In what President Biden declared an “extraordinary success,” as many as 9,000 Americans were abandoned during the administration’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan last August, a new Senate report says.
Whereas Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed at the time that fewer than 200 Americans who wanted out were left behind by the Biden administration, a new 64-page report from Senate Foreign Relations Committee Republicans reveals that untold thousands were deserted by the administration.
At the peak of the evacuation, the report says, Biden’s own State Department estimated there were between 10,000 and 15,000 Americans in Afghanistan. But when evacuation efforts ended Aug. 31, only 6,000 had been rescued. Thus, by the administration’s own numbers, between 4,000 and 9,000 Americans remained after the chaotic Taliban takeover.
That would be an astonishing discrepancy from the “approximately 100 to 150” Blinken claimed in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in September. Fox News’ Sean Hannity called the Senate’s comprehensive document a “bombshell report.”
“While there is substantial disagreement about the policy to leave Afghanistan,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Jim Risch said in a statement, “Americans share outrage over how the United States withdrew last August, and what that failure has done to America’s standing in the world.”
Lara Logan, one of the few journalists to continue reporting on the Afghanistan aftermath, tweeted about the Senate’s report: “Once again, those of us living through this were right – and honest – from the start, while those w power lied & lied & lied.”
George Packer, one of the only other writers who hasn’t let go of Afghanistan, has written “The Betrayal,” a tour de force article in The Atlantic detailing the bungled Afghanistan exit and catastrophic results. Noting Packer’s work, and Biden’s Afghanistan-induced plunge in the polls, The Washington Post’s David Von Drehle writes, “The more one learns about the pullout from Afghanistan, and the willful betrayal of our friends, the more perceptive and just (the voters’) judgment appears.”
Axios also reports that, “Leaked notes from a White House Situation Room meeting the day before Kabul fell shed new light on just how unprepared the Biden administration was to evacuate Afghan nationals who’d helped the United States in its 20-year war against the Taliban.”
Now the Senate report has issued an equally incriminating indictment on the Biden administration’s failure to evacuate American citizens.