Biden's Afghanistan Withdrawal Demands Answers

September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) delivered floor remarks demanding answers on President Biden’s Afghanistan Withdrawal.


To watch Senator Blackburn’s speech, click below or here.




You can read the transcript below or in the Congressional Record.


Beyond the fact-finding mission, I plan to use these

hearings to impress upon my Democratic colleagues the importance of the

words that we use to describe our enemies, how we talk about them, how

we frame their actions.

Since day one--since day one of this administration--the Biden

administration has used their words to rehabilitate the Taliban in the

eyes of their radical base. The problem, of course, is that their

diplomatic calls for inclusivity and equality, this supports a lie

about who the Taliban actually is. The Taliban--like ISIS, like al-

Qaida--is a terrorist organization. They rule by fear. They rule

through public beheadings, rape, forced marriage, brutality against

anyone who questions their regime, against anyone who disagrees with

them. Look at the way women and children are treated.

Now, in my opinion and from a lot of Tennesseans whom I have talked

with as I have been home, they feel that expecting terrorists to behave

like normal people is reckless and stupid. And they feel that some of

the actions that have come from this administration and comments that

they would have that expectation would reflect that reckless stupidity.

These are terrorist organizations.

If you need another example of this, just look at their approach to

border security. Even before the transfer of power, massive migrant

caravans had begun moving out of Central America and toward the

southern border. They were eager to take advantage of then-Candidate

Biden's promises of open borders and amnesty for all.

Where did that get us? Well, this is what we have learned. The CBP

reports that migrant encounters along the U.S.-Mexico border reached a

20-year high in July. That is right, massive numbers. They heard those

promises. So what did they do? They got to work contacting a cartel,

and they made this journey after, of course, they paid the cartel. Most

of the nearly 200,000 people our Border Patrol caught in July were

traveling alone. Families might be holding back, but the international

traffickers certainly are not holding back.


On August 29, CBP officers in Memphis found three kilograms ketamine in a shipment of furniture from France coming in because of

the cartels. In the first week of September, CBP officers in Texas seized two

separate stashes of cocaine with a combined street value of almost

$300,000. In the month of July alone, cocaine seizures increased 91

percent, and meth seizures increased 20 percent. Why are they doing

this? They know that the border is open.

  On September 8, Texas State Troopers and CBP officers stopped two

human smuggling attempts running just hours apart from each other. Our

CBP officers have made it standard procedure to scour remote terrain

for migrants who have been abandoned and left to die by their cartel

transporters. Why is this happening? Because it is obvious to everyone,

from the migrants, the cartels to the foreign officials who refuse to

police their own borders, that the Biden administration won't do

anything to stop it. Tennesseans see this as reckless. It makes no



I talked to some local law enforcement officers this week. They are

seeing an uptick in meth, fentanyl, and heroin on the streets--all

coming out of Mexico. They repeatedly say: Secure the border.

We live in the greatest Nation on Earth. We are still the world's

best example for freedom, and we are the last hope for millions of

people suffering under authoritarian rule. It is important to

understand that it doesn't have to be the way it has been when you look

at this withdrawal from Afghanistan, when you look at this open border,

when you look at the fact that, yes, this year, the border patrol has

apprehended terrorists at the southern border. That is right. It

doesn't have to be that way, but when you have weak leadership--

leadership that is not focused, leadership that says ``it is my way or

the highway''--and when you have that reckless disregard for the truth,

that can and will destroy us.

The actions of the Biden administration have already emboldened our

enemies. They have made our allies doubt our commitment to them and to

the work that they are trying to do to advance freedom for themselves--

the work that we are doing to advance freedom here in this country and


So I would encourage my Democratic colleagues to resist the urge to

fall in line with the White House on the issue of the Afghanistan

withdrawal and to, instead, join me in demanding as many hearings as it

takes to restore accountability and transparency and to find out

exactly what happened.

What were our military advisers saying to President Biden? To Vice

President Harris? To Jake Sullivan? To Susan Rice? To Antony Blinken?

What were they telling them? What was the expectation? Did they have a

plan? Did they plan to leave Americans behind enemy lines? Did they

plan to give up Bagram Airfield? Did they plan to leave all of the

equipment for the Taliban to use? Did they plan on that? Was it

intentional that they made those decisions or was it reckless stupidity

that got us here? 

I yield the floor.