CNN Analyst Argues AGAINST Rescuing Americans Outside Kabul Airport

CNN Analyst Argues AGAINST Rescuing Americans Outside Kabul Airport


First come, first serve. You snooze, you lose. Let ‘em rot. That was essentially the message CNN counterterrorism analyst and former CIA operative, Phil Mudd was sending the American citizens and Afghan allies that couldn’t make it to the Kabul airport because they’re too scared to risk going outside or live in other parts of the country. His comments were so shocking that they even took Prime Time host Chris Cuomo by surprise during Wednesday’s show.

Mudd’s callous comments were preceded by him trying to downplay how much of a disaster President Biden’s leadership had been. He even suggested we wait two to three YEARS before we make a full assessment of what happened with the withdrawal:

Look, it’s like, Chris, we’re in the first laps of the Indy 500 and we’re in round 12 – 12 cars behind the lead and we’re saying we lost. The first laps didn’t go well. That is not the same question as if in a month or two or two years or three years we look back and say we got out the people we needed to get out. Let’s slow down and fix it.

Questioning where Mudd got his “confidence” from, Cuomo noted that the State Department had sent a dire and uninspiring message. “In fact, you had State Department today say to those people that were supposed to get out first, the citizens, I’m not sure we can get you, I’m not sure we can get you to where we can then get you then out of there,” he paraphrased.

Mudd put aside the question about his optimism and launched into why “I wouldn’t get them if I were the State Department.” And according to him, his optimism stemmed from the Taliban:

If we can get 5,000 people out day for the next 15 days, that is a huge success. So, my optimism — I’m not an optimist, I’m a realist. My realism is the Taliban appears to think it’s okay to let people go. The first day or two of that agreement appears to have been okay. I’m not sure it will go okay. But it’s certainly better than where we were three days ago.

 

 

“And did I just hear you right? Did you say that if you were the State Department, you wouldn’t make preparations and plans to get Americans that right now can’t get to the airbase,” Cuomo asked in disbelief.

I wouldn’t offer them safe travel,” Mudd doubled down. He paraphrased the State Department statement that disgustingly said Americans trapped in Afghanistan were on their own and touted how it meant the Taliban were willing to let Americans make their way to the airport.

Things got more ridiculous when Mudd equated the use of military rescue convoys to sending out “5,000 Ubers a day from the airport in Afghanistan going to pick up people who identify with the U.S.” His reason was that sending out convoys could be “risking firefights with Taliban along the way. One wrong shot, the Taliban start shooting, the U.S. military shoots back, remember Blackhawk Down, Somalia, U.S. military forces are dragged through downtown Kabul.”

Cuomo hit back hard by questioning Mudd’s dedication to saving the lives of Americans. “All I’m saying is, how could it be acceptable to you or anyone else if Americans are left behind,” he said in a serious tone.

“It’s not acceptable,” Mudd defended himself. But he then tried to assert that the last few days weren’t an absolute calamity: “My question is, can we sit back and say without saying the first 72 hours were a complete disaster? They were a problem, they weren’t a complete disaster.”

As the segment came to an end, Mudd took a parting swipe at the media and the American people for being outraged at what they were witnessing:

When I look at the media today, it appears to me the American people are saying we already failed. Chris, we haven’t failed until Americans aren’t out and our friends aren’t out and that chapter is not close to closed.

Unironically, Cuomo introduced Mudd as one of the “better minds” who “helped build the Afghan government that just fell.” That explains a lot.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time
August 18, 2021
9:07:42 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS CUOMO: Let’s brainstorm with a better mind. Former CIA counterterrorism official Phil Mudd, who helped build the Afghan government that just fell. First, do you agree with my assessment?

PHIL MUDD: No, I don’t. Look, the question here is not whether the first couple days went well. They did not. The question is whether we look back in 30 days, 60 days, a year and say 50,000 people, 75,000 people, American citizens, Afghan interpreters, friends of the American embassy, friends of the U.S. Military, friends of the CIA; did we get them out relatively safely, despite the fact that the first couple days went well?

Look, it’s like, Chris, we’re in the first laps of the Indy 500 and we’re in round 12 – 12 cars behind the lead and we’re saying we lost. The first laps didn’t go well. That is not the same question as if in a month or two or two years or three years we look back and say we got out the people we needed to get out. Let’s slow down and fix it.

CUOMO: Okay, I’m with you. I don’t think we disagree. I’m saying where does your optimism come from when haven’t been offered any plan that will make things better in the succeeding laps. In fact, you had State Department today say to those people that were supposed to get out first, the citizens, I’m not sure we can get you, I’m not sure we can get you to where we can then get you then out of there. So where is your confidence coming from?

MUDD: Well, we can answer that question in a moment. I wouldn’t get them if I were the State Department. But a couple things that I would look at, first is relative — relative security. That is, there appears to be some sort of conversation to deal with the Taliban that means that thousands of people can get out today. You can reverse that, Chris. There could be a situation where there’s mortar attacks on the airfield, there’s attacks on the thousands of U.S. military there and people can’t get out.

If we can get 5,000 people out day for the next 15 days, that is a huge success. So, my optimism — I’m not an optimist, I’m a realist. My realism is the Taliban appears to think it’s okay to let people go. The first day or two of that agreement appears to have been okay. I’m not sure it will go okay. But it’s certainly better than where we were three days ago.

CUOMO: Yeah, I don’t know. I feel like we’re frozen in exactly that place, the Taliban is doing what it wants, we’re taking the timeline from them. And did I just hear you right? Did you say that if you were the State Department, you wouldn’t make preparations and plans to get Americans that right now can’t get to the airbase?

MUDD: I wouldn’t offer them safe travel. Look, the comment I heard from the U.S. government is, you have safe travel – I forget the exact term – but safe travel to the airport. The other comment was we can’t assure that. What that means to me is, the U.S. government has some kind of conversation with the Taliban that says please let people who want to go to the airport go.

Let me give you the bottom line. We don’t want 5,000 Ubers a day from the airport in Afghanistan going to pick up people who identify with the U.S. and then risking firefights with Taliban along the way. One wrong shot, the Taliban start shooting, the U.S. military shoots back, remember Blackhawk Down, Somalia, U.S. military forces are dragged through downtown Kabul.

People have to slow down. Eventually, I think people might be able to make their way to the airport, but I would not want thousands of caravans of U.S. military traveling through Kabul right now risking a firefight with the Taliban. That’s a disaster, Chris.

CUOMO: All I’m saying is, how could it be acceptable to you or anyone else if Americans are left behind?

MUDD: It’s not acceptable. My question is, can we sit back and say without saying the first 72 hours were a complete disaster? They were a problem, they weren’t a complete disaster. Can we sit back and say over the course of the next 13 or 14 days until September 1st, which is what the president talked about, can we get the people out who are American citizens and the people who supported us? That’s an open question.

When I look at the media today, it appears to me the American people are saying we already failed. Chris, we haven’t failed until Americans aren’t out and our friends aren’t out and that chapter is not close to closed.

CUOMO: We agree 100 percent. I’m just saying failure to plan is setting yourself up to fail. And I want to know what they’re doing to make this happen over the next 14 days, instead of just saying we just have 14 days, we’ll do our best. I think they need to tell more. I think they need to do more. That’s the urgency. It ain’t over but it will be over if we don’t do better from this point until we get them all out.

Phil Mudd, respect the honesty and the candor and insight. I’ll see you soon.

MUDD: Thanks, Chris. See you.





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