Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says . Subhead: "The Trump administration has been deliberating for months about what to do about a stunning intelligence assessment".
President's denials. Bipartisan investigations loom.
With this story unfolding hourly, some context would seem in order:
As the U.S. plunges ahead toward the 2020 national election it is arguably even more divided than at other critical times in the nation's history of choosing presidents. Future historians no doubt will assess whether today's national deep divisions and distress are comparable to, or if they exceed, those of choosing presidents in extremely troubling times in U.S. history -- the advent to the Civil War; Depression; and the Vietnam War .
In 2020, the nation faces political/social/economic challenges of comparable dimensions while confronting an economy-scorching and soul-searing global pandemic -- all of this monitored by millions of cell phone video cameras feeding a never-ending "news cycle."
New York Times columnist summed this up as, "America Is Facing 5 Epic Crises All at Once" (subhead in print edition: "This is our lives' most important moment"). The five crises: "we are losing the fight against Covid-19...we're giving up;... undergoing a rapid education on the burdens African-Americans carry every day;...we're in the middle of a political realignment; ... a quasi-religion is seeking control of America's cultural institutions; ... we could be on the verge of a prolonged economic depression."
All of this when reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S are re-surging even beyond earlier peaks; some 40 million Americans are jobless; and broadly-based racial/social justice protests continue across the country heading into a second month.
Finally, added to this roiling American society, leadership of the U.S. Department of Justice - and therefor administration of the justice system in the country - is itself in great duress. This week, this scathing testimony at a U.S. House of Representatives hearing: "Justice Dept. Officials Outline Claims of Politicization Under Barr"
The "way home" from this unprecedented toxic confluence is uncharted. But it will undoubtedly require national unity and resolve on a heroic scale.