(USA Features) Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Friday said that Pentagon leaders lied to Americans about Afghanistan for years and actively worked to undermine former President Donald Trump after he challenged their record on the war there.
During his opening monologue, Carlson said that the first meeting Trump had with the chairmen of the Joint Chiefs, “it didn’t go well” because the new president told them they were “all losers” because they “don’t know how to win anymore.”
“It was a harsh assessment, obviously though arguably true,” Carlson said, going on to note that regardless of how they feel about the commander-in-chief, they are bound by the Constitution to follow his orders.
But instead, Carlson said “they made it their mission to undermine civilian control of the Pentagon ever after,” going on to quote U.S. Army Major General Paul Eaten who said, “I was really shocked by how many of my former colleagues voted for the former president and openly supported him, but when [Trump] turned on the military, well, the military turned on him.”
“Keep in mind, that is not how democracy is supposed to work—military leaders report to the people you elect. Again that’s not what happened. Stories began leaking about the president, President Trump, ignoring classified intelligence about Russian bounties” among other claims, Carlson pointed out.
The host went on to claim that stories like that came from the Pentagon as “payback” for Trump’s remarks.
“Then the military refused to pull troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, even though they were ordered to do so by the elected president of the United States—again no civilian control of the military,” Carlson said.
He went on to report that when Joe Biden became president, the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Mark Milley, expressed pleasure to former first lady Michelle Obama that Trump lost, as many media figures on the left claimed that “adults were back in charge.”
“But the bigger question is why our media and the military were talking like this in the first place,” Carlson said.
“‘The adults are back in charge?’ What does that mean, exactly? If you follow what our generals have been telling us for the past twenty years about Afghanistan, you quickly realize exactly what it means,” he continued.
“‘Adults’ means people are willing who pretend that everything is going fine when in fact it is not going fine.”
Carlson said that throughout the two-decade war in Afghanistan, the military’s leaders continued to provide rosy assessments of the supposed progress the U.S. was making in the country, including training the Afghan military, which disintegrated as the Taliban advanced last month and eventually took over the country again very rapidly.
“And ‘progress’ is the word they used again and again and again—almost as if they coordinated it. In 2005, the head of U.S. Central Command, General John Abizaid, told reporters quote, ‘over the three years that we’ve been operating there, [Afghanistan] has shown interesting progress,'” Carlson said.
“In 2007, the website ‘Task and Purpose’ reported that another senior General, Dan McNeil, had a similar message. Quote: ‘I’d like to point out that there is significant progress in the forward move of the Afghan National Army.'”
“In 2008, the commander of the 101st Airborne — another ‘adult’ — concurred that progress was ongoing. Quote: ‘We’re making some steady progress,” Carlson continued.
“Then, in 2010, even as coalition casualties increased, the progress somehow continued unabated—it was progress no matter what. An Army Lieutenant General called David Rodriguez told reporters at a news conference in Kabul, quote, ‘We are steadily making deliberate progress,'” he added.
The same year, Carlson said that another general, Stanley McChrystal, then the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, also talked of “progress.”
“Stanley McChrystal was fired for criticizing the Obama administration — and in particular, the total incompetence of the current president Joe Biden — General David Petraeus took over. And sure enough, Petreaus quickly declared that quote, ‘progress has been achieved in some critical areas, and we are poised to realize more.’ Progress,” said Carlson.
The host noted that other military and intelligence leaders continued to make similar statements, and the years that the U.S. military remained in Afghanistan continued to tick off.
“So if you’re wondering why Americans are so confused that Kabul fell in an afternoon and the Taliban controlled the country we occupied for 20 years, maybe it’s because they thought we were making progress,” Carlson said.
He then noted the military likely leaked details of a phone call Biden held in July with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani in which the U.S. leader told his counterpart to “keep up the appearance of — you guessed it — progress.”
“[W]e know that this conversation took place because the Pentagon or State Department leaked it to Reuters. Why would they do that? Because whatever his faults, Biden did pull American troops from Afghanistan and they hate that,” Carlson said.
“Lying to the rest of us about what is actually happening with our troops with our money in our name in a foreign country has been the philosophy of this nation’s military establishment for the last twenty years, and it’s also the philosophy of every high-ranking official in the Biden administration,” Carlson added.