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Posts Tagged ‘Antony Blinken’

US Biolabs In Ukraine? Victoria Nuland Spills The Beans

Posted by M. C. on March 9, 2022

Is there anything worse than bio-warfare labs? Is there anyone with more of them than US?

Bungler Blinken gets bluff called.

After all the “fact check” organizations assured us it was “Russian disinformation” and “fake news,” US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria “F the EU” Nuland admitted the existence of biolabs in Senate testimony and stated that the US was working with Ukraine to keep the “research” at those labs from falling into Russian hands. Also today: the bizarre Polish jet fighter saga, political persecution of a Jan. 6th protester, and Florida OKs off-label treatments for covid.

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America’s War?

Posted by M. C. on February 21, 2022

By Eric S. Margolis

World War III? Or a bad, expensive joke?

Russia has declared a nuclear test alert.  The Ukraine crisis is beginning to become very scary.

When the old Soviet Union broke up, I and other moderates called for the former Moscow-dominated states of East Europe to become neutral.  Otherwise, East-West conflict would, I warned, be inevitable (see my book ‘War at the Top of the World’).

Instead, the rabidly anti-Russian US war party drove NATO east to the former Soviet borders, making a major confrontation near certain.

We are there today, playing Russian roulette with nuclear weapons.

Washington is beating the war drums and sounds borderline hysterical, warning ‘the Russians are coming.’  Moscow scoffs at the whole business, saying President Joe Biden is trying to divert attention from the big economic and political mess in the US.

Nothing like a jolly little war to distract public opinion at a time when rightwing forces are fast gaining ground in the US and now, of all places, in placid Canada.

The trucker’s blockade that shut down the Canada-US border cost Ottawa billions in lost trade, seriously damaged the image of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and showed that less than 100 ZZ Top look-alike truckers could hold Canada to ransom. 

It was also a vivid rehearsal for what the hard right may have in store for November elections.  The mob assault on the Capitol on 6 January was only a trial run.

Meanwhile, back in darkest Ukraine, pro- and anti-government factions are trading occasional shells while the US government in Washington claims war is imminent.

The facts on the ground do not support such alarmism.  Russia may have up to 150,000 troops positioned around Ukraine (similar to the same strategic advantage that Germany enjoyed over Poland in 1939) but all these units are so far positioned inside Russia.  Most of the NATO troops rushed to the east are from outside their home territory. 

Crimea and Ukraine were ruled by the Ottoman Empire, and then Crimean Tatars, until annexed by Russia’s Catherine the Great in 1783.  They remained an integral part of the Russian Empire until the 1920’s, and, after a brief bout of independence after WWI, until the Communist era.

But one must remember that in the 1930’s, Josef Stalin and his ‘Jewish Himmler,’ Lazar Kaganovitch, murdered some six million Ukrainians by starvation or shootings in an effort to eradicate Ukrainian nationalism and independent farming.  This was likely the worst atrocity in Europe until 1944 – done by the key US/British wartime ally.  Small wonder the invading Germans in WWII were initially greeted as liberators.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, an ally of billionaire George Soros, now claims that Moscow will stage a false flag operation to justify invading Ukraine.  It’s true, Russia just about invented such ploys in the 1919-1920 period when Moscow’s secret police rounded up and crushed the anti-communist opposition.  KGB has always loved such deft operations. 

But who is Blinken to make such allegations?  British media revealed that George W. Bush and UK PM Tony Blair discussed painting US aircraft in UN colors, then buzzing Iraqi anti-aircraft units to provoke a false flag attack on the UN, justifying a US-British attack against Iraq.  In fact, the entire Iraq invasion was based on a farrago of lies, double-dealing and torture.

Right on cue, former US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland (born Nudelman), remerges to press for war against Russia.  She spent US$5 billion engineering the overthrow of Ukraine’s former elected government which leaned towards Moscow.

As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

Eric S. Margolis [send him mail] is the author of War at the Top of the World and the new book, American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World. See his website.

