The Senate Intelligence Committee’s final report on alleged Russian interference focuses on “a wide range of Russian efforts to influence the Trump Campaign and the 2016 election.” Does the report advance our understanding of the Trump-Russia story? Mattathias Schwartz, contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, joins Pushback.
Guest: Mattathias Schwartz, contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine.
Pushback with Aaron Mate is licensed under a Creative Commons License. ||| The Grayzone ||| Find more reporting at https://thegrayzone.com
Claims that Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny has been poisoned by the nerve agent Novichok are threatening a new standoff between Russia and NATO states, with calls for punitive measures against Moscow, including cancelling the Nordstream 2 German-Russia pipeline.
Navalny’s opposition activism is “marginal in Russian politics — it’s not currently a threat to the Kremlin,” says Fred Weir, a veteran Moscow correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor. “Navalny is little more than a nuisance [to the Kremlin]. And I can’t believe that Putin would rocket him to the top of the world political agenda through a botched attempt to assassinate him, or even an effective one. It just does not make sense to me.”
Weir also discusses the flaws of Russia coverage in Western media, including the recent case where Russians were accused of staging a fake left-wing website to deceive U.S. audiences.
In an article about three marines who should have never been in Afghanistan in the first place getting killed there in a suicide truck bombing last year, they 1 try to push their Russian bounties hoax some more, while 2 admitting that they’ve got no case to make even though this is their 9th or 10th article in a series on this obvious lie:
“American intelligence agencies are investigating whether that car bomb was detonated at the behest of a Russian military agency paying bounties to Afghan militia groups for killing American troops. Such a possibility, if true, would be a staggering repudiation of Mr. Trump’s yearslong embrace of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. Thus far, there is no conclusive evidence linking the deaths to any kind of Russian bounty.”
Yeah, yeah. “If true”; the story of the last four years of Russiagate lies in two words.
They then helpfully remind us:
The investigation into the deaths of the three Marines continues. Although Mr. Trump has dismissed the suspected Russian payments as “fake news,” Congress has begun hearings into the matter. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that while the government so far lacks proof that any Russian bounties caused specific military casualties, “we are still looking.”
As that famous liar Donald Rumsfeld said about Iraq’s unconventional weapons, “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Good enough for the newspaper of record, of course.
Someone says that “intelligence” says that the Russians are paying to have Americans killed in Afghanistan, huh? And you put your name on that? I mean sure, if you were David Sanger, but you’re Charlie Savage and that means that you have really done a terrible, terrible thing here.
And in paragraphs 5 and 6 you admit that you don’t know that it’s true at all.
“An operation to incentivize the killing of American and other NATO troops would be a significant and provocative escalation of what American and Afghan officials have said is Russian support for the Taliban, and it would be the first time the Russian spy unit was known to have orchestrated attacks on Western troops.
“Any involvement with the Taliban that resulted in the deaths of American troops would also be a huge escalation of Russia’s so-called hybrid war against the United States, a strategy of destabilizing adversaries through a combination of such tactics as cyberattacks, the spread of fake news and covert and deniable military operations.”
“Would.” If actually true, you mean? C’mon, now.
Jeez, they really gave you nothing huh?
“Islamist militants, or armed criminal elements closely associated with them, are believed to have collected some bounty money, the officials said. Twenty Americans were killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2019, but it was not clear which killings were under suspicion.”
How come Thomas Gibbons-Neff’s name isn’t on this article? Would he have tried to verify it or something?
We have all come to expect such dishonesty from the New York Times, and especially people like Eric Schmitt. But Charlie. Oh Charlie. This is a new low for you. Have some self-respect for chrissakes.