Ex-CIA chief demands sanctions over Taliban bounty story, despite zero supporting evidence
- 11 July 2020
Leon Panetta, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency and Secretary of Defense under Barack Obama, said Washington may need to respond with “bold” action against Moscow, including sanctions, should allegations of Taliban* militants receiving bounty payments from Russian military intelligence operatives be proven – apparently unaware these reports have already been utterly discredited, APA reports citing Sputnik.
Speaking at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing 10th July, Panetta said such action by Russia would cross a line and require a response that could include diplomatic isolation, sanctions, and, “if necessary” military force. It was the third hearing this week alone in the Democratic-controlled House on the subject of the ‘bounty’ claims, and how Washington should respond. The same committee held a hearing 9th July with four military and foreign policy ‘experts’, while the House Armed Services Committee convened one of their own the same day with Defense Secretary Mark Esper and chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley.