Rep. Gosar Demands Answers From State Dept Following National Pulse Afghan Exfiltration Exposé.
Washington, August 28, 2021 | Jessica Lycos (202-379-6385)
Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) is demanding answers from the U.S. State Department after a National Pulse exposé revealing the Biden regime cancelled Trump-era plans to found a new bureau specializing in rescuing Americans from crisis zones such as Afghanistan.
On August 18th, we reported:
The “Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau” – which was designed to handle medical, diplomatic, and logistical support concerning Americans overseas was paused by Antony Blinken’s State Department earlier this year. Notification was officially signed just months before the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.
In a letter dated August 27th, Rep. Gosar wrote to Secretary Blinken:
As Americans and the world-at-large watch in dismay at the frantic scenes coming from Kabul, we are all concerned for the safety of our fellow countrymen. I am equally concerned with the lack of preparation for this contingency. Questions regarding this lack of preparation will be brought to the Department of Defense, however I write today concerned by reports that the State Department terminated a crisis response group in the months leading up to the Afghanistan withdrawal.
Specifically, I am referring to the Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau (CCR) established in October 2020 under the Trump Administration which was designed to handle medical, diplomatic, and logistical support concerning Americans overseas. Reports from The National Pulse indicate that the State Department under your watch terminated this critically important bureau just months before the Afghanistan withdrawal and the need to evacuate thousands of Americans.
Cancelling the CCR as the Biden Administration was preparing for the Afghanistan withdrawal is baffling and raises serious questions about how prepared the Administration was to complete this final step in Afghanistan. Reports also indicate that the decision to pause the program go back as far as February, which means this decision would have also jeopardized the withdrawal plan committed to under the Trump Administration.
If reports that the CCR has been paused since February and terminated in June are correct, it shows that State was never prepared for this withdrawal, justifying the heartbreaking and concerning reports and videos we are now seeing from Afghanistan.
I am therefore asking for confirmation on whether or not CCR was terminated and if so, on what grounds? A full scope answer of what authorities and justification were given to terminate the CCR, what the State Department felt it had in place to fill the CCR gap, and a determination of any issues for the State Department responding to this contingency would greatly aid in oversight of this withdrawal.
Finally, please also indicate if elimination of the CCR was in response to any Biden Administration wide orders to reevaluate Trump era policies or the product of any lingering resentment towards the former Administration held by career or political employees. Please adhere to all rules and regulation when fulfilling this request.
The letter comes as discredited “fact check” websites such as Politifact panicked over The National Pulse’s reporting, and sought to confuse the matter with a long article quoting unrelated think-tank “experts” who claimed without evidence that the scrapping of the CCR plan did not affect the Afghanistan withdrawal. Notably, Politifact did not attempt to rate the story true or false, as it usually does.
The far-left Media Matters website was also rattled by the revelation, first misattributing the story to Fox News, then baselessly attempting to confuse the OpMed bureau inside the State Department with the new CCR, without speaking to people actively involved in the Trump-era program, as The National Pulse sourced.
You can read Rep. Gosar’s full letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, here.