top of page
afghan child refugees.jpg

Challenges to Human Rights and Freedom by Country

Human Rights

In progress

Biden Administration Malfeasance

U.S. malfeasance facilitated the capitulation of the Afghan army to far less numerous but more committed Taliban forces. The Biden administration’s unilateral withdrawal without regard to conditions on the ground, nighttime abandonment of military bases, and failure to provide promised support services scuttled Afghan morale.[56] U.S. forces abandoned Bagram air base in the dead of night in July 2021 without telling the Afghan commander,[57] surrendering a more defensible evacuation zone and conveying to Afghans that basic communication, coordination and support were not forthcoming. Senator Rand Paul says while he has advocated for leaving Afghanistan for 10 years, "never in my worst nightmares did anyone conceive such a colossal incompetence.”[58] Paul called abandoning Bagram Air Base "one of the worst military decisions in our history" and noted that the Biden administration failed to hold anyone accountable.


Former Marine and CIA intelligence officer Elliot Ackerman noted that the situation in Afghanistan had been stable with only a few thousand U.S. forces supporting Afghan troops, but that Biden’s unconditional withdrawal made the collapse of Afghan democracy inevitable:


"Somewhere in our American narrative, we seem to have got in our head that wars end when all the troops come home, that it’s a prerequisite for a war ending. If you look historically, that has never been the case…In fact, the troops only all come home when we lose wars. We leave troops behind to secure peace. And that is what led to this calamitous situation in Afghanistan."[59]


The Biden administration subsequently ordered the removal of hundreds of pages of reports that had been online for years over the objections of Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko, who noted that the request was “highly unusual” and “without any explanation or justification.”[60]


Four prisoners with close ties to the Taliban that Obama exchanged for U.S. deserter Bowe Bergdahl occupied senior Taliban national leadership posts.[61] The U.S. House Armed Services Committee found that the Obama-Biden administration misled Congress and violated federal law during the exchange, putting "politics and expediency ahead of proper procedure."[62] Yet no Obama-Biden officials ever faced criminal charges over this misconduct.


The New York Post editorial board opined that “this Afghan rout is entirely on Joe Biden.” Regarding the Biden administration’s treatment of the Taliban as responsible actors in the international community and even hinting at foreign aid, the Post noted:


“Hello? The Taliban has never given a damn about world opinion or ‘stability and development.’ It was a global pariah when it ruled Afghanistan in the ’90s, ignoring the handwringing as it crushed the country’s women, destroyed those 1,500-year-old Buddha statues and hosted the al Qaeda plotters of 9/11. And it hasn’t changed a whit since, blowing off all diplomatic efforts these last 20 years to get it to abandon its drive to reconquer the country...They’re turning girls as young as 12 into sex slaves as they advance.”[63]


The Guardian criticized the Biden administration’s efforts to assist its own helpers in Afghanistan as “too little, too late,” to say nothing of the forty million abandoned to a tyrannical regime.[64]


The Biden administration obstructed private rescue flights from Afghanistan, conduct blasted by retired general Jack Keane as “an absurdity,”[65] under the pretense that evacuees could not be fully vetted[66] and then falsely denied having obstructed them.[67] Yet the U.S. State Department subsequently admitted regarding refugees brought on official government flights to the U.S. that it was “doing accountings on the back end.”[68] Notwithstanding a propagandizing CNN “fact check” claiming that evacuees were “vetted” on the basis of cursory screening for some,[69] the Washington Examiner reported that "President Joe Biden's statements of complete vetting were untrue. The refugees...have no visas and haven't undergone the standard vetting process," but were permitted to leave the base at any time.”[70] Subsequent investigation confirmed that “nearly all of the roughly 82,000 Afghans that were evacuated to the United States from Kabul in August [2021] were not properly vetted before they entered the country.”[71]


In a piece entitled “The Bad Guys are Winning” in the Atlantic, Anne Applebaum noted that Afghanistan was only one of many nations in which autocrats have gained the upper hand. Of the Taliban, Applebaum observed:


“Their goal is not a flourishing, prosperous Afghanistan, but an Afghanistan where they are in charge…The widespread adoption of the Maduro model [of foreign autocrats propping up other authoritarian regimes] helps explain why Western statements at the time of Kabul’s fall sounded so pathetic. The EU’s foreign-policy chief expressed ‘deep concern about reports of serious human rights violations’ and called for ‘meaningful negotiations based on democracy, the rule of law and constitutional rule’—as if the Taliban was interested in any of that. Whether it was ‘deep concern,’ ‘sincere concern,’ or ‘profound concern,’ whether it was expressed on behalf of Europe or the Holy See, none of it mattered: Statements like that mean nothing to the Taliban, the Cuban security services, or the Russian FSB. Their goals are money and personal power. They are not concerned—deeply, sincerely, profoundly, or otherwise—about the happiness or well-being of their fellow citizens, let alone the views of anyone else.”[72]


