From the census to the election to national security, Trump was blocked by brave bureaucrats

Bureaucrats get a bad rap. A good deal of the responsibility for this falls on Republicans, who love to place the adjective “unelected” right in front while slamming them. Democrats more typically think of such folks as “public servants.” During the Trump administration, there were a number of officials serving in the executive branch whose service to the public went above and beyond.

That’s because those brave bureaucrats had to take measures anyone who serves in government hopes they’ll never have to, and which we’ve never seen officials in any other administration have to do to the same extent. They had to defy the orders and, in some cases, actively thwart the efforts of their ultimate supervisor, the (twice impeached former) president of the United States.

Much of the recent news regarding such Trump-thwarting has revolved around Gen. Mark Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But there have been other areas of government where The Man Who Lost An Election And Tried To Steal It attempted to do wrong and was blocked from within, so to speak. One of the most wide-ranging and long-gestating involved the census.

In September, the American Statistical Association's (ASA) Task Force on 2020 Census Quality released a report saying that, at least based on the information available thus far, the census projections appear to be solid, without "major anomalies that would indicate census numbers are not fit for use for purposes of apportionment."

Now this is a preliminary report, and the ASA acknowledges that it has “insufficient information” to make a fully informed judgment. But for now this is at least good news, especially given the monkey business Trump and his apparatchiks attempted to pull.

Regarding the extensiveness of that monkey business, well, when a bunch of statisticians—generally not the kind of people inclined to employ incendiary language—call you out, that really is saying something. On that front, the task force mentioned three times that they had had concerns about “political interference” that might spoil the data in the end. I’ll wager that’s three more mentions of political interference than have appeared in an ASA report on any previous census. In all seriousness, what the Trumpists tried to get away with was an unconstitutional power grab to politicize an apolitical, constitutionally mandated process in order to reduce the political power of the poor, Americans of color, and in particular immigrants, who were the prime targets of the despicable push to put a citizenship question on the census itself.

In collaboration with Vox, the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) produced an in-depth piece detailing these underhanded efforts, which, in addition to the citizenship question, included shutting down the counting of people a number of weeks before the previously published end date—during a pandemic that made census workers’ jobs much harder than anyone expected. The CPI/Vox article emphasized, “The administration made these decisions against the advice of experts and its own career staff at the U.S. Census Bureau, sabotaging local officials’ efforts to improve response rates in communities across the U.S. that have long borne the costs of being undercounted.”

As on so many other issues, Trump’s racist policies represent continuity with prior Republican efforts rather than a break from them. Over the past 40 years, right-wingers have been percolating a plan to use the census to count undocumented immigrants and then exclude them from the population numbers used to apportion congressional districts and the electoral college votes that flow from them. Such a plan violates the clear language of the Constitution that mandates counting “persons” as opposed to citizens. Trump was prevented from asking about citizenship status on the census by the Supreme Court in June 2019.

Additionally, there is evidence that even putting such a question about citizenship on the census would depress response rates among Latinx and Asian Americans in particular, along with members of other vulnerable groups—regardless of their immigration status. Republicans wouldn’t consider that an unfortunate side effect, however. To them, that would be a bonus.

Judge Lina Hidalgo, chief executive of Harris County, Texas—where Houston is located—explained the harm Trump’s efforts on the census would cause: “It’s not good for the country and it’s not good for democracy. Participation is what makes our democracy strong. If people are afraid to get counted in something as basic as the census, of course they’re going to be intimidated to make their voices heard more broadly.”

What about the brave bureaucrats who foiled Trump on the census? They came into play after the highest court blocked the front-door effort to count the undocumented via the census. You see, Trump didn’t give up, he just looked for a back-door way to mess with our democracy and screw brown people.

The asshole-in-chief decided that if he couldn’t directly count the undocumented, he’d just guess at the numbers. Just after the Supreme Court made its ruling, he issued an executive order that directed the Census Bureau to use information gained from state records to estimate how many undocumented immigrants there are. Here’s how one former Trump employee, who had been undocumented during her time working at his New Jersey golf club, responded:

He sure counted on us to build his buildings and golf courses, keep them up, feed him, his family and guests. But he’s never done exploiting us for politics and profit https://t.co/YnSb0qpf4d

— SandraDiazNJ (@SandraDiazNJ1) July 21, 2020

The rub for Donald Dickweed was that he had to rely on other people to carry out the order. Those people are the aforementioned public servants. The bureaucrats.

After losing the election and failing to carry out his Jan. 6 coup, Trump still had two weeks in office, and didn’t give up trying to count undocumented immigrants. Despite frantic efforts by his political lackeys—the ”significant pressure” they were applying was documented by whistleblowers—to produce the numbers he so desperately wanted to be included in the 2020 census, the good guys basically said “er, sorry, not gonna happen.” The whistleblowers’ statements prompted the Commerce Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) to write a letter to Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham, and it wasn’t pretty.

[Census] Bureau staffers said Dillingham had categorized the report as the bureau’s “top priority,” regardless of the data’s accuracy, the letter said, adding: “OIG is also aware that you inquired into a financial reward for speed on this directive.”

One senior bureau employee had gone as far as to say that what staffers were being asked to do was “statistically indefensible,” according to the letter, which gave Dillingham until Thursday [Jan. 16] to respond and warned that OIG might interview him under oath.

At that point, Dillingham finally backed down. On Wednesday, Jan. 15, he said he hadn’t done any of those terrible things, and added that “upon learning of these concerns,” he issued instructions that “those involved should ‘stand down’ and discontinue their data reviews.” Brave bureaucrats—not to mention democracy: 1, Trump: 0.

The aforementioned ASA task force report praised the responses of those public servants who acted after Biden defeated Trump to make sure Fuck a l’Orange was unable to warp the census results just before the buzzer sounded on his presidency: “The bureau appropriately delayed release of data products to ensure careful review and processing of the data according to bureau quality standards.” That’s statistician talk for “thank the Lord those clever mofos put their necks on the line to preserve accurate data.” Ultimately, even if the information produced by the 2020 census turns out in the end to be truly solid, this is by no means a story of all’s well that ends well. But it would have been far worse if not for those courageous public servants.

