During her first press conference as White House press secretary, Jen Psaki claimed that Joe Biden would “bring transparency and truth back to the government to share the truth, even when it’s hard to hear.”
Yet again, Biden has failed to live up to his pledge of transparency by missing the congressionally imposed requirement that his administration share complete details of the Afghanistan evacuation, including a detailed list of those airlifted out of Kabul.
“The Biden administration was required by law to report to Congress by November 30 on the composition and vetting of the Afghan evacuees — including who actually got on our planes and just how many special immigrant visa holders, and others who helped US forces and our allies over the last 20 years were left behind. It has failed to do so,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), the top Republican on Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said in a statement.
The Continuing Resolution signed by Biden on Sep. 30 included language mandating that the Biden administration provide a detailed accounting of their ongoing evacuation and resettlement initiative by Nov. 29.
“The breakdown must include how many evacuees are at U.S. overseas bases or nonmilitary holding areas abroad, as well as the number of lawful permanent residents, SIV holders, SIV applicants, nonimmigrant visa holders, and refugee referrals,” explains the Washington Examiner. “Congress also asked that DHS disclose the number of Afghan evacuees who have been flagged as security concerns or are on the no-fly list, those who have been paroled into the U.S., and those who have been interviewed by DHS officials in relation to an application or petition for immigration benefits.”
It is hardly surprising that the Biden administration failed to be transparent on this. The administration has not been forthcoming on the numbers throughout the evacuation. Officials have refused to give details about the number of Americans evacuated, and the number of Americans they’ve admitted were left behind has gone up, not down, in the months following the botched withdrawal.
“The feckless nature of evacuation of Afghans has put our national security at risk, and I am troubled by the administration’s lack of responsibility or accountability on this issue,” Sen. Portman said.