After almost a year of burying Joe Biden’s Afghanistan disaster, ABC on Monday rediscovered the ongoing debacle. But even though Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos devoted four minutes and 12 seconds to reminding Americans of what happened last August, only a scant three seconds of that included any mention of Biden.
In a segment that aired deep in the 8AM hour, Stephanopoulos remembered, “One year ago, the last American troops left Afghanistan after America's longest war. We all remember the harrowing images of the Taliban took back control.” He then talked to three Air Forces members who flew a record-breaking 823 Afghans out of the country as the Taliban took back control.
But Biden, the man who oversaw the disastrous withdrawal, warranted only three seconds. As Stephanopoulos recounted, he noted, “It was a stunning collapse....All leading to the end of a 20-year-war.” There was then eight words from an August 2021 Biden speech: “We've been a nation too long at war.”
Tech Sergeant Justin Triola, an Air Force member of the rescue crew, explained how they saved over 800 people:
When we took off, I don't think it really sunk in yet. What we're doing besides the best we could to save a bunch of lives and get people to safety. But I knew when we actually did take off there was such a sense of relief.
Stephanopoulos marveled, “So many people packed in. But, of course, so many people left behind.” The president in power at the time went unmentioned.
The network evening newscasts quickly dropped the Afghanistan disaster. In August of 2021, they devoted 409 minutes to Biden’s handling. By October, that had fallen to just 16. In July of 2022, I reported on Afghanistan failures the networks were ignoring, including 700 killings by the Taliban since last August.
For this sad anniversary month, journalists need to spend some time covering the culpability the White House for this ongoing disaster.
The pro-Biden cover job was sponsored by Comcast. Click on the link to let them know what you think.
A partial transcript of the August 8 segment is below. Click “expand” to read more.
Good Morning America
8:17 AM ET
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: One year ago, the last American troops left Afghanistan after America's longest war. We all remember the harrowing images of the Taliban took back control and now we're learning more about the stories behind the images, the stories of heroism and compassion and split second decision that's saved lives. They were scenes marked by chaos and desperation. Hundreds of Afghan citizens running alongside a departing U.S. C-17. It was a stunning collapse. [Clip from August, 2021]. Chaos on the streets of Kabul. Taliban now controls Afghanistan. [Clip ends.] The U.S. Embassy evacuated. All leading to the end of a 20-year war.
JOE BIDEN: We've been a nation too long at war.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The Taliban back in control two decades after September 11th. America's longest war comes to a sobering end.
GENERAL FRANK MCKENZIE: Every single U.S. Service member is now out of Afghanistan.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Now nearly a year after U.S. Withdraw, the indelible images remain. A U.S. Marine lifting a baby over a barbed wire topped wall at Kabul's airport.
JOHN KIRBY: The parent asked the Marines to look after the baby because the baby was ill. They treated the child. And returned the child to the child's father.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And this photo taken by technical sergeant Justin Triola. The U.S. Air force seven member crew reach 871 made headlines around the world for their split second decision to take 823 Afghan citizens who were fleeing the Taliban on to the jam-packed flight. Members of that team sat down with ABC News and revealed the dramatic details.
TECH SERGEANT JUSTIN TRIOLA (305th Air Mobility Wing): We are taxying over where we're supposed to deliver our cargo and pick up what was supposed to be a few military working dogs. All of a sudden, we saw this rush of people. And that’s where as a crew we started talking through how we were going to handle the situation and be able to accommodate them and make sure they can safely get on our jet. Obviously, we don't have 823 seats with seat belts onboard. It designed to use cargo str as seat belts on the floor. About it with that many had people, even that was impossible to d, so everybody was holding on to each other pretty much at that point.
TRIOLA: When we took off, I don't think it really sunk in yet. What we're doing besides the best we could to save a bunch of lives and get people to safety. But I knew when we actually did take off there was such a sense of relief.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So many people packed in. But, of course, so many people left behind.