House Republicans and the Biden administration are at a standoff over a requested document related to the U.S. military’s chaotic, 2021 withdraw from Afghanistan in which 13 service members were killed in a terror attack.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul says the State Department failed to fully comply by his May 1 deadline to provide a copy of a so-called Afghanistan “dissent cable” from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, after multiple requests, according to Fox News.
State Department principal deputy spokesman Vedant Patel said Monday, the deadline date, the agency has sufficiently responded to the House request in a manner that allows the committee “to conduct their appropriate oversight duty.”
He also said the agency has provided a written summary of the cable and gave a closed-door classified briefing to the committee.
A dissent cable is essential an internal message from a Foreign Service official dissenting to or criticizing government policy.
“We believe that we have aptly engaged the committee, and I don’t have any further updates to offer on what [the] next steps will be. We continue to engage directly with them,” Patel also said.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in March the agency would never release the cable because it “could have a chilling effect on the willingness of others to come forward in the future, to express dissenting views on the policies that are being pursued.”
McCaul has said he wants the cable so the American people can have a better understanding of how the chaotic withdrawal unfolded and why the service members died as a result of the suicide bomb attack outside of the Kabul airport in August 2021.