The White House talking points about Afghanistan that circulated Monday misspelled the name of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and incorrectly claimed there are no U.S. troops in Syria.
The document, which was reportedly sent around by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) office to House Democrats, contained a long list of bullet points explaining the White House’s position on various elements of the Afghanistan crisis, according to The Hill.
“Two notes,” observed Fox News Pentagon reporter Lucas Tomlinson. “White House misspelled the name of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (There are two Ls).”
Tomlinson also noted that the talking points wrongly asserted that the U.S. has no more troops on the ground in Syria, where 900 troops actually remain.
-White House misspelled the name of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (There are two Ls)
-There are 900 U.S. troops in Syria. Not zero. https://t.co/PYXiVccLll
— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) August 16, 2021
“The administration knew that there was a distinct possibility that Kabul would fall to the Taliban. It was not an inevitability. It was a possibility,” the talking points also noted. “POTUS said in July that the Afghan military had the capability to fight the Taliban. But they had to demonstrate the will. Sadly, that will did not materialize.”
As The Hill observed, “The talking points, sent from the Speaker’s office, underscore how politically perilous Pelosi and other party leaders view the Afghanistan issue as Democrats try to defend their narrow majority in the 2022 midterms. Republicans only need to flip a handful of seats to win back control.”
The Biden administration faces bipartisan criticism for how it has handled the withdrawal from Afghanistan. As The Daily Wire reported, former CIA Director Leon Panetta under President Barack Obama excoriated the administration for Afghanistan’s collapse:
Former President Barack Obama’s CIA director, Leon Panetta told CNN Monday that President Joe Biden must take “responsibility” for the disaster that has unfolded in Kabul, Afghanistan, over the last 36 hours, and compared the Biden administration’s lack of foresight to that of John F. Kennedy’s failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.
Panetta, who presided over some strategic operations in Afghanistan during Obama’s term suggested that the Biden administration had suffered from a significant intelligence failure.
“I think of John Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs,” he told CNN. “It unfolded quickly and the president thought that everything would be fine and that was not the case.”
He then suggested that Biden follow in Kennedy’s footsteps when handling the fallout from the Taliban takeover of Kabul and take responsibility for what happened Sunday, admitting that there were intelligence failures.
“President Kennedy took responsibility for what took place,” Panetta said. “I strongly recommend to President Biden that he take responsibility…admit the mistakes that were made.”
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