The New York Times front page this morning has a disheartening story revealing that President Biden’s assertion to the American people that the collapse of Afghan forces was considered unlikely (but possible!) by U.S. intelligence was untrue. He must have known it was untrue too, or they really are keeping poor Joe in a closet and pulling him out for public appearances with a secret ventriloquist doing his voice. The Times:
“Classified assessments by American spy agencies over the summer painted an increasingly grim picture of the prospect of a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and warned of the rapid collapse of the Afghan military, even as President Biden and his advisers said publicly that was unlikely to happen as quickly, according to current and former American government officials. By July, many intelligence reports grew more pessimistic, questioning whether any Afghan security forces would muster serious resistance and whether the government could hold on in Kabul, the capital. President Biden said on July 8 that the Afghan government was unlikely to fall and that there would be no chaotic evacuations of Americans similar to the end of the Vietnam War.…”
The Times is perplexed! The existence of these reports “raise questions about why Biden administration officials, and military planners in Afghanistan, seemed ill-prepared to deal with the Taliban’s final push into Kabul, including a failure to ensure security at the main airport and rushing thousands more troops back to the country to protect the United States’ final exit.” After all, there must be some legitimate reason a good, progressive Democratic President would “seem” to screw up so completely and lie about it! It would never be that he is completely incompetent and evil, like that last President! “Say it ain’t so, Joe!” Even when it is forced into reporting a total, massive, historic botch by the party it works for, the Times cannot be objective or approach the same tone and attitude it would apply to an equivalent blunder by that other party.
It seems clear that if the Times could ignore those leaked reports entirely, it would. Burying the story on page 36 might also be an option. But the Times has a reputation to protect: it’s not going to be much good to the Left if it becomes obvious to everybody that its a politically motivated mouthpiece that has mothballed its “ethics principles” in order to lead the public to a socialist paradise. Enough people are furious about 20 years of war, three trillion dollars of taxpayer funds and many dead soldiers achieving absolutely nothing that it was inevitable that this story would come out somewhere, and fast. This isn’t like Joe Biden being accused by a named former female staffer of sexual assault, which the Times refused to mention for weeks. After all, that was during the election campaign: the Times could justify hiding bad stuff that would benefit the Bad Orange Man. Nobody would think less of them for that.
As it is, the Times does try to muddy the story so casual and careless readers might not quite grasp what happened. “Contradicting Biden, Reports Warned of Rapid Collapse” reads the small headline over a column second from the right. Oooh, the reports only contradict Biden! So he might be right, then, and the reports wrong, right? After all, who do you believe, the President or some anonymous spooks? No, since Biden falsely told the public that the intelligence reports, didn’t say what he claimed they said, the reports prove intentional deception by the President of a magnitude that would have triggered “second coming” headlines had the POTUS been Trump (or even Bush). In this case, however, the President of the United States lying through his teeth (while the Secretary of State and the Speaker of the House praise him for being brave and clear) didn’t even rate the Times’ main front page headline.
In half inch, black block letters across the entire page, it reads, “Violent History Clouds Taliban’s Vows.” Under it is an 8X6 inch photo of the Taliban leader speaking, not of Biden lying. I measured: each letter in the Taliban headline is five times the lettering in the equivocal Biden headline, and what it says isn’t even news!
What we are witnessing is a deliberate, panicked effort by the news media, progressives and Democrats to tamp down justified public outrage at the dishonesty, arrogance and incompetence displayed by this administration, and to minimize any long term consequences at the polls. The assumption was, obviously, that Americans were sick of this war, that many didn’t even know why it started, and that enough didn’t care what happened in Afghanistan after we left. Even with a foreign police and humanitarian disaster requiring obfuscation and a cover-up, any negative reaction would be minor, mainly partisan, and of short duration.
And you know, they could still be right.