U.S. Military and Intelligence Malfeasance

Carlson documented numerous instances of the U.S. military systematically lying to the American public over the course of the twenty-year war, noting that the “military establishment projected [the] illusion of progress, even when it was clear they were failing.”[73] A Gray Zone investigative report found that in 2020, Pentagon officials engaged in “political deception,” including the Russian bounty hoax and the “secret annexes story,” to “torpedo plans for a US withdrawal.”[74] The investigators further documented that Pentagon leaders intentionally subverted a negotiated peace with flagrant ceasefire violations. Unconfirmed Russian bounty allegations were leaked from U.S. intelligence agencies for political reasons and were amplified by false reporting originating in the New York Times.[75] The Biden administration subsequently did not find the “Russian bounty” allegations sufficiently credible to warrant any action, noting that there was only “low to moderate” confidence in their veracity.”[76]


White House press secretary Jen Psaki engaged in semantic games, claiming that stating that Americans “stranded” in Afghanistan was irresponsible. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby acknowledged that Americans were indeed stranded in the country, but attempted to provide political cover for the administration by painting it as a matter of routine, claiming that “we have Americans that get stranded in countries all the time.”[77] Kirby, who had previously engaged in unprecedented personal attacks against a U.S. civilian for challenging the Pentagon's woke ideology and politicization of the military, also defended his claim made only two days before Kabul’s fall that the city wasn’t in “imminent” danger of falling to the Taliban, alleging that his statement was “true” at the time.[78]


Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen told ABC News that there “absolutely” should be accountability for the drone strike as well as the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan,[79] although the Biden administration had previously stated that there would be no accountability among senior military leaders. A drone strike on “ISIS-K planners” was announced by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley as a “righteous strike.” The Pentagon later acknowledged that no terrorists had been killed in the attack, which instead killed an aid worker, seven of his children, and others.[80] Marine lieutenant colonel Stu Scheller demanded that senior military leaders accept accountability for blunders in Afghanistan,[81] but was instead himself removed and court-martialed.


Corruption and Cronyism

The fall of Afghan liberty was not inevitable, and likely could have been salvaged even at a late date with principled and competent American leadership. Nonetheless, prior American malfeasance had made the situation fragile and unhealthy, undermining the principles that intervention purported to defend.


An August 2021 Brown University report cites costs to date of the war in Afghanistan at over 243,000 direct deaths and over $2.3 trillion dollars, or nearly $15,000 per US taxpayer.[82] In serial reports over nearly a decade, Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction John Sopko warned of fraud, waste and abuse squandering billions in Afghanistan.[83],[84] Sopko’s 2021 report warned that massive U.S. investment in Afghanistan had produced gains which “were neither commensurate with the investment nor sustainable after U.S. troop withdrawal,” and concluded that "if the goal was to rebuild and leave behind a country that could sustain itself and pose little threat to U.S. national security interests, the overall picture in Afghanistan is bleak.”


The Washington Post's investigative reporting found that the “Obama administration hid the truth” and engaged in deception and malfeasance regarding Afghanistan.[85] The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reported in March 2015 that the Pentagon could not account for $45 billion, nearly two-thirds of total appropriations spent on Afghanistan reconstruction at that time.[86] Matthew Gault reported that “the bulk of the unauditable contracts involve money the U.S. military spent on the Afghan security forces.”[87]


A Washington Post investigation reported in 2019 that Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan from 2004 to 2014, “won reelection after cronies stuffed thousands of ballot boxes. He later admitted the CIA had delivered bags of cash to his office for years, calling it ‘nothing unusual.’”[88] Diplomatic cables portrayed Karzai as "corrupt and erratic" as well as "weak, indecisive, paranoid, and beholden to criminals to maintain power."[89] Karzai, in turn, noted that U.S. cash payments distorted incentives and fed corruption nationwide.[90] Karzai's cousins, Ahmad Rateb Popal and Rashid Popal, had been jailed in the US for importing heroin in the 1990s; Ahmad was a former translator for the Taliban.[91] In the 2000s, the pair became "immensely wealthy businessmen" engaged in telecommunications, logistics, and security.


Ashraf Ghani, the second and final Afghan President (2014-2021), was a past U.S. college professor and World Bank executive[92] accused of being little more than a U.S. puppet. The Washington Post noted that "even as the cascade of provincial capitals fell, Ghani appeared distracted," and cited an official who stated: "Ghani would want to talk about digitization of the economy. It had nothing to do with the dire threat."[93] Even when the need to establish plans to defend Kabul was brought to Ghani's attention, there was "no follow-through." Ghani had promised U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken that he would “fight to death,”[94] but like the U.S. forces that preceded him in departure, Ghani surreptitiously fled under the cover of night. Pentagon officials reportedly had no idea that Ghani had fled the country until they saw it on television.[95] Ghani was accused of taking millions in cash with him as he fled Afghanistan, and only weeks later, posted an English-only ‘explanation’ on Twitter ostensibly addressed to the Afghan people.[96]


Vivek Ramaswamy noted that flawed assumptions of the Biden administration fueled the catastrophe, observing that “Taliban leaders had more conviction in their cause than President Biden appeared to have in the American vision. Taliban fighters were more inspired to fight for their cause than the Afghan military was to fight for ours – and that’s why Afghan soldiers simply put down their guns even as they were armed with superior equipment and outnumbered the Taliban by nearly 5-to-1.”[97]


