GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham Slams The White House’s Review Of The Poorly Executed Afghanistan Withdrawal And Accused Officials Of “Political Whitewash”

Credit: Fox News

Senator Lindsey Graham called out the Biden administration’s review of the horrendous Afghanistan withdrawal on Sunday. He accused the officials of a “political whitewash” by continually blaming former President Donald Trump and downplaying the risk of terrorism in the report.

“When the Biden administration tells you there are no terrorists in Afghanistan, they are lying,” Graham told “Fox News Sunday” host Shannon Bream.

“The [Biden administration’s] report says that our mission had been accomplished and that’s why Biden got out of Afghanistan. He’s claiming that we eradicated all terrorist threats in Afghanistan; that’s why he withdrew to end the longest war.”

“Gen. [Anthony] Carrelli said last week… that the rise of ISIS-K and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan is so severe we could be attacked in America in the next six months without warning,” he said earlier.

Graham warned of a “lethal cocktail” forming in that region, that combined with the dangers of open-border policies could lead to another 9/11 unless leaders turn back and reverse course.

“My view of what happened in Afghanistan with Biden is he paved the way for another 9/11,” he added.

His comments come after the 12-page report’s release on Thursday. It gained attention for repeatedly blaming Trump for allegedly constraining the conditions of the evacuation process, during which a suicide bomber took the lives of 13 U.S. service members at the Hamid International Airport.

This is an excerpt from the report:

President Biden’s choices for how to execute a withdrawal from Afghanistan were severely constrained by conditions created by his predecessor. When President Trump took office in 2017, there were more than 10,000 troops in Afghanistan. Eighteen months later, after introducing more than 3,000 additional troops just to maintain the stalemate, President Trump ordered direct talks with the Taliban without consulting with our allies and partners or allowing the Afghan government at the negotiating table. In September 2019, President Trump emboldened the Taliban by publicly considering inviting them to Camp David on the anniversary of 9/11. In February 2020, the United States and the Taliban reached a deal, known as the Doha Agreement, under which the United States agreed to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by May 2021. In return, the Taliban agreed to participate in a peace process and refrain from attacking U.S. troops and threatening Afghanistan’s major cities—but only as long as the United States remained committed to withdraw by the agreement’s deadline. As part of the deal, President Trump also pressured the Afghan government to release 5,000 Taliban fighters from prison, including senior war commanders, without securing the release of the only American hostage known to be held by the Taliban.

“President Biden’s choices for how to execute a withdrawal from Afghanistan were severely constrained by conditions created by his predecessor,” the report claimed.

The document shifted the blame to Trump for providing no plans on how to conduct a withdrawal from the region. However, the Biden administration had plans to complete the withdrawal shortly after Biden took office in January 2021.

The withdrawal was executed in August 2021. It took heat from critics because U.S. citizens and Afghan allies were left behind in the wake of the Taliban’s return to power for the first time since U.S. troops overthrew the Islamist regime almost 20 years prior. 

White House national security spokesman John Kirby said that on the day of the report’s release that the Trump administration’s “lack of planning” “significantly limited options” available for Biden to take during the withdrawal under his time as president.

Senator Graham was furious that the Biden administration would shift the blame on the botched withdrawal after the report went public. Texas Rep. Michael McCaul slammed Kirby’s comments as “disgraceful and insulting.”

Reps. Ronny Jackson of Texas, Mark Green of Tennessee, and Senator Steve Daines of Montana also criticized the document’s claims.

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