To be sure, the census was very much not the only area in which Trump tried to wreak havoc but failed because someone who was supposed to carry out his orders had the spine and the conscience to just say no.

As for what Milley did in the incidents that have been in the news so much recently, they are a bit different in that he didn’t defy or ignore direct orders from Trump. Instead, Milley was concerned enough that the insurrectionist-in-chief might do something that would provoke a response from China and start a war as a way to somehow stay in office that he felt the need to take preventive measures. He informed the official who holds the equivalent position in Beijing that in fact, no, the U.S. would not be attacking China. Milley did this just before the election and again just after Jan. 6. He also took other actions that, in short, aimed at ensuring that the guy at the top of the military chain of command didn’t evolve from a metaphorical loose cannon into an actual one.

Republicans are screaming that Milley committed treason, while he has said the calls were “routine” and “perfectly within the duties and responsibilities” of his position. I’d argue it’s somewhere in between. More importantly, the fact that someone in his position felt the need to take those steps tells us everything we need to know about Trump’s fitness to hold the most powerful office in the world.

‘I don’t think the president is looking for the guidance of members of Congress who stood by while… the leader of their party fomented an insurrection’ — Jen Psaki on GOP criticism of Gen. Milley pic.twitter.com/wEygiX2OmL

— NowThis (@nowthisnews) September 15, 2021

I wish these were the only two times that required Trump-thwarting—not to suggest that a matter of war and peace and another of subverting democracy aren’t awful enough. Another example starts with Trump’s one-time body man, John McEntee. He’s an enterprising fellow who was fired from that position by then-Chief of Staff John Kelly—the Department of Homeland Security had been investigating him for financial crimes, and there appeared to be a problem with online gambling as well as paying his taxes. Upon his dismissal, McEntee was asked to leave the White House immediately—as in, don’t go back to your desk and get your stuff on the way out, Johnny. Yet less than two years later, he had returned to the White House with a significant promotion. Trump liked him so much that McEntee found himself head of the Presidential Personnel Office—a pretty big job that came to entail getting rid of anyone not sufficiently loyal to his benefactor and boss.

On Nov. 9, 2020, Trump had McEntee deliver a message to Col. Douglas MacGregor, who had literally a few seconds earlier been informed he would have the opportunity to serve as a senior adviser to acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller—himself appointed that day to replace the fired Mark Esper. McEntee gave MacGregor a handwritten list for Miller and said: "This is what the president wants you to do."

  1. Get us out of Afghanistan.
  2. Get us out of Iraq and Syria.
  3. Complete the withdrawal from Germany.
  4. Get us out of Africa.

How do you like your new job, Doug?

In response, MacGregor said that Miller would need a more official order from Trump. That document, bearing the absurd Trump Sharpie signature, arrived on Nov. 11, and this one was a bit more focused. By the end of 2020, all U.S. forces were to leave Somalia, and by Jan. 15, 2021, all U.S. forces were to leave Afghanistan. MacGregor had told McEntee that he didn’t think all four actions on the original note were possible, so this new list represented at least some recognition of that judgment. Either way, the incredibly complicated Afghanistan withdrawal date was barely two months away.

Who had drafted the order? Someone from McEntee’s office—the personnel office, which apparently had evolved into the heart of Trump’s foreign policy brain trust. And how about the process? There had been, as Axios’ Jonathan Swan and Zachary Basu noted, “no consultation, no input, no process for gaming out consequences or offering alternatives.” Neither of those Trump orders were carried out in the end thanks to pushback from Miller, the aforementioned Gen. Milley, Trump national security adviser Robert O'Brien, and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.

At least in that case, Trump actually was convinced to withdraw his order. In other instances, he just seems to have forgotten whatever commandment he issued before moving on to the next item on his busy, executive time-laden schedule. When Trump had an order drafted to pull the U.S. out of our trade agreement with South Korea, National Economic Council Chief Gary Cohn reportedly just swiped it from his desk and it never got signed. Cohn did the same with a document notifying Mexico and Canada that we’d be withdrawing from NAFTA. He apparently told another White House aide who expressed concern about one of the moves, “I can stop this. I’ll just take the paper off his desk.”

There have been numerous other reports of Trump administration officials slow-walking or otherwise defying orders, including the efforts described by “Anonymous”, i.e., Miles Taylor, who was then chief of staff in the Department of Homeland Security, and spoke of the “resistance” inside the White House. (It’s also worth noting that bureaucrats and whistleblowers played vitally important roles during Trump’s first impeachment trial.) Here’s another account, as reported in a Washington Post article discussing Bob Woodward’s 2018 book, Fear:

“[Trump] would be like, ‘Do this, do that, slap a tariff on this country or that country, let’s blow everything up, let’s go to war,’” a former White House official said. “Then we would come back the next week and Trump would say, ‘What happened with X?’ And he would get mad that no one had done it. And it was a never-ending cycle.”

On another occasion, White House Counsel Don McGahn took a more direct approach. When Trump ordered him to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, he said no and threatened to quit. The Big Bad Bully of Bedminster backed down. On climate as well, career scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration managed to achieve some real, if limited, successes in holding the line against directives that derived from Trumpian climate change denial.

Trump also tried his damnedest to get the Department of Justice to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election—one he’d lost fair and square—by authorizing all kinds of investigations into already debunked or otherwise bogus charges of fraud.

When the people in high positions refused, he decided he’d just get rid of Jeffrey A. Rosen, the acting attorney general of the United States, and put in his place a puppet named Jeffrey Clark, who would do his bidding. That effort culminated in a remarkable Oval Office meeting on Jan. 3, some new details of which are just coming out now, contained in a Senate Judiciary Committee report.

The Orange Julius Caesar had invited the top officials in the Department of Justice and informed them of his scheme. He presented them with a fait accompli. They refused to accept it. They told Trump all of them would resign in a single stroke. Just as impressively, the aforementioned Cipollone once again stepped up, stating that he—along with his lead assistant, Deputy White House Counsel Patrick F. Philbin—would quit as well. Cipollone told his boss that taking such a step would be akin to a “murder-suicide pact.”

