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tv   Washington Journal Rep. Don Bacon  CSPAN  August 25, 2021 10:02am-10:37am EDT

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understood she was a very important and crucial ally to have if you were trying to get ronald reagan on board. >> the biography "the biography of nancy reagan," sunday night at 8:00 eastern on q&a. you can find all interviews were you get your podcasts. ♪ >> middle and high school students, your opinion matters. let your voice be heard with c-span's video competition. be part of the national conversation by creating a documentary that answers the question, how does the federal government impact your life? your video will explore a federal policy or program that affects you and your community. c-span's studentcam competition has $100,000 in cash prizes, and a shot at a grand prize of $5,000.
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entries will begin to be received on wednesday, september 8. for the rules, tips and more information on how to get started, visit studentcam.org. washington journal continues. host: nebraska republican, congressman don bacon, member of the armed services committee. your military background -- you served in the u.s. air force, retired as a brigadier general, specialized in electronic warfare, intelligence, and reconnaissance. you had to -- deployments to the middle east. with that background, what do you think about the way we withdrew from afghanistan? guest: it has been a colossal disaster. it is going to embolden air adversaries, china, russia, iran. we already see things was taiwan
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and the baltics. their heightened fear of our weakness. also, i think it is alienated our allies. you hear what is going on in great britain. the person to likely replace president merkel from germany said this is the biggest debacle in nato's history. the worst thing is we have 10,000 americans still in afghanistan. i heard from some last night that cannot get through the tell that checkpoints -- the taliban checkpoints. we have a potential for lots of american hostages, lots of people stranded. that is the immediate disaster, but this is a colossal disaster. it was avoidable. the president's policy was a huge mistake. he overruled military and intelligence advisors in the white house and did what he thought was right. it was a political objective. host: what do you mean he
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overruled them? guest: the duty and intelligent folks advised against a total withdrawal -- the dod and intelligence folks advised against a total withdrawal. the military advisors and intelligence community commended against a total withdrawal. he did it anyway. host: does former president trump have some accountability? he made the deal with the taliban? how come that administration did not begin withdrawing americans. guest: i criticized. initially when he started the talks, i thought it would be all right. it is all right to try to find a pathway towards peace, but as the talks went on, i thought it was a mistake to not include the afghan government. you cannot negotiate with your adversaries and not have the afghan government there.
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it became clear to me that we were looking for rapid withdrawal. i averted in -- i voted in the defense bill last july to prohibit or restrict trump's plan to withdraw troops unless there were certain criteria met. that is why the president vetoed the defense bill. that veto was overridden. that same restriction applied to joe biden. but he decided to waive it for national security reasons. long story short, i was conical of president trump, but in the end, joe biden, it was his plan that was executed. he owns the disaster. trump deserves criticism, but in the end, this was joe biden's plan. host: how would you have done it differently? guest: we were in a good spot,
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try 500 troops in afghanistan. they were providing logistics, helping do maintenance on afghan aircraft. we had extensive combat air capabilities with that u.s. air force there. that ability allowed the afghan military when they were in trouble with the taliban, within minutes, we could provide support. we withdrew most of our air force capabilities last month. we also took away all that mechanics to work on the afghan aircraft. the bottom line is the afghan military lost its air support and it became much more vulnerable to the taliban. here is the second problem. the forces of the afghan military ran out of bullets. the u.s. helped supply them in months passed and years past. this withdrawal precipitated the collapse. we should have maintained a
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residual presence with combat air capability. we could have sustained the standstill. it was a standstill where we had 70% of the afghan territory under afghan control. we lost that within months. because it was rapid withdrawal. host: what is your view of former president ghani? guest: i have met him once. my take is that heat withdrew with lots of money, that is what we are being told. but it appears to make that she did not depart baghdad, he would have been a prisoner, probably murdered. one of the predecessors -- the taliban hung a previous leader. that was probably his destiny within a few days if he did not leave. what worries me is that he took a lot of money with him.
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we will have to investigate that. host: let us get to calls. jennifer, it illinois, democratic rep. meeks: -- caller. caller: thank you for your service. i come from a military family. i wanted to ask you -- i know you support senator gillibrand's sexual assault in the military and you've been in the military. i have no doubt you understand that culture. because you support that but you do not support the e.r.a. or anything to do with women protecting themselves and abortion, i was hoping that i can tell you as an emt, had to sign a pledge that when i pick people up in the ambulance no matter what the religion was i had to take care of them.