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Biden’s Ukrainian Albatross

Posted by M. C. on January 24, 2022

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/january/23/bidens-ukrainian-albatross/

Written by Daniel McAdams

Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell is given credit for popularizing the “Pottery Barn” rule of foreign policy. Though he denies using that exact phrase, in arguing against what became the disastrous 2003 US attack on Iraq Powell made the point that, as in Pottery Barn, “if you break it, you own it.”

Bush and his neocons – ironically with the help of Colin Powell himself – did indeed break Iraq and the American people as a result “owned” Iraq for the subsequent 22 years (and counting). It was an idiotic war and, as the late former NSA chief Gen. Bill Odom predicted, turned out to be “the greatest strategic disaster in American history.”

Attacking and destroying Iraq – and executing its leader – not only had no value in any conceivable manner to the United States, it had negative value. In taking responsibility for Iraq’s future, the US government obligated the American people to pick up the tab for a million ransacked Pottery Barns.

There was no way out. Only constant maneuvering and manipulation to desperately demonstrate the impossible –  that the move had any value or even made any sense.

So it is with Ukraine. In 2014 the Obama/Biden Administration managed to finish what Bush’s neocons started a decade before. With the US-backed overthrow of the Ukrainian government that year, the US came to “own” what no one in their right mind would ever seek: an economic basket case of a country with a political/business class whose corruption is the stuff of legend.

Rather than admit what a colossal blunder the whole thing had been, the US foreign policy establishment doubled down.

“Oh, this might be a neat tool to overthrow our own election: let’s pretend Trump is Putin’s agent!”

In fact Trump was impeached because a certain Col. Alexander Vindman – himself of Ukrainian origin and doing the bidding of a Ukrainian government installed by Washington – solemnly testified to Adam Schiff and his Democrat colleagues in charge of the House that Trump was clearly Putin’s puppet because his lack of enthusiasm for continuing to “own” Ukraine went against “the Inter-Agency Consensus.”

We “own” Ukraine and there is no way back – at least if the US foreign policy establishment has its way.

That is why our hapless State Department today continues to peddle the fiction that Russia is about to invade – and thus “own” – Ukraine. US foreign policy is one of projection: accuse your rivals of doing what you yourself are doing. No sane country would want to “own” Ukraine. Except the Beltway Think Tank class, thoroughly infused with military-industrial complex money.

That is why the US government, though its Embassy in Kiev, is bragging about the arrival of $200 million in lethal aid, all pointed directly at Russia.

That is why the US State Department is maintaining the fiction that Russia is about to launch a ground war to occupy Ukraine by dramatically announcing an “evacuation” of all “non-essential personnel” from its Embassy in Kiev.

It’s just too bad that we don’t share the opinion of who are really “non-essential” State Department personnel in Kiev: the last person out could be asked to turn off the lights.

By overthrowing an elected government in Kiev in 2014, the US government disenfranchised millions of voters in eastern Ukraine who voted for the overthrown president. Those voters unsurprisingly came to view the US-installed regime as illegitimate and sought self-rule under the concept of self-determination. As ethnic Russians, many of these successfully sought Russian passports.

Russia has been clear for a long time about Ukraine: it will not allow an armed invasion of eastern Ukraine that would result in the deaths of thousands of Russian citizens. Were the shoe on the other foot, the US – and any country – could be expected to react the same way.

The US is nearly the last country on earth that still holds to the WWII-era concept of war for territorial gain. Russia wants to “own” Ukraine like most people want to “own” a 2003 Saturn. That is why despite neocon/neo-liberal hype, magnified by the lock-step US media, Russia is not about to invade Ukraine.

This fantasy is being pushed by those who desperately need to continue to gin up enthusiasm for a thoroughly idiotic and counterproductive imperial enterprise.

Biden while vice president sowed the regime change winds in Ukraine. Now his inept Administration will reap the whirlwind of that continuing train wreck and eventual dissolution of the country. No matter what Antony Blinken peddles to the contrary.

Even the comedian Zelensky knows this is a really bad joke.