The meeting went on three hours before Trump finally gave in and abandoned his plan. Imagine the permanent damage to our democracy if those valiant folks had not done what they did, and he had been able to bring the official weight of the Department of Justice to bear on behalf of The Big Lie. We really might not have been able to stop the steal. CNN.com had the story as its lead article the day it broke, and the headline on their main page called it a “coup attempt.” Whaddaya know, someone in the media actually got one right.

Finally, let’s examine the details of just one more example—one that brings together not only Trump’s hair-trigger attention span, but also his general ignorance about the world and his lack of interest in any consequences that might unfold from him satisfying his whims the instant he feels them.

In April 2017, during a meeting in the Oval Office, Trump and his top national security officials were discussing North Korea. He saw a satellite image showing the whole of the Korean peninsula and suddenly demanded to know, “Why is Seoul so close to the North Korean border?” Trump was frustrated after being told more than once that the U.S. couldn’t simply blow up North Korean nuclear facilities because the regime in Pyongyang could quickly and easily launch attacks that would kill millions in the South Korean capital and the surrounding areas. He then declared that the population of Seoul would simply have to move. He wasn’t joking.

But even if Trump couldn’t make Seoul simply relocate by bellowing about it, the idea of the city’s vulnerability, and how it hamstrung potential American military action, seems to have stuck in his mind—as much as any idea can. After the North conducted tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and of a hydrogen bomb throughout the subsequent months, tensions ratcheted up to an even more dangerous level. While watching Fox News (of course), the former guy heard a retired general talk about how U.S. military personnel in South Korea shouldn’t be accompanied by their loved ones. He then had an epiphany: “I want an evacuation of American civilians from South Korea.” Here’s how The Guardian described what unfolded:

A senior official warned that such an evacuation would be interpreted as a signal that the US was ready to go to war, and would crash the South Korean stock market, but Trump is reported to have ignored the warning, telling his team: “Go do it!” Alarmed Pentagon officials ignored the order, and Trump eventually dropped the idea.

Some of the people cited above were appointed by the president whose efforts they blocked. Others were career civil servants, which means they did not actively choose to work for the president whose orders ended up on their desks. On occasion, elected Republicans also refused to carry out Trump’s orders. We certainly saw that from election officials in various states, most famously Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Even then-Vice President Mike Pence, whose overall record is truly despicable, stood fast in the end—after apparently asking Dan Quayle how to spell potato (yes, Mark Sumner is funnier than I am). Sorry, I meant, whether Pence had any wiggle room on certifying the election. I’m willing to give Pence credit for clearing the admittedly low bar of not destroying our democracy—and being willing to lose a friend over it. Although I think even Pence realizes that’s more of a case of addition by subtraction.

Other than Pence, who actually stuck completely to his prescribed duties on Jan. 6, the other officials mentioned above did in one way or another break the rules of their job by defying their boss, who was (grits his teeth while typing this) the duly elected president. There is a philosophical and moral issue raised by such actions.

On a related note, we certainly know that Republicans are willing to pull all kinds of maneuvers to deny the ability of a legitimately elected Democratic president to fully exercise his power. The name Merrick Garland ring a bell? But what Sen. Mitch McConnell did there is different from executive branch employees taking it upon themselves to decide what a president can and can’t do. I think we can agree that it’s complicated, and that such decisions do cut against the idea of a people electing its own leaders. Saying it’s complicated might seem like a cop-out, but I do believe in nuance when circumstances call for it. These do.

Yes, America has certainly seen courageous public servants before, but no other president has practiced such consistent malfeasance across a wide range of policy areas so as to require this degree of resistance from within his administration. The real matter at hand here is that we had a president who forced these officials into almost impossible choices. Former president Trump prompted them to act against his wishes in order to protect against a potential threat to our national interests, to our constitutional and democratic system of government, or even to the continued existence of our world. It's easy to get lost in a philosophical debate and forget precisely what he did. We must do everything we can to ensure he never gets another opportunity to wield that kind of power.

Ian Reifowitz is the author of  The Tribalization of Politics: How Rush Limbaugh's Race-Baiting Rhetoric on the Obama Presidency Paved the Way for Trump (Foreword by Markos Moulitsas)

Afghan Refugee At Fort McCoy, WI Arrested For Sexually Assaulting Child

Two Afghan refugees recently brought to Fort McCoy in Wisconsin have been charged with heinous crimes, including sexual assault of a minor, that took place while they have been living at the military base. 

In the first case, Bahrullah Noori is charged with three counts of attempting to engage in a sexual act with a minor, in one instance using force. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the victims – plural – are all under the age of 16.

In the second case, Mohammad Haroon Imaad was charged for strangling and suffocating his wife. 

The two refugees are being held in a Dane County jail.

RELATED: Republicans File Impeachment Against Biden Over Border Crisis, Afghanistan Disaster

Charges

The charges both Noori and Imaad face are the results of an investigation by the FBI and Fort McCoy police. If convicted, Noori could face as much as 30 years in prison, and Imaad 10 years.

Both men were part of the massive evacuation effort by the Biden administration of more than 12,000 refugees as the Afghan government collapsed last month, and U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan.  

Many of those refugees have been housed in military bases around the country, including Fort McCoy. 

RELATED: Trump Slams George W. Bush And His ‘Flunky’ Karl Rove For Holding Liz Cheney Fundraiser

Psaki Says Everyone Is Being Vetted

While Afghan refugees are being resettled in roughly 150 different communities around the nation, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claims that “no one” is coming into the country without proper vetting, especially amid terrorism concerns.

Psaki has said, “I can absolutely assure you that no one is coming into the United States of America who has not been through a thorough screening and background check process.”

She added:

“There are many individuals, as you noted, who have not been through that process. And they have gone to lilypad countries as that process has been completed. It doesn’t mean that that’s because there is a flag. It means they have not completed their paperwork. And we were working to save tens of thousands of people. Hence we evacuated them to these third countries.”

However, Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-WI) tells a different story. He says that on a recent visit to the base, he says there was insufficient security, and none of the refugees he came into contact with had Special Immigration Visas. Typically, the vetting process for such visas can take up to two years.

