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Joe Biden gave another speech on the situation in Afghanistan and this time he even answered questions from reporters, but his information has been called into question.
He gave the speech on Friday as images of the evacuation efforts in and around the Kabul Airport have been shown on television news broadcasts and the Internet.
“We’re going to do everything — everything that we can to provide safe evacuation for our Afghan allies, partners, and Afghans who might be targeted if — because of their association with the United States,” Biden said.
“But let me be clear, any American who wants to come home, we will get you home,” he said.
But Biden said that he did not know of anyone being beaten on the way to the airport, an assessment that the Pentagon contradicted shortly after his speech, The Daily Mail reported.
“Two questions for you. The military has secured the airport, as you mentioned, but will you sign off on sending U.S. troops into Kabul to evacuate Americans who haven’t been able to get to the airport safely?” a reporter said to Biden.
“We have no indication that they haven’t been able to get — in Kabul — through the airport. We’ve made an agreement with the — with the Taliban. Thus far, they’ve allowed them to go through. It’s in their interest for them to go through. So, we know of no circumstance where American citizens are — carrying an American passport — are trying to get through to the airport. But we will do whatever needs to be done to see to it they get to the airport.,” he said at around 1:49 PM EDT.
Then, at around 2:20 PM EDT, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, held a conference call with members of Congress where that was contradicted.
“We’re also aware that some people, including Americans, have been harassed and even beaten by the Taliban,” Secretary Austin said, multiple sources reported.
“This is unacceptable and [we] made it clear to the designated Taliban leader,” he said.
During his speech Biden had also asserted that Al Qaeda had been wiped out in Afghanistan.
“Look, let’s put this thing in perspective here. What interest do we have in Afghanistan at this point with al Qaeda gone? We went to Afghanistan for the express purpose of getting rid of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, as well as — as well as getting Osama bin Laden. And we did,” he said.
But at around 2:30pm EDT, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby spoke to reporters where he contradicted Biden.
“We know that al-Qaeda is a presence, as well as ISIS, in Afghanistan,” he said. “And we’ve talked about that for quite some time.
“But we don’t have an exact figure for you. It is not like they carry ID cards. And our intelligence gathering ability in Afghanistan isn’t what it used to be,” he said.
Then he was told by a reporter that Biden said al-Qaeda was gone in Afghanistan.
“We don’t think – we believe there isn’t a significant presence to merit a threat to our homeland, as there was back on 9/11 twenty years ago,” he said.
The Daily Mail reported.
However, terrorism experts have long said Al Qaeda continues to enjoy close relations with the Taliban.
Just this week, a Pentagon watchdog said the Taliban had been providing safe haven to the terrorist group all along.
A report by the Lead Inspector General for Operation Freedom’s Sentinel – the name of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan – said terrorist networks including ISIS had made the most of the Department of Defense’s drawdown.
‘Additionally, the Taliban continued to maintain its relationship with al Qaeda, providing safe haven for the terrorist group in Afghanistan,’ it said.
Article Source : Conservativebrief.com