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Stars and Stripes Rumor Doctor: ‘Jihad monkey’ report is fake

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Internet goes bananas over bizarre ‘Jihad monkey’ report

It’s too bad “The Rumor Doctor” wasn’t practicing at Stars and Stripes during the lead-up to the US invasion of Iraq a few years back which was dependent on false WMD reports. But, thankfully, the independent news source for American troops, which is partially subsidized by the Department of Defense, is currently working hard to refute a silly report that the Taliban is recruiting monkeys to kill US troops.

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The New York Post reports:

According to The People’s Daily in China, the Taliban in Afghanistan is “training monkeys to use weapons to attack American troops.”

The newspaper’s bizarre story says the Islamic insurgents have drafted macaques and baboons to be all that they can be, arming them with AK-47 rifles, machine guns and trench mortars in the Waziristan tribal region near the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The monkeys, being rewarded with bananas and peanuts, are being turned into snipers at a secret Taliban training base.

The newspaper says “photos have been widely spread by media agencies and Web sites across the world.”

Most websites mocked the report.

From New York Magazine:

No invader has ever conquered Afghanistan, and now we know why. The monkeys will not allow it. It was a good effort, but it’s time to pack it in. This is no longer a fight we can win.

Dallasblog’s Tom McGregor wrote,

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If the “monkey terrorists” are successfully trained, it could lead to an embarrassing situation if an American soldier is shot and wounded by a monkey on the battlefield. How would he tell his story to family and friends when they ask about his ‘Purple Heart’ medal?

At Gawker, Hamilton Nolan mocked,

Monkey soldiers of killer doom? Prehensile terror tails and teeth! Trained macaques wielding automatic weapons and Islamofasctist sympathies! The word is finally out: the Taliban is using the CIA’s murder monkey program against us. The troops! The troops!

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But at Stars and Stripes, Jeff Schogol donned his white coat to investigate the report in two articles.

On Tuesday, Schogol asked, “Could it possibly be true that the Taliban are training monkeys to fire heavy weapons at U.S. troops in Afghanistan?”

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The Rumor Doctor asked NATO officials whether these killer monkeys have yet been encountered on the battlefield in Afghanistan.

“We have absolutely nothing that leads us to believe that this tale could be even remotely based in reality,” said NATO spokesman Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale.

When asked if the Chinese government thought the People’s Daily Online story is true, Chinese Embassy spokesman Wang Baodong did not answer directly.

“I took note of the fact that the People’s Daily’s story was based on a recent report by a British-based media agency,” Baodong said in an e-mail. “What I want to stress is that the Chinese government is opposed to terrorism of any forms, and this stand is consistent and clear.”

“To be fair, the Doctor wanted to contact the Taliban press office, but he couldn’t find a phone number or e-mail address,” Schogol joked. “If any Taliban reading this would like to comment, please send The Doctor your coordinates.”

On Wednesday, Schogol’s follow-up report noted, “The Rumor Doctor has come across some monkey business regarding those photos purportedly showing a Taliban-trained primate posing with a machine gun.”

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But an alert reader sent The Rumor Doctor a version of the picture in which the baboon is on a leash and the machine gun has an orange tip, revealing it is a toy.

“I collect a lot of weird, unusual, humorous photos and images I find on the web, and this happened to be in my collection,” said Staff Sgt. Roy Dunigan in an e-mail Wednesday. “I can’t remember where I found it. I had intended to use it for a training Power Point at one time since I like to inject a bit of humor here and there when I train soldiers.”

The Rumor Doctor tried calling the Chinese People’s Daily, but the language barrier prevented The Doctor from effectively navigating the newspaper’s automated phone system.

To be fair, RAW STORY wanted to contact Schogol for comments, but staff members were unable to pick up a telephone without laughing.

This video is from Next Media Animation News, uploaded to YouTube June 29, 2010.

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Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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WATCH: John Oliver exposes Trump’s lies about vote-by-mail — and the Fox News ‘cult’ claiming the election is already ‘rigged’

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"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver's main story Sunday refuted President Donald Trump's latest crusade against vote-by-mail. Trump announced on Twitter that the more people who vote in an election, the more Republicans tend to lose. So, he wants fewer people to have access to the ballot in November, even if people are too scared to go out during the coronavirus crisis.

Oliver called out Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R-MO), who outright told people not to vote if they were too afraid to vote in the local elections next week.

"Well, hold on there," Oliver interjected. "Voting is a right. It has to be easy to understand and accessible to anyone."

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John Oliver rips Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for urging ‘order’ from people of color — but never demanding it of police

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John Oliver opened his Sunday show, shredding Fox News host Tucker Carlson for uring "order" among protesters, but refusing to urge "order" to police and "wannabe police" who can't stop killing people.

It's a lot, Oliver explained. "How these protests are a response to a legacy of police misconduct, both in Minneapolis and the nation at large and how that misconduct is, itself, built on a legacy of white supremacy that prioritizes the comfort of white Americans over the safety of people of color."

While some of it is complicated, Oliver conceded, most of it is "all too clear."

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Cars set on fire blocks from White House as DC protests turn violent

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The Washington, D.C. protests turned violent as the city approached the 11 p.m. curfew the mayor instituted Sunday afternoon.

The policy of D.C. police is that when they are attacked, they advance forward. So, when fireworks were fired, the line of officers began pushing the protesters back further from the White House. Behind the line of police officers also stand a line of National Guard troops that President Donald Trump has demanded stand watch in the city.

Lights that normally shine on the White House have also been turned off, reporters revealed.

https://twitter.com/markknoller/status/1267291138655956992

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