Tiffany stated, “They were all there on parole. The parole authority is granted to the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. He can just wave people in.” Tiffany added that he believes the Biden administration is “circumventing the SIV process.”

RELATED: Biden Tells U.N. Era Of  ‘Relentless War’ Is Over – One Day After Bombing Syria

A Clear Warning

Last week, in an article at RealClearPolitics, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) sounded a similar alarm. During a visit to Fort Bliss, Cruz asked the commanding General how we were ensuring that refugees were properly vetted. The General told Cruz it was being done in Afghanistan.

According to Sen. Cruz, the vetting is inadequate, or not even done until planes full of refugees enter the U.S.

Sen. Cruz says that flights full of Afghan refugees reach the U.S. every couple of hours.  

 

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Republicans File Impeachment Against Biden Over Border Crisis, Afghanistan Disaster

Four House Republicans have filed articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden, citing a dereliction of duty regarding his Afghanistan and border policies.

Republican Congressman Bob Gibbs tweeted on Wednesday, “I filed articles of impeachment against @POTUS based on what I believe to be clear violations of his duties.”

“There are dynamics in Congress preventing this from being debated,” Gibbs said. “But I could not stand by while Biden commits flagrant & deliberate violations of his oath of office.”

RELATED: When Asked About U.S. Drone Killing Aid Worker’s Family, Psaki Says Biden ‘Personally’ Has Had Loss

‘Flagrant & Deliberate Violations Of His Oath Of Office’

Gibbs said that Biden’s poor handling of the ongoing border crisis and trying to extend the federal eviction moratorium mean he has failed in his duties as president.

“His willful negligence of the border crisis is a failure to maintain and defend American sovereignty,” Gibbs said to The Daily Mail.

Gibbs continued, “Biden’s attempts to extend a federal eviction moratorium despite the Supreme Court’s warning and his own admission that he has no power to do so is a blatant and intentional action that violates the separation of powers.”

The Republican congressman said Biden’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal, in which 13 U.S. military members were killed in the final days, also led to his decision to file articles of impeachment against the president.

Gibbs was joined by GOP Congressmen Andy Biggs, Brian Babin, and Randy Weber.

RELATED: Abbott Announces More Funding For Operation Lone Star As Hundreds Of Law Enforcement Officers Descend On Del Rio

Gibbs: ‘This President… Needs To Be Removed From Office One Way Or Another’

Gibbs acknowledged that the impeachment of Biden was not likely, but still told the Washington Examiner, “Obviously, it’s not going to go anywhere with Speaker Pelosi.”

But Gibbs said it still “shows that there are some Republicans that think that this president needs to be impeached, he needs to be removed from office one way or another.”

Previously, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene had introduced articles of impeachment against Biden, in part because of the Afghanistan disaster.

A group of Republicans also introduced articles of impeachment against Secretary of State Tony Blinken for his handling of Afghanistan.

 

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The Media’s Shameless Shielding Of Joe Biden

By Frank Miele for RealClearPolitics

In 2019, I wrote a book called “The Media Matrix” and subtitled it pessimistically, “What If Everything You Know Is Fake?”

Now, two years later, we can remove the question mark. Everything you know is fake — if you depend on the mainstream media to educate you.

Everywhere you turn, you will encounter coverup, corruption and confusion in the media. If it isn’t an intentional disinformation campaign, then it’s the result of laziness and stupidity. Either way, the fourth estate has become a fifth column of provocateurs and saboteurs.

Examples abound. Two weeks ago, for instance, I wrote about how the supine media had to bear some responsibility for the disgraceful withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Reporters had the facts weeks before the Aug. 31 deadline, and they refused to pursue them, presumably out of concern that hard questioning would make the Biden administration look bad.

It got me thinking. Just how much does the media’s explicit bias against conservatives skew the public conversation on which the entire success of democracy depends?

The current disaster in Afghanistan remains a good place to start. Much mainstream reporting has covered up for Biden’s policy failures, paying little attention to the Americans left behind in the country or minimizing the risk to them. News outlets have also made a conscious choice to turn away from the fallen heroes who died in Kabul and the suffering of their grieving families.

RELATED: After Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal, Pro-Biden National Security Experts Conspicuously Quiet

Take the case of Shana Chappell. She is the Gold Star mother of Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, who died in the suicide bombing at the Kabul airport. After meeting Biden during the dignified transfer of her son’s remains at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Chappell took to Facebook to write this:

“I got to have words face to face with that POS Biden! He’s a coward! My son Kareems body will be returned to norco [Calif.] in 7-10 days so i can lay him to rest! The day after i lay him to rest i will be leaving from Norco in my Blue Toyota Tundra to head to the White House. I will be going to the White House to demand that the traitor POS Biden resign and take his whole corrupt admin with him!”

The idea of a Gold Star mother confronting a president about the needless death of her son would seem to be news. We know it is news because back in 2005, Cindy Sheehan had the media spotlight cast on her when she became an outspoken critic of the Iraq War and the presidency of George W. Bush. Sheehan told reporters: “I want to ask the president, ‘Why did you kill my son? What did my son die for?’” In response to her attempt to shame a Republican president, the national media turned her into a celebrity.

By comparison, Chappell was barely noticed by the mainstream media when she accused Biden of killing her son. Her social media accounts were temporarily blocked, and if you watch CNN or MSNBC you would hardly even know she existed. Other than from conservative media outlets, there has been no interest in her plan to demand Biden’s resignation.

Nor, for that matter, did the Gold Star fathers receive any better treatment. What a difference five years makes! Remember how Gold Star father Khizr Khan was lionized by the press as a result of his appearance at the 2016 Democratic convention? His Muslim son had died fighting for the United States in Iraq in 2004, and Khan criticized then-candidate Donald Trump for his views on halting immigration from Islam-dominated countries that harbor terrorists. Mind you, this was just a political dispute. Trump had nothing to do with the death of Khan’s son, but the media seized on the proud father’s grief as a weapon to be used to stop Trump from reaching the White House.

How different was the treatment of Gold Star fathers Darin Hoover and Mark Schmitz, who accused Biden of disrespecting their sons during the ceremony at Dover Air Base by checking his watch every time a flag-draped coffin was removed from the hold of the Air Force C-17 Globemaster.

