FactCheck offered a welcome, if surprising, rebuttal last night to a talking point that the Biden administration has adopted even before the end of the retreat from Kabul. Their correction targeted Chuck Schumer for claiming that Joe Biden and his team had successfully evacuated “the Americans, all of whom wanted to come out,” a comment made in an interview with a local Syracuse news station on Friday.
But this argument didn’t originate with Schumer, and everyone knows it:
But at the moment, actually, I’m still focused on trying to get some of those brave Afghans out. The Americans, all of whom wanted to come out, have come out. Praise God. But there are a lot of Afghans who risked their lives for our soldiers and others. Many got out, some didn’t. And I’m still working on trying to get some of them out.
Not so fast, FactCheck wrote. Not only did we not get all American citizens out, the White House has dishonestly overlooked legal permanent residents (LPRs) in these calculations. Furthermore, Joe Biden broke a promise to remain until all of them did get out:
But the U.S. military did not evacuate all Americans who wanted to leave before the last soldier departed Afghanistan.
In his Aug. 31 speech on ending the 20-year war in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden said that the vast majority of Americans who wanted to get out had already been evacuated, with about “100 to 200 Americans” who intend to leave still in the country. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an Aug. 30 speech that the figure of Americans remaining was “likely closer to 100.”
As we wrote in a Sept. 2 story, that means that Biden broke his Aug. 18 promise that U.S. forces would remain in Afghanistan “to get them all out” — even if it was necessary to stay beyond Aug. 31.
The figure for remaining Americans also did not include U.S. legal permanent residents, or green card holders, who wanted to be evacuated, State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed in a Sept. 1 press briefing. Price said he was not able to provide “a firm figure as to how many LPRs may be in Afghanistan who wish to leave.”
I suspect it might not include all of the American citizens either. The estimates previous to the collapse of Kabul ran between ten to fifteen thousand US citizens as late as August 17, but that number dropped sharply toward the end to less than six thousand or so. That just conveniently provided a near match to the number of Americans that Biden got out before the final exit of the military from Kabul’s airport. Either we have a lot more citizens still stuck in Afghanistan, or we might have a really good look at the number of LPRs that remain trapped behind Taliban lines.
Either way, the State Department and the Biden administration have created the potential for a very lengthy series of hostage crises. Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer told Fox Business last night that we’re already in a hostage crisis of our own creation, and they’re trying to steal credit for one exfiltration to cover it up. In fact, Meyer accuses State of deliberately creating this crisis to provide cover for a massive funds transfer to the Taliban:
Er … that seems like a pretty long stretch. If we wanted to give the Taliban access to funds, we could have just agreed not to freeze Afghanistan’s accounts, or quietly unfroze them. That would have gone much more under the radar and would have prevented the historic stain on this presidency that abandoning Americans has created.
It’s understandable why Meyer is reaching for a conspiracy theory here, though. The abandonment of Americans behind enemy lines is soooo unthinkable that it almost requires some sort of overarching malevolent scheme to explain it. Unfortunately, Hanlon’s Razor still applies, which instructs us to assume stupidity and incompetence rather than malice if the former fits all the facts. And with Joe Biden and this disgraceful leadership, stupidity and incompetence are the compelling explanation.