Did Joe Biden lie about speed of Taliban takeover? US diplomats warned of Kabul's fall in July
Antony Blinken received a memo on July 13 from 23 diplomats warning of the catastrophe and urged evacuation operations to start from August 1
In his speech to the nation, a couple of days ago Joe Biden squarely stood behind the total withdrawal of US troops in Afghanistan. He acknowledged the fall of the crisis-torn nation was faster than expected. "This did unfold more quickly than we anticipated," he said and in the same speech placed most of the blame on Afghans for the fast-paced Taliban conquest. However, new reports have emerged stating that the Biden administration knew fully well the nation would fall to the Taliban if troops withdrew.
Biden's handling of the Afghanistan crisis is being questioned by Americans as well as relevant political voices across the country. Earlier this week, former Navy SEAL Robert O'Neill who claimed to have killed Osama Bin Laden took a swipe at Biden for being on vacation at Camp David while terror unfolded in Afghanistan. Biden invited fresh trouble for himself after George Stephanopoulos pressed Biden over the disorganized evacuation attempts where three Afghans fell from the USAF jet engines mid-air while trying to escape the country. "It was four days ago, five days ago," he said snapping back.
Did Joe Biden lie about swift Taliban takeover?
According to a new report, State Department officials in Kabul embassy warned the Biden administration about the national capital's fall in July. Requests for the evacuations to speed up were also made. Some 23 diplomats sent a memo in a dissent channel to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on July 13 with information about the Taliban gaining rapid control in the country, warning about Kabul's vulnerable position and the subsequent fall of the Afghan security forces.
The cable was sent to Blinken and Director of Policy Planning Salman Ahmed. The report states Blinken received the cable and reviewed it shortly after receipt according to a person with knowledge of the exchange. An emergency planning was already underway when Blinken received intel and he had welcomed the feedback. State Department spokesman Ned Price told the Journal, "He’s made clear that he welcomes and encourages use of the dissent channel, and is committed to its revitalization. We value constructive internal dissent."
A former CIA counter-terrorism chief also notified the president's campaign of Kabul's fall within days with a depleted American presence. In a recent interview released on August 19, Biden claimed he wasn't told about the possibility of the capital falling so rapidly. On Wednesday, August 18, chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, Mark Milley said he didn't receive any intel about the Afghan government's fast-paced downfall. "There was nothing that I or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days," Milley said.
The Biden administration is under a lot of pressure to answer what was done and what wasn't to stop the Afghan catastrophe. Biden has shifted blame to the intelligence community more than once since August 15, including his Townhall interview with Stephanopoulos. "Number one, as you know, the intelligence community did not say back in June or July that, in fact, this was gonna collapse like it did," Biden said during the interview. At another point, during the interview, Biden said he could not remember being advised by senior Pentagon figures to maintain a military presence in Afghanistan. However, reports suggest he was asked to leave 2,500 troops behind to train the Afghan forces.