Dallas Morning Information: A 9/11-style fee is required to look at the Afghanistan withdrawal

The lesson of the president’s power is not drawn from how it is wielded in the best of times, but from how it manifests itself in crisis. Mistakes arise in a crisis and hopefully mistakes become knowledge to improve future decisions.

A long list of the president’s foreign policy misjudgments has defined the government’s legacy, reshaping leadership for an incumbent president and sometimes for future inmates of the Oval Office.

In 1961, John F. Kennedy launched the Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba, a covert operation to overthrow Fidel Castro. From the start, an unsound strategy, pathetic tactics, and an abundance of intelligence errors failed. Out of this crisis, JFK accepted the guilt and reorganized its advisors and decision-making processes. When faced with the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later, Kennedy asked the right questions and led the nation on the other side of a nuclear threat that could have killed 80 million Americans in a matter of moments.

President Joe Biden has already announced that he will not call for resignation for the deaths of 13 soldiers and countless Afghans by a suicide bomber in the last days of the Airlift. This week, Biden described the evacuation as an “extraordinary success”, although Americans and Afghans who wanted to leave the country stayed when the last plane departed without them.

Nonetheless, questions must be answered, both internally and externally, about the decisions and tactics that lead to and through the United States’ last moment in Afghanistan. Historians and experts will debate whether the die of inevitability was cast years ago, but leaving Kabul is undeniable, while historical and massive, heroic and tragic also represented a failure of the imagination.

We have heard this criticism before in the history of the President. Yale psychologist Irving Janis called the Bay of Pigs’ decision-making mistakes “groupthink,” which describes the pursuit of consensus in a way that prevents alternatives from being properly considered. According to a Harvard Business Review case study, historian Arthur Schlesinger later wrote that “our meetings were held in a strange atmosphere of supposed consensus. [and] nobody spoke against it. “

The nation has to go down the path of difficult issues regarding Afghanistan. The follow-up investigation by the 9/11 Commission, an independent, bipartisan body, identified missed signs, unresolved conflicting intelligence and information silos that were gathering vital information but unable or unwilling to link to threat advisories in other parts of government. The Commission’s overall conclusion was that coordination and information sharing could have provided a clearer and potentially workable warning of the impending terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

Right now, we urge Congress to empower an independent, bipartisan commission to review the final stages of the end of the American presence in Afghanistan – from the Trump administration’s ill-considered unilateral peace deal with the Taliban to the chaotic evacuation of the Biden. Administration.

This commission must have credible leadership, similar to what Republican Tom Kean, a former governor, and Democrat Lee Hamilton, a former US Congressman, gave the nation after the 9/11 attacks.

The commission, established by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, had the authority to summon witnesses and the credibility to maneuver the minefields of executive privilege and segregation of power. Above all, however, it was not an effort to assign blame, but to find out why, in retrospect, such obvious indications that could have prevented the deadly attacks on US soil escaped analysis.

There are many Americans who can jointly conduct a fair investigation, such as former US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican from Texas, and former US Senator Bob Kerrey, a Democrat from Nebraska, also on the 9/11 commission.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, former CIA director and retired Army General David Petraeus, former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, former US MP Jane Harman and Leon Panetta who served as White House Chief of Staff, The CIA director and secretary of defense would also be good choices. These individuals and other men and women of goodwill would bring insights from their administration during the Bush and Obama years, but they were either outside the administration or not part of the inner circles of the Trump and Biden administrations when politics was on clearest was shifted towards retreat.

We cannot stress enough that this commission must look beyond partisanship and be an honest broker. The commission cannot be a replica of the GOP partisan attack on the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi that killed four brave Americans – Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. Nor should the Democrats oppose an investigation into any administration of their party, as the Republicans did when they overwhelmingly voted against an independent commission and a select congressional committee to review the January 6 insurrection.

There are many lessons to be learned from 20 years of war in Afghanistan, including missed opportunities, a shifting mission, the lack of a stable central government, and interference from regional neighbors like Pakistan. But the past two years, including the first eight months of the Biden administration when the withdrawal became a reality, deserve additional scrutiny and insight that only a substantial commission and fair approach can provide.

The war in Afghanistan and how that war ended will reverberate in American political circles for at least a generation. The light footprint that marked the beginning of the war was likely the result of a reluctance to deploy American troops, a reluctance that had persisted since the Vietnam era. It is therefore vital that a commission document all the facts and the context in which decisions were made. This will give us valuable insights and material lessons from this chapter of our history.

The Day – 9/11-style fee will look at Capitol riot

WASHINGTON – Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said Monday that the house would set up an independent commission to investigate what led to a mob storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 – a place similar to where the Sept. 11 attacks were carried out September had investigated 15 months before it was published a comprehensive 585-page report.

