“The bottom line is that top military officials and civilian officials have known that the Afghan war has been has been unwinnable and have been misleading the American public for 20 years.”
Rep. Ro Khanna on Wednesday said that The Washington Post‘s explosive investigation the “Afghanistan Papers” showed the need for a congressional hearing and that former Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld should be among the current and former top officials called in for a reckoning before the American public.
“The bottom line is that top military officials and civilian officials have known that the Afghan war has been has been unwinnable and have been misleading the American public for 20 years,” Khanna said. “Your predecessor Secretary Rumsfeld was quoted there as saying, ‘I have no visibility into who the bad guys are.'”
“Are you embarrassed by Secretary Rumsfeld comment and the other people quoted, and do you believe they owe the American public an explanation and an apology?” Khanna asked Esper.
Esper said it was up to the committee on whether or not to call a hearing. “But I do know this much. The story spanned multiple administrations, multiple uniformed and civilian officials, and I think it’s good to look back.”
Yet, Esper said, “I think at this point where I’m looking is forward. And forward tells me… the path to success, the win, is a political agreement between the parties on the ground.”
“But don’t you think we have to have some accountability so we don’t make the same mistake again?” asked Khanna. “Would you support this committee holding hearings on the Afghan Papers and calling in front of Congress every official who has misled the American public about whether this war was winnable in all or not? With 2,400 American soldiers dead, 775,000 Americans deployed, dont you think people owe this country an explanation?”
Khanna then said to committee chairman Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), “I would request that this committee hold hearing on the Afghan Papers and call before Congress with subpoena every person who has misled this country.”
“And just like in the Pentagon Papers,” Khanna continued, “I think that should be one of our highest priorities… examining what has come out in that bombshell report.”
Smith responded by saying he believes “it’s appropriate to have hearing,” but said that calling “every single witness… would not be a productive of this committee’s time.”
Khanna shared a portion of the exchange on Twitter, adding, “Let’s bring Rumsfeld in.”
Senior military & civil officials knew the Afghanistan war was not winnable, but misled Americans. Today, @RepAdamSmith agreed with my call to hold hearings on the bombshell Afghan papers.
Let’s bring Rumsfeld in. pic.twitter.com/KSouR4GBHY
— Rep. Ro Khanna (@RepRoKhanna) December 11, 2019
The California Democrat’s remarks at the hearing echo comments he made earlier to The Hill.
“Subpoena all of the people who were mentioned and have them account and explain to the American people in some cases why they lied and in other cases why they were utterly incompetent,” Khanna told the outlet Wednesday.
The Post investigation had already motivated Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, the ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, to call for a public hearing “to address these deeply concerning revelations about the Afghan war.”
In a letter sent Monday to Senate Armed Services Committee chair Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and ranking member Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Gillibrand wrote, “it is deeply troubling to read a report of interviews with U.S. government officials that appear to contradict the many assurances we have heard at committee hearings that the continuing war in Afghanistan has a coherent strategy and an end in sight.”
Lindsey Graham announces Amy Coney Barrett hearings — full Senate vote could occur days before the election
Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced on Saturday that confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett would commence on October 12th.
Graham made the announcement on Fox News, hours after Trump officially nominated Barrett to fill the U.S. Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Shortly after Graham made the announcement on Fox News, the Judiciary Committee confirmed the timeline, CNN's Phil Mattingly reported.
PBS Newshour correspondent Lisa Desjardins did the math on confirmation hearings beginning on October 12th and concluded the final Senate vote could occur on October 28th or 29th -- which are the Wednesday and Thursday immediately preceding the Novermber 2nd election.
Trump whines press didn’t cover the ‘two Nobel Prizes’ — that he didn’t win
The leader of the free world spoke of the Nobel Peace Prize as if he had repeatedly won the award.
Trump made the complaints he has not received the recognition he thinks he deserves during a campaign rally in Middletown, Pennsylvania.
"They didn't cover two Nobel Prizes," Trump says he told first lady Melania Trump. "I got two in one week, did you ever hear of that?"
Trump received two nominations, he has never won a Nobel Peace Prize.
"And my only complaint is, I should have gotten about seven or eight, because if you knew some of the other things -- some of the other things I have done much better," Trump argued, despite having not won the award a single time. "I should have gotten seven."
Portland police search for white man who kicked Black journalist in the head at ‘Proud Boys’ rally
On Saturday, the far-right group the "Proud Boys" held a rally at Delta Park in Portland, Oregon.
Zane Sparling, of The Portland Tribune documented the scene, with many attendees wearing militia dress.
Sparling captured video of a man pushing a Black journalist to the ground and kicking him in the head:
Man pushes live-streamer to the ground and kicks him in the face at Proud Boys is rally in Portland pic.twitter.com/SAdHShqir3