I can still remember the early days of the Biden presidency when we were subjected to lofty promises of transparency and honesty.
Jen Psaki promised on her first day as White House press secretary that Joe Biden planned to “bring transparency and truth back to the government to share the truth, even when it’s hard to hear.”
It’s a promise he’s failed to live up to many times—but the worst has been in the wake of the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. We’ve been treated to a lot of misleading information about evacuation numbers. We were usually given large numbers representing the total number of people evacuated on a given day, without many details. How many were Americans? How many were Afghan refugees? How many were actually evacuated by U.S. troops and not other countries? At one point, we were told by the White House that 50,000 people were evacuated over a two-week period, but according to a leaked cable from the State Department, it was actually closer to 27,000, of which only about 4,400 were even American citizens.
When Biden fully withdrew from Afghanistan, he claimed that only 100-200 Americans were left behind. Of course, even one American who wanted to get out but was left behind is a tragedy, but I submit we can’t even trust the White House’s figure.
According to a U.S. official who spoke with the Daily Caller in August, based on the number of Americans still in the country at the time and the rate actual American citizens were being evacuated, there’d be over 5,000 left behind by the August 31 deadline, not a couple hundred.
Veteran-led rescue groups have also said the Biden administration’s estimate is too low and that hundreds more are still in the country.
So we can’t trust the Biden administration to be straight with the American public right now—despite Psaki’s promise that Biden would “share the truth, even when it’s hard to hear.”
Republicans have sought to find out the exact number of Americans left behind in Afghanistan, but the Biden administration once again failed to achieve the transparency it promised. A group of 26 Republican senators gave Biden a deadline of 5 p.m. on Tuesday to give the public a full and accurate account of who was left behind after U.S. troops left on August 30.
That deadline was missed.
“President Biden and Biden-Harris administration officials have no idea who has been getting on their planes, but they don’t want to admit that because it would show they stranded Americans and Afghan SIVs while failing to vet planeloads of incoming people,” Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) told Fox News in a statement.
“Joe Biden’s incompetence and inability to understand foreign policy left 13 U.S. soldiers murdered and others injured,” Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said in a statement. “Biden willingly left hundreds of Americans stranded behind enemy lines. It is sadly not surprising that Biden’s administration is so clueless, they are unable to even detail who they abandoned in Afghanistan.”
The real number may be hard to hear, but we ought to know. But I dare say we’ll probably never find out exactly how many Americans were left behind in Afghanistan. One was too many, but the real number would probably devastate his presidency.