Pentagon Admits There Is No Corroboration of ‘Bountygate’ Claims

by | Jul 9, 2020

Pentagon Admits There Is No Corroboration of ‘Bountygate’ Claims

by | Jul 9, 2020

190620 A Ss368 0004

Continuing the allegation of Russian bounty payments to Taliban to kill U.S. troops, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley both told the House Armed Services Committee that they’ve seen no corroboration of the claim, nor do they believe anyone was actually killed on the basis of it.

This allegation emerged last month in The New York Times and has been oft-repeated, despite a lack of evidence. Earlier this week, a poll showed a majority of Americans believe the claim, though the military has repeatedly said they just don’t have the evidence to defend it. Centcom’s commander has also recently doubted it.

Beyond military doubts, U.S. intelligence has also expressed major doubts, saying they have “low confidence” of the allegations. It is unclear why this continues, when between military leadership and intelligence community no one seems to be buying the story.

That said, Milley told the committee that if it turns out this claim is true, something that looks remotely unlikely, he said that the US would respond against Russia in some non-specific way.

Holding off on proof is the key here, however. The polls that showed the public supports the allegation also showed support for U.S. sanctions, or potentially military action against Russia. That all comes even with the evidence strongly pointing to this not being true.

Presumably the comments from officials preclude the US taking any hasty action, but the importance of polls, particularly in election years, could signal another round of worsening ties between the U.S. and Russia.

Russia, for its part, has denied any involvement in this allegation, and the Taliban has similarly denied taking any money to continue the fighting.

About Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is the News Editor for Antiwar.com, your best source for antiwar news, viewpoints and activities. He has 10 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times and the Detroit Free Press.

Our Books

5 Libooks072420lg

Our Books

5 Libooks072420lg

Related Articles

Related

Congress Cares When It’s Their Windows Being Broken

Congress Cares When It’s Their Windows Being Broken

The political hysteria unleashed by last week’s clash at the Capitol between police and Trump protestors poses a growing danger to Americans’ constitutional rights. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer ludicrously compared the ruckus to Pearl Harbor—a “day of...

read more
How the Farm Lobby Stifles the International Market

How the Farm Lobby Stifles the International Market

Farmers from the major wheat- and rice-growing provinces of India have filed into the capital region to voice their displeasure with recent farm reforms. This comes as India’s government undermines longstanding privileges for farmers in a major transition toward free...

read more
Big Tech Cracks Down On Social Media Dissidents

Big Tech Cracks Down On Social Media Dissidents

Whipping Americans into a tizzy to use their anger against them for political gain, has and always will be the modus operandi of the state. Fear, anger, and divide are extremely powerful tools used by tyrants to gain the compliance and obedience of the masses....

read more
Book Foolssm

Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan

by Scott Horton

Book Foolssm

The Great Ron Paul

by Scott Horton

Book Foolssm

No Quarter: The Ravings of William Norman Grigg

by Will Grigg

Book Foolssm

What Social Animals Owe to Each Other

by Sheldon Richman

Book Foolssm

Coming to Palestine

by Sheldon Richman

Book Foolssm

Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan

by Scott Horton

Book Foolssm

The Great Ron Paul

by Scott Horton

Book Foolssm

No Quarter: The Ravings of William Norman Grigg

by Will Grigg

Book Foolssm

What Social Animals Owe to Each Other

by Sheldon Richman

Book Foolssm

Coming to Palestine

by Sheldon Richman

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This