https://hotair.com/karen-townsend/2022/02/11/commander-in-charge-of-kabul-evacuation-white-house-and-jill-biden-were-distractions-during-chaotic-time-n447881

Rear Adm. Peter Vasely, the top U.S. commander in Kabul during the evacuation, is speaking out about the chaos that ensued during the botched Biden withdrawal from that country. He makes it perfectly clear that the “distractions” coming from the people in the White House, including Jill Biden, did nothing but interfere with the plan that was in place. It wasn’t just distractions in the White House, either. Pope Francis and members of Congress hit him up for special favors during the evacuation, too.

Vasely said that the Pentagon was being pulled in different directions from White House officials, lawmakers, members of the media, and from the Vatican, too. People requested special favors as it related to helping get people out of Kabul and essentially competed for the resources that were available during the evacuation process. The priority was to evacuate American citizens first, then legal American citizens (like green card holders), and then Afghans who helped American military. That is standard priority at the Pentagon but favors were being asked at such a high volume that Vasely felt under pressure to take “certain forces” away from the rescue plan in place.

We now know what Rear Adm. Vasely experienced during the evacuation because of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the Washington Post. A 2,000 page declassified report has been released. The report includes dozens of interviews with military officials and the most detailed official account of the 17-day evacuation to date. As a reminder, the Taliban arrived as a massive force in Kabul on August 15, ready to take control. American military leaders were not at all confident in the Biden administration’s ability to manage the crisis. We know now that those doubts were justified.

The long-standing practice of leaving no Americans behind simply didn’t happen. To this day, thousands of American citizens and green card holders are trapped, unable to get out. The same holds true for our Afghan helpers. They were promised the gift of coming to America after their service to our military yet the Biden administration turned their backs on so many of them. Most galling of all is when we continued to hear from the State Department that all of those who wanted to get out, got out. That was a flat-out lie. Blaming those left behind, stuck in Afghanistan, for their own predicament was always absurd. Are we to believe that the greatest military force on earth couldn’t evacuate all those who wanted to leave? The administration left many of them to fend for themselves.

Thousands of phone calls, text messages and emails flooded the U.S. operations center at Kabul’s airport throughout the evacuation, prompting Vasely, a Navy SEAL, to divert personnel and establish a “coordination cell” responsible for processing the overwhelming volume of communications from Washington and beyond, he told investigators. Vasely said social media exacerbated the problem, broadening the “aperture of ambition” to the point that people even campaigned for the military to rescue specific dogs.

“But you had everyone from the White House down with a new flavor of the day for prioritization,” Vasely told the Army investigators.

The requests came from people or groups seeking to work through official and unofficial channels. In other interviews contained in the investigation report, U.S. troops described being inundated with pleas for help — voice mails and emails from people they had, in some cases, never met but who had discovered they were a part of the rescue operation.

The calls for help became more frantic as it became clear the evacuation would not be extended. Among those who sought the U.S. government’s assistance were media outlets, including The Washington Post, who had Western journalists and Afghan staff members in harm’s way. This outreach is detailed within the report, and Biden administration officials underscored the point in responding to questions about the documents.

This tells us that the military was left to fly by the seat of its pants. Because of Biden’s stubborn insistence of a shortened period of time for the evacuation with a hard date for ending the evacuation operation, people concerned about what they were seeing on the ground panicked. The whole operation was horrifying to watch, to be frank. Biden promised it wouldn’t be like the last hours in Vietnam yet it turned out exactly like that. Despite warning received in advance, the Biden administration was completely ill-prepared for the quick takeover of the Taliban. Imagine the pressure put on military leaders as the First Lady and the Pope pressed for special favors in getting specific people out.

The Army’s lead investigator, Brig. Gen. Lance Curtis, asked Vasely whether it was true that First Lady Jill Biden and Pope Francis had called in to seek help for specific people who were in harm’s way.

‘That’s accurate,’ Vasely confirmed ‘I was being contacted by representatives from the Holy See to assist the Italian military contingent … in getting through groups … of special interest to the Vatican. That is just one of many examples.

‘I cannot stress enough,’ the admiral added, ‘how these high-profile requests ate up bandwidth and created competition for already stressed resources.’

A Post report earlier this week revealed the frustrations at the Pentagon as the White House and State Department failed to prepare the embassy for evacuations in the weeks preceding Kabul’s fall.

We were told by the administration that they had planned for every scenario. Remember when Biden campaigned as someone who would bring back adults to be in charge in his administration? The fact is that Joe Biden has been historically wrong throughout his decades in political office when it comes to foreign policy. The trope that he is a foreign policy expert was a reason that Obama gave to justify choosing Biden as his vice-president. It’s a false narrative that Biden is an expert on anything, certainly on foreign policy. He is always wrong. In this case, he didn’t take advance warnings about what the Taliban was capable of on the ground and how quickly they were prepared to take over Kabul and the rest of the country.

Volunteer groups are now doing the work that the Biden administration failed to do last August and the months leading up to the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

‘Just about every volunteer group can tell you stories about lawmakers and other people with authority calling and saying, “You need to get my guy out,”‘ said Scott Mann, founder of Task Force Pineapple, a private group that helped more than 800 escape Taliban rule.

The truth of just how badly Biden and his administration failed our military serving in Afghanistan and those who were supposed to be evacuated is slowly coming out. It truly is worse than we thought. Now, a conflict between Russia and Ukraine is brewing. Americans in Ukraine are, again, essentially on their own to get out. God help them.

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