“They would release the salute and he looked down at his watch on every last one,” Hoover told Sean Hannity. “All 13, he looked down at his watch.”

Schmitz called it “the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen.”

When they and others publicized their claims about Biden’s callous behavior, USA Today decided to do a “fact check” and concluded that the survivors’ story was “partly false” and “misleading” because Biden had only checked his watch after the ceremony was over.

RELATED: Biden Gets Heckled By Protesters Upset Over His Afghanistan Debacle

That was a blatant lie, as footage shows him glancing at his watch multiple times during the transfer. So how do you account for a major newspaper doing such a totally misleading “fact check” — short of actual malice towards, if not the Gold Star fathers, then the truth? Equally insulting was the fact that USA Today — after receiving vigorous criticism — changed its fake fact check to “missing context” on the grounds that when Biden wasn’t being disrespectful, he was actually doing a pretty good job of looking like he cared about the dead service members.

Of course, most of the media couldn’t be bothered to cover this incident at all. To do so would raise questions about the character of their beloved president, the healer-in-chief. That would be unacceptable. Let’s face it. To the caretaker media who surround Joe Biden, the president is the equivalent of Harry Potter’s “Lord Voldemort,” with this slight variation: Biden is “He who must not be shamed.”

Does all this seem trivial? It’s not. Our information-drenched society receives its cues from the raised eyebrows and outraged tones in the voices of Rachel Maddow and Don Lemon. If they and others like them don’t talk about it, then it never happened, or it’s a right-wing conspiracy theory. Whether it’s election fraud, coronavirus cures, or Marxist infiltration of our social institutions, the media elites are the gatekeepers who determine what will be taken seriously and what will be dismissed with a smug laugh.

One final example from the Afghanistan debacle goes well beyond a mere matter of shaming Joe Biden, and raises questions about his fitness for office. That may explain the mainstream media’s near total lack of interest.

RELATED: Biden Gets Heckled By Protesters Upset Over His Afghanistan Debacle

I am referring, of course, to what we recently learned about Biden’s shocking July 23 phone call with Ashraf Ghani, who was then president of Afghanistan. We knew about that phone call way back when it happened. In fact, when you look at the White House’s official readout of the call, you get almost nostalgic for the good old days when the U.S. and Afghanistan were reaffirming their “enduring bilateral partnership” that lasted another three weeks till Ghani fled his palace and his nation.

But the official story, not unexpectedly, didn’t tell the whole story. For that, we had to wait until Aug. 31, the day after America’s military withdrawal was completed, when Reuters, the international press agency, released the transcript of the July 23 call. What we learned is that Biden did not really believe his own rosy picture that he was painting for the American people about the future of Afghanistan.

“Hey look, I want to make it clear that I am not a military man any more than you are,” he told Ghani (pictured, above, with Biden). “But I have been meeting with our Pentagon folks, and our national security people, as you have with ours and yours, and as you know and I need not tell you, the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things aren’t going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban. And there’s a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.” (Italics added.)

Not only does this transcript raise questions about Biden’s misleading statements to the American people about the risks involved in getting all Americans out of Afghanistan, but it is followed up by Biden trying to pressure Ghani into accepting a quid pro quo — if you change how the world perceives the battle against the Taliban, we may be coaxed into continuing to provide military air support. Indeed, Biden’s repeated emphasis on “perception around the world” makes him sound more like a PR flack than a commander-in-chief.

Obviously, someone in the State Department or the White House was concerned about this exchange or they wouldn’t have leaked the transcript, but most of the media just yawned. Do a Google search for “Biden phone call with President Ghani,” as I did, and you will find all the major journalism outfits missing in the top results. Beyond Fox News and USA Today, most of the results are from small conservative websites or international outlets like India Today or the Hindustan Times. You won’t find any stories from major news outlets, including CNN or NBC, in the top 100 results, and I get the feeling you could scroll till doomsday without seeing any interest from the New York Times or Washington Post.

How extraordinarily different was the response when the transcript of a President Trump phone call with the president of Ukraine was leaked! That led to an impeachment trial, but of course that was a Republican president, and the rules are different for Republicans, aren’t they?

You can bet that any Democrat who has read this far in my column will dismiss the whole idea of impeaching Joe Biden over his phone call with the Afghani president as one more wild-eyed conspiracy theory.

Makes me wonder. If Biden, Ghani and U.S. military leaders conspired together to mislead the world — and in particular the American people — about the true conditions on the ground in Afghanistan, then it really isn’t a conspiracy “theory,” is it? I prefer to call it a conspiracy “fact.”

Too bad the unindicted co-conspirator in this, and in so many other crimes against the people, is none other than our faux friend — the mainstream media. Somehow the story of their involvement never gets told. What a racket!

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

Frank Miele, the retired editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell Mont., is a columnist for RealClearPolitics. His new book, “What Matters Most: God, Country, Family and Friends.” 

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Republican Afghanistan Veteran: Biden’s Actions Meet ‘Constitutional Definition Of Treason’

On Sunday, Republican Congressman Brian Mast, who fought in Afghanistan and now serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that President Joe Biden’s actions involving that country amount to “treason” and he should be removed from office.

Mast made his comments during an interview on Fox News.

RELATED: USA Today Issues Correction For ‘Fact-Check’ Of Biden Looking At His Watch During Service For Fallen Service Members

Mast: ‘Impeachment Is Absolutely Something That Should Be Considered’

Mast’s reasoning includes how quickly the Taliban retook Afghanistan, Biden being more worried about optics than national security, and also the controversial July phone call in which Biden reportedly encouraged Afghanistan’s president to change the perception of what was happening.

The president reportedly told the Afghan leader he didn’t care if the narrative he came up with was true or not.  

Reuters reported that Biden said, “I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban. And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”

Mast believes some and perhaps all of these are impeachable offenses.

“Impeachment is absolutely something that should be considered,” Mast told Fox News. “I would say no less than 10,000 counts of reckless endangerment, all of the American lives over there that’s the minimum, which is actually a real crime.”

Mast continued, “Beyond that, as I’ve said already, I think we absolutely need to look at what is the truth about this phone call with the former Afghan president.”