 Vietnam Veterans of America President John Rowan stated that the U.S. "didn't really build a democratic government" in Vietnam or Afghanistan:


"[I]t all goes back to the original sin, which was we didn't really build a democratic government in any of these places…[I]n Vietnam, in particular - … we made so many mistakes it wasn't even funny. I had access to certain information because of the job I did, and it was ridiculous. And [Afghanistan]'s no better. We built this house of cards we call the government....We didn't put real people in it [who] really cared about democracy. They only cared about how much money they can line their pockets [with].”[98]


Funding the Taliban

Instead of cutting off funding to the Taliban, the Biden administration has been one of its chief benefactors. The Associated Press acknowledged that “billions spent on Afghan army ultimately benefited [the] Taliban.”[99] Vast stockpiles of state of the art weaponry and equipment fell to the Taliban: not all able to be maintained and used by the group, but constituting an impressive arsenal nonetheless.[100]


Even after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, Senator Rand Paul noted that the Biden administration released over $64 million in aid, knowing that the Taliban would take the money.[101] As the Afghan resistance and human rights advocates urged other nations not to recognize the Taliban regime,[102] the Biden administration was treating the Taliban as an international partner and hinted at further financial aid.[103] Former acting homeland security chief Chad Wolf tweeted: “Economic assistance to a terrorist organization? I feel like we are in an alternative universe.”[104] On October 28, 2021, the Biden administration released an additional $144 million to Taliban-led Afghanistan and expressed intent to provide further funding.[105] This was done without regard to dire human rights abuses and misappropriation of prior funds, offering only a naive statement that the “United States will work to urge the Taliban to adhere to agreements.”


Investigative journalist Aram Roston at The Nation reported in 2009 that US payments funded the Taliban:


“In this grotesque carnival, the US military’s contractors are forced to pay suspected insurgents to protect American supply routes. It is an accepted fact of the military logistics operation in Afghanistan that the US government funds the very forces American troops are fighting. And it is a deadly irony, because these funds add up to a huge amount of money for the Taliban. ‘It’s a big part of their income,’ one of the top Afghan government security officials told The Nation in an interview. In fact, US military officials in Kabul estimate that a minimum of 10 percent of the Pentagon’s logistics contracts–hundreds of millions of dollars–consists of payments to insurgents.”[106]


National Public Radio stated in 2010:


“Taliban revenue include[s] extortion rackets that target various groups — including, indirectly, U.S. taxpayers. Resupply convoys navigating the hazardous Afghan highway system frequently have to hire security firms to protect them, and as often, these security firms pay off militias that control key stretches of road...The payoffs can amount to ‘potentially hundreds of millions of dollars. It's a huge chunk of the security part of the logistics operation…It's really worse than irony: It's, in some cases, just funding the same people you're fighting."[107]


Economic policy analyst Hanif Sufizada reported in 2020 that the Taliban was earning $1.6 billion annually, equivalent to approximately 30% of the official Afghan government budget at the time. The Taliban's funds came from drugs (estimated $416 million), mining ($400-464 million), extortion and taxes ($160 million), charitable donations ($240 million), exports ($240 million), real estate ($80 million), and donations from specific countries.[108]


Sufizada noted that "the governments of Russia, Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are all believed to bankroll the Taliban" up to a combined $500 million a year, while cautioning that "it is difficult to put an exact figure on this income stream." Further donations came from “charities” and private individuals:


"Many Taliban donations are from charities and private trusts located in Persian Gulf countries, a region historically sympathetic to the group’s religious insurgency. Those donations add up to about $150 million to $200 million each year, according to the Afghanistan Center for Research and Policy Studies. These charities are on the U.S. Treasury Department’s list of groups that finance terrorism…

“Private citizens from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran and some Persian Gulf nations also help finance the Taliban, contributing another $60 million annually to the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani Network, according to American counterterrorism agencies.”


As reported by the New York Times, a classified CIA report estimated in 2008 that the Taliban had received $106 million in foreign funding, primarily from the Gulf states.[109] These donations appear to have increased substantially as U.S. “reconstruction” efforts foundered.


A 2019 report of the United Nations Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team documented funding sources of the Taliban. In addition to opium production, mining, and extortion,


“The Monitoring Team highlighted the role played by wealthy donors and sponsors of the Taliban who are resident in the Gulf States and within countries that neighbour Afghanistan. In the past year, security and intelligence officials have reported a network of individuals, companies, mosques and madrasas known to provide finances and money-laundering on behalf of the Taliban. In particular, various charitable foundations in Gulf countries give approximately $60 million annually to the Haqqani Network. The Team was also informed that Taliban supporters were careful to channel their financial contributions through cash provided to local traders and front companies…Certain members of the Taliban have undertaken visits to Gulf States to collect cash donations amounting to millions of United States dollars. Smaller cash sums were subsequently presented to known Afghan businessmen who frequently undertook religious pilgrimages...Individuals who maintain legitimate business interests in the Gulf States and in Balochistan also launder money for the Taliban and share profits with the Taliban.”[110]


The United States has spent massively for security and defense of regressive autocracies in the Persian Gulf which include some of the world’s worst human rights violators, even as individuals, religious “charities,” and private individuals in the region have funded terror and extremism.


