who buys heroin or some version of the drug on the streets is helping put money in the pockets of fanatics like the Taliban.
Fortunately, the money is so good that the Taliban are pulling their punches in going after U.S. troops. The Taliban make more from selling dope to the world than the Russian could ever offer. As long as the U.S. leaves the poppy fields alone, there is little incentive to attack us.
The behavior of the Democrats and some Republicans in accepting the damnable lie that the U.S. has solid, reliable intelligence about a Russian scheme to fund the Taliban to kill Americans is dangerous. The incessant cry about the non-existent Russian wolf is fraught with peril. At a minimum, it puts the Russians in the position of believing that these so-called political leaders are serious about picking a fight with Moscow and killing Russians. Russia is not going to sit back and be a punching bag for fools obsessed with ridding Washington, DC of Donald Trump.
The so-called intelligence officers, the faux journalists and the craven politicians are putting our nation at risk by spreading a lie and smearing Donald Trump. This cannot stand.
“The so-called intelligence officers, the faux journalists and the craven politicians are putting our nation at risk by spreading a lie and smearing Donald Trump.”
Who they hate more – Trump or America?
blue peacock says
Is it possible that the “Russian bounty” story was ginned up to prevent the withdrawal from Afghanistan and Germany?
Looks like Liz Cheney and the Democrats are working together to put a kibbosh on withdrawal.
When it comes to intelligence-law enforcement-military affairs we should always look to domestic politics as it may provide better answers.
When peace occurs, promotions stop. Without a battlefield officers must find other ways to move up the ladder. I think the colonel covers this quite accurately in his Artists and Bureaucrats paper.
Christian J. Chuba says
A question to my betters (no sarcasm intended). The NYT is trying to shore up its story by stating
Given that electronic transfers of USD are traceable, how likely is it that GRU would do this vs physically carrying a payment into Afghanistan? To carry $1M you just need a single stack of $100 bills 43 inches long. By land you have Iran and Uzbekistan a former Soviet Republic. If they used a passenger jet they could fly in from almost anywhere.
To do a wire transfer GRU would have to be (falsely) confident that their source account was very well disguised, something like a successful bakery in Pakistan. I can’t believe they would use an account from a bank in Russia, that would be too obvious.
I don’t believe the story, just asking about the plausibility of using a wire transfer.
Keith Harbaugh says
Couldn’t agree with you more.
For some historical perspective from someone who really knew a lot about pre-2003 Afghanistan, see Michael Scheuer’s third “Pillar of Truth” about Afghanistan: “Afghans Cannot Be Bought” from his 2004 “Imperial Hubris”:
The real story is how long Epstein’s Mossad partner Maxwell lives before the contract on her demise is fulfilled. Look how long Epstein lived in Federal custody. The clock is ticking.
Larry, how corrupt are our intelligence agencies when Schiff is briefed on this matter and not the President?
To me its looks like an attempted second impeachment scam coordinated with House Dems.
Yeah, Right says
I note that nobody in the comments section of the NYT article ever asks the obvious question, the one that Larry Johnson zeroed in on very quickly.
This one: if Afghanistan is now awash with cash as a result of “Russian bounties” on dead GIs then where and when were those GIs killed?
After all, of necessity one is the other side of the coin to the other.
The more money there is in Afghanistan then, logically, the more successful the Taliban must have been in collecting those bounties. Even though they haven’t been very successful at all.
This story is such a crock.
Larry Johnson says
Your instincts are sound. This is the best they can come up with to try to create a new crisis for Trump.
It’s another leak to sabotage Trump, except now the saboteurs are getting less creative and more lazy.
Very well written!
But as you can see from the example of our very own TTG, logic rarely convinces people who are motivated by hatred, either hatred of Trump or their hatred of Russia. And this particular emotion has been used by the democrats to carry out their agenda even when out of power.
The young ‘uns have been manipulated thru their hatred of Trump to carry out a campaign of riots that will eventually lead to the destruction of their own society and country. Those who are motivated by hatred of Russia are also on such a path though that kind of potential destruction will come suddenly and probably take all humanity with it.
The biggest beneficiary of all these are the ones instigating it – the democrats. They have been masterful at generating hatred thrrough their control of the MSM and thereby the narrative and subsequently using that hatred for their own ends. This narrative of Russian operatives paying Taliban to kill American soldiers though without a shred of evidence and so faithfully reported by the democrat owned/supporting MSM is another attempt to generate hatred amongst the masses.
