John Kirby admitted Thursday that an after-action report on the Biden administration's deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan is not about accountability.
At the White House press briefing, Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy wasted no time when it was his turn to question Kirby, the coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council, about the after-action report.
"Who's going to get fired over this?" Doocy asked.
Shockingly, Kirby suggested that no one will face any accountability for the embarrassing incident that ultimately led to the deaths of American soldiers and Afghanistan civilians.
"The purpose of the document that we’re putting out today is to sort of collate the chief reviews and findings of the agencies that did after-action reviews," Kirby said.
"The purpose of it is not accountability," he admitted. "The purpose of it is to study lessons learned."
04/06/23: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierrewww.youtube.com
But that's not true.
While Kirby said the report is not about "accountability," another reporter later confronted him over where the report does lay accountability. The reporter said, "You assign so much accountability to the Trump administration and very little, comparatively, to your own."
Indeed, the 12-page report repeatedly blames Trump for what happened under President Joe Biden's watch.
- "President Biden’s choices for how to execute a withdrawal from Afghanistan were severely constrained by conditions created by his predecessor."
- "President Biden had committed to ending the war in Afghanistan, but when he came into office he was confronted with difficult realities left to him by the Trump Administration."
- "The departing Trump Administration had left the Biden Administration with a date for withdrawal, but no plan for executing it."
- "The Trump Administration’s disregard and even hostility toward our commitment to Afghan allies led to a massive backlog of over 18,000 [Special Immigrant Visa] applicants. Despite drawing down troops and committing to a full withdrawal, the departing Trump Administration had all but stopped SIV interviews."
- " The Trump Administration had hollowed out much of the career workforce, including at senior levels, at a moment when more resources were needed."
The report, on the other hand, completely absolves Biden.
In response to questions about blaming Trump, Kirby argued the Biden administration deserves congratulations for even completing an after-action report at all.
Later in the briefing, CBS News correspondent Ed O'Keefe confronted Kirby over the timing of the report's release.
"I think I speak on behalf of my colleagues in this room when we want the record to reflect that this was sent to us about 10 minutes before the briefing began with little notice, and it's the very definition of a modern major holiday news dump," O'Keefe said. "You're releasing this at the beginning of the high holidays and after months of requests from Republicans and the broader public."
Kirby, however, dismissed those concerns and claimed the report's release is the definition of transparency.
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