News & Politics

Biden Said Americans Are Having No Trouble Getting to Kabul Airport. His Own Defense Secretary Disagrees.

Biden Said Americans Are Having No Trouble Getting to Kabul Airport. His Own Defense Secretary Disagrees.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

During his speech defending his actions during the Afghanistan debacle at the Kabul airport, Joe Biden said that Americans wanting to leave Kabul weren’t having any problems getting to the airport.

“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,” claimed Biden. “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.”

Just minutes later, according to Politico, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin directly contradicted Biden and added that Americans trying to get to the airport have been beaten.

During the briefing call, Austin called the reports of Taliban beatings “unacceptable,” but did not elaborate on efforts to ensure Americans’ safe passage to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan’s capital city. He specifically declined to “rule in or out” the possibility of U.S. troops moving beyond the airport to help Americans and others get to safety.

“We’re also aware that some people, including Americans, have been harassed and even beaten by the Taliban,” Austin said on the call, according to multiple sources. “This is unacceptable and [we] made it clear to the designated Taliban leader.”

Austin added that “with the exception of those cases, we continue to see Americans and appropriately credentialed Afghans continue to move through.”

And the White House wonders why the president’s credibility on the bugout has disappeared?

Related: Biden’s Bungle: U.S. General Tells British Special Forces Commander in Kabul to Stop Rescuing Your Citizens, You’re Making the U.S. Look Bad

The White House has taken to pointing fingers at the media, of all entities. Apparently, Biden and his allies are unhappy that the liberal media is “too hawkish” in its reporting on Afghanistan and has forgotten to be fair.

Oh, really?


Although the White House’s failure to foresee the rapid fall of the Afghan government and prepare accordingly has exacerbated the chaos of the U.S. withdrawal, Biden and his allies are furious with what they see as reporters’ and pundits’ unduly hawkish coverage of the exit.

“The media tends to bend over backwards to ‘both-sides’ all of their coverage, but they made an exception for this,” said Eric Schultz, a deputy press secretary under President Barack Obama. “They both-sides coverage over masks, and vaccines, and school openings and everything else. Somehow [the Afghanistan withdrawal] created a rush to judgment and a frenzy that we haven’t seen in a long time.”

Welcome to the world of a Republican president.

The media “both sides” coverage of an issue only if they can frame the opposing side in the worst possible light.

For example, the “both sides” coverage of the mask debate is usually framed as one side following the science and the other believing internet conspiracy theories. Not very helpful.

“The extent to which the media is privileging voices who have gotten this wrong for years is ridiculous,” he said. “What we’re seeing is an attempt by the Washington foreign policy establishment to expiate its sins of over 20 years by putting this on the Biden administration.”

Is that a touch of self-pity? What they are “putting on Biden” is the growing clusterfark of the withdrawal which was begun without much thought and with an extraordinary lack of contingency planning. Biden owns this debacle. Discussions of the previous 20 years aren’t relevant to the debate over the president’s incompetent withdrawal.

Now, Biden appears to be saying we should put our trust in the murderous Taliban terrorists and their al-Qaeda allies and hope our people make it out.

Exit question: How confident are you that everything is going to turn out well and our people will all get out alive?