WASHINGTON, DC – Following the Biden administration announcing a successful drone strike that killed al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was reportedly enjoying safe haven in Afghanistan, Fox News’ Peter Doocy pressed National Security Council coordinator John Kirby on August 2nd as to whether al-Zawahiri’s ability to remain in Afghanistan resulted from Biden’s botched 2021 exit from the county.
The killing of the al Qaeda leader was announced by Biden on August 1st, where they also said the key figure from the terrorist outfit had been residing in Kabul in an attempt to “reunite with his family,” according to CNN. However, an airstrike that fired off two Hellfire missiles on the evening of July 30th had eliminated said target.
But in the wake of al-Zawahiri’s killing, questions loomed as to why he was able to roam about in Afghanistan seemingly without issue – with Doocy suggesting that the obvious reason was that the U.S. basically handed over the country to the Taliban.
During the August 2nd White House press briefing, Doocy asked Kirby, “So we know that the Taliban was harboring the world’s most wanted terrorist. You guys gave a whole country to a bunch of people that are on the FBI’s most wanted list. What did you think was going to happen?”
Kirby took offense at Doocy’s characterization of the Afghanistan withdrawal, responding with, “I take issue with the premise we gave a whole country to terrorist groups. I mean, again, I’d encourage you to ask…”
Doocy interjected while Kirby began to trail off, emphasizing that based upon the circumstances of what recently played out in the country, his prior characterization of the fallout of the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was fairly accurate.
“They were harboring the world’s number one terrorist. How is that not giving a country to a terrorist sympathizing group, if not, giving them permission to have terrorists just sit on a balcony?”
Kirby again wouldn’t concede to the notion that the Biden administration simply handed off Afghanistan to terrorists, instead accusing Doocy of framing the matter as though the United States “owned Afghanistan.”
“Peter, the way you ask that it makes it sound like we owned Afghanistan a year ago. It wasn’t our country – it was an independent, sovereign state. And the president made a bold decision to end a war that had been going on for twenty years because he believed then – and still believes now – that our national security interests are best met by meeting the threats of today, not the threats of 2001…I don’t want to relitigate the whole war here, but obviously, no one anticipated the government to fall as fast as it did. But we said at the time that as we depart Afghanistan, we’re going to keep vigilant, we’re going to stay ready, and we’re not going to let Afghanistan become a safe haven for terrorists who threaten our homeland. And this past weekend, we proved that case precisely.”
Kirby’s statements misrepresented the withdrawal of Afghanistan, which was not a “bold decision” made by the President, but rather demand from a terrorist organization.