US lawmakers get to view dissent cable on Afghanistan withdrawal

City of Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo: Reuters

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul on Tuesday finally got to view a classified dissent cable sent by US diplomats stationed at the embassy in Kabul ahead of the chaotic troop withdrawal in August 2021.

McCaul also got to speak to the Secretary of State about the information contained in the cable afterward.

In a statement after reading the July 2021 Dissent Channel cable on the Afghanistan withdrawal, McCaul thanked Blinken for allowing him and Ranking Member Gregory Meeks to view the cable but said all members of the committee should be granted the same access.

“Although I cannot discuss the classified information in the cable, I can say the dissenters were right – and the administration should have listened,” McCaul said.

“I am going to speak with Ranking Member Meeks and my Republican and Democrat colleagues on the committee to discuss our next course of action if the State Department continues to block all committee members from seeing this cable as the subpoena requested,” he said.

The viewing of the cable came after months of requests and McCaul’s threat to hold Blinken in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over the cable following the committee’s March subpoena.

The State Department informed McCaul last week that he and Meeks could view the cable “in camera” at the department.

The dissent cable was sent to Blinken in mid-July 2021 warning that swift action needed to be taken by the department – such as quickly processing and evacuating Afghans who had assisted the US from Afghanistan – because they believed the situation in the country could rapidly deteriorate.