Former Democratic Senator Bob Graham, chair of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and co-chair of Congress’ 9/11 Joint Inquiry, cited sworn statements that “there was evidence of support from the Saudi government for the terrorists.”[111] The U.S. government collaborated with Saudis in suppressing evidence regarding the Saudi government’s involvement, denying Freedom of Information Act Requests, and supplied inside information to the Saudis’ lawyers. Senator Graham characterized U.S. conduct as “aggressive deception” rather than passive cover-up.[112]


The Intercept has noted mounting evidence that Saudia Arabia helped fund the 9/11 attacks.[113] The Independent (UK) cited legal documents attesting that the Saudi government had previously funded a “dry run” of the 9/11 attacks.[114] Only by the twentieth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks did the US release a report acknowledging in heavily redacted form previously suppressed evidence of connections between Saudi religious officials stationed in the U.S. and 9/11 terrorists.[115]


Even as the U.S. was actively running interference for the Saudis, evidence suggests that Saudis were funding the Taliban to keep their war against Afghan democracy alive. What could possibly go wrong? Yet successive U.S. administrations and countless foreign policy “experts” supported and perpetuated this debacle. That the U.S. defeat in Afghanistan came as a surprise to these same “experts” highlights their self-delusion.



Democracy and human rights in Afghanistan are gone, likely for the long term. This loss was not inevitable and reflects neither any defect on the part of the Afghan people nor any shortcoming with principles of democracy. It rather reflects a series of missteps by the United States and its leaders and agents, who prioritized political agendas and expediency above loyalty and accountability to the principles they were sworn to uphold. The architects and agents of this policy acted with gross disregard for the welfare and human rights of the Afghan people and conducted themselves with duplicity towards the American public.

Update - One Year Later

One year after the Taliban takeover, Deutsche Welle reported:


“Independent media had flourished under former presidents Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani, human rights had seen a substantial improvement, an increased number of girls had started going to school and universities, and Afghanistan's middle class had experienced relative prosperity during the same period. Over the past twelve months, these achievements have been largely reversed.

“The Taliban have not fulfilled most of their promises under the 2020 Doha agreement…Girls above 12 years of age are not allowed to go to school, and women are not allowed to work in most sectors or visit public parks without male companions.

“Afghanistan's economy is now in freefall, with the UN warning of a humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in the country.  Independent media is seen as an enemy by the Taliban...thousands of Afghan journalists are either in exile or have lost their jobs.”[116]

CBC Kids News explained to Canadian school children why millions of girls in Afghanistan can no longer attend school beyond the sixth grade:

“The Taliban believes in a strict interpretation of religious laws that can severely limit the human rights of its citizens, especially women. In the past, TV shows, music and movies were banned in Afghanistan by the Taliban and women weren’t allowed to work, drive or go to school…Along with Canada, Afghanistan has signed a document called ‘the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,’ which includes a commitment that every citizen has the right to an education...[Women's rights advocate Lauryn] Oates said if we don’t hold countries to the promises they’ve agreed to, the document becomes pointless.”[117]

These vast losses of human freedoms and basic rights have received scant coverage in the U.S. press.  Both the right-and left-leaning American press have focused overwhelmingly on the cost of the war to America and U.S. service member casualties, while ignoring the cost to Afghans in lost liberties, displacement of millions, and more than 200,000 estimated civilian deaths in a war started by the United States.

The left-leaning Clinton-affiliated Brookings Institute acknowledged that under Joe Biden, Afghanistan has again become a haven for terrorists:

"[Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-]Zawahri was killed in a comfortable neighborhood of Kabul, previously favored by officials of the fallen Afghan Republic and now replete with high-ranking Taliban members. He wouldn’t have lived there without some Taliban leaders’ knowledge. In fact, he was killed in a house belonging to a senior aide to Sirajuddin Haqqani, the acting Taliban minister of interior and leader of the powerful Haqqani faction of the Taliban. This exposes both the Taliban’s and Sirajuddin’s duplicity, and the strong, persistent affinity between al-Qaida and the Taliban…This spring, a U.N. report assessed that al-Qaida has been able to operate in Afghanistan with a 'greater freedom of operation.'"[118]


The loss of basic freedoms for millions in Afghanistan reflects the natural consequence of U.S. policies and conduct. The $6.8 trillion spent to date on the Afghan war representing a substantial portion of the US national debt, and another $8 trillion in expected interest payments, were by all indications worse than wasted, causing harm abroad while mortgaging the nation’s future.

In the year since the Taliban takeover, the Biden-Harris Administration sent over $1.1 billion in aid to Afghanistan while stonewalling any accounting thereof.[119]  Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction John Sopko reported on November 1, 2022, that his office “for the first time in its history is unable this quarter to provide Congress and the American people with a full accounting of this US government spending due to the noncooperation of several US government agencies.”

