Biden says he is completely REJECTING the results of the investigation in Afghanistan

Biden says he is completely REJECTING the results of the investigation in Afghanistan

President Biden denied the reports unearthed by the Army investigation, saying the administration failed to recognize the seriousness of the situation and diverted attention with special requests.

“No, that’s not what they told me,” Biden said when asked if the details of the report matched his account of events in an NBC interview on Wednesday. “It wasn’t a good time to get out, but if we didn’t get out, they admitted we’d have to bring a hell of a lot more troops back in.”

Asked whether he completely rejected the conclusions of the investigation conducted by the US Army, the president replied: “Yes, I deny it.”

“I reject them,” he added.

A Post report earlier this week showed frustration at the Pentagon as the White House and State Department failed to prepare the embassy for evacuation in the weeks leading up to the fall of Kabul.

But the Biden administration defended its withdrawal plan. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said this week that the National Security Council has been meeting for months to discuss an assessment of the situation and a plan of action in the event of an emergency.

White House officials insist they considered every possible option, but no one expected the Afghan military to fall apart so quickly.

Asked if he completely dismissed the conclusions of the US Army investigation, the president replied,

Asked if he completely dismissed the conclusions of the US Army investigation, the president replied, “Yes, I agree.”

Ross Wilson, the acting US ambassador to Afghanistan, wanted to maintain a diplomatic presence and said the US could not maintain influence without an embassy, ​​according to Rear Adm. Peter Vasseli, the top US commander on the ground in Kabul during the evacuation.

The Taliban quickly gained momentum, taking up to 10 districts a day, according to an unnamed official, who said: “The embassy needed to get in position to withdraw, and the ambassador didn’t get it.”

Administration officials also expressed concern that the alarm would cause panic, the rapid withdrawal of other nations, and the collapse of the government in Kabul.

Marine Brigade. General Farrell J. Sullivan said dealing with the embassy was “like pulling teeth” until early August, when reality hit him.

And a meeting with a representative of the National Security Council on August 6 prompted him to say that “the NSS did not seriously plan the evacuation.”

After the Taliban took control of the city, American troops reportedly went from room to room at the embassy on August 15, urging people to prepare to leave.

Vasseli said in an Army investigation that the withdrawal was made more chaotic by people like First Lady Jill Biden, Pope Francis, the White House and Congress asking for special favors to help get certain people out.

Vasseli said the Pentagon was pulled back and forth from Biden officials, lawmakers, the media and even the Vatican as it carried out the largest evacuation since Vietnam before the Taliban takeover.

He called the requests a “distraction” that creates competition for “already loaded resources”.

Waseli’s declassified comments, made public at the request of the Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, were made during a deposition as part of the US Army’s investigation into the Aug. 26 suicide bombing that killed 13 US troops and about 170 Afghan civilians.

The Pentagon’s standard priority was first to evacuate American citizens, then legal permanent residents, and then Afghans, who had helped the US throughout the war.

Rear Admiral Peter Vasseli, the US commander in chief in Kabul at the time of the evacuation, said the withdrawal was more chaotic due to people calling in with special requests.

Rear Admiral Peter Vasseli, the US commander in chief in Kabul at the time of the evacuation, said the withdrawal was more chaotic due to people calling in with special requests.

Demands were pouring into the US operations center in Kabul via email, text messages, and phone calls in such numbers that Vasily, a Navy SEAL, felt the need to withdraw certain forces from the approved rescue plan to form a “coordination cell.” work on special requests from Washington DC and other countries.

“You got everyone from the White House to prioritize with the new flavor of the day,” Vasseli told Army investigators.

The 2,000-page report, which contains dozens of military interviews and details the August 15-31 evacuation, shows the Pentagon’s deep frustration with the way the Biden administration handled the crisis.

Lead Army Investigator Brig. General Lance Curtis asked Vasseli if it was true that First Lady Jill Biden and Pope Francis sought help from specific people who were in danger.

US President Joe Biden looks down with First Lady Jill Biden as they attend a dignified handover of the remains of a fallen service member at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware, August 29.

US President Joe Biden looks down with First Lady Jill Biden as they attend a dignified handover of the remains of a fallen service member at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware, August 29.

Marines assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Force fly into Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, August 17.

Marines assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Force fly into Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, August 17.

A US Marine carries a girl to the boarding gate at Hamid Karzai International Airport August 20.

A US Marine carries a girl to the boarding gate at Hamid Karzai International Airport August 20.

“Quite right,” Vasily confirmed. “I was contacted by representatives of the Holy See to assist the Italian military contingent… in passing through groups… of particular interest to the Vatican. This is just one of many examples.

“I can’t stress enough,” the admiral added, “how these high-end requests were eating up bandwidth and creating contention for already depleted resources.”

The evacuation managed to evacuate 124,000 people before it ended at midnight on August 31, but the US was forced to make an unusual security deal with the Taliban, even though the terrorist group ISIS-K was able to carry out the deadly attack.

The Biden administration initially said there were only 100 American citizens left who wanted to leave, but repeatedly changed that number. Eventually officials said that 450 people left after the evacuation was completed with the help of the Americans.

And when it became clear that US forces were overwhelmed and some of those with Taliban targets on their backs would be left behind, volunteer groups stepped in to get people out on their own.

“Virtually every volunteer group can tell you stories about lawmakers and other people in positions of power calling and saying, ‘You need to get my guy out,’” said Scott Mann, founder of Task Force Pineapple, a private group that has helped more than 800 to escape the power of the Taliban.

Last week, the Pentagon released the results of its investigation into the airport attack. It states that the attack was carried out by a lone suicide bomber, and not a complex attack involving gunmen and a bomb, as previously thought.

The attack was the tragic end to a hasty US withdrawal from Afghanistan and has cast a shadow over the Biden administration ever since.

After informing reporters of their findings, the investigators said that the explosion sent 5mm ball bearings flying through the overcrowded crowd and that the attack could not have been prevented.

But they also said that British, American and Taliban officials discussed closing the gates of the abbey where the explosion took place just 36 minutes before the attack.

They left it open because evacuees were still trying to get into the airport.

And investigators released never-before-seen footage of the moment the bomb exploded and drone video immediately afterward.

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