According to the washington post
Nineteen months ago, Joe Biden bluntly affirmed U.S. officials had lied to the public about how the United States was doing in Afghanistan. In August 2021, it’s not clear whether they’ll ever be held accountable.
Under Biden’s three predecessors, countless senior officials from agencies like the Pentagon and State Department paraded before Congress or television cameras to deliver rosy (or at least unrealistic) forecasts that often veered into falsehood territory.
The White House did not return emails asking whether the president thinks everyone who testified to Congress that the Afghan forces could stand on their own did so in good faith, or whether some needed to be held accountable for misleading the public. Lying to Congress is a federal crime, though it is rarely prosecuted.
In fairness, the administration is a bit busy trying to evacuate thousands of Americans and Afghans from Afghanistan. In Congress, meanwhile, at least four committees — all run by Democrats — are poised to look into the pullout, and it’s unclear to what extent they’ll pore over the last two decades.
We need accountability, but formally pinning blame may not be desirable right now, according to the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, John Sopko. More than any other U.S. official, Sopko has chronicled the failings and failures of what is often derided as 20 one-year campaigns, each one unable or unwilling to learn from the one that preceded it.
“There is no one president or one decision that can be held accountable. There’s a lot of people who should be held accountable, and a lot of programs should be held accountable,” Sopko told NPR yesterday.
Sopko’s latest report, published overnight Monday, doesn’t cover the final collapse of the Afghan military and the Taliban’s triumphant march across Afghanistan and into the halls of the country’s presidential palace.