Democrats Double Down on New York Times Russian Bounties Hoax, Demand Sanctions against Putin
July 2, 2020 (EIRNS)—Congressional Democrats continue to hang on to the theory, first concocted by the New York Times on June 26, that Russian military intelligence paid bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and are using it as the basis for the further wrecking of any remaining possibilities of an improvement in U.S.-Russian relations. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has gone so for to introduce a proposal to slap sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin personally. The proposal from Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, would impose a visa ban and an asset freeze on Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, as well as other Russian officials involved in the targeting of U.S. troops, reported The Hill.
The House Armed Services Committee, meanwhile, voted up an amendment to the defense authorization bill yesterday that would effectively freeze the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The amendment, sponsored by Colorado Democrat Jason Crow, with backing from House Republican Conference chairman Liz Cheney (WY) requires, among other measures, an assessment of whether any “state actors have provided any incentives to the Taliban, their affiliates, or other foreign terrorist organizations for attacks against United States, coalition, or Afghan security forces or civilians in Afghanistan in the last two years, including the details of any attacks believed to have been connected with such incentives.”
Crow’s amendment would block funding to dip below 8,000 troops and then again to below 4,000 troops unless the administration certifies that doing so would not compromise the U.S. counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan, not increase risk for U.S. personnel there, be done in consultation with allies, and is in the best interest of the United States.