Copyright © 2022 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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United States to Give Extra $200 Million in Military Aid to Ukraine | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on January 24, 2022

But “they” are the aggressor. Stinger missiles, can’t you shoot an airliner down with those?

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/united-states-to-give-extra-200-million-in-military-aid-to-ukraine/

by Dave DeCamp

The U.S. is giving Ukraine an additional $200 million in military aid that was approved by the Biden administration in December, a senior State Department official confirmed with reporters on Wednesday. The additional military aid was announced while Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Kyiv.

The official didn’t detail what military equipment would make up the new aid package. Since 2014, the U.S. has provided Ukraine with over $2.5 billion in military aid. Under the Trump administration, the U.S. started giving Ukraine lethal weapons, including Javelin anti-tank missiles and armed patrol boats.

Earlier reports said the Biden administration was considering giving Ukraine more stinger missiles, mortars, and more Javelin missiles. Another plan under consideration is giving Ukraine military aid that was meant for the now-defunct U.S.-backed Afghan government that would include Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters.

With the constant U.S. claims of a Russian invasion, Washington is eager to give Ukraine weapons. On top of the $200 million, the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act authorizes another $300 million for military aid to Ukraine. A group of Senate Democrats recently introduced a bill that would authorize an additional $500 million for Ukraine if the president determines Russia is being hostile towards its neighbor.

This article was originally featured at Antiwar.com

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State Dept. to Americans: Only Watch Pro-War News!

Posted by M. C. on January 21, 2022

https://mailchi.mp/ronpaulinstitute/rtdemon?e=4e0de347c8

Dear Friends:

I just finished doing an interview on RT International about a new US State Department report on “Russia’s Disinformation and Propaganda Ecosystem.” I expect the black SUVs to be rolling into my driveway here in Lake Jackson any minute. I wish that were a joke, but these days you never know. An American foreign policy expert friend of mine who for many years wrote a column in a publication that the US government deemed “Russia-connected” got a visit from the FBI (in black cars) warning him of serious consequences should he continue to share his views on that particular outlet. So much for that old US embrace of the free press and media pluralism!

So tonight, as is par for the course, on the eve of renewed US/Russia talks in Geneva the US side feels compelled to drop a stink bomb on the party, like a dog marking his territory. This one comes in the form of a new report on how evil and dangerous are RT and Sputnik, two Russia-affiliated alternative news outlets.

I had a half hour to plow through the 30-ish page report before I went live, so I tried to hone in on any legitimate criticism. Had RT and Sputnik been making up false stories? Nope. No mention of that. Are they reporting in any manner outside of accepted journalistic practices? Nope. Have they been peddling disproven conspiracy theories, like four years of US mainstream media fake conspiracies about Russiagate? Nope. 

So, as our older readers might remember that old ad slogan, “where’s the beef”?

 Well…Antony Blinken’s State Department is furious  because according to one study Americans who watch RT don’t seem as susceptible to US government’s pro-interventionist propaganda. As the State Department report puts it: One recent study reported that American consumers exposed to RT content are more likely than those not exposed to prefer that the United States withdraw from its global leadership position, even when the consumers are aware that RT is funded by the Russian government.
Oh noes! Some Americans dare to not prefer a “global leadership position” for the US government! Some Americans may not prefer the largest military budget on the planet, troops in 150 foreign countries, endless US-backed color revolutions, the murder of foreign leaders, and 20 year occupations in wars that are lost by everyone except the US military-industrial-Congressional-think tank-complex!

 But if the State Department thinks it is dealing with just a handful of Ron Paul supporters, they are victims of their own circular thinking and mirror-imaging. As I said in the interview, according to a December, 2021 YouGov/Koch Institute poll, some 73 percent of Americans actually prefer that the US government “withdraw from its global leadership position.”

Are 73 percent of Americans “anti-American” as defined by the State Department? Maybe the State Department is wrong instead of the 73 percent of Americans who pay their salaries!

