On Thursday Joe Biden called an indefinite lid on making public remarks or appearances and reportedly left Washington and went to Delaware.
Then he abruptly changed course and delivered an address from the White House. He also took a small number of questions live from the media for the first time since the fall of Kabul, Afghanistan, to the Taliban. He has given one interview, to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, but that was a trainwreck despite ABC’s effort to cut out some of the most disturbing parts.
None of Biden’s actions since Afghanistan started rapidly deteriorating last weekend indicate stability or his administration’s confidence in his ability to lead or even comment on the situation. Every time he has thus far — last Monday, Wednesday, and then Friday — he has made the situation worse.
During Friday’s brief press conference a reporter asked Biden about the ongoing issue of Americans stranded in Kabul, and whether he would authorize the military to go out and rescue any. There have been reports that while our military is not proactively rescuing stranded Americans around the besieged city, British and other allied military forces are rescuing their stranded citizens.
Here is how that exchange went.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. Two questions for you. The military has secured the airport, as you mentioned, but will you sign off on sending U.S. troops into Kabul to evacuate Americans who haven’t been able to get to the airport safely?
THE PRESIDENT: We have no indication that they haven’t been able to get — in Kabul — through the airport. We’ve made an agreement with the — with the Taliban. Thus far, they’ve allowed them to go through. It’s in their interest for them to go through. So, we know of no circumstance where American citizens are — carrying an American passport — are trying to get through to the airport. But we will do whatever needs to be done to see to it they get to the airport.
That was Friday. After the president’s speech, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told members of Congress that she believed things were going well in Afghanistan and the stranded should just get to the airport.
Just wrapped a call with Sec. Austin, Sec. Blinken, and Gen. Milley for the second time on #Afghanistan. During the Q&A with Members, Speaker Pelosi just said "everything sounds like it's in a good place; everyone just needs to get to the airport."
— Congresswoman Kat Cammack (@RepKatCammack) August 20, 2021
A day later the U.S. State Department has issued the following warning to Americans stranded in Kabul.
Event: Because of potential security threats outside the gates at the Kabul airport, we are advising U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a U.S. government representative to do so.
U.S. citizens requesting assistance in departing the country who have not yet to completed the Repatriation Assistance Request for each traveler in their group should do so as soon as possible. Spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens in Afghanistan who are awaiting immigrant visas should also complete this form if they wish to depart. Do not call the U.S. Embassy in Kabul for details or updates about the flight. This form is the only way to communicate interest in flight options.
We will contact registered U.S. citizens as the security situation changes to provide further instructions.
Actions to take:
Be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially in large crowds.
Follow the instructions of local authorities including movement restrictions related to curfews.
Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
“…we are advising U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and avoid the airport gates at this time…”
In remarks the stranded Americans may have been able to watch, Joe Biden told them the opposite just a day prior, and Pelosi told the same to Congress — that they could and should go to the Kabul airport.
Among the questions before the nation now is whether Biden lied during his remarks on Friday, whether advisors are not telling him the truth of the situation, or whether he simply cannot retain or recall current, relevant facts. All of these possibilities are in play since the White House keeps trying to hide Biden for some reason or set of reasons.
Consider this. During his brief press conference on Friday, a reporter asked about the blistering reactions of U.S. allies in response to his handling of Afghanistan. Biden said he had heard of no criticism from U.S. allies.
What’s your message to America’s partners around the world who have criticized not the withdrawal, but the conduct of that withdrawal, and made — made them question America’s credibility on the world stage?
THE PRESIDENT: I have seen no question of our credibility from our allies around the world. I have spoken with our NATO Allies. We’ve spoken with NATO Allies — the Secretary of State. Our National Security Advisor has been in contact with his counterparts throughout the world with our Allies, as has the General — or, excuse me, I keep calling him a General, but my Secretary of Defense.
The fact of the matter is I have not seen that. Matter of fact, the exact opposite I’ve got — the exact opposite thing is we’re acting with dispatch, we’re acting — committing to what we said we would do.
Just a day before that, the British Parliament held Biden in contempt. Members of Parliament across the political spectrum including the current and former prime minister castigated Biden by name for criticizing the Afghan military and for abandoning Afghanistan — and for his failure to consult with the British and other NATO allies. They openly questioned whether NATO itself should be restructured so that the United States would play a reduced role in it, or no role at all.
Has Biden really not heard any of this? Has he not been briefed on this? Is he unable to process and remember it?
Or is he just lying about it?