Posted 120 days ago
EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., is slamming the Afghanistan dissent cable that Secretary of State Antony Blinken allowed congressional access to Tuesday as "embarrassing" and said it debunks the Biden administration's narrative that it was caught off guard by the country's swift collapse in 2021.
Issa, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Fox News Digital that he was the first committee member to view the dissent channel cable from the U. S. Embassy in Kabul and Washington's response.
The State Department’s "dissent channel" allows for contrary views to be expressed by officials. The document, signed by 23 staffers and diplomats, warned about the possibility of a rapid Taliban advance as the U. S. left the country, which President Biden and other top 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," the congressman said. "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 that 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," he 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."
Issa said the cable also revealed that "there was no expectation by the State Department that there would be sustainability" in the region and knew that the billions of dollars of U. S. military equipment that was left behind was going to fall into the Taliban's hands.
Issa said the cable went out on July 13, 2021, the response came back a week later on July 20, and Kabul officially fell weeks later on Aug. 15.
"Every prediction came through, including the quick collapse of the Afghan army," he said.
Issa said his next course of action is trying to get the document declassified so that the families of the 13 U. S. service members who were killed during the chaotic 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," he said.
"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."
"The bottom line is nothing ends here," added Issa's communications director, Jonathan Wilcox.
"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," he said.
"We know it was received. We know it wasn't followed," he continued. "Their personnel on the ground saw this, reported it, warned them, and were ignored."
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul announced Monday that he had secured an agreement with Secretary Blinken that would allow all members of the committee a reasonable opportunity to view the cable.... (Read more)