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Thread: Trump 2020 - There are still children in detention separated from their parents

  1. #691
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    Question from the cheap seats: How is it that there were so many vacancies to be filled?

  2. #692
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    Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says
    The Trump administration has been deliberating for months about what to do about a stunning intelligence assessment.

    WASHINGTON — American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter.

    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.

    Islamist militants, or armed criminal elements closely associated with them, are believed to have collected some bounty money, the officials said. Twenty Americans were killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2019, but it was not clear which killings were under suspicion.

    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.

    An operation to incentivize the killing of American and other NATO troops would be a significant and provocative escalation of what American and Afghan officials have said is Russian support for the Taliban, and it would be the first time the Russian spy unit was known to have orchestrated attacks on Western troops.

    Any involvement with the Taliban that resulted in the deaths of American troops would also be a huge escalation of Russia’s so-called hybrid war against the United States, a strategy of destabilizing adversaries through a combination of such tactics as cyberattacks, the spread of fake news and covert and deniable military operations.

    The Kremlin had not been made aware of the accusations, said Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. “If someone makes them, we’ll respond,” Mr. Peskov said. A Taliban spokesman did not respond to messages seeking comment.

    Spokespeople at the National Security Council, the Pentagon, the State Department and the C.I.A. declined to comment.

    The officials familiar with the intelligence did not explain the White House delay in deciding how to respond to the intelligence about Russia.

    While some of his closest advisers, like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have counseled more hawkish policies toward Russia, Mr. Trump has adopted an accommodating stance toward Moscow.

    At a summit in 2018 in Helsinki, Finland, Mr. Trump strongly suggested that he believed Mr. Putin’s denial that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 presidential election, despite broad agreement within the American intelligence establishment that it did. Mr. Trump criticized a bill imposing sanctions on Russia when he signed it into law after Congress passed it by veto-proof majorities. And he has repeatedly made statements that undermined the NATO alliance as a bulwark against Russian aggression in Europe.

    The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the delicate intelligence and internal deliberations. They said the intelligence had been treated as a closely held secret, but the administration expanded briefings about it this week — including sharing information about it with the British government, whose forces are among those said to have been targeted.

    The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals. The officials did not describe the mechanics of the Russian operation, such as how targets were picked or how money changed hands. It is also not clear whether Russian operatives had deployed inside Afghanistan or met with their Taliban counterparts elsewhere.

    The revelations came into focus inside the Trump administration at a delicate and distracted time. Although officials collected the intelligence earlier in the year, the interagency meeting at the White House took place as the coronavirus pandemic was becoming a crisis and parts of the country were shutting down.

    Moreover, as Mr. Trump seeks re-election in November, he wants to strike a peace deal with the Taliban to end the Afghanistan war.

    Both American and Afghan officials have previously accused Russia of providing small arms and other support to the Taliban that amounts to destabilizing activity, although Russian government officials have dismissed such claims as “idle gossip” and baseless.

    “We share some interests with Russia in Afghanistan, and clearly they’re acting to undermine our interests as well,” Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., the commander of American forces in Afghanistan at the time, said in a 2018 interview with the BBC.

    Though coalition troops suffered a spate of combat casualties last summer and early fall, only a few have since been killed. Four Americans were killed in combat in early 2020, but the Taliban have not attacked American positions since a February agreement.

    American troops have also sharply reduced their movement outside military bases because of the coronavirus, reducing their exposure to attack.

    While officials were said to be confident about the intelligence that Russian operatives offered and paid bounties to Afghan militants for killing Americans, they have greater uncertainty about how high in the Russian government the covert operation was authorized and what its aim may be.

    Some officials have theorized that the Russians may be seeking revenge on NATO forces for a 2018 battle in Syria in which the American military killed several hundred pro-Syrian forces, including numerous Russian mercenaries, as they advanced on an American outpost. Officials have also suggested that the Russians may have been trying to derail peace talks to keep the United States bogged down in Afghanistan. But the motivation remains murky.

    The officials briefed on the matter said the government had assessed the operation to be the handiwork of Unit 29155, an arm of Russia’s military intelligence agency, known widely as the G.R.U. The unit is linked to the March 2018 nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury, England, of Sergei Skripal, a former G.R.U. officer who had worked for British intelligence and then defected, and his daughter.

