Russia, Afghanistan and The Big Lie

by Margaret Kimberley, published on Black Agenda Report Freedom Rider Column, July 1, 2020

Far from being an enemy, Russia assisted the U.S. and its coalition in their fight against the Taliban.

“Russia is the nation least likely to do business with jihadists.”

There is no end to the Russiagate fraud. All major charges have been disproved. No one was convicted of the dreaded “collusion” that was reported endlessly for the last four years. Damning information is now declassified and casts doubt on the veracity of the whole story. CrowdStrike, the Democratic National Committee cyber security firm, admitted under oath they had no proof of hacking by Russia or anyone else. Robert Mueller ended his two-year long, multi-million dollar investigation with nothing except convictions for process crimes.

Why then did the New York Times print a story with an unnamed intelligence agency  source claiming that the Russian government paid the Taliban to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan? The charge is ludicrous on its face but the story is quite useful to people who want to hide their own criminality while simultaneously keeping Trump hamstrung in an election year.

Russia is the nation least likely to do business with jihadists. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, jihadists nearly tore Russia apart. Separatists from the Chechnya region terrorized the entire country which was weakened and divided after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Because of that experience Russia eagerly assisted the United States after the September 11 attacks. Far from impeding the U.S. presence, Russia and other former Soviet republics were steadfast participants in the Northern Distribution Network  (NDN). NDN was a supply line carrying material from Russia, through central Asian nations and finally to Afghanistan. Russia allowed the use of its air space in troop transit flights. Far from being an enemy, Russia assisted the U.S. and its coalition in their fight against the Taliban.

“The charge is ludicrous on its face but the story is quite useful to people who want to hide their own criminality.”

Russia’s NDN cooperation lasted until 2015, when U.S. meddling in Ukraine  poisoned relations between the two countries. Hostility towards jihadists remains a focus of Russian foreign policy decision making. The concern that ISIS might take control of Syria was the primary reason that Russia finally helped president Assad in 2015.

Not only does this latest claim make little sense, but there is no source for this information. We are told that an anonymous intelligence official revealed the Russian bounty and that Donald Trump was aware of it but did nothing. Anonymous intelligence sources are the cause of much mischief. They will tell the public that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction or that Muammar Gaddafi is planning a massacre. In both instances the rationale for lying was to get public approval for U.S. aggression. In this case keeping the failing Russiagate narrative  alive is a motive for more disinformation.

The timing of this dubious reporting is significant. An appeal’s court recently ruled that a federal judge must dismiss Michael Flynn’s conviction for lying to FBI agents. Flynn was set up by James Comey and Barack Obama with some involvement or knowledge on the part of Joe Biden. The timing of this development could not have been worse. When Flynn’s charges are dismissed, the story will truly begin to unravel and the corporate media will lose its monopoly on information.

“Anonymous intelligence sources are the cause of much mischief.”

It is also important to mention that the Trump administration has been in peace talks with the Taliban. A troop drawdown would certainly help his electoral prospects. All the more reason to generate confusion.

The deep state is also quite bipartisan. No one knows who carried the phony story to the Times but it certainly wasn’t anyone friendly to the president. Trump has enemies in the intelligence agencies, who often harbor their own agendas.

The New York Times was joined in this new scam by the Washington Post, owned by Jeff Bezos, the Amazon CEO and richest man in the world. Amazon’s activities include a $600 million cloud computing contract with the CIA. The imperialist newspapers are not disinterested in this matter. They play an important role in creating propaganda tropes for public consumption.

This election year is putting the rogue’s gallery of American politics on display. The loathsome Trump is confronted by people who couldn’t beat him at the polls. But they can create a phony scandal which deliberately misinforms millions of people for base and cynical reasons.

“The imperialist newspapers play an important role in creating propaganda tropes for public consumption.” 

Russiagate was dead after Mueller’s disastrous judiciary committee testimony in 2019. It was resuscitated by Trump’s stupidity in a phone call with Ukraine’s president. But the Democrats chose an uninspiring candidate with his own ethics issues tied to Ukraine. They need all the help they can get to pull him over the finish line. The same people who banded together to create dirt on candidate Trump have no compunction about doing the same thing four years later.

Trump is a train wreck who presides over a worsening COVID-19 pandemic and who tweets videos of his gun toting mobs shrieking about white power. He is on the ropes politically and another well timed scandal could hurt him. That is certainly the hope of the Democratic wing of the duopoly. They have better manners but they offer no decent alternative. They want to continue the Afghanistan forever war and they want their domestic crime to remain hidden.

Democracy is for the rubes, the little people who want to believe that the country works in their interests. They can be easily fooled because Trump’s presence in the White House makes a lie of their belief system. What they can believe is anything negative about him, no matter how outlandish. Of course when good information is kept from the public the truth is the outlier while the lie gets credibility.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere.  Her new book, Prejudential, looks at the history of US Presidents treatment of people of color.  She maintains a frequently updated blog as well at and she regularly posts on Twitter @freedomrideblog.   She is a member of the Administrative Committee of the United National Antiwar Movement.  Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)

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