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Biden Administration Blasted for Lack of Transparency in Afghanistan Withdrawal

Sgt. Isaiah Campbell/U.S. Marine Corps via AP

A Congressional oversight hearing on Wednesday painted a dire picture of the situation in Afghanistan after President Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal of military forces from the region in 2021. The aftermath of the disaster has caused no small level of devastation in the country.

Yet, it appears that the Biden administration and its close friends and allies in the activist media are intent on ensuring that the American public knows as little about it as possible.

As you might recall, the withdrawal took place in August 2021. After all was said and done, 13 service members lost their lives to a terrorist attack that could have been prevented, along with billions of dollars of military equipment left behind for the Taliban to enjoy after the group regained control of the country.

During the hearing, lawmakers demanded answers and accountability from the Biden administration regarding the decision-making process and execution of the withdrawal. They scrutinized the handling of the exit, the use of taxpayer funds, and the lack of transparency in the administration’s communication with Congress and the public.

The hearing also shed more light on the challenges faced by U.S. citizens and allies who were left behind in Afghanistan after the removal of American troops and the efforts being made to assist them. To put it simply, the situation on the ground is one of chaos as the Taliban continues exerting control over the region.

Diana Shaw, the deputy inspector general for the State Department, noted that the number of Afghanis needing humanitarian assistance has doubled. She noted that “the rights of women and girls have been severely curtailed.”

“The hearing featured four witnesses, all watchdogs over the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of State, the Department of Defense as well as the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR),” according to Just the News.

In his opening statement. Rep. James Comer (R-KY) said that “Joe Biden lost [the Afghanistan war].”

He continued:

There was no exit with dignity. Today, the Taliban flag flies over Kabul. There is no American military base there. There is no American embassy there. There is no hope there, especially for women and girls who are now terrorized by the Taliban. This is Joe Biden’s legacy.

Robert Storch, the inspector general for the Defense Department, referred to the Afghanistan withdrawal as a “strategic failure” and said the country’s collapse “unfolded more quickly than the U.S. Intelligence Community, the Afghan government, or even the Taliban expected.”

Of course, Democrats defended Biden’s handling of the affair and attempted to blame former President Donald Trump. Rep Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said the former president “moved forward with the withdrawal even as the Taliban increased violent attacks against the Afghan government and refused to sever ties with terrorist groups.”

This echoes the line coming from the White House in the aftermath of the withdrawal. It claimed that Biden’s options for executing the withdrawal “were severely constrained by conditions created by his predecessor.”

What is also noteworthy about this matter is how the Biden administration has seemingly attempted to prevent more damaging information from surfacing.

During an episode of Fox Business Network’s “The Bottom Line,” Rep. Comer responded to testimony from Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction John Sopko, who stated he could not guarantee that American tax dollars are not funding the Taliban. He also said the Biden administration has obstructed his efforts to investigate.

The lawmaker blasted the Biden administration for its lack of transparency. He accused the White House of blocking inspectors general from accessing information about how taxpayer dollars are being spent, which he believes indicates that the money is likely going to the Taliban. He said:

We’re trying to make it known to the American people that this is the least transparent administration in the history of our country. This administration continues to waste taxpayer dollars to the [tune] of hundreds of billions of dollars. I don’t think very many Americans realize we’ve spent $8 billion in Afghanistan this year. And what we learned from the hearing today is the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction, he cannot guarantee that 100% of that did not go to the Taliban. He doesn’t know where a penny of that went. … And the fact that this administration — whether it be the Department of Defense, the Department of State, or the White House — continues to block the inspector generals from having access to where the taxpayer dollars are being spent says a lot. It says [it] probably is going to the Taliban.

 

Nevertheless, the truth will eventually come out despite Biden’s efforts to conceal information showing just how deeply his team’s ineptitude went when it came to removing American troops from Afghanistan. It was clear even to Democrats that the situation was handled improperly. It placed Americans and Afghans in even more danger because Biden favored an approach that prioritized withdrawing soldiers over ensuring that civilians and Afghan allies were able to be evacuated safely.

No matter how much the White House and the media are trying obfuscate the administration’s responsibility for the current situation in Afghanistan, they cannot hide it forever. Unfortunately, even when the whole truth emerges, there is unlikely to be any sense of accountability, which means this type of situation will happen again.

The opinions expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of RedState.com.

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