Representative Darrell Issa, a Republican from California, has come forward to expose the Afghanistan dissent cable provided to Congress by Secretary of State Antony Blinken today. Issa described it as “embarrassing” and argued that it contradicted the Biden administration’s claim of being ‘surprised’ by the rapid fall of Afghanistan in 2021.
Issa, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Fox News Digital in an interview that he was the first on the committee to review the dissent channel cable dispatched from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul along with the response from Washington.
The document, signed by 23 employees and diplomats, alerted of the potential for a swift Taliban takeover as the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan. However, this warning was minimized by President Biden and other top officials at the time.
“What we saw was their prediction, with great accuracy, of exactly what was going to happen and what the outcome would be if they did not change their directions,” Issa said. “We saw a response from the office of the State Department saying, ‘We hear you, and we agree, basically, we don’t take it lightly.’ And then, obviously, we know what they did and didn’t do, which was totally insufficient for the warning that was given.”
“They redacted the specific names, but we now know that many of them were senior executive surrogates, meaning people that are paid at the highest level in the State Department,” he explained.
“They knew and understood that there was no way that the Afghan military was going to defend successfully. They did not disagree with that, and as a result, they knew that Kabul would fall within weeks, that the Taliban would do what they have done, which is to continue to kill and persecute individuals, and they allowed it to happen.”
Today, I read the Afghanistan dissent cable. It reveals Biden's big lie about his biggest failure.
Our people on the ground warned the Biden Admin its Afghanistan policy would collapse. They were ignored. We were told a different story.
The cover-up is now over.
— Rep. Darrell Issa (@repdarrellissa) June 6, 2023
In diplomatic terms, a “cable” is a formal message or communication sent via a secure electronic system between embassies, consulates, and the home foreign office or department of state. The term has its roots in the era when such messages were sent via telegraph cables, but it is still used today. The message was transmitted through the State Department’s “dissent channel,” a mechanism that allows diplomats and other department officials to express views that contradict or challenge official policy or prevailing views within the department.
Issa asserted that the cable indicated that the State Department did not foresee any stability in the region and was aware that the billions of dollars worth of U.S. military equipment left behind would likely end up in the hands of the Taliban.
According to Issa, the cable was sent on July 13, 2021, and a response was received a week later, on July 20. By August 15, Kabul had fallen. Issa’s next step is to work towards declassifying the document so the families of the 13 U.S. service members who lost their lives during the tumultuous withdrawal can better understand the events leading up to the tragedy.
“Every prediction came through, including the quick collapse of the Afghan army.”
“Redacting only a portion of a portion of a sentence takes this from a secret document to a confidential document, and confidential, quite frankly, in this case is even inappropriate,” said Issa. “This is classified because it’s embarrassing. There’s absolutely no reason the American people shouldn’t see it, and I will not rest until they do.”
Issa’s communications director, Jonathan Wilcox added, “The bottom line is nothing ends here. This obliterates the administration’s big lie on Afghanistan – that this could not have been foretold, nobody could have seen this coming, nothing could have done to prevent it. We know it was received. We know it wasn’t followed,” Wilcox continued.
“Their personnel on the ground saw this, reported it, warned them, and were ignored.”
Chairman McCaul accepted Secretary of State Blinken’s agreement to allow Congress to view a dissent channel cable as a satisfactory response to his previous subpoena, thereby removing the threat of contempt. This move marks the first time a dissent cable has been provided to Congress in U.S. history.
McCaul, who had subpoenaed the document multiple times earlier this year, praised this as a significant advancement in the committee’s investigation into the withdrawal from Afghanistan. The cable contains first-hand accounts from U.S. Embassy Kabul employees who were on the ground before the country’s collapse, and Blinken’s response to their concerns.