Where does our self-proclaimed “woman warrior” appointed, not elected, Senator Martha McSally stand on ‘Bounty Gate’: Trump takes Putin’s side (again), will not defend lives of American soldiers.
According to The Arizona Republic:
Sen. Martha McSally most wants to know how classified information leaked that reportedly points to Russia covertly offering bounties for the deaths of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, not what President Donald Trump knew of the alleged program.
McSally avoided criticizing Trump on Tuesday, unlike some members of Congress who were troubled by reports that the president didn’t take action against the Kremlin after he was presented with the view that Russia was behind bounty payments to Taliban-linked militants for U.S. troops.
McSally, who read classified documents related to the allegations Tuesday morning, had harsh words for the leaking of the intelligence information and the politicization of it.
“I’m deeply concerned about what happened here process-wise, where information that had not fully been vetted, where there isn’t full agreement among the intelligence agencies, is now leaked, and then politicized, unfortunately, like everything is,” McSally said during an interview that aired Wednesday with The Arizona Republic and its political podcast, The Gaggle.
“… There’s, again, all sorts of intelligence pieces of information I’ve seen in my military career, that if we were just going to run to the president every time we saw a report, that would cause all sorts of challenges, and often moving in directions of things that don’t get verified. Let the intelligence community have their process.”
Did this servile senator even read the news coverage? Trump was reportedly personally briefed by his National Security Advisor John Bolton in 2019, and the Russian bounty intelligence was included in his presidential daily briefings (PDB) as late as February 29 of this year. U.S. intelligence briefed our British ally last week, as well as members of Congress.
Focusing on leaks to the media rather than “what did the president know, and when did he know it?” and “why is the president siding with Vladimir Putin in dismissing this intelligence, and asserting that it does not merit a response to protect the lives of American soldiers?,” or even “why the hell doesn’t he read his PDB?” is ‘Like yelling squirrel’: White House goes after media over Russia bounty story:
It’s become standard operating procedure for the White House: Redirect attention to the media when pressed about Trump’s knowledge of — and response to — various threats … The tactic has had the effect of distracting from the intelligence itself. Yet it has also inadvertently revealed how intelligence gets from the ground to the president’s desk.
“It’s a deflection — it’s like yelling ‘Squirrel!’ — they’re not addressing what the underlying substance is, they’re trying to point to the shiny object in the corner,” said Mark Zaid, a national security attorney whose clients include the whistleblower who initially revealed the details of Trump’s controversial phone call with the Ukrainian president. “The White House has only made it worse by their deflection because it’s turned the whole situation upside down so the underbelly is exposed.”
Aaron Marquez, an Army intelligence analyst writes at the Tucson Weekly, Why Isn’t Martha McSally Outraged Over the Russian Bounty Scandal?
I deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 as a Civil Affairs Team Leader in Mazer-e Sharif. I patrolled the rural Afghan villages of Chimtal and Chahar Bolak, leading reconstruction projects in these communities during a time I thought was the twilight of the war. I was wrong about the war coming to an end, now an ongoing two-decade conflict and by far the longest in U.S. history.
I returned to Afghanistan in 2016, this time as the commander of a small detachment of Army Reserve Soldiers from Arizona conducting intelligence operations in support of counter-terrorism operations throughout the country.
When the New York Times reported that Russia was paying Taliban fighters to kill American soldiers I was not surprised. Sadly, I was also not surprised to learn that President Trump and the White House’s National Security Council have done nothing in response.
Russia is our adversary, virtually every elected member of Congress agrees on that. We can’t trust them, and we know they want to undermine our democracy. That’s why Congress sanctioned Russia for meddling in the 2016 election.
Congress, in the House and the Senate, needs to conduct a full investigation to understand the breakdowns at the highest level of our government that have failed to protect American troops serving overseas.
Martha McSally, a fellow veteran who was appointed to the late John McCain’s U.S. Senate seat, was asked about the New York Times report earlier this week, and her response was shocking and offensive.
McSally told the Arizona Republic “ I’m just concerned about the leaking here and the politicization of it.”
The leaking? The politicization?
Senator McSally, how about you show some concern for your brothers and sisters in combat who are putting their lives on the line to create a safer world? How about you show some anger over a president and an administration who will turn a blind eye to naked aggression from a nation you yourself have called one of America’s top adversaries? How about you recognize that as a U.S. Senator you have the power to do something about it? Stand up to the President and call for the Senate investigation.
Refuting McSally’s uninformed assertion that the intelligence had not fully been vetted:
As someone trained in the collection, analysis, and reporting of intelligence I know what goes into corroborating information before briefing a commander. To make it into the president’s daily brief, information must be deemed urgent and credible. The Commander in Chief and his National Security Council had this information and took no action.
I’m disappointed that Martha McSally is putting her political allies above the safety of American troops—the men and women that she served with. She should spend her Fourth of July weekend thinking about why she wants to serve Arizonans in the first place, what it means to defend democracy, and her oath to defend the Constitution against all foreign enemies.
McSally did tell The Republic, speaking in generalities, that “America must hold Russia accountable for its malevolent activity around the world while also keeping American troops safe.” But she did not offer any concrete actions that she would take to do this on the Senate Armed Services Committee, or even promise to investigate this matter.
Instead, she simply yelled “squirrel!” like the loyal Trump lapdog that she is, attacking the media to distract from the complete dereliction of duty of Donald Trump siding with Vladimir Putin and refusing to take any substantive actions to protect the lives of American soldiers in Afghanistan.
I think we all know what the senator whom she replaced, the late Senator John McCain, would be saying about this scandal. He would be demanding Trump’s head on a silver platter daily. I never much cared for John McCain, but on this point we could both agree. Country First.