Wednesday, October 27, 2021

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Nothing Says 'Highly Organized' Like Two Congressmen Visiting Kabul and No One Telling the White House or Pentagon About it


As we’ve documented day-by-day, a crisis of unparalleled magnitude unfolding a Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. On the one hand, there is the humanitarian disaster. People awaiting processing and transportation are literally standing in the feces of the 70,000 or so people who passed through the holding areas at the airport in the past two weeks (read Ths State Department Tells US Citizens to Leave Kabul Airport and Go Home, and Other Horror Stories From Our Impending Kabul Catastrophe). Afghans with no priority have ended up on aircraft to safety. Afghans deserving of our assistance are being abandoned.

Read US Turns Away 500 Afghan Interpreters and Other Allies Who Made It to Kabul Airport for more details.

At least six Afghans who were on no-fly lists have, in fact, flown out of Kabul. The visa process has essentially broken down. No one seems to know how many Americans and allied nationals remain. There doesn’t seem to be any real sense of urgency on the part of the US government to either locate or repatriate American citizens. We are held in contempt by our allies in Kabul for our passivity, read British Evacuation Commander Says He’s Cut out of US-Taliban Discussions Plus the Best Rumor of the Day.

On the strategic level, our reputation is shot. Our enemies mock us, and our friends don’t trust us. Any credibility we have built up since the fall of Saigon in 1975 has been shredded. The First Gulf War might as well have never happened. A war with China now seems much more likely than only a year ago when America had an actual functioning human as president.

All of this is complicated by the fact that there is limited newsgathering from Kabul. News bureaus have mostly pulled their employees out. Even when they were there, an incredible number were more loyal to the Democrat party than to the truth. Virtually nothing comes out of the White House, State Department, or Defense Department that isn’t obviously bullsh** or otherwise untrustworthy. Instead of holding hearings, a supine Congress can’t bestir itself from recess to even question the cabal in the White House about what in the hell is going on.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday, two members of Congress, Representatives Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Peter Meijer (R-MI) flew into Kabul unannounced and departed some 24 hours later.

A couple of thoughts on this. I’m not a fan of Moulton nor Meijer. Meijer voted in favor of impeaching President Trump, he has a primary challenger, and I intend to donate money and do anything I can to send this quisling packing. Moulton is a Massachusetts Democrat, which tells you all you need to know about him. Having said that, I’m impressed that they made the trip. I’m more impressed that they did it without staff and the entourage of straphangers that attach themselves to these trips.

But we can’t have pesky representatives of the people finding out anything that the White House doesn’t officially clear, can we?

The Washington Post went to battle stations to do stenography for apparatchiks in Defense, and State who felt offended by two members of Congress running a low profile fact-finding trip to a critical area in a story headlined Two Congress members make unauthorized trip to Kabul amid evacuation efforts.

Two members of Congress made an unauthorized whirlwind trip to Kabul early Tuesday, leaving less than 24 hours later on a flight used for evacuating U.S. citizens, allies and vulnerable Afghans.

The visit by Reps. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) and Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) — which was not approved as part of the normal process for congressional fact-finding trips — served as a distraction for military and civilian staffers attempting to carry out frenzied rescue efforts, according to two people familiar with the trip who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the matter.

It is not clear how the lawmakers, both of whom served in Iraq before being elected to Congress, first entered Afghanistan. Moulton’s office did not confirm the trip until the plane evacuating the members of Congress left Afghanistan’s airspace. Meijer’s office did not respond to an email seeking comment.

This is what passes for journalism. We are told that no one knew they were in Afghanistan, but, at the same time, they interfered with the rescue efforts. The fact that no one on the ground phoned their boss and said, “we have two Congressmen here, what do you want them to see?” speaks louder than any press statement that Moulton and Meijer kept a very, very low profile.

But the White House is not happy at all and took time out to libel them.

The cloak-and-dagger trip infuriated some officials at the Pentagon and the State Department, where diplomats, military officers and civil servants are working around-the-clock shifts in Washington and at the Kabul airport to evacuate thousands of people from the country every day.

“It’s as moronic as it is selfish,” said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to provide a frank assessment of their trip. “They’re taking seats away from Americans and at-risk Afghans — while putting our diplomats and service members at greater risk — so they can have a moment in front of the cameras.”

They flew to the UAE on their own dime, not their Congressional office money. They flew on an empty USAF plane going to Kabul. Again, apparently, no one thought to tell anyone in their chain of command that they were transporting two Congressmen. They left Kabul on an aircraft with a lot of vacancies and used seats designated for crew members so they would not bump passengers. Planes like this are not rare.

Nancy Pelosi put out instructions that she doesn’t want to see shenanigans like this in the future.

Here’s what I think we learned from the trip. First, there is no way that all authorized Americans are getting out of Kabul. There is a de facto hostage situation of Biden’s making just waiting to happen. Second, the White House is spooked by the idea that they could lose control of the messaging. Third, there seems to be a break in the chain of command between those trying to get stuff down on the ground and their higher headquarters. Congressmen just don’t get manifested onto USAF aircraft, and no one in the Pentagon hears about it. They don’t walk around your area of operation for a day, asking questions and interacting with people, and someone not notify their headquarters. That speaks volumes for the contempt with which the people directing this operation are viewed.




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