“We know for a fact that the Taliban is the sworn enemy of the United States of America,” Mast added. “We are still in the midst of the war on terror, and as I said, I would absolutely consider the manipulation of intelligence, giving aid and comfort to the enemy, all three of those things are part of what meets the constitutional definition of treason.”

Mast then focused specifically on Biden and what kind of leader Mast thinks he is.

“You look at President Biden, and I would say these two things about him,” Mast said. “He is hollow. His decisions are empty. They are void of wisdom in their entirety and across the board, we see a naïveté to the aggressors he’s dealing with.”

RELATED: Afghanistan Shows Biden To Be A Weak And Failed President

Mast: Biden’s Statements Are ‘Schizophrenic’

The Republican congressman continued, “Maybe there is an element of dementia there that we might hear about in years to come. But I would say at a minimum, this man appears to be schizophrenic with the statements that he’s making in front of one camera and the way that they’re directly changing in front of a camera on a different day or the day after that or what his members of his cabinet are saying.”

“There’s definitely got to be schizophrenia there,” Mast finished.

Watch Mast’s interview on Fox News: 

 

 

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Restaurant Owner Says She Doesn’t Want To Serve Biden Supporters

One restaurant owner in Florida says she is through with serving anyone who supports President Joe Biden.

On the front door of The DeBary Diner in DeBary, Florida is a sign that reads, “If you voted for and continue to support and stand behind the worthless, inept and corrupt administration currently inhabiting the White House that is complicit in the death of our servicemen and women in Afghanistan, please take your business elsewhere.” 

RELATED: MAGA Rep. Boebert Calls For Biden And Harris Impeachment, Pelosi To Be Removed Over Afghanistan Withdrawal

Restaurant Owner Furious About Biden’s Afghanistan Disaster

The restaurant’s owner, Angie Ugarte, said, “It was the only thing I felt like I could do.”

The sign went up on the same day a suicide bomber took the lives of 13 U.S. service members in Afghanistan. 

“I was just angry. I was just let down,” Ugarte said. “I felt like one of those mothers, or wives, or sisters who were gonna get that knock on the door.”

Ugarte says that a lot of her regular customers are veterans and she has been serving them since her restaurant’s doors opened almost five years ago. One wall of her business is dedicated to honoring men and women who serve.

Ugarte blames Biden for the recent deaths in Afghanistan.

“If you really, really still stand behind what’s allowed this to happen and the way it happened – which was unnecessary then I really don’t want to be associated with you in any way and I certainly don’t want your business,” Ugarte said.

RELATED: Republican Introduces Bill To Award Congressional Gold Medal To 13 Servicemen Killed In Terror Attack

Mixed Reactions From Customers

Ugarte talked about some of the customer reactions.

“I’ve had people come to the door and look at it and turn around and walk away,” she said. “And I’ve had people come into the kitchen while I’m cooking and say, ‘Hey, I love your sign.”

How long will the sign remain?

Ugarte says until the ordeal in Afghanistan is over for the U.S., noting that Americans are still stranded in the country.

 

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Poll: 52 Percent Think Biden Should Resign Over Afghanistan, Majority Say Kamala Harris Not Qualified

A new poll delivers shockingly bad numbers for President Biden as a clear majority of voters believe the Commander-in-Chief should resign over his disastrous handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal.

Rasmussen Reports conducted a survey published on Wednesday that indicates 52 percent of voters believe he must step down.

The polling outfit asked if Biden should resign because of the way the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan was handled.

Just 39 percent disagreed with the idea.

“The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan was so badly handled that President Joe Biden should resign because of it, according to a majority of voters,” Rasmussen writes.

RELATED: McConnell Says Biden ‘Is Not Going To Be Removed From Office’

Biden Should Resign – But It Gets Worse

While a clear majority of Americans believe President Biden needs to resign over the debacle in Afghanistan, an even greater number think he should be impeached.

Rasmussen presented respondents with a quote from Senator Lindsey Graham and asked if they agree with the notion.

Graham (R-SC), in an interview with Newsmax last week, said he believes Biden “deserves” to be impeached.

“I think Joe Biden deserves to be impeached because he’s abandoned thousands of Afghans who fought with us and he’s going to abandon some American citizens because he capitulated to the Taliban to a 31 August deadline,” said Graham.

A significant number of people – 60 percent – agree with that statement, according to the new poll. Only 37 percent disagree with the notion that Biden should be impeached.

Another question presented to voters demonstrates the absolute dire straits America finds itself currently in when it comes to leadership.

RELATED: Marjorie Taylor Greene And Lindsey Graham Call For Biden To Be Impeached Over Afghanistan

Kamala Harris Not Qualified

The Rasmussen poll, knowing what comes next should President Biden be impeached or decides to resign, asked voters what they thought of Vice President Kamala Harris’ qualifications.

The response doesn’t paint a pretty picture.

A good chunk – 58 percent – don’t believe Harris is qualified to be President, with a good 47 percent of that group saying she is “not at all qualified.”

Just 38 percent believe she is qualified to lead the nation.

President Biden’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal culminated in a terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 13 U.S. service members and roughly 200 Afghans, and left an untold number of Americans behind enemy lines.

Despite the bad polling numbers and the express wishes of the American people, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed the sentiment that President Biden would resign or be impeached.

“Well, look, the president is not going to be removed from office,” McConnell predicted. “There’s a Democratic House, a narrowly Democratic Senate. That’s not going to happen.”

POLL: Do you think Biden should resign for his failure in Afghanistan?

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Pro-Trump Representative Lauren Boebert has called for the impeachment of Biden as well as Harris over the chaotic withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

“The blame starts at the top with Biden and his hand-picked Vice President who bragged that she was right there making the same bad decisions,” Boebert said.

“It is time for action. Impeach Biden. Impeach Kamala Harris.”

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) introduced three impeachment resolutions against Biden, one focusing on his dereliction of duty in Afghanistan.

 

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Mitch McConnell Won’t Fight To Impeach Biden – Says He ‘Is Not Going To Be Removed From Office’

On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he and his party would not fight to impeach President Joe Biden and said Republicans should focus more on the midterm election.

