President Biden took off his mask and emerged from isolation to announce that the CIA had zapped al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zahawiri in a drone strike conducted by the CIA on his Kabul balcony over this past weekend. The White House has posted the transcript of Biden’s remarks here. Reuters has a good story on the drone strike here and more on the operation here. Biden said the strike occurred on Saturday; Reuters says Sunday. I assume the time difference accounts for the apparent discrepancy.
Reuters refers to Zawahiri’s apartment in Kabul as an al Qaeda safe house. The operation reminds us that we exited Afghanistan in disgrace last year. Biden represented the operation as a triumph of his vision, but the “safe house” tends belies that. Indeed, in another Reuters story here, Secretary Blinken is quoted saying the Taliban “grossly” violated the Doha Agreement by hosting and sheltering al Qaeda’s top leader.
You don’t say. Shocking.
Reuters cruelly quotes Blinken’s statement: “In the face of the Taliban’s unwillingness or inability to abide by their commitments, we will continue to support the Afghan people with robust humanitarian assistance and to advocate for the protection of their human rights, especially of women and girls.”
Secretary Blinken is one of the more respectable members of the Biden team. I offer this as further evidence that what we have here is a clown-car administration.
Below is a video clip that “Biden” tweeted out last night after announcing the hit on Zawahiri. He emphasized that Zawahiri’s family was unscathed in the attack, but I wouldn’t be one bit choked up if they were accompanying him to hell. Biden looks and sounds weak. The unstated message here seems to me something other than as advertised. I’m not sure he’s up to dealing with the impending crisis arising from Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
Today, and every day, I am grateful to the superb patriots who serve in the United States intelligence and counterterrorism community.
It is thanks to their extraordinary persistence and skill that this operation was a success – they have made us all safer. pic.twitter.com/OUARNt1Kdv
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 2, 2022