Blinken Refusal on Stand Blows Up in His Face

Texas lawmaker Michael McCaul wasn’t happy when Antony Blinken told him why he won’t cough up a report that the House Foreign Affairs Committee desperately wants to get their Republican hands on. McCaul produced a visual aid to get Blinky’s full attention. Do you know what this is? He quizzed, holding up a subpoena packet. The excuse our Minister of State gave Congress is “bullsh!t” and the chairman already had the absolute perfect legal opinion to back that statement up with.

Blinken stunned by Subpoena

Having a congressional subpoena waved in your face isn’t a great way to start your Thursday, Antony Blinken learned. He has until close of business Monday, March 27 to turn over “a dissent cable authored by at least 23 diplomats serving at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul in July 2021.” The reason Blinky gave for sitting on the report is “bullsh!t” and McCaul put that word in quotes for a reason.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee is looking into “the chaotic and deadly U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021.” Blinky goes into fits of rage every time he hears someone snicker the word “Saigon” anywhere in his presence.

McCaul knows for certain that the dissent cable in question exists and his committee believes it is “critically important to understanding why the Biden administration failed to anticipate the fall of the American-backed government and takeover by the Taliban.” That’s exactly why Blinken doesn’t want them to see it.

As The Hill reportsThe cable reportedly warned of the grave risk that the government would collapse.” Blinken’s office had sent over a formal notice ahead of time and McCaul used it to do his homework.

Blinken swore up and down, under oath, that “his department was holding back the physical copy of the cable to maintain the integrity of the Dissent Channel, a protected way for diplomats to raise serious and grave concerns on foreign policy directly to the secretary of State without fear of reprisal or retribution.

Blinky was visibly anxious as he babbled, it “is vital to me that we preserve the integrity of that process and of that channel, that we not take any steps that could have a chilling effect on the willingness of others to come forward in the future, to express dissenting views on the policies that are being pursued.” That excuse note his office sent over listed their precise reason for non-compliance.

Henry Kissinger once refused

Your department cited then-Secretary Henry Kissinger’s refusal to produce a dissent cable to Congress in the 1970s as a precedent,” McCaul glared. Back then, he cited “executive privilege” as the reason for refusal. “I would argue, you do not have an executive privilege on this cable.” He wanted to be sure he was right so “reached out to Ambassador Tom Boyatt.

That’s the guy who wrote the cable Kissinger ducked. It was Boyatt who called the excuse Blinken gave “bullsh!t.” McCaul explained slowly and patiently to Blinky that “Ambassador Boyatt is emphatic about the need for the State Department to produce dissent channel cables,” not hide them.

He says that any claim [provided by the State Department] to Congress, that would have a ‘chilling effect,’ as your staff has claimed, is, and I quote him directly. ‘Bullsh!t.’ Not my words, it’s the ambassador.

That’s when he showed Blinken the subpoena he already has filled out. That cable is only one of three documents that McCaul and his committee are trying to pry out of Blinken’s file cabinet.

Blinken thought he could get away with stashing the dissent cable by offering “to provide the committee with a briefing, or some other mechanism, about the information in the cable.” Nope. McCaul made it crystal clear that he expected full compliance with each and every item requested by Monday or the process server would be waiting for him to leave the office. Subpoenas used to be something which civil administrators routinely ignored but this congress has promised to enforce every one they issue.

These watchdogs have some teeth and have been getting results by using them. Janet Yellen caved in and sent over all of the Biden family Suspicious Activity Reports after another committee threatened her with a subpoena for a “transcribed interview.” That means relentless grilling followed by perjury charges if you get caught in a lie and prison time to top it off. Followed by contempt of Congress charges, maybe. Odds say Blinken will have the report in by Monday.

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