CBS Reporter Criticizes Biden Administration for Afghanistan Withdrawal Report
CBS Senior White House and political correspondent, Ed O’Keefe, has criticized the Biden administration’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal in a report released by the National Security Council. The report, which was twelve pages long, primarily placed the blame on the former President, Donald Trump, for the failed withdrawal. O’Keefe noted that the report barely acknowledged any mistakes by the Biden administration, with the word “mistake” only appearing once in the entire document, in reference to a drone strike that killed ten civilians.
Attempt to Shift Blame to Trump
O’Keefe emphasized that the Biden administration seemed to be attempting to blame Trump for everything that went wrong. The report spent three and a half pages laying out why it was Trump’s fault, from negotiating with the Taliban to withdrawing U.S. forces to a level that made it necessary to send more troops back in. The report also blamed Trump for blocking the Biden administration from accessing information during the transition period.
When questioned about whether the Biden Administration took responsibility or admitted to any errors, O’Keefe responded that “The word ‘mistake’ appears once in this twelve-page report.” O’Keefe then highlighted that the only instance of the word “mistake” appeared in reference to the accidental killing of ten civilians in Kabul during a drone strike. “That is the sole occurrence of the word ‘mistake’ in the entire document,” he emphasized.
Biden Administration Accused “Whitewashing” Afghanistan Withdrawal Report
The CBS reporter criticized the report, saying it was a “whitewash,” as the administration was trying to deflect any blame away from themselves. He went on to criticize the document’s quality, calling it narrative, devoid of citations, and light on specifics. It was, in essence, their version of events, he added.
Criticism from Former Trump Officials and Public
The report received criticism from former Trump administration officials and the general public. Former Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, slammed the report, stating that the Biden administration had shown its willingness to dismantle good plans put in place by the Trump administration. Various Republican legislators also criticized the report.
America’s Longest War
The war in Afghanistan spanned over two decades and four U.S. presidents. When it was first initiated by President Bush in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, few Americans thought it would lead to a long-term attempt to establish democracy through military force. Over 2,000 U.S. service members died during the conflict, and the country ultimately fell to the Taliban. The botched 2021 withdrawal, which was supposed to mark the end of America’s longest war, has drawn significant criticism from both sides of the political divide.