In November 2022, the United States Department of Defense acknowledged in its annual report to Congress that China used the bungled US abandonment of Afghanistan as “evidence that the U.S. is an unreliable partner and declining power.”[120]  The record, from Obama’s betrayal of the Budapest memorandum facilitating Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, to Trump’s betrayal of Kurdish allies,[121] to Biden’s failure to meet the largest aggression in Europe and extensive Russian war crimes with measures beyond aid and sanctions, has led many to the all too obvious conclusion that that America’s agreements and obligations mean little except when deemed to be in immediate self-interest. 

The Journal of Democracy observed that “the post-2001 system fostered corruption” and that “the policy choices made by the United States and its partners in Afghanistan over the past twenty years are largely to blame” for the Afghan collapse.[122] The author concluded that “unless there is soul searching about what went wrong, the international community and the United States are likely to repeat the same mistakes somewhere else.”

Instead of “soul-searching,” the Biden-Harris administration turned instead to censorship and cover-up. Notwithstanding the discontinuation of the administration’s plans for a politicized “disinformation board” following widespread public outrage, the administration continued “expanding its efforts to limit speech on social media,” including over the “U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.”[123]  Yet the US administration has been a leading purveyor of misinformation regarding Afghanistan. A Washington Post investigative report entitled “At War With the Truth” found that US officials repeatedly lied to the public, presenting false claims of progress in Afghanistan when they knew the situation to be failing.[124] Even left-leaning Politifact, long known for running interference for Democrats, acknowledged that Biden claimed that Taliban takeover was not inevitable and that the withdrawal from Afghanistan would be done “responsibly, deliberately, and safely” and was “proceeding in a safe and orderly way,” only to subsequently engage in a “full flop.”[125]

To date, there has been no meaningful introspection, insight, or accountability. Providing honesty and transparency to the American public, and the world, would be a far better direction for the administration’s ostensible efforts to “combat disinformation.” American officials have demonstrated concern only for their own reputational harm with no regard for the irreversible harm to millions of Afghans caused by US duplicity.


[1] "Taliban enter Afghan capital as US diplomats evacuate by chopper." Reuters, August 15, 2021.

[2] Nelson, Amy. “Liz Cheney rips Biden as Taliban takes over Afghanistan: 'This isn't Saigon, it's far worse.'” Fox News, August 16, 2021.

[3] "Chaos, desperation at Kabul airport as Biden defends withdrawal from Afghanistan." Reuters, August 16, 2021.

[4] Mashal, Mujib. "How the Taliban Outlasted a Superpower: Tenacity and Carnage." New York Times, May 26, 2020 (updated January 15, 2021).

[5] "America’s war in Afghanistan is ending in crushing defeat." The Economist, July 10, 2021.

[6] Riley-Smith, Ben. "Parliament holds Joe Biden in contempt over Afghanistan." The Telegraph (UK), August 18, 2021.

[7] Marcus, Josh. "Ex-CIA chief says chaotic Afghanistan exit is Joe Biden’s ‘Bay of Pigs’ moment." The Independent (UK), August 17, 2021.

[8] Morrow, Lance. “You Are Living in the Golden Age of Stupidity.” Wall Street Journal, August 29, 2021.                      

[9] “What We Know About The 13 U.S. Service Members Killed In The Kabul Airport Attack.” National Public Radio, August 31, 2021.

[10] Wulfsohn, Joseph A. "USA Today issues correction on 'fact check' after claiming Biden checked watch 'only after ceremony' at Dover." Fox News, September 3, 2010.

[11] Nelson, Amy. “Pollster: Biden receives F grade from independents for Afghanistan speech.” Fox News, August 17, 2021.

[12] Walker, Hunter. "‘A Total F*cking Disaster’: Inside Seth Moulton’s Secret Trip to Kabul." NY Mag, August 26, 2021.

[13] Gutfeld, Greg. “Our leaders botched the Afghanistan withdrawal, they were too busy destroying the US.” Fox News, August 18, 2021.

[14] "Sen. Sasse: It Will Be A Disgrace If Americans Are Left Behind In Afghanistan." National Public Radio Morning Edition, August 25, 2021.

[15] Lee, Michael. “Sasse calls Afghanistan withdrawal ‘national disgrace,’ blames Biden’s ‘cowardice and incompetence.’” Fox News, August 30, 2021.

[16] “Judge Jeanine: Joe Biden has given a terrorist organization their own nation.” Fox News, September 5, 2021.

[17] “Taliban Buys Hunter Biden Painting For Presidential Palace.” Babylon Bee, August 27, 2021.

[18] Creitz, Charles. "Ingraham: Biden's Afghan crisis continues Democrats' 'great unraveling' of America." Fox News, August 24, 2021.

[19] "Pelosi Statement on Afghanistan.", August 14, 2021.

[20] "Dan Crenshaw slams Pelosi for shutting down Afghanistan bill: 'They want no accountability whatsoever.'" Fox News, September 1, 2021.

[21] Cohen, Raphael S. "The Big Unanswered Question of the Afghanistan War." LawFareBlog, October 3, 2021.

[22] “Why America keeps building corrupt client states.” The Economist, August 22, 2021.

