Did Russia do it?
Vladimir Putin says no, and we know what that is worth.
President Donald J. Trump says he didn’t see the material that was included in his briefing material, and we know what that’s worth.
The former KGB officer versus the builder/TV show host with a well-deserved reputation for falling short of honesty.
To paraphrase Yakov Smirnoff, what a choice.
We don’t know the truth, but we do have information and intuition.
Russia is accused of offering a bounty to the Taliban to kill American and Allied troops.
Does that sound like something Russia, that nice friend of ours, would do? Just kidding.
Is it something Putin would do?
Of course it is. His aim is to oppose American interests anywhere and everywhere. When he knocks the U.S. down, it builds Russia up. It needs all the help it can get because their entire GNP is less than Texas — $1.8 trillion to Moscow’s $1.6 trillion. A Slavic economic basket case.
Take away oil and stealing neighbor’s territory, Russia has no economy. Manufacturing? Would you want to fly in an aircraft manufactured in Russia? Or a car? (Props to them building space rockets; they do that well.)
Before we good Americans get our noses too far out of joint, let’s remember when the Russkis made the tragic mistake of invading Afghanistan, the CIA and others were busy providing money and arms to the wonderful mujahideen, who turned on us after they drove out the Russians.
Now maybe the CIA didn’t tell the Northern Alliance, “We will pay you two mules and three goats for each Taliban,” but the same principle applies.
If Russia did do it, they could say, “I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you do sticks to you.”
Or something similar.
The reporting I’ve read missed an important point.
What was the amount paid for each dead Western soldier?
An AP story said Seal Team Six (thanks for Osama, boys) found $500,000 in U.S. currency during a raid, which lends support to the bounty story. But that doesn’t tell me the price per scalp.
How much would you have to pay me to eat a pint of rocky road ice cream?
Oh, you don’t know me. You’d have to pay me nothing. I would do it for free.
And the Taliban would kill Americans for free — if they did it. That means the Russians were paying for something they could get for free.
But that does not mean it did not happen.
For the past few days, Democrats have fallen on this story like a hawk on a prairie dog.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi revived one of her favorite themes — what Putin “has on” Trump?
That could be true, too.
Now that Trump has learned about the bribery plot, if true, what should he do about it?
Sanctions on Russia? Assassinate Putin? Cancel the contract for the Moscow Trumpski Tower?
There are a lot of “ifs” here, so I will add one more: If it is true, the U.S. ought to pay back the Russians deadly and quietly.
Let Seal Team Six decide.