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Biden Secretary of State called out for refusing to provide Afghanistan dissent doc

 March 25, 2023

The Republican chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee threatened to subpoena Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday, demanding documents related to the U.S. military's Afghan departure in 2021.

Rep. Michael McCaul (TX-10) led the discussion, blasting the Biden administration's response.

McCaul's words

“Ambassador Boyatt is emphatic about the need for the State Department to produce dissent channel cables,” McCaul said.

“He says that any claim [provided by the State Department] to Congress, that would have a ‘chilling effect,’ as your staff has claimed, is, and I quote him directly. ‘Bullshit.’ Not my words, it’s the ambassador.”

Past threats

McCaul warned Blinken about the coming subpoena if he refused to turn over documents related to the military's botched Afghanistan withdrawal.

“All of the items specified on March 3 could be produced extremely quickly if they were genuinely prioritized by the Department,” McCaul wrote.

“The Committee routinely receives highly classified documents and information from the Department on the most sensitive issues confronting U.S. foreign policy, including ongoing threats posed by foreign adversaries. A ‘diligent’ process working in good faith to produce these documents ‘as soon as practicable’ would have produced them long ago," he added.

Monday deadline

The congressman has now given Blinken until Monday to comply or face a subpoena to force the records to be shared.

"I have the subpoena. it's right here. And I'm prepared to serve this," McCaul said Thursday.

"I want to make clear that we are working to provide all the information that this committee is looking for and that its oversight responsibilities give it the authority to secure," Blinken responded.

"It is vital to me that we preserve the integrity of that (dissent) process and of that channel, that we not take any steps that could have a chilling effect on the willingness of others to come forward in the future to express dissenting views on the policies that are being pursued," he added.

The American military departure in August 2021 led to much controversy, including the deaths of 13 U.S. military personnel and over 170 Afghans when a suicide bomber's explosive went off outside of the Kabul airport.

Over 100,00 Afghans were flown out of the country along with Americans, with reports of many U.S. citizens and allies left behind.

The Taliban ultimately seized power and billions of dollars of American military equipment after a nearly two-decade presence in the nation following 9/11.