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no matter what, because that is what you do. you cannot just say, my religion means that i do not have to pick you up. it seems weird that you want to do that for hospitals and doctors, because i do not agree with your religion. does that mean you get to just die in the middle of the street? host: jennifer, am going to have a congressman respond. caller: i am pro-life. i believe that god made us in his image. god has a plan for all of us. though doubt -- there is no doubt that science shows an unborn baby is human and alive. when it comes to the e.r.a., even ruth bader ginsburg said that the amendment process had to start from the very beginning. the amendment process had already expired decades ago. some states subsequent to that
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decided they wanted to adopt the e.r.a., but others that adopted it earlier decided that they did not want to have the e.r.a. anymore. the bottom line is that ruth bader ginsburg was we need to start from the very beginning of the e.r.a. you cannot take up a process that expired decades ago and started back up again. when it comes to vawa, i support it. the problem is that nancy pelosi put in several changes. i do not think it is right to take biological woman and say you have to put them in the men's prison or homeless shelter or i logical man who is transgendered and say you have to put him in women's prison. the prisons in omaha do not think that is safe. the homeless shelters think they
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need to have the leeway to make the decision for any situation for what is safe for everybody. they do not want to be mandated. i support the current vawa, but speaker pelosi put a couple of poison pills in. host: oliver, virginia, democratic caller. caller: i am -- i wanted to say that i appreciate and congratulate you on your service in the military. republican or democrat, we are all americans. i am really believes that the trouble that the american people are going through is a direct result of electing a gentleman named donald trump to the white house who had no clue how to be
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a leader for all the people and i cannot understand why the republican party stands by a man who has been investigated all over the country for all kinds of crimes and they continue to support him and follow his lead. it is pretty amazing. i really believe that joe biden will be the first president to pick up seats in the midterms because of the terrible ways that the republican party followed donald trump. it is criminal. guest: i appreciate your comments. the party is not monolithic. it has the support of president trump, some do not. 2022 will not be about donald trump. it is going to be about high inflation rates, the collapse of our strategy in afghanistan, our crime rates have doubled in most
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of big cities. have a 20 year high in illegal immigration at the border. right now, generic polling shows republicans up 6%. that will be a 20 or 30 seat pickup. my last election, i won 51-46. right now, independence art supporting my positions because they do not like what they see right now. in 2020 two, the focus will be on far left policies. we just voted on a bill yesterday, it is a bernie sanders budget. that will not be well received throughout the country. if that actually gets done and passed. host: jane, virginia, independent. caller: thank you, general, for
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your service. i am a retired navy nurse. the minutes that trump surrendered us to the taliban and essentially sold us out, you guys should have been on it, getting people out of afghanistan asap, but you did not. it was not set up for failure. it is on the gop. it is on everyone who did not do their job. the bottom line is the left and the moderates are tired of the shenanigans that you guys are pulling in d.c. we did not like january 6, we do not like having the taliban at camp david. do your job. mandatory vaccinations. stop blaming each other.
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we are so tired of your behavior. goodbye. guest: i appreciate the feedback. the fact is that joe biden has been president since january. he adopted the plan that was passed on to him. that fact is that the state department has been a very slow to get the visas going. it just started maybe 2 or 3 weeks ago to put emphasis on it. i agree with the caller that we should have been working months and months earlier to get the special the set categories of afghan interpreters, we should have been moving on that a lot sooner. the fact is that this is joe biden's policy. he did it over the objections of his military and intelligence advisors. host: i want to read this from tommy in massachusetts, who says god bless representative bacon. i asked you to help my friend
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escape afghanistan. he worked for the u.s. military. my massachusetts dam -- dem delegation does not seem to care about afghanistan. you have said we will do the best to help as you meet with afghans. what stories are you hearing? guest: we have been helping hundreds. we heard from american citizens who cannot get to the checkpoints. very worried that the president will withdraw those forces bite the first. that means they need to be withdrawn around that 28th. because you have to get the military out afterwards. there are a lot of afghans were interpreters, who have served with us in various capacities, are trying desperately to get out. the taliban will not let them to the checkpoints anymore. it is fair to say that this is a disaster. our allies, many will be left behind, many murdered and their families tracked down. we have been trying to help
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hundreds, several hundred afghan allies to get out. we have been trying to steer them to parts of the airport. we have had luck with some, but we have a lot more work to do. my prayers are with this gentleman's friend still in afghanistan. if they contact our office, we will try to help. says bolton from massachusetts, his team has been doing a lot of work also trying to help individuals to get out of afghanistan. you find that a lot of the veterans who have served have dedicated two or three people full-time to try to help them get visas. that terrible thing is is that if you get to the checkpoints, sometimes the gates at the airports -- there are two or three barriers to get across. it's been nearly impossible for many defendant get to a place where they can get on an airplane. host: congressman, will you accept afghans into your community? guest: yes.
