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7/10/20 Gareth Porter on the Pentagon’s ‘Bountygate’ Hoax

7/10/20 Gareth Porter on the Pentagon’s ‘Bountygate’ Hoax
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Scott interviews Gareth Porter about the Russian bounties story, or “Bountygate” as it has come to be known. Porter describes attempts by outlets like the New York Times to portray this as a well-sourced story with consensus among America’s intelligence agencies—in reality, he says, the NSA and CIA have rated the intelligence with only low- to medium-confidence, and even the Department of Defense, which thoroughly investigates every U.S. death in Afghanistan, hasn’t found evidence to support the idea that the Russian government is paying bounties to the Taliban. Moreover, says Porter, Russia has very little to gain from such a policy, and a lot to lose. However, the people who would benefit from increased tensions with Russia are the war hawks in the U.S. government and the big players in the arms industry. Just like with the hundreds of other lies told by the U.S. government and sold by the media to benefit powerful military-industrial complex interests, we should be highly skeptical.

Discussed on the show:

The CIA Insider’s Guide to the Iran Crisis: From CIA Coup to the Brink of War

“How the Pentagon failed to sell Afghan government’s bunk ‘Bountygate’ story to US intelligence agencies ” (The Grayzone)
“Russian Spy Unit Paid Taliban to Attack Americans, U.S. Intelligence Says” (WSJ)
“Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says” (The New York Times)
“Spies and Commandos Warned Months Ago of Russian Bounties on U.S. Troops” (The New York Times)
“The Russian Bounties Hoax” (

Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist on the national security state, and author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. Follow him on Twitter @GarethPorter and listen to Gareth’s previous appearances on the Scott Horton Show.

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson;; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom;; Listen and Think Audio;; and

Donate to the show through Patreon, PayPal, or Bitcoin: 1Ct2FmcGrAGX56RnDtN9HncYghXfvF2GAh.

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About The Author

Scott Horton

Scott Horton is director of the Libertarian Institute, editorial director of, host of Antiwar Radio on Pacifica, 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles, California and podcasts the Scott Horton Show from this website. He’s the author of the 2017 book, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan. Visit

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