On Wednesday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul said he believes there are more American citizens in Afghanistan than the figures put out by the State Department.
Yesterday, Secretary of State Blinken claimed that there were just 1,500 Americans left in Afghanistan.
The high-ranking Republican also believes it is not possible to evacuate all American citizens by the August 31 deadline.
McCaul made his remarks during an interview on CNN’s “Situation Room.”
“I don’t see how, in six days, we can get out what I think is a higher number of American citizens, not to mention the Afghan interpreters who have been left behind,” McCaul said.
“And we promised them we would get them out of there. And now, they’re in the bullseye of the Taliban, and they will be executed,” McCaul claimed.
Also on Wednesday, McCaul said during a press conference that the U.S. is “dark” on intelligence in Afghanistan related to evacuation efforts.
“I don’t want to get into classified space, but I’ll tell you when we shut down Bagram [air base], all of our ISR, intelligence surveillance reconnaissance capabilities, went down,” McCaul told Just the News.
“When you shut an embassy down, you have no more eyes and ears on the ground, and we’re dark,” he added.
“I’ve been very disappointed with no plan or strategy,” McCaul said.
“We should have had these Americans out, the interpreters out months ago,” McCaul insisted.
“I had a joint op-ed with Ambassador Crocker in the New York Times spelling out exactly what needs to be done and these were all the points that we made,” McCaul said.
He continued, “And my Democratic colleagues agree but we are dark and when we’re dark, there’s danger, especially in a country like Afghanistan, where we know Al-Qaeda’s numbers are probably more than they were before 9/11 and they have a safe haven.”
McCaul went further, and said that President Biden will have “blood on his hands.”
“The president made this decision even though his own secretary of state [Anthony Blinken] and secretary of defense [Lloyd Austin] were saying we are going to get all Americans out of there [Afghanistan] and all of our Afghan partners, there is no way it’s humanly possible by August 31st. In the span of that hour and a half classified briefing the president made this decision and it’s very clear it surprised everybody. That’s why I say he will have blood [on his hands] because our military always says no man left behind, no one left behind, and the president is now leaving behind American citizens. I think it’s a disgrace, a betrayal, and an unconditional surrender to the Taliban [that] should never have happened. This will have long-term consequences.”
Of Blinken’s 1,500 figure for the number of Americans in Afghanistan, there are some caveats. That’s the number the Biden administration believes are still in the country.
Further, Blinken said that not all of them want to leave the country.
“We will use every diplomatic, economic, assistance tool at our disposal working hand-in-hand with the international community first and foremost to ensure that those who want to leave Afghanistan after the 31st are able to do so,” Blinken said.
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