Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) went on “Meet The Press” on Sunday to blame former President Donald Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the situation in Afghanistan, claiming that their “surrender agreement with the Taliban” led directly to it.
“We know the Taliban has never renounced al Qaeda,” Cheney said. “This is one of the things that was such an indefensible step by the Trump administration. When President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo designed to sign a surrender agreement with the Taliban.”
“President Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McCaster, basically accused Secretary of State Pompeo at the time and the president,” replied host Chuck Todd. “He called it a surrender agreement.”
“It is, absolutely,” Cheney said. “We sat down and negotiated with terrorists because we completely excluded the Afghan government from those negotiations. We gave credibility to the Taliban. Secretary Pompeo told us that the Taliban was going to renounce al Qaeda. They told us that the Taliban was going to fight terrorists. They forced the Afghan national government —we did, to release 5,000 prisoners.”
“We completely undercut the Afghan national government, absolutely emboldened the Taliban,” she continued. “We know from public reporting that the moment that agreement was signed, the Taliban went to members of the Afghan National Army and said, the Americans are leaving you, you should lay down your arms when the time comes, or we’ll kill you and your families. That led directly to the catastrophe we’re seeing today.”
However, Cheney also threw some blame at President Joe Biden.
“President Biden is the president of the United States and he’s had no problem in reversing course on other things. He decided he’s going to rejoin the JCPOA. He decided he’s going to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord. He’s reversed a number of decisions of the Trump administration,” Cheney said.
“So in this circumstance where absolutely the US national security requirement was to maintain a presence on the ground to help to frankly embolden and train the Afghans who were bearing the brunt of this and fighting for us, President Biden ignored the advice of his military leadership and decided instead he’s going to withdraw,” she added.
“The fact that we’re now somehow relying on the Taliban to protect Americans — and the White House is denying what we know is happening on the ground, which is that Americans are being beaten,” Cheney concluded. “They’re being prevented from getting to the gates of the airport. And they are probably being held hostage.”
This piece was written by James Samson on August 23, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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