Sen. Ben Sasse didn’t mince words in his criticism of the Biden administration’s disjointed handling of the Afghanistan takeover.
‘We’re gonna rely on the mercy and the good graces of these rapists?’ the Nebraska Republican said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Thursday.
‘They’re going to households and they’re saying, “We have rights to every girl over 12. You ready to hand her over or do we have to fight you for her?”‘ Sasse continued.
‘That’s who these people are, and the administration says, “Trust us we have really good diplomatic relations.”‘
‘The administration is filled with people right now who are just saying nonsense, thinking they’ll be able to outlast the next 24 hours of a media cycle at home,’ Sasse continued.
‘They don’t have a plan to say to our allies, the American troops on the ground and to say to the Americans who are trapped, many of them well beyond Kabul, to say to the Americans who are still in country, “You will not be left behind and the Taliban doesn’t dictate any count down clock on your life or our moral obligation to keep our word.”‘
‘We’re gonna rely on the mercy and the good graces of these rapists?’ the Nebraska Republican said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Thursday
‘The administration is filled with people right now who are just saying nonsense, thinking they’ll be able to outlast the next 24 hours of a media cycle at home,’ Sasse said of the Biden team
Taliban fighters patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan
The moderate senator tore into State Sec. Antony Blinken.
‘Secretary Blinken says different things to different people. Repeatedly, his numbers don’t add up and the only people he seems unwilling to blame is the Taliban.’
The State Department was for days unwilling to say exactly how many Americans they had flown out of Afghanistan and how many were still waiting to be evacuated.
On Wednesday, a State official said there were 4,100 Americans still awaiting rescue. Shortly after, an official said that the other official had ‘misspoke.’ Blinken then said the US had evacuated 4,500 Americans, was planning to evacuate another 500 and was trying to make contact with another 1,000 who may or may not want to leave.
And just last week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said there were 11,000 Americans who wanted to leave, while Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said there were between 5,000 and 10,000.
‘Secretary Blinken says things that are partly good but they’re undermined by things he says every day. He uses numbers that don’t add up – are there 500 or 4,000 Americans left? Does it include passport holders only or green card holders also?’ Sasse griped.
Blinken said Wednesday his figure included US passport holders, not those with a green card.
Tens of thousands of Afghans who assisted in the war effort have applied for special immigrant visas to come to the US, and while the US has promised not to leave them behind many have been blocked from getting to Kabul airport where the Taliban has formed a wall of checkpoints outside the perimeter.
There are swarms of Afghans desperate to flee surrounding the airport, and on Thursday a suicide bomber detonated an explosion that injured at least three US marines and killed at least 13Afghans, including children.
Afghans looking to flee have two options – head to the airport, where they have to risk being blown up as US officials warn an attack from ISIS-K could be imminent, and hope for a shot at an evacuation flight, or make a run for the Pakistan border which is now overrun with Afghans and nearly 200 miles away.
Injured Afghans flee Kabul airport after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive outside the Baron Hotel, killing multiple people and injuring at least three US troops
Scenes from the ground show injured Afghans being removed in wheelchairs. Left, a view of the explosion on Thursday
Crowds of people wait outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday as the evacuation mission continues
A US soldier places a ‘gate closed’ on one of the crowded entrances of Kabul airport as hundreds of desperate Afghans wait to board flights. The US is now working to evacuate everyone they can in the next 36 hours and will then withdraw – two days earlier than the Taliban’s 31 deadline
Overnight, 5,100 people were flown out of Kabul on US military planes. Another 8,300 were saved by coalition flights. The total – 13,400 – was drastically less than the 19,000 rescued in the previous 24 hours.
After the Taliban announced ‘consequences’ for the US if it extended its troop presence beyond Aug. 31, Biden has said he will hold firm to that date. He said on Tuesday the US is on track to complete evacuations by then.
‘What we really need is a commander-in-chief to declare to the Taliban there is no count down clock on American lives,’ Sasse said.
The senator also laid blame on President Trump, who signed a peace agreement with the Taliban promising the US withdrawal and the release of 5,000 prisoners.
‘By the way, this bizarre view of the Taliban dates back to President Trump when they signed the deal in Doha February 2020, when he said he had a good call with the Taliban, they wanted to end the violence as much as he did.’