When President Joe Biden spoke on Friday, promising to evacuate all Americans from Afghanistan and defending his administration from criticism of the withdrawal from the country, he made numerous misleading or false claims, according to The New York Times.
The pullout and evacuation have been utterly chaotic, as Americans and tens of thousands of Afghan allies have been trying to flee the country and to reach the airport in Kabul.
For example, Biden said that “I have seen no question of our credibility from our allies around the world.” However, the Times calls this “misleading,” since U.S. allies have been reluctant to criticize the withdrawal, some members of these allies’ governments “have not minced words in questioning American leadership and credibility.”
Biden also said, “[W]hat interest do we have in Afghanistan at this point with al Qaeda gone? We went to Afghanistan for the express purpose of getting rid of al Qaeda in Afghanistan as well as, as well as getting Osama bin Laden, and we did.”
But the Times marks this as “false,” since, according to a United Nations Security Council report released in June, it is estimated that al Qaeda is present in at least 15 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.
A report released last week from the Defense Department’s Office of Inspector General said that “the Taliban continued to maintain its relationship with Al Qaeda, providing safe haven for the terrorist group in Afghanistan.” Also, after Biden spoke, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that the group was present in Afghanistan, contradicting the president.
Biden said that “[W]e have no indication that they haven’t been able to get — in Kabul — through the airport. We’ve made an agreement with the, with the Taliban. Thus far, they’ve allowed them to go through. It’s in their interest for them to go through. So, we know of no circumstance where American citizens are — carrying an American passport — are trying to get through to the airport.”
The Times says this is misleading as well, since reports from Afghanistan contradict this.