The other big beef the State Department has with RT and Sputnik is that they accuse the networks of taking a position in favor of Russian government positions on foreign policy. Whoa, they got me there. Good thing the US media is always out there opposing Washington’s endless interventionism! If we non-interventionists didn’t have the mainstream media – and especially US government-funded VOA and RFE/RL – on our side, I don’t know what we’d do!

Of course all US mainstream media networks – including those catering to conservatives like Fox News – take the US government position on foreign policy, with extremely few exceptions. Even the otherwise very watchable Tucker Carlson will criticize US government aggressive policies toward Russia not because they are dumb policies…but because that aggression should be focused on China!!!!

The American media, like the US government it serves, is obsessed with enemies. Enemies sell. Enemies get views and clicks. That’s all that counts. They condition Americans to think of the entire rest of the world as desperate to destroy our way of life and drain our precious bodily fluids.

As Ron Paul said in his latest column, “It’s all fun and games until the missiles start flying.”

The State Department report also points to the close ties between Russian media figures and the Russian government. Seriously? Have they watched the US mainstream media lately? As Australian writer Caitlin Johnstone put it not long ago, “The CIA Used To Infiltrate The Media. Now The CIA Is The Media.” Additionally, US journalist Matt Taibbi gives us a partial list of US intelligence agents who went on to serve their masters in the US mainstream media.

Has the State Department not noticed how many senior US Administration officials of both parties went on to senior and high-paid positions with US mainstream media outlets? Surely they need to get out more.

As with everything coming out of the US Administration (and the ones before it), US foreign policy is best defined as one of projection. They claim that others are doing precisely that which they themselves are doing. This report is no different.

But we should all reserve some righteous anger for our own government believing us to be so stupid and ignorant that a few minutes of watching RT – or maybe even reading Caitlin Johnstone or Matt Taibbi or Glenn Greenwald – will turn us into Manchurian candidates out to do the bidding of a 1950s era global menace waiting to turn us all into slithering communist salamanders. Shame on them!

On a personal note, I’ve shared my opinions on RT for at least ten years and have never once been asked what I was going to say before the interview. That is the opposite of what happens every time (rare as it may be) I am invited to a US mainstream outlet. My policy has always been that I am very happy to share the philosophy of non-interventionism with any news outlet that will have me. (Guess how many times the US mainstream media invites me…).
Sincerely yours,

Daniel McAdams
Executive Director
Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity
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Ukraine Needs Clear Communication, Not Weapons, From the U.S.

Posted by M. C. on December 20, 2021

But the U.S. can do its part by incentivizing Kyiv to operate through the prism of reality rather than fantasy. Giving Ukraine the false hope of unconditional U.S. backing does the country no favors.

https://reason.com/2021/12/08/ukraine-needs-clear-communication-not-weapons-from-the-u-s/

Daniel DePetris

With approximately 100,000 Russian forces stationed near Ukraine’s eastern border and reports that Moscow might be planning an incursion as soon as next month, a casual observer can be forgiven for thinking war in Eastern Europe is just around the corner. U.S. officials are taking the threats of a Russian operation extremely seriously.

A session between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov last week did little to calm bilateral tensions over Ukraine. Neither did a two-hour video conference on Tuesday between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, which at first glance appeared to be more of an airing of grievances than a conflict-resolution strategy session. At present, the U.S. and Russian positions on Ukraine are nearly irreconcilable, even as both pay lip service to a diplomatic process that has made little progress beyond a shaky ceasefire.  Putin wants assurances Ukraine will not be swallowed up in the Western orbit, insisting on “legal guarantees” to this effect (a point he reiterated during his video call with President Joe Biden on December 7). Washington, meanwhile, demands Russia withdraw its forces from Ukrainian territory, sever support to the separatists in the Donbas, and hand back full control of the Ukrainian border to Kyiv.

See the rest here

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In Indonesia Visit, Blinken Vows US Will Expand Military Power in Region to Counter China – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on December 16, 2021

…including the extension until 2026 of a maritime cooperation pact that calls for more naval drills between the US and Indonesia.