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our governor has already said he has to try to charter a jet to bring some people himself. our community is a welcoming community. i've already gotten to know several afghans who live in nebraska who are interpreters who serve in the military. they're great citizens, great neighbors. host: steve, california, republican. caller: before i make a comment, i want to tell you that i really appreciate your patience in dealing with callers. it is noticeably more so than any other host. i am sure we all recognize it and all appreciate it. now my comment. congressman, i want to say that we are going to lose this country. we are fast losing it.
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the republican party is not doing enough to make it known to all of america. i have never seen a democratic party that, once it comes to power, just like an evil, evil government, does things to solidify that power forever. what i am talking about is i deftly want to make two more states, because they will get four more senators. they want to pack the supreme court and pass hr1, which will make it a much easier to change. there is the immigration problem. lastly, they are teaching crt in public schools, which is training a future divisive society. if we lose this country to
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marxism, it will be because republicans are not taking a bullhorn to the american public and warning of the evils of what is happening all around us. we are going to be a venezuela or cuba once -- once they came to power in those two countries, they never gave up the power. i do not think you people -- those the republican party -- recognizes it and enough. caller: first of all, i appreciate the gentleman's call in. i find it industry -- interesting that this radical bernie sanders agenda -- we are seeing it with hr one, the voting rules, there are certain elements of the party that want to blame republicans for this far left agenda. i reject it.
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i've been on national tv four times now in three days talking about this stuff. leader mccarthy is on tv every day talking about what is going on, speaker pelosi's agenda, bernie sanders's agenda. even joe biden's chief of staff says they are trying to pass the most progressive agenda in the history of our country. fact is republicans have been out there talking about this. the voters gave the democrats a 3-seat majority in the house and a 50-50 split in the senate. they elected joe biden as president. there are consequences to elections. yesterday, we saw this record intervene and ruled one of joe biden's policies on the border unconstitutional. we have the courts as a check and balance. we still have the filibuster but have lost one or 2 -- but if we
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lost one or two more seats in the senate, we would lose that as well. i am willing to reach across the middle and find areas we can agree on, but we are doing everything we can. it is wrong for certain elements of our party to be blaming the party when it is joe biden, speaker pelosi, chuck schumer, bernie sanders doing these policies. you're doing everything we can appeared the pulling right now in november of 2022, republicans are sitting at a plus in battleground districts. that is a 30-seat pickup. we are going to have to work hard between now and november of 2022 to hold public opinion. host: greg, colorado, democratic caller. caller: the disaster in afghanistan is that we were
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there in the first place. given the watchdogs of the world for long enough. -- we have been the watchdogs it was brought up earlier that in our history, there have been 11 years that we have not been at war. very sad. guest: i disagree. we had 9/11. almost 3000 americans were murdered by al qaeda that were given safe haven in afghanistan by the taliban. i will never forget that day. the taliban deserved to be crushed at that moment. the al qaeda leaders deserved to be crushed, as well. we eventually got to osama bin laden. we made a mistake to try to do nationbuilding. at one time, we had 100,000 troops in afghanistan. we put a lot of pressure to build a society that was a more democratic. that was a mistake. but in recent years, without a
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strategy that was working. we had between 2500 and 500 -- 5000 troops that were noncombat. we were using extensive airpower. we were able to hold some deep percent of -- 70% of afghanistan. now the taliban are back in charge because of president biden. the taliban are going to give safe haven to al qaeda and 40 other organizations that are allied with the taliban. host: rick, new york, independent. caller: my question is with all the equipment left behind, you
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were career military, i was career military -- how do our troops now fill? we have sold off our advantage technology? how do our allies, knowing that we share this information, have taken this advantage away. we know the equipment will be reverse engineered and used against us. guest: the caller is right. this is a disaster. over $1 billion in weapons left behind now that taliban half. thankfully, they do not have technology, artificial intelligence. there is a whole genre of stuff that they do not have access to but they do have access to her night vision goggles, our helicopters, a variety of things that will hurt as in the long run. we have supplied the taliban with lots of guns, lots of body armor, nightvision goggles, some airpower, which i do not think