Is it too much to ask those with hatred in their hearts to look at the truth? History shows that is indeed the case and these people will continue to be manipulated for ends they neither understand nor benefit from. God show them the light, and us mercy!
Kilo 4/11 says
Apart from the veracity or lack thereof of the “bounty money” story, your putting the lives of our soldiers on the same plane, and apparently at the same value, as the lives of ghetto rats is effing disgusting. Big time ex-CIA tough guy, my ass – you’re just another clueless bleeding heart lib.
You’re good at calling people retarded. What’s retarded is your thinking that Russia would choose to kill our homegrown African terrorists instead of highly trained American troops. If anything, Russia would like to find a way to fund these animals that you are so concerned for.
And I’d like to see you confront the families of the three thousand dead and twelve thousand maimed Ukrainian servicemen defending Donbas with your lie that Russia is no wolf.
What happens to your argument if the story is not true, just one of the thousands of rumor grade “informations” floating around? What if it is just Democrat disinformation? “Kilo 4/11?” Once upon a time marine artilleryman?
Deirdre O´Sullivan says
It´s just projection…
Kilo 4/11 says
As I said at the beginning of my comment, whether the bounty story is true or not is not my main concern. Although, now that I think of it, some of the arguments raised above don’t really prove the story false. “The Taliban can’t be bought”; the Taliban will kill for free; if the Taliban have been paid lots of money, where are all the dead G.I.s? These are hardly airtight arguments. Has no one heard of “take the money and run”? And to dismiss Russian bank transfers to Taliban accounts as just “proceeds from heroin” – well, excuse me, but that sounds like hostile action to me. If the Russians wanted to help end the Taliban threat they wouldn’t let them use their banking system, would they?
But my main objection was and remains the use of domestic black murder stats in a discussion of American armed forces casualties. This is to cheapen the sacrifices of our servicemen and women. The two don’t belong on the same page. And bringing up how homicidal blacks are to one another is how weak-kneed conservatives and some liberals always try to take the heat off the police and Whites in general whenever a black gets shot by a cop – as if that matters to the likes of BLM/antifa, when all they want is to undermine law and order so they can continue to destroy our society.
“Once upon a time marine artilleryman?” Are you trying to make me feel old, or are you unsure of my identity, or are you calling attention to the fact that I’m not one of the lofty retired spooks around here? When you asked me about my nick a couple of years back, you said that it sounded like one of those long range recon units. And I informed you that no, I was the guy who answered the radio and took down coordinates when the grunts and recon units called arty for help – remember?
Moscow grapevine has it that the payments transfer was because the Talebs went after ISIS Afghans branch, somewhat by accident allegedly, and the Russians thought it hilarious to amplifiy Islamist internal division division by semi publicly paying the Talebs for it.
Now, paying the Taleban to go after the local ISIS branch is something the Russians would definitly do. They did the equivalent of it like, during the entirety of the second Chechen war, which is how they ended up flipping a lot of Chechens.
Unsure if the Russians will ever turn the Taleban into Khadyrov Clan 2.0.
no. I don’t remember. I understand your irritation at the way LJ made the comparison. In a closed hearing I told Steve Solarz much the same thing as an objection to something he had said. He threatened me with Contempt of Congress and the Director of DIA chewed my a-s when I got back to the building. So, I understand.
Karen Weiss says
What a great piece how come I can’t share on facebook
No idea what you are talking about.
Kilo 4/11 says
“no. I don’t remember.”
Yep, happens. I don’t remember why I made most of the major decisions in my life!
Thanks for your reply, sir.
No. I am not Joe Biden.
Moscow lede is shifting a bit.
Informed take now is that it was about drugs. Russian services (apparently not GRU, but other agencies, US intel is apparently not that great in figuring out who is who when Russian intel is concerned, but this is hardly news) paid Taleban to go after poppy fields which were exlusively exporting to the CIS (which Russia is obviously disapproving of).
Some of these poppy owners had previously purchased protection from the Afghan government (propably true) and maybe from US intel (perhaps? how would the US verify that they only export to CIS, which would likely be a condition for protection), or who believed that they purchased US protection but did so from fraudulent sources (highly likely, lots of fraud in the protection money market, or they purchased US non interference but thought they had purchased US protection).
The Talebs did burn some poppy fields, and established themselfs as “protectors” of some other ones, and all was fine as far as the Talebs and the Russians were concerned, until some recently dispossesed poppy field afficionados ginned up the bounty allegation in cooperation with their “protectors” Afghan government.