Indonesia? Likely to counter those naval drills China has with Panama.

https://news.antiwar.com/2021/12/14/in-indonesia-visit-blinken-vows-us-will-expand-military-power-in-region-to-counter-china/

by Dave DeCamp

During a visit to Indonesia, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US would expand military and economic partnerships in Asia to counter China.

In a speech titled “a Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” Blinken outlined the Biden administration’s strategy to counter China, emphasizing strengthening cooperation with regional countries.

“Threats are evolving, our security approach has to evolve with them. To do that, we will lean on our greatest strength: our alliances and partnerships,” Blinken said. “We’ll adopt a strategy that more closely weaves together all our instruments of national power — diplomacy, military, intelligence — with those of our allies and partners.”

Even though an increased US military presence in the region makes a conflict with China more likely, Blinken claimed the strategy was meant to preserve peace and to defend the so-called “rules-based order,” which essentially means the US-led global order. He also claimed the US does not want countries to choose between Washington and Beijing but slammed China for what he called “aggressive actions.”

During the visit, Blinken signed three memorandums of understanding with Indonesia’s foreign minister, including the extension until 2026 of a maritime cooperation pact that calls for more naval drills between the US and Indonesia.

China denounced Blinken’s comments and said the US was intentionally stoking conflict in the region. “[The US] should be a promoter of dialogue and cooperation in the region instead of a saboteur that drives wedges between regional countries and undermines regional solidarity and cooperation,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.

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As Fascism Casts Off Its Disguises – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on December 13, 2021

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2021/12/10/as-fascism-casts-off-its-disguises/

author: Caitlin Johnstone

The US government has won its appeal against a lower British court’s rejection of its extradition request to prosecute Julian Assange for journalistic activity under the Espionage Act. Rather than going free, the WikiLeaks founder will continue to languish in Belmarsh Prison where he has already spent over two and a half years despite having been convicted of no crime.

“As a result, that extradition request will now be sent to British Home Secretary Prita Patel, who technically must approve all extradition requests but, given the U.K. Government’s long-time subservience to the U.S. security state, is all but certain to rubber-stamp it,” writes Glenn Greenwald. “Assange’s representatives, including his fiancee Stella Morris, have vowed to appeal the ruling, but today’s victory for the U.S. means that Assange’s freedom, if it ever comes, is further away than ever: not months but years even under the best of circumstances.”

“Mark this day as fascism casts off its disguises,” tweeted journalist John Pilger of the ruling.

Media freedom plays an indispensable role in informing the public, holding governments accountable, and telling stories that otherwise would not be told. The U.S. will continue to stand up for the brave and necessary work of journalists around the world. #SummitForDemocracy pic.twitter.com/ilitbdzSd1

— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) December 8, 2021

This ruling which allows the US to continue working to extradite a journalist for exposing US war crimes comes on the final day of Washington’s so-called “Summit for Democracy“, where the US Secretary of State made a grandiose show about how press freedom “plays an indispensable role in informing the public, holding governments accountable, and telling stories that otherwise would not be told” and said “The U.S. will continue to stand up for the brave and necessary work of journalists around the world.”

This ruling also comes on UN Human Rights Day.

This ruling comes on the same day as two journalists formally received the Nobel Peace Prizes they’d been rewarded and demanded protections for journalists in their acceptance speech.

This ruling comes as the US government pledges hundreds of millions of dollars in support for “independent media” around the world in coordination with British state media.

This ruling comes after it was revealed that the CIA drew up plans to kidnap and assassinate Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy after the 2017 Vault 7 releases embarrassed the agency.

This ruling comes after it was revealed that CIA proxies spied on Assange and his lawyers at the Ecuadorian embassy, thereby making a fair trial in the United States impossible.

This ruling comes after it was revealed that the US prosecution relied on false testimony from a diagnosed sociopath and convicted child molester.

This ruling comes after recent investigative reports on civilian-slaughtering US airstrikes reminded us why it’s so important for the press to be able to conduct critical natsec journalism on the most powerful military force ever assembled.

