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Thomas Gallatin / August 20, 2021

Biden Gets Caught in His Lies

The Afghanistan debacle exposes Scranton Joe’s habit of shading the truth.

As Joe Biden’s disastrous surrender and retreat from Afghanistan quickly deteriorated, along with America’s credibility in the eyes of our allies and enemies, Biden has been exposed not only as a feckless leader and inept president but as an untrustworthy serial liar. Who will believe anything he says moving forward.

On July 8, Biden told the American public that “the likelihood the Taliban is going to be overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.” We now know that was a bald-faced lie, as U.S. intelligence had spent weeks warning the administration of the rapid deterioration of the Afghan military in the face of the Taliban’s offensive. Even The New York Times reported: “In recent months, [intel] assessments became ever more pessimistic as the Taliban made larger gains, according to current and former officials. The reports this summer questioned in stark terms the will of Afghan security forces to fight and the ability of the Kabul government to hold power. With each report of mass desertions, a former official said, the Afghan government looked less stable.”

On July 13, a cable sent by 23 State Department officials working at the embassy in Kabul warned Secretary of State Antony Blinken of the rapid territorial gains of the Taliban and the collapse of the Afghan military in the face of it. The cable also provided recommendations for how to address the crisis and a more rapid and earlier evacuation schedule. In other words, how to act to avoid exactly the disaster that has unfolded. They also sent out warnings urging U.S. allies to swiftly evacuate Afghanistan weeks ago.

Now Biden’s engaged in another lie, claiming that the chaotic collapse was essentially unavoidable: “No, I don’t think it could have been handled in a way that, we’re gonna go back in hindsight and look — but the idea that somehow, there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens.” We now know there were other options on the table for to how to handle it differently. Biden rejected those options, and now he’s trying to spin his terrible judgment as “inevitability.”

Making matters worse, the Biden administration’s plan for evacuating Americans trapped in Afghanistan is incoherent and sloppy.

In a press conference earlier this week, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was asked about the U.S. military’s capability to get its citizens out. He gave an answer that should have gotten him fired on the spot: “We don’t have the capability to go out and collect large numbers of people.” He added, “We’re gonna get everyone that we can possibly evacuate evacuated, and I’ll do that as long as we possibly can, until the clock runs out, or we run out of capability.”

Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) responded with the appropriate indignation: “There is no clock by which we abandon our fellow citizens to the bloodthirsty Taliban. August 31 was an arbitrary, politically driven deadline. Biden and Defense Secretary Austin need to correct this immediately. Make it absolutely clear that come hell or high water the United States military will do whatever it takes to get every single American out of Afghanistan.”

So how does Biden think he’ll evacuate those thousands of trapped Americans? Hope the Taliban plays nice? His muddled answer in his recent ABC interview is telling: “I think [the Taliban are] going through sort of an existential crisis about do they want to be recognized by the international community as being a legitimate government. … But they also care about whether they have food to eat, whether they have an income that they can provide for their f— that they can make any money and run an economy. … I’m not counting on any of that. … I’m not sure I would’ve predicted … nor would … anyone else, that when we decided to leave, that [the Taliban would] provide safe passage for Americans to get out.”

Maybe that’s why ABC didn’t even run 1,000 words of that interview.

In effect, as The Wall Street Journal editorial board concludes, Biden has made the U.S. hostage to the Taliban. The bottom line in any drawdown is to first ensure that all civilians are evacuated before withdrawing the military. This is 101 level stuff that any amateur understands.

Meanwhile, Biden has gone back to his Delaware bunker, where he evidently hopes to ride out this colossal and worsening foreign policy blunder. He rode out his 2020 campaign to victory in that bunker, so maybe he figures he can similarly hide and wait out the Afghanistan debacle.

Good leaders don’t lie to their constituents and then run and hide when the charade falls apart. Cowards do.

(Updated.)

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