Trump Denies Being Briefed Regarding Bounties On US Troops

L-R Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump (image via White House/Public Domain)

American intelligence officials reportedly concluded months ago that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly approached Islamic insurgents linked to the Taliban offering rewards in exchange for killing U.S. military forces in Afghanistan.

From the New York Times:

The United States concluded months ago that the Russian unit, which has been linked to assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe intended to destabilize the West or take revenge on turncoats, had covertly offered rewards for successful attacks last year.

The intelligence finding was briefed to President Trump, and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said. Officials developed a menu of potential options — starting with making a diplomatic complaint to Moscow and a demand that it stop, along with an escalating series of sanctions and other possible responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step, the officials said.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, called the inaction “shameful” during a virtual town hall event on Saturday.

“Not only has he failed to sanction or impose any kind of consequences on Russia for this egregious violation of international law, Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin,” Said Mr. Biden.

“His entire presidency has been a gift to Putin, but this is beyond the pale,” added Biden. “It’s a betrayal of the most sacred duty we bear as a nation, to protect and equip our troops when we send them into harm’s way.”

Trump tweeted today that neither he, Vice President Mike Pence, or Chief of Staff Mark Meadows were ever told about bounties on American troops.

He also threw shade at Biden for reading a prepared statement, which Trump does all the time.

Trump Has Plans To Win Afghanistan War But Doesn’t “Want To Kill 10 Million People”

During a press event in the Oval Office today with Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, Donald Trump told reporters he could end the Afghanistan war “in a week,” but that doing so would cause millions of deaths.

During a press event in the Oval Office today with Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, Donald Trump told reporters he could end the Afghanistan war “in a week,” but that doing so would cause millions of deaths.

“I could win that war in a week,” said Trump. “I just don’t want to kill 10 million people.”

The president added that Afghanistan would be “wiped off the face of the earth” in 10 days if he chose to bring a quick end to the nation’s longest war.

Note – the United States is not at war with Afghanistan.

Military Records Offer Insight Into Mayor Pete’s Service In Afghanistan

Mayor Pete Buttigieg (images via social media)

Political news site The Hill has obtained military documents that offer some insight into Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s time spent in Afghanistan as a Navy intelligence officer.

Buttigieg has mentioned on the campaign trail he took a seven month leave during his first term as mayor to serve in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom launched by President George W. Bush in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

According to The Hill, the documents show the then-32-year-old served in the Afghanistan Threat Finance Cell (ATFC) in Kabul from March to September of 2014. The files indicate that assignment put him in “an imminent danger pay area.”

The focus of the ATFC was to identify and disrupt “insurgent financial support networks in Afghanistan” related to the Taliban and Al-Qaida.

The Hillreports his duties included representing ATFC at “high level briefings, and he also “coordinated intelligence sharing and targeting deconfliction” methods with several organizations.

As Buttigieg mentioned in his book Shortest Way Home, he imagined he would spend most of his time in Afghanistan “behind a sophisticated computer terminal in a secure area.” But it turned out he had to venture some 119 times “outside the wire,” which meant leaving his fairly secure base. During those trips into Kabul, he served as vehicle commander on convoy security detail.

While he’s never claimed to have engaged in direct combat, Buttigieg did describe in his book the dangers unpredictable Kabul neighborhoods could present.

“In a ritual to be repeated dozens of times, I would heave my armored torso into the driver’s seat of a Land Cruiser, chamber a round in my M4, lock the doors and wave a gloved goodbye to the Macedonian gate guard,” wrote Buttigieg.

“My vehicle would cross outside the wire and into the boisterous Afghan city, entering a world infinitely more interesting and ordinary and dangerous than our zone behind the blast walls at ISAF headquarters,” he added.

Even in an armored vehicle, he was trained to be on the lookout for possible explosive devices hidden along the roads, or a number of telltale signs of a surprise ambush around any corner. “A suddenly empty neighborhood. A nervous-looking lone driver of a vehicle with a heavy trunk load. An obviously male hand coming out from underneath a woman’s blue burqa.”

Mayor Pete is one of the few Democratic presidential candidates whose resume includes active duty military experience.

Donald Trump did not serve in the military due to reported ‘bone spurs’in his feet.

(Source: The Hill)

Teen Refugee Denied Asylum For Not Being ‘Gay’ Enough

A gay 18-year-old Afghan refugee has been denied asylum in Austria because officials determined he wasn’t ‘gay’ enough to be gay.
(stock image via Pixabay)

A gay 18-year-old Afghan refugee has been denied asylum in Austria because officials determined he wasn’t ‘gay’ enough to be gay.

Scared for his safety in Afghanistan, the young man originally applied for asylum based on the fact that he’s part of the persecuted Hazara minority in his home country. He later appealed citing his sexual orientation, which in his home country is illegal due to Sharia Law and can be prosecuted resulting in a possible death penalty. He told advocates that he was initially afraid to come out.

But the immigration officials wrote in their report, “The way you walk, act and dress does not show even in the slightest that you could be homosexual.”

Also, the official noted that the young man had been involved in fights at the refugee center where he was being temporarily housed. The official decided that his “potential for aggression” undermined the Afghan’s claims since that “wouldn’t be expected from a homosexual.”

Additionally, the young man’s preference to spend time alone caused the official to wonder, “Aren’t homosexuals rather social?”

When asked at what age he realized he was gay, the Afghan told the case worker he came to that determination at the age of 12. But again, he was rebuffed by the official who said that was “rather early” since “there is no public sexual stimulation through fashion and advertisement” in Afghanistan.

Even when the teenager admitted to kissing men, the official decided it wasn’t true since the young man would have been beaten for such behavior.

Ultimately, the Austrian government rejected the 18-year-old’s application for asylum.

According to reports, the Afghan says he will appeal.

(h/t DW.com)