The State Department announced Wednesday that it would allow lawmakers to view the “dissent channel cable” that was signed by 23 staffers and diplomats in 2021 and warned about the possibility of a rapid Taliban advance as the U.S. left the country.
The announcement came just days before the House Foreign Affairs Committee was set to vote on whether to hold Secretary of State Antony Blinken in contempt for refusing to allow lawmakers to read it.
Republicans have been investigating the circumstances of the chaotic U.S. withdrawal that led to the death of 13 U.S. service members and stranded hundreds of Americans as U.S. forces fled the country almost as quickly as Taliban forces advanced.
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The State Department’s “dissent channel” allows for contrary views to be expressed by officials, and the dissent cable related to Afghanistan reportedly warns about the likelihood of an immediate collapse in Afghanistan, which President Biden and other top officials downplayed at the time. State Department spokesman Vedant Patel announced Wednesday that it would allow the top two lawmakers on the Foreign Affairs Committee to read the dissent cable.
“In our letter to the committee today, we will invite Chairman [Michael] McCaul and Ranking Member [Gregory] Meeks to view the dissent channel cable here at the State Department, in camera, with appropriate personal information redacted,” Patel said.
“It is our sincere hope that our offer here will sufficiently satisfy their request for information,” he added.
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McCaul’s committee has repeatedly asked the State Department for access to the communication, which warned that the Taliban had made rapid territorial gains and urged the officials to commence an airlift operation immediately for Afghans who helped the U.S., The Wall Street Journal reported.
The notice also called for tougher language to describe atrocities committed by the Taliban, according to one source with knowledge of the cable. The document also predicted with “eerie foresight” what would happen only a month later, another source said.
In addition to the death of 13 U.S. service members, 170 Afghan citizens were killed during the violent withdrawal that was run by the State Department.
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The administration also left hundreds of Americans behind despite promises that troops would remain until “all” Americans had left safely.
McCaul last week threatened a contempt vote against Blinken if he failed to provide access to the dissent channel cable.
“Should you fail to comply, the Committee is prepared to take the necessary steps to enforce its subpoena, including holding you in contempt of Congress and/or initiating a civil enforcement proceeding,” McCaul wrote in a letter to Blinken.
Fox News Digital’s Peter Aitken contributed to this report.