On July 1st the House Armed Services Committee voted to hinder Donald Trump’s ability to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. House Democrats on the committee teamed up with Republicans, including Liz Cheney (daughter of war-architect Dick Cheney), to pass an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act “that prohibits Congress from spending money to pull US troops out of Afghanistan without first meeting a series of vague conditions that critics said appeared to prevent withdrawal.” Without any public debate the US will now continue its occupation after the CIA claimed that Russia payed Taliban-linked groups to kill American soldiers.
What’s the evidence? General John Nicholson speculated that Russia was arming the Taliban in 2017. In April 2019, three marines were killed in an attack that the Taliban claimed responsibility for. Unnamed intelligence officials believed that the Russians may have payed militants to attack US troops. In March 2020, The CIA concluded that the Russians were paying the bounties. They cited testimony from captured militants and pointed to a Seal Team Six raid of a Taliban outpost that resulted in the recovery of a half a million in cash.
That’s it. That’s all the information that the American public is allowed to know. It’s hardly even mentioned that the NSA disagreed with the CIA’s assessment, stating “the information wasn’t verified and that intelligence officials didn’t agree on it.” Furthermore, the Department of Defense (DOD) claimed that “to date, DOD has no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports.” Americans are taking the CIA’s word as gospel.
How exactly did the CIA conclude that the half a million in cash came from Russia and not from Taliban opium trafficking operations? The US military claimed that 60% of the Taliban’s funding comes from the opium trade. Is $500,000 in cash unheard of in opium sales? Who are these captured militants that claimed that Russia payed bounties for dead American soldiers? Were these militants tortured by the CIA? The CIA has the largest torture program in the world. Is the information reliable or was the information obtained under dubious circumstances? How do we even know these militants actually made these claims?