The High Court has ruled that Julian #Assange can be extradited to the US. “How can it be fair, how can it be right, how can it be possible, to extradite Julian to the very country which plotted to kill him?” said Stella Moris. Mark this day as fascism casts off its disguises.

— John Pilger (@johnpilger) December 10, 2021

The facts are in and the case is closed: the US and its allies do not care about press freedoms beyond the extent that they can be used to conduct propaganda. The way journalists who offend the powerful are dealt with by the US government and the way they are dealt with by the Saudi monarchy differ only in terms of speed and messiness.

The masks are crumbling. Even when he is silenced, immobilized, locked up and hidden from public view, Julian Assange continues to shine a light on the abusive mechanisms of power. He is arguably exposing them more now than ever before.

As fascism casts off its disguises, it becomes more and more important to highlight the hypocrisy, fraudulence and depravity of the people who rule our world.

_____________________________

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Erie Times E-Edition Article- New chief on ‘Havana Syndrome’ named 

Posted by M. C. on November 6, 2021

Another bureau created to investigate something that has been going on for decades. Why don’t I feel better?

To steal a meme from the Russiagate election fraud fiasco. Why are we paying $billions to the FIB, CIA, NSA?

https://erietimes-pa-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=459268a9c_1345fc6

Matthew Lee and Nomaan Merchant

WASHINGTON – The State Department on Friday named a new coordinator for its investigation into cases of Havana Syndrome, responding to increased pressure from lawmakers to investigate and respond to hundreds of brain injuries reported by diplomats and intelligence officers.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken appointed a high-ranking deputy, Jonathan Moore, to coordinate the department’s task force on the cases. He replaces Pamela Spratlen, a retired diplomat temporarily called back into service by Blinken before leaving in September.

Blinken also appointed retired ambassador Margaret Uyehara to lead efforts to directly support care for State Department employees.

Investigators have been studying a growing number of reported cases by U.S. personnel around the world and whether they are caused by exposure to microwaves or other forms of directed energy. People affected have reported headaches, dizziness, nausea, and other symptoms consistent with traumatic brain injuries.

Possibilities under consideration include the usage of a surveillance tool or a device intended to harm. The cases are known as “Havana Syndrome” dating to a series of reported brain injuries in 2016 at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba.

After years of investigation, the U.S. government has still not publicly identified what or who might be behind the incidents or whether they are attacks. But leaders in the State and Defense departments and at the CIA have pushed employees to report possible brain injuries and in some cases removed leaders who were seen as unsympathetic to the cases.

“This is about the health and security of our people and there’s nothing we take more seriously,” Blinken said Friday.

Several hundred cases are under investigation. There have been multiple reports in recent weeks of potential incidents linked to visits by high-profile U.S. officials, including a case involving a member of CIA Director William Burns’ traveling party in India and incidents at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá, Colombia, before a visit by Blinken.

The State Department said Friday that Deputy Secretary Brian McKeon had met with diplomats in Vienna to discuss possible cases reported this year in Austria.

Democrats and Republicans have pressed President Joe Biden’s administration to determine who and what might be responsible for the cases and improve treatment for victims, many of whom have long said government officials aren’t taking their cases seriously. Biden earlier this month signed a bill intended to improve medical care for victims.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said at a recent hearing that after speaking to victims, there was still “clearly a disconnect as to what is happening at the top levels of the State Department and how victims are being treated in some cases.”

Shaheen has introduced new legislation to fix what she described as differences in how various agencies are investigating and treating cases.

“There’s still not enough information that’s being shared, not enough coordination that’s being done,” she said in an interview. “There’s not a unanimity of response on how to deal with it.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks while announcing that Jonathan Moore, back, is the new coordinator for its investigation into cases of Havana Syndrome. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/POOL VIA AP

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Blinken denies giving Taliban lists of Americans and Afghan allies, but then says US turned over names for busloads of evacuees — RT USA News

Posted by M. C. on August 30, 2021

Continuing the Hillary Clinton tradition of massive state department failures.

