Rep McCaul Says The Taliban Are Holding Americans Hostage At An Airport In Afghanistan

Rep Michael McCaul(R-TX), the top Republican in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, appeared on Fox News Sunday(09/05/2021), where he made the bombshell claim that the Taliban are holding Americans, already seated in planes and awaiting departure, hostage at the Mazar-i-Sharif Airport in Afghanistan.

Rep McCaul’s full interview on Fox News Sunday is available here, but the relevant clip is below

Rep McCaul told host Chris Wallace: “We have six airplanes at Mazar-i-Sharif Airport, six airplanes, with American citizens on them as I speak, also with these interpreters, and the Taliban is holding them hostage for demands right now. State[Department] has cleared these flights, and the Taliban will not let them leave the airport…And that’s my concern…they[Taliban] are going to demand more and more, whether it be cash, or legitimacy as the government of Afghanistan…This is really turning into a hostage situation, where they are not going to allow American citizens to leave until they get full recognition from the United States of America.”

Needless to say, Americans being held hostage in a hostile foreign nation, will always be a big deal, or as TeamBiden would say, a “bfd”. It will be interesting to see how the Biden administration addresses this bombshell claim by the ranking Republican in the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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Nikki Haley’s Rank Hypocrisy On Dealing With The Taliban Exposed

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who is widely believed to be laying the groundwork for a potential presidential run in 2024, wasted no time in blasting President Biden, her potential 2024 Dem opponent, for the crisis currently playing out in Afghanistan. While the Afghanistan crisis is a legitimate attack topic for Republicans, Nikki Haley is finding out, like former Secretary of State Pompeo did, that her job in the Trump administration, makes it harder for her to slam President Biden over Afghanistan. Nikki Haley’s attack on President Biden for “dealing with the Taliban” in particular, is demonstrably hypocritical, because she is on record as having supported the exact same approach under Trump.

The full CNN segment on Nikki Haley’s Taliban hypocrisy is available here, but the relevant clip is below.

Then Ambassador Nikki Haley said in 2018 re the Taliban:“Our[Trump admin]policy on Afghanistan is working. We can see dramatic changes in terms of what the U.S. policy has been doing. We are seeing that we are closer to talks with the Taliban and the peace process than we’ve seen before. We think peace is very important, we think the Taliban coming to the table is very important, and we think that the entire international community needs to support this process…”

There’s no other way to interpret this, other than Ambassador Haley was in favor of the Trump administration negotiating with the Taliban, but is now totally opposed to a Democratic President, Biden, doing the exact same thing–the quintessential rank hypocrisy.

Bottom line folks, as Yours Truly stated recently regarding similar hypocrisy from former Secretary of State Pompeo, the situation in Afghanistan is clearly a mess, and a legitimate attack topic for Republicans. However, for Nikki Haley, Pompeo, and other former members of the Trump administration, attacking Biden over the Afghanistan mess is a tricky business, that will almost always expose them to rank hypocrisy charges.

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Pompeo Confronted On Giving Taliban Legitimacy And Securing Their Release From Prison

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on Fox News Sunday(08/15/2021) to discuss the ongoing crisis unfolding in Afghanistan, following the decision by the Biden administration to withdraw U.S. troops from the country. Pompeo, who naturally was intent on slamming the Biden administration for the chaos in Afghanistan, was however confronted with his own record as Secretary of State, specifically, his role in legitimizing the Taliban, and forcing the Afghan government to release Taliban fighters from prison.

Pompeo’s full interview on Fox News Sunday is available here, but the relevant clip is below

Host Chris Wallace’s question to Pompeo: “You are the first American Secretary of State to ever meet with the Taliban, and you talked about how they had agreed to join us in the fight against terrorism…Do you regret giving the Taliban that legitimacy? Do you regret pressuring the Afghan government to release five thousand prisoners, which they did, some of whom are now back on the battlefield fighting with the Taliban?”

Pompeo responded that even though he enlisted Taliban forces in our fight against terrorism, specifically Al-Qaeda, he has never trusted them. He specifically said, “We never trusted the Taliban…We made abundantly clear if they did not live up to that peace of paper[deal], to the words that they had put on the ground, we weren’t going to allow them to just walk away from any deal that they had struck. We were going to crush them…We didn’t take the word of the Taliban. We watched their actions on the ground. When they did the right thing and they helped us against terror, that was all good, and when they didn’t, we crushed them.”