Two days after former President Donald Trump was acquitted of instigating the deadly Senate attack, Pelosi signaled in a letter to Democratic colleagues that the House would soon legislate to set up a commission to “investigate and report” on the attack and electoral interference will consider procedures and a budget allocation for enhanced security features on the Capitol grounds.

Retired Army General Russel Honoré, selected by Pelosi, D-Calif., To assess post-attack security, highlighted the need for improved security measures in his “interim reporting,” Pelosi said.

“It appears from his findings and the impeachment process that we need to know the truth about how this happened,” she wrote.

Pelosi’s letter also arrived as congressional committees are planning hearings to interview the heads of the agencies involved in preparing and responding to the attacks.

Proponents of the commission say such an initiative will have broader authority than these committees to obtain testimony from people in Trump’s orbit – voices who were not part of the impeachment investigation. The Commission is not subject to the timing of these committee inquiries as it presents its results.

Both party lawmakers, speaking on news broadcasts on Sunday, advocated the idea of ​​an independent investigation modeled on the National Terrorist Attacks Commission, established by Congress and President George W. Bush in 2002, which published a report with recommendations on how to protect against future attacks.

Senator Lindsey Graham, RS.C., who voted in favor of Trump’s acquittal, said he wanted to know more about the timing of the president’s actions and what congressional leaders knew about the potential threat.

“We need a 9/11 commission to find out what happened and to make sure it never happens again,” he told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, despite being the Democrats and the minority leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, scourged. on impeachment.

While the House voted in favor of the president’s indictment a week after the violent attack, the Senate cleared Trump 57-43, ten less than two-thirds necessary for a conviction.

Senator Bill Cassidy, R-La., Who along with six other Republicans voted to condemn Trump, said many questions remain unanswered after the difficult process.

“Why weren’t there more law enforcement agencies? The National Guard has already mobilized what was known, who knew and when they knew, all of that because that lays the foundation for this never to happen again in the future,” Cassidy told ABC News “This week”.

Hours after the Senate verdict, the Louisiana Republican Party voted to blame Cassidy.

House impeachment manager Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., Who also spoke on “This Week,” alluded to the partiality of Saturday’s vote and said a commission could avoid political arguments.

“Of course there has to be a full commission, an impartial commission, not run by politics but full of people who would stand up to the courage of their convictions, like Dr Cassidy,” she said.

For Democrats, the commission can help hold the president accountable after the impeachment investigation failed to convict Trump during his Jan. 6 speech to encourage supporters to stop the vote count for President-elect Joe Biden.

“There is more evidence that the American people need and deserve to hear, and a 9/11 commission is one way to ensure that we secure the Capitol for the future and that we keep the records of it How responsible and how pathetic it is for violating President Trump’s constitutional oath really was, “Senator Chris Coons, D-Del., said on” This Week. “

Graham joins requires 9/11-style panel to look at Capitol riot

Sen. Lindsey Graham, RS.C., told Fox News on Sunday that he’s for a 9/11-style commission investigating key details that contributed to last month’s deadly riot at the Capitol, just a day after former President Trump was acquitted on his second impeachment trial.

Graham said a 9/11 type commission could help prevent a similar event from happening again in the US. Further investigations into the uprising are already planned. The Senate hearings are scheduled for later this month in the Senate Committee.

“I would like to know, did the Capitol Hill Police Department inform the House NCO and Senate NCO the day before the attack that they needed more troops?” Graham asked during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

The push for a bipartisan commission appears to be supported by Republicans and Democrats, but perhaps for different reasons.

Republicans have signaled that evidence could show this Democratic leaders were aware of the threat and did little to prevent the January 6 attack. Democrats who have not condemned Trump see their window on blaming the president for the chaos that is closing fast.


A 9/11-style independent commission, which would likely require legislation to create, would take the investigation one step further and allow for definitive, government-backed accounting of events.

Senator Chris Coons, D-Del., Told ABC’s “This Week” that there is still evidence to be brought to light and that there is a need to ensure that the Capitol is safe. He also wants to “expose the record” of how attached Trump was to the uprising.


House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said last month there will be a “review,” they said New York Times. “There will be a commission.”

Last month, Hillary Clinton suggested in her podcast that a panel in the form of the 2002 team that investigated the 9/11 attacks should be formed. She said she would be interested in getting Trump’s phone records to see if he spoke on the phone to Russian President Vladimir Putin during the uprising.

Graham admitted Trump was responsible for the siege of the Capitol that killed five people, including a police officer, and disrupted legislature certification for Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the White House.


“His post-election behavior was excessive,” said Graham. “We need a 9/11 commission to find out what happened and to make sure it never happens again.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report