Editor’s note: Chuck Hagel is the Republican former U.S. Senator from Nebraska who served from 1997 to 2009.
Barack Obama’s former defense secretary revealed the “huge mistake” Donald Trump made to ensure Afghanistan’s swift collapse.
Chuck Hagel, who led the Department of Defense from 2013 to 2015, said the collapse was set in motion early last year by former president Trump, and he said that mistake was entirely avoidable.
“That process started early last year when President Trump decided that we were coming out, and he said to the nation, we’re going to be out by May of this year, and he started the peace process without including the Afghan government,” Hagel said. “That was a huge mistake, in my opinion — same thing we did in Vietnam. Well, once we did that, that sent a very, very clear signal not only to the Taliban but also to the Afghan forces and the Afghan government that we were leaving them behind. We were coming out no matter what, and the Taliban understood that.”
“In fact, I mentioned in the last two years they’ve gained ground,” he added. “Any measurement of where the Taliban has been and was going over the last two years was that they were controlling more than half, maybe 60 percent of Afghanistan, so if anybody was just paying attention to this a little bit, you’d understand where this was going. But when President Trump said, we’re coming out, we did the Doha peace agreement with the Taliban, and then we went back to the Afghan government and said, now, you’ll live with this. You’re going to release 5,000 prisoners and one, two, three, four, five — well, it was pretty clear.”
Image: U.S. Army photo by Tommy Gilligan, USMA Public Affairs via Flickr
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Local Texas Cops Blocked Specialized Federal Tactical Team That Killed Shooter From Engaging for One Hour
When a specially equipped U.S. Border Patrol tactical team arrived on the scene of Tuesday’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, local police who were already on the scene wouldn’t allow them to engage with the shooter, The New York Times reports.
“The agents from Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrived at some point between 12 p.m. and 12:10 p.m., according to the officials — far earlier than previously known,” The Times’ report stated. “But they did not breach the adjoining classrooms of the school where the gunman had locked himself in until a little before 1 p.m. Members of the federal tactical team killed the gunman.”
But officials speaking to The Times say the Uvalde Police Department prevented the agents from going in sooner.
The new details further call into the question the thinking behind how law enforcement responded to the shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers. The Border Patrol and ICE agents say they did not understand why they were force to wait. All of the 21 victims died in the area where 18-year-old Salvador Ramos had barricaded himself in.
Read the full report at The New York Times.
Defiant Trump Brags About His Upcoming NRA Speech as Cancellations Mount: Have to ‘Protect’ Second Amendment (Video)
For more than half a century “American Pie” has been an integral part of American culture, but Don McLean – the 76-year old singer who brought the nearly nine-minute song about the death of Buddy Holly and other rock and roll stars to life – has canceled his appearance at the NRA’s annual convention this weekend in Houston. Out of respect for the families of the 21 slaughtered children and teachers in Uvalde, Texas, McLean says it would be “hurtful” and “disrespectful” to appear.
Also canceling this weekend are country music stars Lee Greenwood, Larry Gatlin, and T. Graham Brown.
Even the manufacturer of the AR-15 style semi-automatic assault rifle used by the Uvalde shooter has canceled their appearance at the NRA’s convention, “due to the horrifying tragedy,” Daniel Defense said in a statement.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has managed to appear as if he’s canceling out of a show of respect. The Republican currently in a tight re-election race is facing not only the horrific Uvalde mass shooting of 19 elementary school children and two teachers but the mounting evidence that lives may have been lost out of law enforcement’s apparent horrific handling of the attack.
Abbott will not appear in person, instead using the time to hold another press conference. He will appear via pre-recorded video.
Donald Trump, the former president who is widely expected to be staging another run for president not only will attend this weekend’s NRA convention, he is bragging about it.
“I’m making a speech tomorrow at the NRA in Huston and it’ll be very interesting,” Trump told far-right radio host Sebastian Gorka, who served in the Trump administration in 2017 and has ties to the alt-right.
“And so yeah, interesting time to be making such a speech, frankly.”
Trump then launched into an attack on Congresswoman Liz Cheney, one of the few Republicans who has openly and repeatedly opposed him.
“But on Friday night, I’ll be in Houston. And we’ll be making a speech and discussing a lot of the things which you would agree to, and you know, you have to protect, you have to protect your Second Amendment. You have to give that Second Amendment great protection, because without it, we would be a very dangerous country frankly.”
Trump on his NRA speech tonight: “Interesting time to be making such a speech, frankly .. You have to give that Second Amendment great protection because, without it, we would be a very dangerous country.” pic.twitter.com/uMOXbzfsrJ
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) May 27, 2022
‘Font of Misinformation’: Reporter Explains ‘Major Discrepancies’ in Texas Police Account of Uvalde Shooting
MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday examined the “major discrepancies” in the police account of the roughly one hour that a teenage gunman spent at the Texas elementary school where he killed at least 19 children and two teachers.
The Texas Department of Public Safety defended the response by Uvalde police, but “Morning Joe” co-host Willie Geist said the changing narrative of what happened and how officers reacted was jaw-dropping, and he asked NBC News correspondent Ken Dilanian to explain what was so troubling about the law enforcement account.
“It’s really astonishing,” Dilanian said. “Let’s remember, the Texas Department of Public Safety, which is conducting the briefings, they did not respond to this incident. Their whole job here was to investigate and find out what happened and tell the public. They’ve really been a font of misinformation, including from the head of the agency, who sat next to the governor of the state and told the world in a very confident voice that there was a school resource officer who encountered the subject as he came into the school. Then yesterday, we learned that that person didn’t exist. There was no such school resource officer.”
“Then we learn other, new information, that the shooter actually exited his grandmother’s truck, which he crashed outside the school, then fired shots at onlookers across the street, and then essentially was lingering outside the school for 12 minutes, firing shots, before he entered through an unlocked door, also new information, unimpeded, unobstructed, nobody confronted him,” Dilanian continued. “Then we learned in this new — and, again, all this information is coming from the same agency that has provided misinformation. We should take it all with a grain of salt. But according to the latest account, some local police officers, Uvalde police officers, immediately rushed in, which is what the doctrine of mass shooting says they should do. They were met with a hail of gunfire from the 18-year-old with an assault rifle, AR-15, a weapon of war. They were armed, presumably, with handguns. A couple were shot and wounded, the police are saying.”
“Victor Escalon said they made entry, didn’t make entry, retreated,” Dilanian added. “Bottom line, they were out-gunned, treated, then we have this mystery. We have this decision by the police to wait 60 minutes for a Border Patrol tactical team. There’s a lot we don’t know and don’t understand about that, so we should be a little careful. There were police inside the school, we were told, evacuating children, in other parts of the school. But the account is, somehow, the gunman had barricaded himself. They use the word ‘barricade.’ It was two adjoining classrooms.”
“Now we’re learning … that dead children were found in four separate classrooms,” he said. “That’s a thing we don’t understand but, as you know, the doctrine for police response to mass shootings really changed after Columbine. The rule now is go in with whatever force you can. This is a policy from the Texas Police Chief Association, a manual says the first two to four officers should form a team and immediately enter the building. That’s what they did initially. Then, for whatever reason, they didn’t follow up with that. They waited for essentially federal agents, a group of Border Patrol and other police who formed a team, a stack as they put it, went in with a ballistic shield in front, took fire from the shooter — incredible act of bravery — and killed the shooter. There were local police officers involved in that, we’re told. These videos we’re seeing and the accounts of parents screaming for the police to go in while they were standing outside, that has to be explained. There is just no good explanation for why they waited 60 minutes when the doctrine calls for them to go in immediately.”
Watch the video below or at this link.
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