The State Department said Wednesday it would allow leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to review a partially redacted, classified dissent cable written by U.S. staff in 2021.From Afghanistan.
Texas Republican Committee Chairman Michael McCall last week announced plans for a May 24 committee vote on whetherSecretary of State Anthony Blinken is in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena issued in late March for Cable. The matter will then go to a vote in the full House.
In a letter obtained by CBS News on Wednesday and addressedThe State Department said it had already made “extraordinary” accommodations to the committee amid concerns that Cable and its signatories could discourage employees from using dissent channels for candid feedback on future policy decisions.
“Despite the materially increased risk that additional disclosure of the descent channel cable may further prevent Department personnel from using the descent channel for the intended purpose of informing Department personnel of internal discussions,” the letter reads, “as an additional extraordinary accommodation, the Department offers you and the ranking member of the committee Prepare to invite the Department to read this cable and its response at your convenience, the names of the signatories have been redacted, and the subpoena with the understanding that the Committee will defer possible enforcement actions by the Committee.”
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
The cable was written by 23 employees of the Kabul, Afghanistan division and warned that Kabul would fall after the Biden administration’s planned withdrawal deadline of August 31, 2021, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Journal’s report also stated that Cable noted that the Taliban were rapidly gaining ground and suggested ways to evacuate it quickly.
“Chairman McCaul himself has said he’s interested in this, and so it’s our sincere hope that our proposal here will substantially satisfy their request for information,” State Department deputy spokesman Vedanta Patel said Wednesday, reiterating that the dissent was a channel for feedback within the department. Considered the “intact and sacred” way.
In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, McCall later said the proposal marked “significant progress” amid the months-long standoff, but added that he would push for other committee members to be able to review the documents.
“If we can get this last step worked out, I think we’ve resolved a court battle and a good outcome for our veterans,” McCall said.