If there weren’t enough things already in the basket regarding the Russian attack on Ukraine — from the danger of nuclear blackmail to the war contributing to the price of oil skyrocketing, in addition to the thousands dead and the carnage being wreaked upon Ukraine — now add another.
Victoria Nuland, Joe Biden’s Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, was testifying before the Senate on Tuesday about Ukraine.
When Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) asked her an important question, I’m not sure he expected the answer that he got from her. Rubio asked her if Ukraine has chemical or biological weapons. Her response was fascinating and concerning.
Ukraine has "biological research facilities," says Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland, when asked by Sen Rubio if Ukraine has biological or chemical weapons, and says she's worried Russia may get them. But she says she's 100% sure if there's a biological attack, it's Russia. pic.twitter.com/uo3dHDMfAS
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 8, 2022
Nuland said Ukraine has “biological research facilities.” She said that the U.S. was “quite concerned” that Russian troops might be seeking to “gain control of” these facilities. She said that the U.S. was working with the Ukrainians to make sure none of those “research materials” would fall into the hands of the Russians.
Rubio then mentioned that Russia was already putting out propaganda about a plot by the Ukrainians to release biological weapons in the country with NATO’s coordination. He asked her if there was any doubt that if there is a release, it would come from Russia, and she confirmed there would be no doubt.
So, a few observations: She didn’t respond “no” to the question of are there any chemical or biological weapons, she answered there were these facilities. Then she said they were working to make sure these “research materials” wouldn’t fall into the hands of the Russians and she was concerned about that. So if the material is benign, what are they so concerned about? What was in the labs? Why is the U.S. involved in helping make sure of this? Was there a U.S. connection to the labs? That needs to be answered here. And if they are concerned about the Russians getting this, why are they talking about this in an open session and not in a classified setting?
Now, Nuland’s testimony just gave ammunition to all kinds of conspiracy theories and steam to the Russian propaganda. So if the point was not to do that — if they thought they were trying to clarify there was nothing problematic here, they failed badly, Russia is already using her testimony.
If Rubio thought he was cleaning it up, he concerned me more with talk of a release of some kind. What do they think is going to happen here? What is he trying to cover without saying? Again, more questions.
Just a reminder that Nuland featured prominently in Ukraine in 2014 in an infamous phone call about who they should be promoting for leadership in Ukraine during the Obama Administration. Here was White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki being asked about it in 2014 when she was the State Department spokesperson:
In 2014 a private phone call from Victoria Nuland was leaked. It's still on Youtube. She is heard describing our government's plans for Ukraine after the coup. She discusses who we were putting in charge, Biden's role, and she says "F the EU."
Psaki was asked about it in 2014. pic.twitter.com/LWdYst6qCP
— Maze (@mazemoore) March 7, 2022
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