New revelations reveal how many things President Biden said in recent days that were the precise opposite of the truth; Biden returns to his Delaware home today.

Almost everything Biden said about Afghanistan was false

President Joe Biden, August 10, 2021: “I’ll insist we continue to keep the commitments we made of providing close air support, making sure that their air force functions and is operable, re- — resupplying their forces with food and equipment, and paying all their salaries. But they’ve got to want to fight. They have outnumbered the Taliban. And I’m getting daily briefings. I think there’s still a possibility — you have a significant new Secretary of Defense — our equivalent of a Secretary of Defense in Afghanistan, Bismillah Khan, who is a serious fighter (emphasis added).”

The Wall Street Journal, August 14, 2021: “In the wake of President Biden’s withdrawal decision, the U.S. pulled its air support, intelligence and contractors servicing Afghanistan’s planes and helicopters. That meant the Afghan military simply couldn’t operate anymore.”

President Biden, in his interview with George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday: “The idea that the Taliban would take over was premised on the notion that the — that somehow, the 300,000 troops we had trained and equipped was gonna just collapse, they were gonna give up. I don’t think anybody anticipated that (emphasis added).”

The Wall Street Journal, today:

An internal State Department memo last month warned top agency officials of the potential collapse of Kabul soon after the U.S.’s Aug. 31 troop withdrawal deadline in Afghanistan, according to a U.S. official and a person familiar with the document.

The classified cable represents the clearest evidence yet that the administration had been warned by its own officials on the ground that the Taliban’s advance was imminent, and Afghanistan’s military may be unable to stop it. The cable, sent via the State Department’s confidential dissent channel, warned of rapid territorial gains by the Taliban and the subsequent collapse of Afghan security forces, and offered recommendations on ways to mitigate the crisis and speed up an evacuation, the two people said.

Biden to Stephanopoulos on Wednesday: “One of the things we didn’t know is what the Taliban would do in terms of trying to keep people from getting out, what they would do. What are they doing now? They’re cooperating, letting American citizens get out, American personnel get out, embassies get out, et cetera.”

So far, there are no reports of the Taliban killing an American citizen or impeding an American from getting to the airport. (They are attacking Australians.) But they have accosted and threatened American journalists, fired off shots, attacked crowds, and have made getting to the airport impossible to do safely.

This morning, on-the-ground reporters in Afghanistan said that:

Taliban fighters have erected checkpoints outside Kabul airport and prevented — sometimes violently — thousands of Afghans with travel documents from boarding flights out of the war-torn country.

Eyewitnesses say Taliban fighters, some carrying sticks and whips, are letting foreigners enter the airport but refusing many Afghans, even those with foreign passports.

With foreign governments unable to secure safe passage for passengers, some flights have left Kabul mostly empty. A plane from Germany, able to carry around 150 passengers, left with only seven people on board this week, sparking widespread criticism.

The BBC:

The warning the Taliban were targeting “collaborators” came in a confidential document by the RHIPTO Norwegian Center for Global Analyses, which provides intelligence to the UN.

“There are a high number of individuals that are currently being targeted by the Taliban and the threat is crystal clear,” Christian Nellemann, who heads the group behind the report, told the BBC.

“It is in writing that, unless they give themselves in, the Taliban will arrest and prosecute, interrogate and punish family members on behalf of those individuals.”

He warned that anyone on the Taliban’s blacklist was in severe danger, and that there could be mass executions.

Amnesty International, this morning:

On-the-ground researchers spoke to eyewitnesses who gave harrowing accounts of the killings, which took place between July 4-6 in the village of Mundarakht, Malistan district. Six of the men were shot and three were tortured to death, including one man who was strangled with his own scarf and had his arm muscles sliced off.

The brutal killings likely represent a tiny fraction of the total death toll inflicted by the Taliban to date, as the group have cut mobile phone service in many of the areas they have recently captured, controlling which photographs and videos are then shared from these regions.

“The cold-blooded brutality of these killings is a reminder of the Taliban’s past record, and a horrifying indicator of what Taliban rule may bring,” said Agn├Ęs Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

“These targeted killings are proof that ethnic and religious minorities remain at particular risk under Taliban rule in Afghanistan.”

The president assures us that the guys who slice the muscles off their prisoners are “cooperating.” That assessment goes well with his declaration that the guys who beat a woman to death for refusing to cook for them are in an “existential crisis.”

Working hard, or hardly working?

During arguably the biggest foreign-policy crisis in the past decade, Joe Biden did not appear in public at all Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. He is scheduled to address the country about Afghanistan today at 1 p.m. Eastern. He is still scheduled to spend Friday into Sunday at one of his homes in Delaware.

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