    Western intelligence officials say the unit, which has operated for more than a decade, has been charged by the Kremlin with carrying out a campaign to destabilize the West through subversion, sabotage and assassination. In addition to the 2018 poisoning, the unit was behind an attempted coup in Montenegro in 2016 and the poisoning of an arms manufacturer in Bulgaria a year earlier.

    American intelligence officials say the G.R.U. was at the center of Moscow’s covert efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. In the months before that election, American officials say, two G.R.U. cyberunits, known as 26165 and 74455, hacked into Democratic Party servers and then used WikiLeaks to publish embarrassing internal communications.

    In part because those efforts were aimed at helping tilt the election in Mr. Trump’s favor, his handling of issues related to Russia and Mr. Putin has come under particular scrutiny. The special counsel investigation found that the Trump campaign welcomed Russia’s intervention and expected to benefit from it, but found insufficient evidence to establish that his associates had engaged in any criminal conspiracy with Moscow.

    Operations involving Unit 29155 tend to be much more violent than those involving the cyberunits. Its officers are often decorated military veterans with years of service, in some cases dating to the Soviet Union’s failed war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Never before has the unit been accused of orchestrating attacks on Western soldiers, but officials briefed on its operations say it has been active in Afghanistan for many years.

    Though Russia declared the Taliban a terrorist organization in 2003, relations between them have been warming in recent years. Taliban officials have traveled to Moscow for peace talks with other prominent Afghans, including the former president, Hamid Karzai. The talks have excluded representatives from the current Afghan government as well as anyone from the United States, and at times they have seemed to work at crosscurrents with American efforts to bring an end to the conflict.

    The disclosure comes at a time when Mr. Trump has said he would invite Mr. Putin to an expanded meeting of the Group of 7 nations, but tensions between American and Russian militaries are running high.

    In several recent episodes, in international territory and airspace from off the coast of Alaska to the Black and Mediterranean Seas, combat planes from each country have scrambled to intercept military aircraft from the other.

  3. #693
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    Law and order, indeed.

  4. #694
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    so, Trump actually re-tweeted a video where a Trump supporter yells out "white power"

    https://www.npr.org/sections/live-up...ng-white-power

  5. #695
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    Just watched Pence on Face the Nation. The word dullard comes to mind. He's as stupid as Trump just in a slightly different way.

  6. #696
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    so, Trump actually re-tweeted a video where a Trump supporter yells out "white power"

    https://www.npr.org/sections/live-up...ng-white-power
    That's quite a video. I really don't understand why Trump would re-tweet that as people are heard saying "fuck Trump."

    "fuck Trump"
    "fuck Trump"

    "Nasty language"

    "Listen to your president if you want nasty language, idiot!" was the best part .

    Those anti-Trump hecklers are pretty awesome.
    Last edited by GulDukat; 06-28-2020 at 12:24 PM.

  7. #697
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    The warped genius of Sacha Baron Cohen:

    https://consequenceofsound.net/2020/...r-right-rally/

  8. #698
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    Quote Originally Posted by GulDukat View Post
    That's quite a video. I really don't understand why Trump would re-tweet that as people are heard saying "fuck Trump."
    I don't think he actually listened to the audio... he probably just saw a video of a bunch of Trump dickheads rolling around waving in golf carts and thought "yay, my people!" What's amazing is that it actually sat undeleted for 3 or 4 hours. There's people out there who suggest that he actually meant to share a video with his supporters gleefully shouting out "white power," but I think that's far-fetched. He's just incredibly stupid and lazy.

  9. #699
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    I don't think he actually listened to the audio... he probably just saw a video of a bunch of Trump dickheads rolling around waving in golf carts and thought "yay, my people!" What's amazing is that it actually sat undeleted for 3 or 4 hours. There's people out there who suggest that he actually meant to share a video with his supporters gleefully shouting out "white power," but I think that's far-fetched. He's just incredibly stupid and lazy.
    Yeah, nothing in that video shows Trump or his supporters in a positive light.

  10. #700
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    And the text accompanying the retweet involved the phrase “Corrupt Joe is shot”? Lovely.

    I wonder how many times, once he’s out of office, he will claim people are threatening his life. Seems very his speed.
    Last edited by Sesquipedalism; 06-28-2020 at 02:39 PM. Reason: Autocorrect

  11. #701
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    so, Trump actually re-tweeted a video where a Trump supporter yells out "white power"

    https://www.npr.org/sections/live-up...ng-white-power
    This is hilarious!! I’ve watched it five times! Those Villages seniors are feisty!!

