Watch: Blinken Testifies Over Afghanistan Mess

Written By BlabberBuzz | Tuesday, 14 September 2021 16:45

Secretary of State Antony Blinken appeared before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Monday afternoon and was grilled over the White House's handling of the evacuation from Afghanistan after the American military withdrawal.

American citizens, green card holders, and Afghan allies have been held in the Taliban-controlled nation after U.S. forces departed at the end of August, and members of Congress will be looking for answers as to how this occurred.

"I have a lot of questions for Antony Blinken, as do all of the Republicans and I'm sure many of our Democratic friends," committee member Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., told "Fox Report." "Look, right now, we have families that are still stranded."

Tenney told of one family of green card holders where the only American citizen is a 3-year-old and Congress was informed that just one parent would be able to join them, leaving the rest of the family of seven behind.

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"So this is just completely unacceptable. And it's part of the debacle that has been this policy and Secretary Blinken needs to answer that."

Tenney announced Blinken has provided "inadequate responses" to the situation, "including don't rely on the U.S. government to get you out of Afghanistan."

Another problem that Tenney explained she plans to address is whether Blinken "is actually going to recognize the Taliban government, a terrorist organization, as a legitimate government."

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The newly announced Taliban cabinet includes interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is on the FBI's most-wanted list.

Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., meantime, is concerned that he and others on the committee will not even get an opportunity to question Blinken if the secretary leaves early.

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"Each time Mr. Blinken comes to our committee … he only comes for maybe two or three hours," Steube explained to Nexstar’s Kellie Myer, noting that because of his junior status on the committee he has yet to question the secretary.

Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., defended the Biden administration in the face of the chaotic evacuation and withdrawal process.

"Let's face it, this mission was fraught with peril, because there's no way to flee without causing a stampede, and there's no way to have a stampede that's orderly and meritorious," Sherman told Axios.

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It is unclear how many American citizens or permanent residents stay in Afghanistan. Qatar has been helping people in flying out through Qatar Airways, while others have been able to get out by traveling overland.

Blinken announced Friday that two American citizens and 11 lawful permanent residents left over land that day, with 19 citizens flying out of Afghanistan.

"We continue to work to uphold our commitment to assist departures for those to whom we have a special commitment," he said.

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