[23] Seligman, Lara, Alexander Ward and Andrew Desiderio. "U.S. officials provided Taliban with names of Americans, Afghan allies to evacuate." Politico, August 26, 2021.

[24] Blake, Aaron. "The Biden administration’s increasingly muddy denials on giving the Taliban lists." Washington Post, August 30, 2021.

[25] Blitzer, Ronn. “Taliban take control, promise religious rule amid reports of executions, forced marriages.” Fox News    , September 1, 2021.

[26] Hurst, Luke. “UN has ‘credible reports’ of summary executions of civilians by Taliban.” Euro News, August 25, 2021.

[27] Rasmussen, Sune Engel and Ehsanullah Amiri. “Taliban’s Promises of Tolerance in Afghanistan Often Don’t Match Reality.” Wall Street Journal, September 1, 2021.

[28] “Afghanistan: The pledge binding al-Qaeda to the Taliban.” BBC News, September 7, 2021.

[29] Brown, Lee. “Taliban execute folk singer days after saying music is ‘forbidden,’ family says.” New York Post , August 30, 2021.

[30] Pikulicka-Wilczewska, Agnieszka. "Afghan women’s losing battle to remain visible under Taliban." Al Jazeera, October 6, 2021.

[31] “Afghanistan: Taliban beheaded female volleyball player.” Human Rights Watch, October 30, 2021.

[32] Stabile, Angelica. “Mark Levin: How many Anne Franks are in Afghanistan tonight?” Fox News, September 2, 2021.

[33] “Afghanistan: Women protest against all-male Taliban government.” BBC News, September 8, 2021. 

[34] Nossiter, Adam. "Taliban Fighters Crush a Women’s Protest Amid Flickers of Resistance." New York Times, September 4, 2021 (updated September 17, 2021).

[35] Nader, Zahra and Amie Ferris-Rotman. "They stayed to fight the Taliban. Now the protesters are being hunted down." The Guardian (UK), November 4, 2021.

[36] Gannon, Kathy. “Taliban special forces bring abrupt end to women’s protest.” AP News, September 4, 2021.   

[37] “Afghanistan: Taliban break up women's rights protest in Kabul.” BBC News, September 5, 2021.

[38] Ruiz, Michael, and Andrew Murray. “US ambassador accuses Blinken of leaving hundreds of Afghan women behind to die in botched evacuation.” Fox News, September 1, 2021.

[39] Shiner, Fionn. "For Afghan Christians, the Taliban takeover is a nightmare." The Spectator (UK), August 17, 2021.

[40] "Former Secretary of State Fears Genocide Against Christians in Afghanistan." September 2, 2021.

[41] Gossman, Patricia. "How US-Funded Abuses Led to Failure in Afghanistan." Human Rights Watch, July 6, 2021.

[42] Khan, Azmat. "Hidden Pentagon Records Reveal Patterns of Failure in Deadly Airstrikes." New York Times, December 18, 2021.

[43] Maass, Peter. "The U.S. Military Is a Machine of Impunity." The Intercept, December 26, 2021.

[44] Xin, Liu. “US human rights violations in Afghanistan leave ‘darkest page’: diplomat." Global Times, September 25, 2021.

[45] Peksen, Dursun. "Does Foreign Military Intervention Help Human Rights?" Political Research Quarterly, 65/3(2012): 558-571.

[46] Miller, Zeke, Jonathan Lemire and Josh Boak. “Biden team surprised by rapid Taliban gains in Afghanistan.” AP News, August 15, 2021.

[47] Choi, Joseph. "Cheney: Biden ignored military commanders' advice on Afghanistan." The Hill, August 16, 2021.

[48] Beynon, Steve, and Stephen Losey. "Contradicting Biden, Top Brass Testify They Advised Him to Keep Troops in Afghanistan.", September 28, 2021.

[49] Agresti, James D. "The New York Times Regularly Publishes Falsehoods That Spur Violent Unrest and Civic Dysfunction." Just Facts Daily, February 2021.

[50] Mazzetti, Mark, Julian E. Barnes and Adam Goldman. "Intelligence Warned of Afghan Military Collapse, Despite Biden’s Assurances." New York Times, August 17, 2021 (updated September 8, 2021).

[51] Crane, Emily. “Biden pressured Ghani to create ‘perception’ Taliban weren’t winning.” New York Post, September 1, 2021.

[52] Lee, Matthew, and Eric Tucker. "Was Biden handcuffed by Trump’s Taliban deal in Doha?" Associated Press, August 19, 2021.

[53] Qiu, Linda. "Biden’s Inaccurate Claims in Defending Afghanistan Withdrawal." New York Times, August 20, 2021 (updated September 6, 2021).

[54] Kessler, Glenn. "Biden’s claim that nation-building in Afghanistan ‘never made any sense to me.’" Washington Post, August 23, 2021.

[55] Baker, Peter. Twitter [@peterbakernyt], August 18, 2021.

[56] Graziosi, Graig. "US under fire for withdrawing from Afghanistan in the dead of night." The Independent (UK), July 6, 2021.