Implicit in that statement was the fact that rather than insisting on doing its own passenger vetting, the US State Department has trusted the Taliban not to misuse such information and to let through everyone whom Washington wants evacuated from Afghanistan.

https://www.rt.com/usa/533406-blinken-denies-giving-taliban-lists/

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tried to refute reports that the Biden administration gave lists of Americans and allies in Afghanistan to the Taliban, but then went on to say it provided names for busloads of its evacuees.

Asked by NBC News host Chuck Todd on Sunday how the administration could be sure that lists of people the US is trying to get out of Afghanistan won’t be used for “horrendous reasons,” Blinken said “it’s simply not the case” that such information has been turned over to the Taliban.

“The idea that we’ve done anything to put at further risk those that we’re trying to help leave the country is simply wrong,” Blinken added. “And the idea that we shared lists of Americans or others with the Taliban is simply wrong.”

Todd followed up, asking Blinken, “What was shared?” The secretary of state replied that “in specific instances,” the administration gave the Taliban manifests for busloads of people that it needed to get through checkpoints to the Kabul airport for evacuation.

“When you’re trying to get a bus or a group of people through and you need to show a manifest to do that ​​– particularly in cases where people don’t have the necessary credentials on them or documents on them – then you’ll share names of the lists of people on the bus so they can be assured those are the people we’re looking to bring in,” he said. “By definition, that’s exactly what’s happened, we’ve gotten 5,500 American citizens out of Afghanistan.” Also on rt.com President Biden says US ‘could very well have’ given evacuees’ names to Taliban, as he faces criticism after deadly Kabul attack

Implicit in that statement was the fact that rather than insisting on doing its own passenger vetting, the US State Department has trusted the Taliban not to misuse such information and to let through everyone whom Washington wants evacuated from Afghanistan. It’s not hard to imagine how the manifests could imperil Americans and Afghan allies, whom the Taliban could simply choose to seize or turn away and later target for reprisals, but Blinken insisted, “The idea that we put anyone in any further jeopardy is simply wrong.”

President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan also tried to bat down reports of lists being given to the Taliban, telling CNN host Jake Tapper that such reporting was “unfounded and inaccurate.” But he only denied giving “all” names to the Taliban, and like Blinken, he said the administration had worked with the Islamist group to get busloads of people through checkpoints. He didn’t respond directly when asked whether the manifests could have been used against any US evacuees.

And over on CNN, Jake Tapper grilled NSA Jake Sullivan on the administration giving a “kill list” to the Taliban. Sullivan’s argument was that they didn’t give them “all” the names just small lists. But he couldn’t say if the small lists were used against Americans or allies. pic.twitter.com/zflv5ZHoY0— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) August 29, 2021

US Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) called Blinken’s comments “disgusting,” saying in an ABC News interview, “Their plan has basically been happy talk. People have died and people are going to die because President Biden decided to rely on happy talk instead of reality.”

Sasse argued that the administration essentially “outsourced” security outside the airport perimeter to the Taliban. “They passed a list of American citizens and America’s closest allies – people who fought alongside us – they passed those lists to the Taliban, relying on them, thinking they could trust on them,” the senator said. “It was stupid then, it’s insane now.” 

Sasse added that by refusing to extend its withdrawal deadline beyond August 31, the administration will leave behind Americans and US allies who won’t be able to be evacuated in time.

Sullivan insisted that Washington has “substantial leverage to hold the Taliban to its commitments to allow safe passage for American citizens, legal permanent residents and the Afghan allies who have travel documentation to come to the US. We will use that leverage to the maximum extent, and we will work with the international community to ensure the Taliban does not falter on these commitments.” Also on rt.com Gold Star mother of US marine killed in Kabul attack blasts Biden as ‘dementia-ridden piece of crap,’ blames his supporters

The US and dozens of other governments issued a joint statement on Sunday, calling on the Taliban to honor its assurances that all foreign nationals and Afghans with authorization to enter their countries be allowed to depart from Afghanistan freely and safely.

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