Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Grassroots Engagement Director of Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee Grant Henry in studio to weigh in on Secretary of State Blinken’s testimony to Congress on Monday and the ignorance of a 20-year war with Afghanistan.
Leahy: Already in studio with us, the mayor of Maury County, Andy Ogles. Now joining us in studio, the Grassroots Director for Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee Grant Henry. Good morning, Andy, and good morning, Grant.
Henry: Good morning, sir.
Leahy: Well, Grant. You actually took some time yesterday to watch the testimony of Winken, Blinken, and Nod. Antony Blinken, the beta male who’s now the secretary of state of the United States.
Our own, Mark Green, as we heard in the last segment, I had some pretty pressing questions for him. Didn’t get really good answers on the Afghanistan debacle. What was your take on this testimony? I know you watched it. What are your thoughts?
Henry: My immediate reaction with Congressman Green is how sincerely appreciative I am of his concern for American citizens still leftover in Afghanistan and the need to get them out properly. And I believe he doesn’t. It’s not that he’s just paying lip service here.
He genuinely has a concern. He’s truly empathetic. Clearly, given his background, we all understand why. But I would implore everyone to go watch the eight, nine minutes of that testimony. It’s up on his YouTube page.
You can find out almost anywhere on the Internet if you just Google it. But several times yesterday he asked Secretary Blinken about these Americans that are still left over there without documentation.
And it’s interesting to hear the exchange as to why they don’t have documents. Maybe they were destroyed. Maybe the individuals themselves destroyed them. Maybe the Taliban doesn’t recognize their documents.
But the point is that they’re unable to get out of the country. And American service members, just as they’ve continuously served over the last 20 years, performed admirably under difficult circumstances during the military evacuation from Kabul. And we lost 13 of our best over there.
They give the ultimate sacrifice and service to their country. And we, as a nation, should be grateful for the service and heroism that these warfighters and do as much as we possibly can to get these Americans back out of this country. That’s what I’m saying again. I’m sincerely appreciative of what Congressman Green does.
Leahy: Another congressman who testified there Andy Ogles was Representative Brian Mast. He’s an army veteran, a double amputee. He really gave it to Secretary of State Blinken in his time. He outlined all of the problems and the lies told by Blinken.
And basically, when Blinken, appearing on a Zoom call, the bizarreness of that, it’s kind of crazy, tried to respond to the criticism. Here’s what Mast said, “I do not wish to hear from you. I’m not yielding you a moment of time. I’m not yielding you a moment of time. I don’t wish to hear your lies. I heard your lies when you stepped in front of the camera. I’m not listening. No one should hear your lies.” (Laughter)
Ogles: It seems like it’s less about the truth in America. American exceptionalism then it is about some sort of agenda. Keep in mind, they’re bending over backward to get these, “refugees” here. Meanwhile, we’re leaving Americans behind. I have a problem with that. Clearly, this pullout was poorly executed.
You never leave a man behind or a woman behind, for that matter. But they pulled out. We abandoned Bagram Air Force Base and we have Americans behind enemy lines. And the Afghanis, the Taliban are going door to door torturing people. And we’re surprised by this?
Leahy: One of the things in this surreal Zoom call instead of appearing in person, Blinken said, it almost reminds me of, you know, like the Big Brother commercials or 1984, Fahrenheit 451, where you’ve got this big guy on a screen saying things that don’t make a lot of sense.
But Blinken did admit about “100 Americans in Afghanistan remain hostage to the Taliban.” He did admit that. And the question then, is, what are you gonna do about it? Grant, did you hear any what are you gonna do about it?
Henry: Honestly, I don’t even know if Congressman Green was really satisfied with what Blinken’s plan may or may not be. But Congressman Green also said during that hearing, ‘Your credibility would be greater if you’d at least own something.’
And I think what Congressman Green is talking about is the lack of trust at an institutional level. Frankly, Congress, in particular, should take a hard look at the actions of high-ranking military officials and civilian leaders who routinely misinformed the American people about the state of war in Afghanistan.
Some of these individuals, such as chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff’s General Mark Milley, were involved not just in the planning of the phase of this final withdrawal from Afghanistan, but also in the conduct of large parts over the last 20 years. Do you know what I’m saying?
I think like any military operation, we should focus on the exit but also focus on what happened in these last 20 years. And focus on what Congressman Green is saying now, of what about that credibility stance? What about the lack of trust? We don’t know where to gather legitimate information right now. It’s a major problem.
Leahy: Yes. And you mentioned the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley. When we get Congressman Green back, I want to ask him this question. And I did not serve in the military. I think if you’ve served in the military, you have a different understanding of how these things work.
But it seems to me, and Andy Ogles, I’d be curious as to your thoughts on this. Just looking afar at this, it seems to me that we have now under the maladministration of the legal but not legitimate occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Joe Biden, we a military leadership that does not know or cares how to win wars.
They want to be politically correct. They want to be woke. They want to be diverse. They want to promote critical race theory. They don’t wanna win wars. That’s what it seems like to me.
Ogles: Actions, like we talked about earlier, actions, speak louder than words. And so when in the beginning days of the Afghanistan debacle, you literally had military leadership focusing on and giving testimony on wokeism and transgenderism in the military.
Meanwhile, the Afghan Army is just collapsing. We’re having to abandon an air force base over there that we spent billions of dollars to build. And that’s what they want to talk about.
Is their agenda. I don’t want to take anything away from their service, but they have lost their way and forgotten their mission.
Leahy: Grant Henry, this is what the Taliban spokesperson, the Culture Minister Zabbi Hula Mujahid told The New York Times on Monday. “It was a surprise to us how the Biden administration abandoned the Afghan government. We were not fully prepared for that and are still trying to figure things out to manage the crisis.”
I mean, this is what the Taliban said. Unbelievable! What’s your reaction to that?
Henry: I have to leave this pregnant pause just sitting out there for dramatic effect. (Leahy chuckles) Just let it speak for itself. But sincerely, I think it’s paramount that we do not ignore the lessons of this two-decade-long war in Afghanistan.
If we do so, it will be inevitable that America will find itself once again sending its sons and daughters to die in these nation-building conflicts that are not in our best interest.
And to pretend now that the Taliban is anything different than what we knew them previously is absolutely asinine. I’m not even sure how to address that as a question.
Ogles: Without in-depth intelligence reporting, if you look at historically, Iraq, et cetera, and how quickly their respective armies tend to collapse and abandon their posts, why are we surprised that the Afghanistan Army could not hold its ground without direct military support from the United States.
Leahy: We thoroughly modern Millie, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was apparently surprised. (Laughter)
Ogles: But again, history sets a precedent. Our ability to shock and awe is in part due to our air superiority. And once you give that up, it’s over.
Listen to the third hour here:
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