President Biden declared this week’s chaotic evacuation effort from Afghanistan that ended Monday afternoon – leaving hundreds and perhaps thousands of Americans behind – “an extraordinary success”. Like many Americans, I was shocked to hear the president characterize the debacle that has unfolded over the last two weeks – leaving 13 American military personnel dead – in this way. One cable news host put it this way: “Biden bragged about what a remarkably, really stunningly and historically successful military and intelligence operation we have just witnessed,” he said.
“Apparently, Biden is under the impression that the entire United States has lost electrical power and no one has a working internet connection.”
The mess President Biden left behind in Afghanistan thanks to poor planning and bad tactical decisions is shocking. One recent news report indicated that during the hasty U.S. withdrawal, an unknown number of hand-held biometric scanners were left behind that are linked to “a massive US-built biometric database.” A Taliban death squad of more than 1,000 is reportedly now using these machines to “positively identify any person who helped the NATO allies or worked with Indian intelligence.” This is on top of disturbing reports of potentially billions of dollars’ worth of U.S. military equipment, weapons and even sophisticated aircraft that have fallen into the hands of the terrorist group.
Here at home, the consequences are also mounting. As many of you know I have been raising serious concerns about the massive influx of Afghans now arriving in the United States. While my office continues to assist those who participated in sensitive U.S. military, diplomatic and intelligence efforts to get safely into the United States, the fact of the matter is that not every Afghan national seeking to enter the U.S. fits into that category.
The White House has given vague and conflicting answers regarding how and where Afghan evacuees are being vetted. One administration official claimed two weeks ago that screening is being completed overseas - but a Pentagon spokesman contradicted that claim the same day, saying that arrivals would continue their processing at sites like Fort McCoy right here in Wisconsin. The fact that vetting which took months or even years a short time ago is now being done within days or hours also raises serious questions – and we have already seen dangerous individuals slip through and board flights to the United States. Worse, we know that even before the collapse of the Afghan government – when our immigration officers could still communicate with partners in Kabul to verify people’s identities and backgrounds – a whopping 84% of Afghan applications for Special Immigrant Visas were rejected.
Americans deserve answers when it comes to how the Biden administration is screening those who are arriving in states like Wisconsin. It’s not “fear mongering” to ask these basic questions, it’s just common-sense – and our national security depends on it.