[57] Gannon, Kathy. "US left Afghan airfield at night, didn’t tell new commander." AP News, July 5, 2021.

[58] Shaw, Adam and David Aaro. “Blinken faces Congress on Afghanistan withdrawal amid GOP criticism.” Fox News, September 14, 2021.

[59] Barton, Ethan, Teny Sahakian, and Matt Wall. “How Kabul became an evacuation bottleneck and a prime terror target: The Last 96.” Fox News, September 10, 2021.

[60] Conklin, Audrey. "Afghanistan withdrawal: Records reveal IG opposition to Biden admin order to scrub hundreds of online reports." Fox News, August 17, 2021.

[61] Morris, Kyle. “4 prisoners Obama exchanged for Bowe Bergdahl now in senior Taliban posts.” Fox News, September 7, 2021.

[62] Diamond, Jeremy. "House report accuses Obama of violating law in Bergdahl exchange." CNN, December 10, 2015.

[63] The Editorial Board. “This Afghan rout is entirely on Joe Biden.” New York Post, August 12, 2021.

[64] Borger, Julian. "US criticised as it races against time to save its Afghan helpers from Taliban." The Guardian (UK), August 15, 2021.

[65] “Gen. Keane blasts State Dept for blocking Afghanistan evacuations: 'This is an absurdity.'” Fox News, September 8, 2021.

[66] Elkind, Elizabeth and Jimmy McCloskey. "Bombshell leaked emails prove the State Department DID block Afghan evacuation flights even if they had Americans on board, report claims." The Daily Mail (UK), September 7, 2021.

[67] Hasson, Peter. “State Department obstruction of private rescue flights from Afghanistan revealed in leaked email.” Fox News, September 7, 2021.

[68] Singman, Brooke. "State Department on Afghan refugees in US: 'We're doing accountings on the back end.'" Fox News, September 7, 2021.

[69] Subramaniam, Tara and Holmes Lybrand. "Fact check: Afghans coming to US are not 'unvetted refugees.'" CNN, September 1, 2021.

[70] Richards, Tori. "Afghan refugees at Wisconsin Army base lack complete vetting but can leave any time, House member says." Washington Examiner, September 2, 2021.

[71] Reilly, Patrick. "Most Afghan evacuees not vetted before entering country, GOP memo says." New York Post, November 25, 2021.

[72] Applebaum, Anne. “The Bad Guys are Winning.” The Atlantic, November 15, 2021.

[73] Carlson, Tucker. “Our military has been lying to us for 20 years.” Fox News, September 4, 2021.

[74] Porter, Gareth. "How the US military subverted the Afghan peace agreement to prolong an unpopular war." The Gray Zone, March 16, 2021.

[75] Carlson, Tucker. “Official Washington wanted US to stay in Afghanistan, so they lied to ensure we would.” Fox News, April 16, 2021.

[76] Phillips, Morgan. “U.S. Intel Backpedals on Russian Bounty Story Trump Called a ‘Hoax.’” Fox News, April 16, 2021.

[77] Gillespie, Brandon. “Pentagon acknowledges Americans 'stranded' in Afghanistan despite Jen Psaki claiming term was 'irresponsible.'” Fox News, September 1, 2021.

[78] Schultz, Marisa. “Pentagon spokesman defends remarks that Kabul wasn't in 'imminent' danger of falling to Taliban.” Fox News, August 21, 2021.

[79] Morris, Janae. "Pentagon's drone strike acknowledgement was the correct response: Mullen." ABC News, September 19, 2021.

[80] Morris, Janae. "Pentagon's drone strike acknowledgement was the correct response: Mullen." ABC News, September 19, 2021.

[81] Garland, Chad. "'I Demand Accountability': Marine Battalion Commander Calls Out Senior Leaders for Afghanistan Failures.", August 27, 2021.

[82] “Human and Budgetary Costs to Date of the U.S. War in Afghanistan, 2001-2022.” Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, August 2021.

[83] Vanden Brook, Tom. “Fraud, waste and abuse in Afghanistan: Inspector general reflects on US failures.” USA Today, August 18, 2021.

[84] Chiaramonte, Perry. “War on waste: Pentagon auditor spotlights US billions blown in Afghanistan.” Fox News, July 28, 2014.

[85] Whitlock, Craig. "The grand illusion: Hiding the truth about the Afghanistan war’s ‘conclusion.’" Washington Post, August 12, 2021.

[86] Department of Defense Spending on Afghanistan Reconstruction: Contracts Comprised $21 Billion of $66 Billion in Total Appropriations, 2002 – May 2014." Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, March 2015.

[87] Gault, Matthew. "How the Pentagon Lost Track of $45 Billion.", March 31, 2015.

[88] Whitlock, Craig. "Consumed by Corruption: The U.S. flooded the country with money — then turned a blind eye to the graft it fueled." Washington Post, December 9, 2019.

[89] Boone, John. "WikiLeaks cables portray Hamid Karzai as corrupt and erratic." The Guardian (UK), December 2, 2010.

[90] Gannon, Kathy. "Afghanistan’s Karzai tells AP that US cash fed corruption." AP News, December 10, 2019.

