Joe Biden is not capable or competent to hold the office of the presidency. If there were any doubt on this point, his press conference Thursday evening in the wake of a pair of coordinated suicide bombings in Kabul should put the matter to rest.
The first blast Thursday killed 13 U.S. soldiers at a Kabul airport gate, along with scores of Afghans. Another bomb at a nearby hotel killed dozens more. Between the two blasts, as many as 170 people perished, not counting the U.S. service members. Hundreds more were injured, and according to U.S. officials there may be more attacks coming.
Whatever the final body count is, Thursday was the deadliest day for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since 2011, and the first time since February 2020 that any U.S. service members have been killed in action there. When the smoke finally clears, one thing is certain: Biden has been derelict in his duty, he is unfit to lead, and he should be impeached.
At his press conference Thursday evening, the president was slow and appeared at times to be confused, his answers rambling and unclear. When the time came to take questions, he said he’d been given a list, and had “been instructed” to call on certain reporters. It was a moment of quiet dread when we all saw confirmed again, before a gaping world, that although Biden is the president, he’s not actually running the country.
Joe Biden: "They gave me a list here. The first person I was instructed to call on…” pic.twitter.com/1BHTRXyvSa
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 26, 2021
Of course Biden’s bizarre behavior at the press conference, although deeply disturbing, does not alone justify impeachment. Rather, it’s his fecklessness and incompetence, his failure to protect Americans in the evacuation of Afghanistan, and his inability to speak clearly and honestly about the situation, that justifies impeachment at this point.
Throughout this crisis, Biden and his White House have been evasive, defensive, and cruelly indifferent to a disaster entirely of their own making. The bare minimum for a commander in chief in this scenario is to be clear and forthright with the American people about what it will take to get Americans out safely, and what will happen if we can’t get them out by the August 31 deadline. Instead, the Biden administration has blamed Donald Trump, ducked questions, stonewalled, and generally contributed to the deadly chaos still unfolding in Afghanistan.
Indeed, what this means for the ongoing evacuation is unclear. It might well be over, at this point. News reports out of Kabul indicate the U.S. military is welding shut the gates of the airport complex, which could mean an abrupt end to evacuation efforts for an estimated 1,500 American citizens, at least, still trapped in Afghanistan.
If that is the case, we are now facing the worst hostage crisis in American history.
Our sources on the ground tell us gates are being welded shut. https://t.co/Fj9u5Up9b4
— Howard Altman (@haltman) August 26, 2021
Some of our allies have already acknowledged as much. On Thursday, many of our North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies announced they were ending evacuation efforts, frankly conceding they are leaving behind citizens still stranded in and around Kabul.
In a press briefing Thursday, Gen. Kenneth Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, said he expects these attacks to continue but that the U.S. military will press on with its evacuation mission. It’s unclear, though, what that will look like, given what’s happened and the likelihood it will happen again before the military can get American citizens, to say nothing of U.S. soldiers and equipment, out of Kabul.
For much of the day on Thursday, Biden was again absent and the White House silent. Hours before the president addressed the nation, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke about the attack in Kabul. David Marcus rightly noted how disturbing it was that the British prime minister would speak publicly about the attack before the U.S. president did.
Why am I hearing about the loss of American military lives from the Prime Minister of the UK but not the American president? What the hell is going on? https://t.co/hCUhnAG08W
— David Marcus (@BlueBoxDave) August 26, 2021
Indeed, five hours after the attacks on Thursday, the only public communication from the White House was a statement about the celebration of “Women’s Equality Day.”
The administration’s silence continues to be matched by its incompetence. Later on Thursday, Politico reported that U.S. officials in Kabul gave the Taliban a list of names of American citizens, green card holders, and Afghan allies to grant entry into the airport complex, a move that sparked outrage among lawmakers and military officials. “Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list,” one defense official told Politico. “It’s just appalling and shocking and makes you feel unclean.”
Even before the deadly attacks on Thursday, Sen. Lindsay Graham this week called for Biden’s impeachment, citing “dereliction of duty by the commander-in-chief.” Graham is of course a foreign policy neocon who, if he had his way, would continue the war in Afghanistan in perpetuity. But Republican calls for Biden’s impeachment or resignation swelled to a chorus after the Thursday attacks, and rightly so.
Some on the right will protest that impeaching Biden will only give us President Kamala Harris, thrusting from the frying pan into the fire. Maybe so. But at least a President Harris would know what was going on and could be held answerable for it. At least we would know who’s running the country.
Some will also object that any impeachment, given the state of American politics, will perforce be merely political, or be seen as such by half the country. Maybe so. But unlike Democrats’ two impeachments of former President Donald Trump, impeaching Biden over his Afghanistan disaster isn’t about political theater. Recall that Trump was impeached the first time for a perfectly legitimate phone call, and the second time for giving an innocuous speech to his supporters.
The impeachment of Biden, by contrast, would be about basic competence and confidence and Biden’s ability to execute his sworn duties as president. He has shown that he is unfit and incompetent. Now Congress should do its duty, and impeach him.