Holding the Biden Administration accountable for the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today welcomed the unprecedented agreement reached by Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to allow members of the Foreign Affairs Committee to view the dissent channel cable that was sent by 23 officials at the US Embassy in Kabul just one month before President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“The Biden Administration has failed to provide the truth to the American people about its disastrous and chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan,” said Smith, who pressed Blinken for answers at a congressional hearing in September 2021.
“This dissent cable will help provide critical insights into what was unfolding on the ground as President Biden was making misleading statements about the strength of the Afghan armed forces and advising then-President Ghani to ‘whether it is true or not…project a different picture’ about the Taliban’s battlefield successes,” Smith said.
“I applaud Chairman McCaul in securing committee access to this dissent cable from Secretary Blinken, and I look forward to viewing it as we continue to press for answers and hold the Biden Administration to account,” said Smith.
Earlier this year, Marine Sergeant Tyler Vargas-Andrews—who was stationed in Afghanistan at the time of the withdrawal and was injured in the bombing at Kabul Airport that took the lives of 13 fellow comrades—told Smith at a congressional hearing the Taliban brutalized people in front of US service members, knowing that the United States was “not going to do anything about it.”
“We communicated the atrocities to our chain of command and our intel assets but nothing came of it,” Vargas-Andrews testified.