At a press conference, Biden falsely claimed that Al Qaeda was no longer operating in Afghanistan. “I said al Qaeda would not be there. I said it wouldn’t be there. I said we’d get help from the Taliban. What’s happening now? What’s going on? Read your press. I was right.”
In reality, Al Qaeda is operating training camps in six provinces, including Helmand, which hundreds of Marines had been killed and wounded trying to secure during Obama’s surge. The 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment lost 25 marines, including the son of former Chief of Staff John Kelly, and suffered 34 amputations. 378 Marines were killed and 5,000 were wounded. Al Qaeda also has safe houses across Afghanistan including in Kabul. The Taliban have appointed Al Qaeda leaders to key positions including as governors of entire provinces. Nuristan, where 53 American soldiers held off hundreds of Jihadis during the assault on Combat Outpost Keating, resulting in the awarding of two Medals of Honor and nine Silver Stars for the second deadliest battle of the war, is now under Al Qaeda governance. Biden’s denial of Al Qaeda’s extensive presence came just after a UN Security Council report documented the fact that “Al-Qaeda members have received appointments and advisory roles in the Taliban security and administrative structures” and that the Islamic terror group “is rebuilding operational capability.” The Taliban, which had denied the report, immediately jumped on Biden’s denial as an endorsement. The Taliban’s Foreign Affairs Ministry claimed that Biden’s denial “refutes the recent report by UN Sanctions Monitoring Team alleging the presence and operation of over twenty armed groups in Afghanistan.” It’s obvious why the Taliban are lying about harboring Al Qaeda. But why is Biden lying? Biden’s chosen method of withdrawing from Afghanistan was a massive disaster. The rise of Al Qaeda makes it look even worse. But how much of that disaster was really an error? Since the withdrawal, the Biden administration has found numerous ways to move money to the Jihadists. The Biden administration made the decision to turn over Kabul to Al Qaeda’s old allies in the Haqqani Network resulting in thousands of Americans being trapped behind enemy lines. It then spent millions paying Osama bin Laden’s old airline to fly Americans out of Afghanistan. Over $1 billion in “humanitarian aid” has been sent to Afghanistan while issuing global licenses authorizing financial transactions with the Taliban and the Al Qaeda allied Haqqani Network. Biden seized $3.5 billion meant for 9/11 victims and diverted it to a ‘trust fund’ for Afghanistan. Last year, the Biden administration even arranged to have banknotes printed for the Taliban and photos were displayed of pallets of millions in hundred dollar bills flown into Kabul Airport. The State Department has responded to questions about whether its aid is funding Islamic terrorists by stonewalling the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction’s office (SIGAR) and ordering government employees to “not engage with or speak to SIGAR without prior clearance from State legal counsel”. Congress has been similarly illegally stonewalled. While all of this has been going on, Biden has been freeing Gitmo terrorists who were considered too dangerous to be released even under the Obama administration. They include an alternate 9/11 hijacker, Osama bin Laden’s bodyguards and a terrorist who had surveyed Camp Lemonnier, where the Marines are stationed in Djibouti, for a potential truck bomb attack. Also freed were the 20th September 11 hijacker, an Al Qaeda ally who plotted to smuggle nukes into America and a terrorist behind the bombing of a Marriott hotel who had proposed “a plot to simultaneously explode gas tanks at multiple gas stations in the United States.” The Biden administration even tried to spare Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the 9/11 mastermind, the death penalty. And it’s not just Al Qaeda terrorists in Gitmo that the Biden administration is going easy on. The administration is also locking down drone strike rules so that the military will have to get “advance permission” from Biden before hitting Al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists outside “conventional war zones” and must have “near certainty” that no civilians will be injured. Drone strikes on terrorists will only be allowed when it appears infeasible to send in a commando team to capture the terrorist so he can be put on trial and then released. These are similar to the disastrous rules that the Clinton administration used to keep the CIA from taking out Osama bin Laden. Under Clinton rules, the CIA was not allowed to engage in any activity that would kill Bin Laden. A “Justice Department ruling that it would be illegal for the United States to intentionally kill bin Laden” led the CIA Station Chief in Islamabad, Pakistan to warn agents that they could go to jail if they succeeded in taking out the terrorist leader. The Trump administration had loosened drone strike rules allowing terrorists to be taken out without requiring that they be ranked as an “imminent threat”. The onerous rules of engagement from the Obama era were rolled back and the decision loop made it possible to take rapid action. The Biden administration is restoring a status quo in which terrorists have less to worry about and in which they know our rules and our restrictions and how to evade an attack. Taken together, Biden has been the best thing to happen to Al Qaeda. Even more than Obama. Al Qaeda now has extensive infrastructure in Afghanistan again, its terrorists are leaving Gitmo and are being protected from drone strikes. A massive flow of foreign aid into Afghanistan along with global licenses for doing business with allies of the terrorist group is likely to fill its coffers. And Biden is even supporting the Taliban cover-up that Al Qaeda isn’t in Afghanistan. Even while Al Qaeda and the Taliban remain tightly integrated, Biden is claiming that the Taliban are helping America against Al Qaeda, even while claiming that Al Qaeda isn’t in Afghanistan. But these aren’t even new lies. Biden has been falsely claiming that Al Qaeda had been destroyed for years. Even as he keeps repeating these lies, Al Qaeda keeps growing. Biden didn’t just turn over Afghanistan to the Taliban, he turned it over to Al Qaeda. And he’s turning over Al Qaeda terrorists and money to the terrorist infrastructure to help it rebuild. This isn’t a policy, this is treason.