Last year, the Afghanistan debacle hit the Joe Biden administration hard. Many critics claimed the White House was caught by surprise when the Taliban took over, for example.
But most of the criticism centered on the evacuation process, which some say was terribly botched. Military authorities have gone on record saying it was “chaotic” and simply not well executed.
And a newly released Army report sheds more light on the situation — and unfortunately, it puts the First Lady in a tough spot.
The report in question has been stealing news headlines for most of the week. This declassified report includes interviews with dozens of military officials, and shows concerning failings.
Specifically, the report talks about the lack of organization and speed regarding the 17-day evacuation out of Kabul.
Part of this was due to a flood of “high-profile” requests that slowed the process and in some cases, may have hurt the overall success of the operation. And some of those requests came from First Lady Jill Biden.
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Rear Adm. Peter Vasely, special assistant to the Director of the Navy Staff, talked about endless calls for help during the hectic evacuation.
This reportedly created an immense distraction, as noted by the Washington Post (as reported by Fox News):
‘That’s accurate,’ Vasley said when asked in sworn testimony for the report whether Pope Francis and First Lady Jill Biden intervened in evacuation efforts to request help on behalf of others.
‘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.’
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Vasely added that he “cannot stress enough how these high-profile requests ate up bandwidth and created competition for already stressed resources.”
With an onslaught of phone calls, texts, and emails, the military attempted to create a “coordination cell” to handle it all. But Vasely said there was always “a new flavor of the day for prioritization.”
This included the White House, though President Joe Biden has already rejected the report.
When asked by anchor Lester Holt, POTUS claimed the details in the report aren’t true: “I am rejecting them,” Biden said.
But that won’t stop the incoming criticism and claims from witnesses, such as Vasely. He isn’t the only high-ranking member of the military to slam the administration for incompetence in the Afghanistan mess.
The report also claimed the White House was completely “unprepared” for the Taliban takeover, and wasn’t ready to react quickly enough.
And with special requests from the likes of the First Lady evidently slowing the process even further, this might continue to haunt the administration for a very long time.