Pompeo’s response is shaky on several grounds, chief among them, the fact that it dodges the million dollar question at hand, and that is, whether the Taliban fighters he forced the Afghan government to release, are the same fighters now running over the country. Reasonable people will agree that some of the Taliban prisoners freed as a result of pressure from then Secretary Pompeo, are the same fighters now causing all the chaos in the country.

Bottom line folks, the operating principle has been, and still is, that in all our military engagements, the buck always stops with the sitting Commander-in-Chief, in this case, President Biden. Republicans have every right to lay the blame on the Biden administration for the chaos currently unfolding in Afghanistan. It is totally disingenuous however, for Pompeo and others in former President Trump’s cabinet, to act like they had nothing to do with the current mess in Afghanistan. Reasonable people will agree that some of the five thousand Taliban prisoners Pompeo pressured the Afghan government to release, are the same Taliban fighters now running over the country. Simply put Mike Pompeo, you have a hand in the Afghan mess!!

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Trump Wanted To Sic Active Duty Military On Civil Rights Protesters

George Floyd Protest at Lafayette Square in Washington DC (June 1, 2020)

Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist Carol Leonnig dropped a bombshell on CBS’ Face The Nation (07/25/21), when she told host John Dickerson that during the height of the civil rights protests in the Summer of 2020, former President Trump wanted to “sic U.S. active duty military on civil rights protesters.” Leonnig and co-author Philip Rucker, who appeared on the show to discuss their new book “I alone can fix it”, said senior Trump administration officials were afraid to quit because they feared he would replace them with sycophants, who would support his every move, including unleashing active duty military on civil rights protesters.

The full Face The Nation segment featuring Leonnig and Rucker is available here, but the relevant clip is below.

Carol Leonnig told host John Dickerson: “There’s another thing Phil and I learned that sort of made our jaws drop, which is that–we didn’t know this in real time, or we would have told the American people–many people who were the most ardent supporters of the president, were afraid to counter him because they were afraid who would replace them. Would it be worse? Would there be no bulwark at all against orders to vaccinate people before the vaccine was ready? Would there be a loyalist installed at the defense department who would do what President Trump wanted all of 2020, which was to sic U.S. active duty military on civil rights protesters during the Black Lives Matter Summer.”

Philip Rucker added, “He [Trump] said it was his only regret from the year 2020. He has no regrets, according to what he told Carol and me, about how he handled the pandemic, about the hundreds of thousands of lives lost on his watch. His one regret was that he didn’t send active duty U.S. military troops into Portland, into Seattle, into Minneapolis, into Washington[DC], to go after the Black Lives Matter protesters. These were people demonstrating [against] injustice in the law enforcement system here in this country, and Trump wanted a show of force. He wanted to send the military into the streets to silence them.”

Trump’s abuse of the military remains one of the most underreported stories by the mainstream media, something Yours Truly has repeatedly lamented.

Hopefully now that MSM A-Listers Leonnig and Rucker are raising the military abuse issue, others in the media will dig deeper into what Trump’s Defense Department (DOD) did with anti-Trump protesters generally, and Black Lives Matter(BLM) activists in particular. Were there orders for the military to go after BLM from 2017-2021? Did former President Trump enlist super-Trumper GOP Governors like Greg Abbott(TX), Ron DeSantis(FL), et al, to use their National Guard troops on BLM? If Trump did indeed abuse the military for his political ends, are the officials who effected the abuse still at DOD? Are those anti-BLM military operations still going on under the Biden administration? All these are questions journalists should be confronting Biden’s DOD with.

Bottom line folks, there have been extensive media reports on Trump administration’s politicization of DOJ & DHS, but not even a single one on DOD. It’s about time the mainstream media did a deep dive into Trump’s politicization of the military, so that the public does not lose confidence in this still highly revered American institution. Simply put, it is not only important that our military remains apolitical, but that the public also views it as such.

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Laura Ingraham Is Upset That Defense Secretary Austin Wants To Rid Military Of Racists & Extremists

The unfortunate events of January 6, 2021, dubbed “DCInsurrection”, where a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building interrupting a joint session of Congress convened to formally confirm the election of President Joe Biden, have raised a lot of questions about violent extremism and racism in the United States, and specifically, the extent to which such extremism and racism have infected the military ranks.

