Republicans have been attacking Pres. Joe Biden for the mess Pompeo and Trump helped to create in Afghanistan with the surrender they negotiated. Now they've seized on reports of a prisoner release, where the Pentagon said thousands of ISIS-K prisoners went free after the Taliban took control of the country as their latest excuse to lob more hypocritical insults at the President.
Fox has been running endless segments on the prisoner release this weekend like the one above, where Republican Reps. Warren Davidson and Jim Banks, along with Senate candidate Sean Parnell all took turns playing armchair general following the news that the United States retaliated for the attack at the airport at Kabul with a drone strike, and bashing Biden over the prisoner release.
But, as William Saletan at Slate reminded us this week, everything these hypocrites are decrying now also happened under Trump, and we didn't hear a peep out of them back then:
On Feb. 29, 2020, the Trump administration signed a deal with the Taliban to pull all American troops out of Afghanistan by May 1, 2021. The deal also required the Afghan government to release 5,000 imprisoned Taliban fighters. Hawks called the agreement weak and dangerous, but Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, advised them not to speak out against it. In March 2020, at hearings of the House Armed Services Committee, some lawmakers worried about the deal, but most, including Reps. Jim Banks and Matt Gaetz, said nothing about it. Another Republican member of the committee, Rep. Mo Brooks, expressed his impatience to pull out, noting that American forces had long ago “destroyed al-Qaida’s operational capability” in Afghanistan.
In July 2020, the committee took up the National Defense Authorization Act, which would fund the military for the next year. Democratic Rep. Jason Crow presented an amendment that would make the Afghan pullout contingent on several requirements. These included “consultation and coordination” with allies, protection of “United States personnel in Afghanistan,” severance of the Taliban from al-Qaida, prevention of “terrorist safe havens inside Afghanistan,” and adequate “capacity of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces” to fight off Taliban attacks. The amendment also required investigation of any prisoners, released as part of the deal, who might be connected to terrorism. In short, the amendment would do what Trump had failed to do: impose real conditions on the withdrawal. Crow told his colleagues that he, too, wanted to get out, but that Afghan security forces weren’t yet “ready to stand on their own.”
Eleven members of the committee, including Banks, Brooks, and Gaetz, voted against the amendment. It passed, but Trump refused to accept it. In December, he vetoed the whole defense bill, complaining that it would, among other things, “restrict the President’s ability to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.” Steve Scalise, the minority whip, voted to uphold Trump’s veto. McCarthy, who had to miss the vote for medical reasons, said he, too, stood with the president. Congress overrode the veto, but Trump essentially ignored the amendment.
Eight months later, Biden is completing the withdrawal, and Republicans have done a 180. They act as though they had nothing to do with the pullout or its consequences.
This is exactly what they did in the segment above, and have been doing day after day on Fox since the withdrawal from Afghanistan began.