McConnell argued that it’s better to wait and vote – and that impeachment won’t happen because Democrats are in charge.

“Well, look, the president is not going to be removed from office,” McConnell said at a Kentucky event. “There’s a Democratic House, a narrowly Democratic Senate. That’s not going to happen.”

Democrats hold a razor thin majority in both houses of Congress.

RELATED: Republican Introduces Bill To Award Congressional Gold Medal To 13 Servicemen Killed In Terror Attack

McConnell: ‘There Isn’t Going To Be An Impeachment’

When McConnell was asked if Biden’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal warranted an impeachment, McConnell sternly answered, “There isn’t going to be an impeachment.”

Republicans in both the House and Senate have called for the president’s resignation over the Afghanistan debacle, or have called for forcible removal via the 25th Amendment for what they view as Biden’s dereliction of duty as Commander-in-Chief.

McConnell urged Republicans to focus on the upcoming midterm elections where high public disapproval of Biden could work to Republicans’ advantage.

McConnell said voters in the upcoming election could hold Biden and his party accountable. 

“The report card you get is every two years,” McConnell said. “I think the way these behaviors get adjusted in this country is at the ballot box.”

RELATED: New Poll Shows Majority Believe U.S. Has ‘Seriously Gone Off On The Wrong Track’ – And Wow, Ya Think?!

McConnell Won’t Fight

“I do think we’re likely to see a typical kind of midterm reaction to a new administration. … Typically there is some buyer’s remorse,” he said. 

“Most of you are not political junkies, you’ve got better things to do than that,” McConnell continued. “But you’ll be interested in one statistic: only twice in American history – only twice – has the president gained seats in Congress two years into the first term.”

“I think the American people have to decide what kind of government they want,” McConnell added. “I have a feeling the American people didn’t think they voted for this government.”

 

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After Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal, Pro-Biden National Security Experts Conspicuously Quiet

By Susan Crabtree for RealClearPolitics

In the aftermath of any botched U.S. military operation, what inevitably follows are numerous news cycles of noisy recriminations across Washington’s national security and foreign policy establishment.

Republican lawmakers and some conservative military and diplomatic hands have blasted President Biden as the Afghanistan withdrawal spiraled out of control over the last two weeks, but there have been glaring exceptions.

Conspicuously absent from the after-action finger-pointing are nearly all of the 500 national security experts — both civilians and former senior uniformed officers — who endorsed Joe Biden for president last fall, while denouncing President Trump as an unfit commander-in-chief.

RELATED: Report: Biden Admin Deleted Reports Detailing Costs Of Weapons In Afghanistan On Multiple Federal Websites

A website set up to promote the Biden endorsement, nationalsecurityleaders4biden.com, is now defunct while the group’s Twitter account hasn’t been tweeted from for more than nearly three months. As of Wednesday morning, the last two tweets, from early June and mid-May, were focused on climate change.

From those who openly backed Biden for president, only Leon Panetta, who served as defense secretary and CIA director under President Obama, has criticized Biden’s handling of the withdrawal.

Late last week, Panetta predicted that the U.S. would have to eventually send troops back into the country to confront a re-established al-Qaeda and ISIS threat there.

Over the least two days, RealClearPolitics reached out to more than two dozen of the highest-ranking military and civilian leaders on the list of nearly 500 of those publicly backing Biden in September of last year. Only a handful responded.

John Negroponte, who served as the first director of national intelligence during the George W. Bush administration and previously as its ambassador to Iraq, was one of just two contacted by RCP who came forward to stand by their endorsement of Biden.

The rest either did not respond to the inquiries or said they were too busy to weigh in, including Michele Flournoy, who served as undersecretary of defense in the administrations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Flournoy was a top contender to become Biden’s defense secretary, but her connections to the defense industry ultimately sank her candidacy. A spokeswoman for Flournoy late Tuesday told RCP over email that the former senior Pentagon official is “tied up at this time and unable to comment.”

Negroponte, however, didn’t hesitate when asked whether, in retrospect, he has second thoughts about the Biden endorsement. Within 30 minutes of RCP’s inquiry, he emailed to say that he “definitely” stands by his decision, which he called a “choice between two candidates.”

The veteran diplomat and top intelligence official added that he never supported either Donald Trump’s or Biden’s withdrawal policy in Afghanistan. “I happen to disagree with both him and Mr. Trump on the issue of how we end our military involvement in Afghanistan,” he said.

Pressed on his views of how history will view Biden’s chaotic and deadly pullout form the country, Negroponte demurred for now. “Let’s let the dust settle and leave some time/space for those kind of judgments,” he replied.

RELATED: MAGA Rep. Boebert Calls For Biden And Harris Impeachment, Pelosi To Be Removed Over Afghanistan Withdrawal

Of those national security leaders backing Biden last fall whom RCP reached out to, only one readily came forward to defend the president’s chaotic and deadly Afghanistan withdrawal.

Charles Adams Jr., the former ambassador to Finland and international arbitration expert who served as the co-chair of Americans Abroad for Obama, echoed Biden’s contention that the rapid collapse of the Afghan military and its government could not have been predicted.

He said the Taliban’s rapid takeover forced Biden’s hand and gave him no choice but to work with the Islamic terrorist group to evacuate both Americans and Afghans who helped the U.S. and/or coalition forces over the last two decades.

“The withdrawal was the correct decision,” said Adams, who is prolific Democratic Party fundraiser. “It was a necessary decision. I’m among those who for 20 years have questioned the purpose and the feasibility of what was at the time stated to be the mission of the American forces in Afghanistan. And so, I applauded the decision to withdraw, and I continue to applaud.”

Adams also dismissed assertions by Panetta and many other national security and intelligence experts that terrorist groups, such as al-Qaeda and ISIS, are reconstituting in Afghanistan and will pose a dangerous threat to the United States as a result.

“There’s actually no reason to believe that the Taliban are going to encourage or harbor or be in a position to execute from Afghanistan any terrorist activity aimed abroad,” he said. “I can assure you that over the horizon surveillance is going to be intense, and the hazard of terrorist attacks from the Taliban or any of its protegees is really not something that is overwhelmingly concerning.”