[91] Roston, Aram. "How the US Funds the Taliban." The Nation, November 11, 2009.

[92] Sieff, Kevin. "Once an American professor, Ashraf Ghani is seeking the Afghan presidency, local-style." Washington Post, June 11, 2014.

[93] George, Susannah, Missy Ryan, Tyler Pager, Pamela Constable, John Hudson and Griff Witte. "Surprise, panic and fateful choices: the day America lost its longest war." Washington Post, August 28, 2021.

[94] Lalzoy, Najibullah. "Ashraf Ghani promised to fight to death but fled: Antonio Blinken." Khaama Press, November 1, 2021.

[95] Carlson, Tucker. "Contrition is essential to fixing problems, our leaders don't have it." Fox News, August 31, 2021.

[96] Turak, Natasha. "Weeks after fleeing Afghanistan, former President Ashraf Ghani issues ‘explanation’ statement to Afghan people — only in English." CNBC, September 9, 2021.

[97] Ramaswamy, Vivek. “Biden's Afghanistan catastrophe – here are the 3 flawed assumptions that led to debacle.” Fox News, August 23, 2021

[98] Colton, Graham. "Vietnam vet says US 'didn't really build a democratic government' in Vietnam or Afghanistan." Fox News, November 13, 2021.

[99] Burns, Robert. "Billions spent on Afghan army ultimately benefited Taliban." Associated Press, August 16, 2021.

[100] Keller, Jared. "Here’s all the US military equipment that likely ended up in Taliban hands: A windfall for the Taliban." Task and Purpose, August 18, 2021.

[101] Shaw, Adam and David Aaro. “Blinken faces Congress on Afghanistan withdrawal amid GOP criticism.” Fox News, September 14, 2021.

[102] “Afghanistan: Don't recognise Taliban regime, resistance urges.” BBC News, September 7, 2021.

[103] The Editorial Board. “This Afghan rout is entirely on Joe Biden.” New York Post, August 12, 2021.

[104] Wolf, Chad. Twitter [@ChadFWolf], September 1, 2021.          

[105] "The United States Announceds More Than $144 Million in Additional Humanitarian Assistance for Afghanistan." USAID, October 28, 2021.

[106] Roston, Aram. "How the US Funds the Taliban." The Nation, November 11, 2009.

[107] Kenyon, Peter. "Exploring The Taliban's Complex, Shadowy Finances." National Public Radio, March 19, 2010.

[108] Sufizada, Hanif. “The Taliban are megarich – here’s where they get the money they use to wage war in Afghanistan.” The Conversation, December 8, 2020.

[109] Schmitt, Eric. "Many Sources Feed Taliban’s War Chest." New York Times, October 19, 2009.

[110] "Tenth report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team submitted pursuant to resolution 2255 (2015) concerning the Taliban and other associated individuals and entities constituting a threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan." United Nations Security Council, June 13, 2019, p. 12.

[111] Hulse, Carl. "Florida Ex-Senator Pursues Claims of Saudi Ties to Sept. 11 Attacks". New York Times, April 14, 2015.

[112] Hannan, Caleb. "One Man's Quest to Prove Saudi Arabia Bankrolled 9/11." Politico Magazine, April 7, 2017.

[113] Lichtblau, Eric and James Risen. "9/11 and the Saudi Connection." The Intercept (UK), September 11, 2021.

[114] Revesz, Rachael. "Saudi government 'funded a dry run' of 9/11'". The Independent (UK). September 10, 2017.

[115] Golden, Tim, and Sebastian Rotella. "Long-Secret FBI Report Reveals New Connections Between 9/11 Hijackers and Saudi Religious Officials in U.S." ProPublica, September 12, 2021.

[116] Hakimi, Ahmad. "How life has changed for Afghans since the Taliban takeover." Deutsche Welle, August 12, 2022.

[117] "Why millions of girls in Afghanistan can’t go to school." CBC Kids News, May 2, 2022. 

[118] Felbab-Brown, Vanda. "What Ayman al-Zawahri’s death says about terrorism in Taliban-run Afghanistan."  Brookings Institute, August 2, 2022.

[119] Liebert, Larry. "Afghanistan Watchdog Says Biden Administration Shuns Queries." Bloomberg, November 2, 2022. 

[120] Crilly, Rob. "Pentagon admits China used Biden's disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal as propaganda tool to describe the U.S. as an 'unreliable partner and declining power' in report saying communists want to 'revise international order' by 2049." November 29, 2022. 

[121] Ignatius, David. "Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds is sickening to U.S. soldiers." Washington Post, October 14, 2019. 

[122] Murtazashvili, Jennifer Brick. "The Collapse of Afghanistan." Journal of Democracy 33/1 (January 2022):40-54.

[123] Hutton, Christopher. "DHS policing online speech more even after failure of disinformation board." Washiongton Examiner, October 31, 2022. 

[124] Whitlock, Craig. "At War With the Truth." Washington Post, December 9, 2019. 

[125] Sherman, Amy. "Joe Biden’s full flop on messages about Afghanistan withdrawal." Politifact, August 20, 2021.

bottom of page