During the insurrection, a lot of Americans witnessed on live TV and social media, images of many of the rioters in military regalia, engaging in formations that left absolutely no doubt that they were either active duty military officers, or veterans of the U.S. armed forces. Media reports have since confirmed that quite a number of the DC insurrectionists were indeed either active duty military officers or veterans, a disturbing development indeed, and proof positive sign that there is radicalization/extremism within our armed forces. Sadly, there were also images at the DC insurrection of people displaying flags and other symbols of groups with long and documented histories of espousing White supremacist views. So the problem at DC insurrection was not just violent extremism, but violent extremism plus racism.

Naturally, as a result of these troubling media reports, there have been calls from the public and members of Congress, for the department of defense to investigate this apparent radicalization in the military, with the goal of ridding the revered American institution of racists and extremists–something all reasonable people will conclude is a very noble and justified goal. It was therefore quite interesting on Thursday’s(2/4/2021) edition of her show, to see Fox News host Laura Ingraham express reservations, even outrage, at the fact that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has put in motion efforts to do just that–rid the U.S. military of racists and extremists.

In the editorial section of her show titled “The Ingraham Angle“, Ingraham lashed out at Defense Secretary Austin saying his efforts to get racists and extremists out of the military was a veiled attempt at purging Conservatives and Trump supporters from the military. Laura played a clip of Defense Secretary Austin’s remarks at his Senate confirmation hearing where Secretary Austin said, “I will fight hard to stump out sexual assault, and to rid our ranks of racists and extremists. The job of the department of defense is to keep America safe from our enemies, but we can’t do that if some of those enemies lie within our own ranks.” She then strangely lashed out at these perfectly normal sentiments by Secretary Austin saying, “Of course what he [Secretary Austin] really meant then, and what he would like to do now, is rid the military of all strong Conservatives and of course, Trump supporters.”

Laura Ingraham’s take on Secretary Austin’s remarks at his confirmation hearings are not only troubling because she unreasonably casts negative aspersions at the Secretary’s motives, but also because she appears to be troubled that efforts are underway to rid the military of racists and extremists. Reasonable people would welcome such a move because it is not only good for the military, but also for the country to have a military that does not harbor racists and extremists. By unreasonably suggesting that the aim here is to rid the military of “strong Conservatives” and “Trump supporters”, is Laura Ingraham tacitly admitting that Conservatives and Trumpers are indeed racists and extremists? Are racists and extremists a voting block that is now being actively courted by the modern Republican party? These and others, are interesting questions one hopes the mainstream media will pose to Ingraham and company, regarding her seeming reluctance to have the military remove racists and extremists from it’s ranks.

It also bears pointing out that Ingraham’s reservations about getting rid of racists and extremists from the military is a prevalent view among many prominent Republicans. You’ll remember that after the January 6th incident, many people started expressing concern about a similar insurrection happening two weeks later, at the January 20th presidential inauguration event. Among the steps taken to prevent a repeat of January 6th, was a beefing up of security in and around Washington DC, by bringing in National Guard troops from the various states. The troops brought in to secure the inauguration event were vetted to ensure they had no ties to the same extremists groups that participated in the January 6th insurrection. Strangely, and much like we witnessed with Laura Ingraham, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and Florida’s Ron DeSantis, were also very upset that the troops were vetted for extremism ties, something most reasonable people would consider prudent given the circumstances.

Bottom line folks, Yours Truly has repeatedly stated that among the most underreported stories during the four years of the Trump administration, is the extent to which he politicized and abused the military to achieve his political interests. These unreasonable protestations by Trumpers like Laura Ingraham, Governors Abbott, DeSantis, et al, towards ridding the military of racists and extremists, only add on to my suspicions. Are they afraid that a vetting will uncover something they are already aware of, but would rather hide from the public? Hmm

Obviously the jury is still out on the finer details of the politicization and abuse of the military during the four years of the Trump administration, and hopefully details will soon start coming out under the Biden administration. One hopes that the mainstream media will keep us fully apprised on the findings of DOD Inspector General’s investigations in this regard, especially in states like Texas and Florida with super Trumper Governors.

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