Adams’ comments directly contradict warnings from Panetta and dozens of conservative-leaning or independent military and intelligence experts.

On Monday, 90 retired generals and admirals called on Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to resign over what they said was the “disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan,” including the deaths of 13 American service members and some 180 Afghans in a terrorist bombing at Kabul airport last week.

The letter’s signatories include John Poindexter, who served as President Reagan’s national security adviser, and House Rep. Ronny Jackson, the former top White House physician to Presidents Obama and Trump.

Panetta on Tuesday warned that it’s a mistake to rely on the Taliban for cooperation because the militant Islamic group cannot be trusted and has provided a safe haven for terrorists in the past and “will continue to provide a safe haven for terrorists.”

RELATED: Biden Is Unfit To Serve. Period.

Al-Qaeda likely will re-establish itself in Afghanistan, he told CNBC’s Shepard Smith, citing an interview with a Taliban commander who argued there is “no proof” that Osama bin Laden was behind 9/11.

Anthony Zinni, who headed the U.S. Central Command from 1997 to 2000 and who also publicly backed Biden last fall, hasn’t publicly criticized Biden’s handling of the withdrawal. Still, Zinni has expressed deep concern about the fate of Afghans who worked closely with the U.S. military and thousands more who worked on civilian programs in support of the U.S. and coalition efforts.

Zinni last week sent a letter to the top leaders in Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, urging them to work closely with the administration to protect Afghans who worked with U.S. officials.

“These individuals who stood directly with America face grave danger now,” he wrote. “And we must stand with them and also prioritize them for U.S.-led evacuations.”

Yet, after the U.S. completed its withdrawal on Monday, countless Afghans who assisted the U.S. or coalition forces in some way were left behind. Many remain in hiding, worried that the Taliban is hunting them down, including an Afghan interpreter who helped rescue Biden and two other senators while visiting the country in 2008 when they were forced to land in a snowstorm.

Panetta compared the rapid fall of Afghanistan to the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba in 1961. “I think of John Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs,” Panetta told CNN. “It unfolded quickly, and the president thought that everything would be fine and that was not the case.”

Biden has a chance of overcoming the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle, Panetta argued, but only if his administration successfully evacuates all Americans and U.S. allies remaining in Afghanistan, makes it clear that the U.S. will pursue terrorists in the country, and pushes the Taliban to recognize human rights.

“Ultimately, he’s going to have to say that he has learned the lessons from his experience in Afghanistan and the mistakes that have been made,” Panetta said.

But Biden showed no contrition, responsibility, or remorse in the speech he delivered Tuesday declaring America’s longest war finally over. Instead, the president boasted of the “extraordinary success” of the evacuation mission, arguing that no other country in the world had ever airlifted so many people so quickly out of a dangerous situation.

RELATED: Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld: Calling Biden’s Evacuation A ‘Success’ Is Like ‘Polishing A Turd’

He also tried to turn the obvious hostage threat of leaving an estimated 100-200 Americans behind into an accomplishment. “Ninety percent of Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to leave,” he said during his remarks, pledging to “make arrangement to get them out if they so choose.”

Biden also rejected any notion that the chaotic and deadly evacuation could have taken place in a more “orderly fashion” if U.S. military and diplomatic leaders had planned better for the Taliban takeover. “I respectfully disagree,” he asserted.

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

Susan Crabtree is RealClearPolitics’ White House/national political correspondent.

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MAGA Rep. Boebert Calls For Biden And Harris Impeachment, Pelosi To Be Removed Over Afghanistan Withdrawal

Pro-Trump Representative Lauren Boebert went scorched earth during a press conference, calling for the impeachment of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris over the chaotic withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

Boebert (R-CO), speaking on Tuesday with the House Freedom Caucus, called for the Commander-in-Chief’s impeachment.

But she also sought impeachment for Harris, who she believes has failed the American people by not invoking the 25th Amendment.

“The blame starts at the top with Biden and his hand-picked Vice President who bragged that she was right there making the same bad decisions,” declared Boebert.

“And if not for her own dereliction of duty, she should be impeached for not demanding we invoke the 25th amendment,” the fiery right-wing Republican added.

“It is time for action. Impeach Biden. Impeach Kamala Harris.”

RELATED: Report: Some Democrats Want Biden Administration Officials Fired Over Afghanistan Debacle

Boebert Calls For Accountability Down The Line

In addition to calling for President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ impeachment, Boebert went after a member of the Cabinet, Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

She also expressed hope that the House would vote to remove Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“It is time for action … impeach Biden impeach Kamala Harris, and throw in the Secretary of State, if you could get him back from vacation, take a vote to vacate the chair to get Nancy Pelosi the heck out of here,” she railed.

The 25th Amendment to the Constitution allows the vice president and members of the cabinet to vote to remove a president who they deem unable to fulfill their duties. 

RELATED: Gold Star Mother Slams ‘Dementia-Ridden’ Biden, Blames Democrat Voters For Son’s Death

Nobody Has Been Fired Or Punished Over Afghanistan Withdrawal

Remarkably, nobody in the administration has paid the price over the botched Afghanistan withdrawal which culminated in a terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 13 U.S. service members and roughly 200 Afghans, and left Americans behind.

And why would they, with an agitated and defensive President Biden hardly able to contain his excitement in declaring the mission an “extraordinary success” in remarks Tuesday?

The Washington Post earlier this week reported that some Democrats were privately expressing their concerns about the handling of the Afghanistan crisis and would like to see top Biden administration officials fired over the debacle.

“In private discussions, some House Democrats have raised the prospect of whether Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan — two of Biden’s most trusted aides — should lose their jobs,” the Post revealed.

That doesn’t appear to be happening any time soon.

As for the 25th Amendment talk, Kathy McCollum, the grieving mother of United States Marine Rylee McCollum, who was killed in last week’s suicide bombing is likely to support the move.

McCollum called President Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal an “unnecessary debacle.”

“I never thought in a million years that (my son) would die for nothing. For nothing,” she anguished. “Because a feckless dementia-ridden piece of crap wanted a photo-op on Sept. 11, that’s what kills me.”

 

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