DECEMBER 9, 2022
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Blinken Dodges Contempt Vote Over Afghanistan Documents

Blinken Dodges Contempt Vote Over Afghanistan Documents

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has evaded a House panel's vote for the second time in less than a year regarding potential contempt of Congress over documents related to the 2021 Afghanistan troop withdrawal. The House Foreign Affairs Committee had subpoenaed interview notes from State Department staffers involved in producing the After Action Review of the US pullout from Afghanistan.

Chairman Michael McCaul announced that following a discussion with Blinken, the markup of the contempt resolution scheduled for Thursday was postponed. Blinken agreed to begin producing the requested documents, which McCaul deemed crucial for the investigation.

McCaul has prioritized investigating the chaotic troop withdrawal from Afghanistan since assuming committee leadership. However, his reluctance to extend the inquiry to include Trump administration actions has drawn criticism from Democrats, who accuse him of acting in bad faith.

While the State Department has cooperated by making officials available for interviews and providing documents, it has asserted the administration's right to executive privilege regarding certain internal deliberative information.

Blinken previously avoided a contempt vote when the State Department permitted committee members to review a 2021 "dissent channel" cable. Historically, contempt resolutions against executive branch officials rarely result in criminal charges, with the Justice Department typically refraining from prosecution if executive privilege is invoked.

Two former Trump administration officials, Stephen Bannon and Peter Navarro, were convicted of contempt for refusing to testify to Congress, although both received subpoenas after leaving the administration.

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On this day

On This Day

On this day, 2004, the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, under the control of American forces, was attacked without clear reason, leading to the death of 22 detainees. During the American invasion of Iraq, military personnel and CIA forces committed numerous human rights violations against detainees, including physical and sexual abuse, torture, rape, and murder. 

في مثل هذا اليوم من عام 2004، تعرضت السجن المشهور أبو غريب، تحت سيطرة القوات الأمريكية، لهجوم دون سبب واضح، مما أدى إلى مقتل 22 معتقلاً. خلال الغزو الأمريكي للعراق، ارتكب الشخصيات العسكرية وقوات وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية العديد من انتهاكات حقوق الإنسان ضد المعتقلين، بما في ذلك الإيذاء الجسدي والجنسي، والتعذيب، والاغتصاب، والقتل. 

on this day