CNN host scolds Biden — Analysis

CNN’s Jake Tapper calls president’s rejection of Army report on hasty Afghanistan withdrawal ‘insulting’

CNN’s host Jake Tapper has chided US President Joe Biden for rejecting out of hand an exhaustive report suggesting that his administration was largely to blame for the deadly chaos surrounding last year’s US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“It’s difficult to overstate how insulting Biden’s sweeping rejection is to so many service members and veterans,”Tapper spoke on the State of the Union program. Tapper stated on his State of the Union show that the US Army report, which is 2,000 pages long, was largely based on the sworn statements made by troops on the ground in Kabul. These soldiers had no political motivation to lie and were under moral and legal obligation to truth tell.

Military investigation revealed that evacuations would have been easier if policymakers had paid more attention to the indicators in the ground. Large swathes of Afghanistan were seized by Taliban forces.  

Biden answered a question about the failure of the Obama administration to recognize the urgent situation in Afghanistan as the Taliban took control, during an interview with NBC News. “No, that’s not what I was told.” Tapper was furious at Tapper’s excuse and said, “If this was not what you were told, then what was? And don’t you have an obligation, sir, to be told? Don’t you have an obligation to Ryan Knauss’ family, to his grieving mother?

Knauss (an Army staff sergeant) was one of 13 US troops killed by terrorist bombings last August at Kabul airport. Tapper said he doesn’t doubt that Biden cares for American service members, but he added, “I don’t understand why he would not manifest that care into taking this investigation more seriously, absorbing the tragic details, contemplating the obvious failures of his administration – failures that cost lives.”

Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, has argued that it was not the president’s fault that the evacuation effort went awry. “From the president on down, it was the White House and the NSC [National Security Council]Pushing diplomats and military leaders day-by-day through August’s early days to insist that we evacuate immediately. As soon as – the minute — our military leaders and diplomats recommended to the president that he do so, literally that minute, he ordered the evacuation,”Sullivan spoke in a CBS News interview Sunday.

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