GOP Representative Darrell Issa: ‘Embarrassing’ Dissent Cable Shows Biden ‘Allowed’ Afghanistan to Collapse

Republican Representative Darrell Issa of California is slamming the Afghanistan dissent cable that Secretary of State Antony Blinken allowed Congress to access on Tuesday as “embarrassing” and said it debunks the narrative of the Biden administration that it was caught off guard by the country’s rapid collapse in 2021. 

Issa serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and said he was the first committee member to view the dissent channel cable from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul as well as Washington’s response. 

The State Department’s “dissent channel” allows contrary views to be expressed by government officials. The documents, signed by 23 diplomats and staffers, warned about the possibility of a rapid advance by the Taliban as the U.S. departed the country, which President Joe Biden and other officials downplayed at the time. 

“What we saw was their prediction, with great accuracy, of exactly what was going to happen and what the outcome would be if they did not change their directions,” said the congressman. “We saw a response from the office of the State Department saying, ‘We hear you, and we agree, basically, we don’t take it lightly,’ And then, obviously, we know what they did and didn’t do, which was totally insufficient, for the warning was given.”

“They redacted the specific names, but we now know that many of them were senior executive surrogates, meaning people that are paid at the highest level in the State Department,” Issa continued. “They knew and understood that there was no way that the Afghan military was going to defend successfully. They did not disagree with that, and as a result, they knew that Kabul would fall within weeks, that the Taliban would do what they have done, which is to continue to kill and persecute individuals, and they allowed it to happen.”

Representative Issa said the cable also showed that “there were no expectations by the State Department that there would be sustainability” in the region and knew that the billions of dollars of United States military equipment that was left behind would fall into the hands of the Taliban. 

According to Issa, in a cable that went out on July 13, 2021, a response followed on July 20, and Kabul officially fell weeks later on August 15.  

“Every prediction came through, including the quick collapse of the Afghan army,” said Issa. 

Rep. Issa said his next move is to get the document declassified so that families of the 13 service members who were killed during the tumultuous withdrawal can get to the bottom of what happened. 

“Redacting only a portion of a portion of a sentence takes this from a secret document to a confidential document, and confidential, quite frankly, in this case, is even inappropriate,” said Issa.

“This is classified because it’s embarrassing,” he added. “There’s absolutely no reason the American people shouldn’t see it, and I will not rest until they do.”

Jonathan Wilcox, Issa’s communications director, said, “The bottom line is nothing ends here.”

“This obliterates the administration’s big lie on Afghanistan — that this could not have been foretold, nobody could have seen this coming, nothing could have done to prevent it,” said Wilcox. 

Biden’s disastrous decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan faced global backlash

President Biden’s decision to pull troops from Afghanistan faced worldwide backlash after Taliban insurgents retook the country in just a few days. Only a month earlier, the president told Americans that the likelihood of a takeover by the Taliban was “highly unlikely.”

Immediately, critics demanded answers for the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal and called for the firings of national security adviser Jake Sullivan, Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, Blinken, and Secretary Lloyd Austin, however no one was fired. 

Despite President Biden telling Americans after Afghanistan’s fall that “the buck stops with me,” he repeatedly blamed the Afghan military and former President Trump for the country’s swift collapse. While President Biden admitted that the Taliban’s takeover had caught the United States off guard, he has insisted that he made the correct decision in ending the war and declined to fire a single official over the failed pullout.