    The guy who shouts “That’s right! white power” is in response to some guy yelling “WHERE’S YOUR WHITE HOOD?!” The lady next to him is yelling “NAZIS!” at them. That neighborhood must be intense.
    Last edited by allegro; 06-28-2020 at 04:15 PM.

  12. #702
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    that retweet is getting a lot of traction all over the news.

    probably the most blantly racist thing he retweeted, even if it was "indirect" .

  13. #703
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    problem is that it's so absurdly over the top that he COULD NOT HAVE actually meant to do it... the damaging part is that he was stupid enough to, not that he actually meant to tweet "white power." Still, that doesn't control how this plays out, and maybe he should eat a little bit of his own misinformation medicine.

  14. #704
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    Kinda mindblowing that he sticks to his lifelong pledge to never apologize for anything when he does something like this. Seems like a quick, (perhaps especially) insincere “I’m sorry” might go along way towards his cause.

  15. #705
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    Quote Originally Posted by versusreality View Post
    that retweet is getting a lot of traction all over the news.

    probably the most blantly racist thing he retweeted, even if it was "indirect" .
    He’s done worse and more graphic to Muslims with retweets. And his retweeted and then defended “85% of murdered whites are killed by blacks” graph was pretty goddamned insane. This is a slogan we all knew he more or less already endorsed. A horrible slogan, sure, but I actually find him more damaging when he gets more specific.

    Personally, the thing I find most interesting here is that this is just an average old man in a retirement village screaming this shit. I’ll bet that even shocks some of Trump’s fans. There are still plenty who don’t think he’s racist or that real racism still exists.

  16. #706
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    I wonder if that "white power" old dude will be voting for Biden, considering Trump is orange.

  17. #707
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    Quote Originally Posted by versusreality View Post
    I wonder if that "white power" old dude will be voting for Biden, considering Trump is orange.
    I’m actually pretty shocked he hasn’t been doxxed yet. Unless I just missed it.

  18. #708
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sesquipedalism View Post
    I’m actually pretty shocked he hasn’t been doxxed yet. Unless I just missed it.
    He will be... and the end truth is that he's an old man living in a senior living facility. We should probably just. let. it. go.

  19. #709
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    He will be... and the end truth is that he's an old man living in a senior living facility. We should probably just. let. it. go.
    That’s not a senior living facility! LOL, that’s The Villages!

    Land of Retiree STDs! LOL.

  20. #710
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    so, Trump actually re-tweeted a video where a Trump supporter yells out "white power"

    https://www.npr.org/sections/live-up...ng-white-power
    I was watching this video, thinking "how can a country become so polarized?". At the end of the day these are just two groups of people, both of which want happiness, health and well being, and meaning. How do you get two groups of people to shout at each other like this? The video reminded me of the hominid battle scene of Space Odyssey.

  21. #711
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    this country has been polarized since people wanted to remain under England vs. breaking free. many colonists wanted to remain under the King. polarization is nothing new. the topics of the polarization change. I wish it would end. but not in my lifetime.

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  23. #713
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    Quote Originally Posted by versusreality View Post
    this country has been polarized since people wanted to remain under England vs. breaking free. many colonists wanted to remain under the King. polarization is nothing new. the topics of the polarization change. I wish it would end. but not in my lifetime.
    I obviously side with the "anti-White Power" group, but I also think that such polarization won't help to reach an agreement. Which compromises should be made (if any)? Compromises in the fight against racism should not be made, BUT there are other things that these pro-Trumpers support...Sad to see such polarization not only in the US, but in other countries as well (Brazil, Mexico)

  24. #714
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    well at least someone did.

  25. #715
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    that's an interesting development.

  26. #716
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    I can't imagine a presidency surviving any one of these things, and yet here they are all at once. Teflon Don earned his name, for sure

  27. #717
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  28. #718
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    That's...encouraging.

    No wait. I need to take my meds. I think it's dread.

    Fuck. I don't know.

    What's the opposite of Stockholm Syndrome?

  29. #719
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegate View Post


    well at least someone did.
    I've never been on Twitch, but I understood it to be a gaming platform. And not that I wouldn't absolutely welcome the answer "Man can't quit The Sims," but what the fuck is Trump doing on Twitch?
    Last edited by Sesquipedalism; 06-30-2020 at 02:05 AM. Reason: Commas matter.

  30. #720
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    sadly, I don't expect much to come of this.

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