A report in Politico about what the U.S. knew about the suicide attack ahead of time is now causing a stir because a reporter asked about it and Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby refused to answers questions about it.
The report of intelligence communications indicated that the U.S. knew generally where and when the attack would occur at the Kabul airport, even that the gate where the attack occurred — the Abbey Gate was at “highest risk.”
On a separate call at 4 that afternoon, or 12:30 a.m. on Thursday in Kabul, the commanders detailed a plan to close Abbey Gate by Thursday afternoon Kabul time. But the Americans decided to keep the gate open longer than they wanted in order to allow their British allies, who had accelerated their withdrawal timeline, to continue evacuating their personnel, based at the nearby Baron Hotel.
American troops were still processing entrants to the airport at Abbey Gate at roughly 6 p.m. in Kabul on Thursday when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest there, killing nearly 200 people, including 13 U.S. service members.
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby refused to answer questions about it and they also issued a statement, according to Politico.
“The US knew roughly where and when the attack would take place on Thursday. Why were There US troops at that gate at that time?”
Kirby: “I’m absolutely not going to speak to a press story informed by unlawful disclosure of classified information.”
They knew. Evil. Infuriating. pic.twitter.com/EwYTAcBSxl
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) August 31, 2021
“This story is based on the unlawful disclosure of classified information and internal deliberations of a sensitive nature,” Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said in a statement. “As soon as we became aware of the material divulged to the reporter, we engaged Politico at the highest levels to prevent the publication of information that would put our troops and our operations at the airport at greater risk.
“We condemn the unlawful disclosure of classified information and oppose the publication of a story based on it while a dangerous operation is ongoing,” he continued.
Kirby was mad about the disclosure but he didn’t deny the report.
This is just astonishing. I get wanting to still save people and I’m certainly for every effort. But they seem to have constantly been shutting gates for other reasons, why not redirect to a less at-risk gate or shut the Abbey Gate for a few hours when you have intelligence that seems to be of that specific nature?
He tries to skate that question without responding when so many people, including 13 US military, were killed and so many others wounded, but he can’t be allowed to do that. Somebody made this call and they need to answer as to what was happening here.