The press electing to avoid the anniversary of the Afghanistan debacle also means few questions regarding promises made.
Joe Biden’s decision to evacuate from Afghanistan last summer was such a botched job there is no one item to point to as the main problem. There was the choice of using the airport over the military base for extractions, abandoning tens of billions of dollars of military hardware, the ramshackle method of boarding anyone, bringing known terrorist watchlist members to America, leaving behind sympathizers and their families, turning over the country to a terrorist faction, and, of course, the bombing at the airport and the dissatisfaction with the families of those victims here in the states.
It is little wonder that the press has very little in the way of curiosity in the desire to shield Biden. The only thing you can say in the form of relief if you are Ron Klain and the other string-pullers in the administration is that so many new problems have arisen that it has been easy to move past this absolute fiasco of a termination policy. But for this piece, there is a focus on one aspect of this miasma of an exit strategy.
Think back to last August, as we watched the turmoil unfolding, how frequently we were assured that everyone was getting out. President Biden promised that anyone in country would be getting their extraction, with some hedging that any of those still remaining wanted to be there.
“If there’s American citizens left, we’re going to stay until they get out.”
– Joe Biden pic.twitter.com/0GjAmIAZYb
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 30, 2021
So inept was this operation that it took the efforts of a number of private entities to get Americans and assets out of the country for weeks after the extraction deadline. Two months later, quiet revelations were made that the number of those still behind was higher. But the press had moved on to other stories.
Today, reports have come out, following a year of media disinterest, that the number of people removed from Afghanistan since that fateful August – again, when promises were made no one was abandoned – is even significantly higher. Politico now details conclusions from a House investigation by the Republicans.
The U.S. government has evacuated more than 800 American citizens from Afghanistan since the Taliban swept to power and U.S. troops officially left the country last August, according to data provided by House GOP investigators and the State Department. The figure, which hasn’t been previously reported, highlights the ongoing nature of the efforts to make contact with and ultimately evacuate hundreds of Americans who were unable to leave Afghanistan as the U.S. military rapidly withdrew from the country last summer.
The data also underscores that hundreds more Americans were left behind in Afghanistan than was previously known.
At the end of last August, Anthony Blinken announced that the total of those left in Afghanistan was 100 individuals. Officials peg the number today of those taken out since that August deadline to be around 800, with the total likely over 1,000, taking into account those airlifted by the private enterprises. This goes far to extend the level of incompetence exhibited in this withdrawal effort, as now we are seeing the possibility the administration only acknowledged about 10 percent of those actually left behind.
It goes further, as Politico indicates that this House investigation was stymied at times by the Pentagon, and the State Department. Instead, pertinent information that helped their cause came from some former officials from those departments, and whistleblowers who had familiarity with the extraction program.
Instead of gaining clarity and closure after a year, we are learning there is only more obfuscation and worse data coming out about this entire enterprise. That the media complex is largely unwilling to hold this administration accountable and challenge them for explanations on the growing list of matters is just another component of this scandalous result.