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they will be able to maintain in the long run. this is one of a dozen factors or areas of disaster. i appreciate the caller's concerns. it is terrible. host: congressman, you said will never forget 9/11. where were you that day? guest: i was eight to a three-star general that controlled our combat forces west of the mississippi. i was in tucson, watching it live at 6:00 a.m. i saw one tower on fire. as i was watching, the second tower exploded. i yelled at my wife, we are under attack. i ran into work. i got in right before the gates shut down at the air force base in tucson. i got to watch the commander put various airbases west of the mississippi on alert, because we did not know if los angeles or
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portland was going to be next. i will never forget that night listening to george bush speak. i burned with anger knowing what happened. we cannot forget why we were in afghanistan. there were some mistakes made once we were there. errors in strategy. rightfully defends the rational for going in after 9/11 -- i fully defend the rationale we had to answer that and we did. host: milton, georgia, republican. caller: our president is stupid. he handled afghanistan all wrong. he should have gotten the americans out and all the afghanistan people and gotten
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most of the equipment out. he should've packed the rest of the equipment out and gotten it all out. host: march, michigan, independent. -- marge caller: just couple -- one question and one comment. actually, two questions. my granddaughter just enlisted. two weeks ago, she was sent overseas. yesterday, they were told that -- you guys call it mandate, but it is forced. that they have to have the experiment vaccine. how many people in the military are declining it? what is this going to do to the military when many of them are going to be leaving it?
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another question, why doesn't the occupier in the white house ever say god bless america? guest: i do not know the current numbers of military refusing the vaccine. it was fda certified this week. one dish once it is certified, the military will likely make it a requirement. in my case, i had every vaccine known to man, anthrax, smallpox. the military has to have the ability to know that his forces can deploy tomorrow or next week . it cannot take the risk of saying 20% of its force has a covid and the unit cannot deploy. that is why they vaccinate. prior to the mandate, 60-70% of the military were vaccinated.
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i read about two weeks ago where that chairman or secretary of defense were going to allow some religious exemptions, but they would not be able to deploy. this is something we will have to monitor. it is not experimental at this point. the fda certified the pfizer vaccine. the military will mandate vaccines, because it is needed to win our nation's wars. >> we will take you live now to the pentagon for an update on the u.s. evacuation from afghanistan. we will hear from pentagon press secretary john kirby and army major general hank taylor. there are six days remaining until the august 31 withdrawal deadline. washington post reports the european countries including france and germany indicated they would wind down efforts to
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evacuate at risk afghan partners as the u.s. deadline looms. chancellor angela merkel telling the parliament its military airlift wit and "within days, possibly as early as thursday." the re-think getting underway shortly with live coverage here on c-span.
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you have the opportunity to leave. why did you stay? guest: i reckon they were more people more deserving and much more of a dire threat that i was. i thought they should be prioritized. i have been helping facilitate their evacuation from afghanistan. it was because i grew up in exile and i am an aspiring writer. i wrote a piece.
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i do not want to leave home and we have done this before. it is my country. i lay claim to the land more than the taliban do. they will have to deal with people like us in this country. mr kirby: are you safe -- host: are you safe right now? guest: with regards to physical safety and security the taliban says there is a certain blanket amnesty for people. yes, there have been individuals who acted on their own accord and went rogan have taken out dissidents. -- went rogue and taken out dissidents. i am safe and i'm hoping it stays that way. host: would you classify yourself as a dissident? guest: the idea is i am a
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dissident in a way where i will not lay down and let them construct a world of their own accord. i think if the television truly are concerned with what is happening in and really want talented people to feel safe enough to come back and work for it, they have to create an environment that is more sustainable. they have to create a society that is more six -- more in line with modern values. it does not necessarily have to be a completely liberal system. there can be an idea of reconciliation. there is a lot of work obviously. it is not a hopeful time. these are the best of times, the worst of times. in post-conflict societies and they have an opportunity where
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you can go to something better if you put the right amount of effort and thinking into it. host: what is your life like today? guest: i went to the city today. i needed to get a few things. i passed by the bank and it was finally open after more than 10 days, i reckon. there were a lot of people standing in line. they were taliban fighters asking people to respect the line using sticks. the city is slowly getting busier. not as busy as it used to be but there is more and more traffic. the taliban is not really interact with people. two nights ago they stopped me to check paperwork and make sure my car was out of stolen vehicle bee

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