Pentagon Blasts POLITICO For Report On ‘Mass Casualty Event’ Warning Before Kabul Airport Attack

Written by K. Walker on August 31, 2021

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There was warning before the terror attack at the Kabul airport that caused the deaths of 13 U.S. troops and over 170 civilians. The Pentagon won’t explain why the troops were still posted near the gate.

During a press conference, Pentagon Spokesman, John Kirby, said that he would not address a report that was based on leaked classified information.

Suddenly the military isn’t keen on leaks.

They sure did love them when the President was a Republican.

Remember the “Russian Bounty” incident to keep Trump from withdrawing troops from Afghanistan?

Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says

But it turned out to be bunk?

The Russian bounties story was one more deep-state attempt to hurt Trump

The change seems to be reliant on the political affiliation of the President.

Now leaks are bad. And there’s a reason for that — it makes the U.S. administration look weak and incompetent.

The POLITICO article is damning and raises questions on why American troops and civilians were left in harm’s way when there had been warning that a “mass casualty event” was imminent and the Abbey Gate — where American citizens had been told to gather — was at “highest risk” of attack.

Just 24 hours before a suicide bomber detonated an explosive outside Hamid Karzai International Airport, senior military leaders gathered for the Pentagon’s daily morning update on the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.

Speaking from a secure video conference room on the third floor of the Pentagon at 8 a.m. Wednesday — or 4:30 p.m. in Kabul — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin instructed more than a dozen of the department’s top leaders around the world to make preparations for an imminent “mass casualty event,” according to classified detailed notes of the gathering shared with POLITICO.

During the meeting, Gen. Mark Milley, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned of “significant” intelligence indicating that the Islamic State’s Afghanistan affiliate, ISIS-K, was planning a “complex attack,” the notes quoted him as saying.

Commanders calling in from Kabul relayed that the Abbey Gate, where American citizens had been told to gather in order to gain entrance to the airport, was “highest risk,” and detailed their plans to protect the airport.

“I don’t believe people get the incredible amount of risk on the ground,” Austin said, according to the classified notes.

During a presser on Monday morning, Kirby was asked by Jeff Schogol, the Pentagon reporter for Task and Purpose, about the POLITICO article. Kirby said he will not comment on a story “informed by the unlawful disclosure of classified information.”

SCHOGOL: Thanks. I have a question and it’s difficult, but I hope you can entertain it. According to Politico, the US knew where the attack, or roughly where the attack would take place on Thursday and when it would take place, why were there US troops at that gate, at that time?

KIRBY: Jeff, what I can tell you is that we have been monitoring as close as we can intelligence that led us to believe that we were in a very dynamic and in some cases, specific threat environment, number one. Number two, as General McKenzie said, we’re going to investigate. We’re going to get to the bottom of what happened last Thursday. 13 precious lives were lost. We’re going to take that seriously. And we’re not going to investigate it in public. Number three, I am absolutely not going to speak to a press story that was informed by the unlawful disclosure of classified information and sensitive deliberations here at the Pentagon. Just not going to do it. Yeah.

The POLITICO article also notes that there was a 4 pm phone call (around midnight on Thursday in Kabul,) that detailed a plan by commanders to close the Abbey Gate by Thursday afternoon Kabul time. It also says that the Americans “decided to keep the gate open longer than they wanted in order to allow their British allies, who had accelerated their withdrawal timeline, to continue evacuating their personnel, based at the nearby Baron Hotel.”

Kirby also said that he doesn’t think it’s important to discuss the decision to not begin to evacuate Americans earlier.

Shameful. It’s almost as shameful as POTUS 46 has been behaving.

Watch the whole presser here:

A full transcript can be found here.

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ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll and on Gettr @KarenWalker