CIA Operatives say withdrawal is a catastrophic failure

CIA operatives who were the first boots on the ground behind Taliban lines after the Sept. 11 attacks believe President Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was “catastrophically mismanaged,” according to an author telling their story.

The author telling Team Alpha operatives’ story in his new book, “First Casualty: The Untold Story of the CIA Mission to Avenge 9/11,” Toby Harnden, told Fox News that former CIA officers are carrying a burden of sadness over the deadly withdrawal.

“There is a deep sense of sadness among former CIA officers about the desperate situation in Afghanistan and the return to power of the Taliban, a movement of medieval brutality,” Harnden said.

“The consensus among the Team Alpha members is that the decision to withdraw U.S. forces completely was a mistake and that the evacuation of Kabul was catastrophically mismanaged,” he continued.

“As they were 20 years ago, the six living members of Team Alpha are focused on what they feel is their current mission – to get those who fought with them in 2001, and their families, out of Afghanistan before the Taliban slaughter them,” Harnden said in an email to Fox News.

“Some of the former officers are spending almost every waking hour fielding WhatsApp calls, receiving photos of documents, and compiling lists for evacuations by private companies and NGOs,” he continued.

Harnden added that Shannon Spann, the widow of the first post-9/11 American casualty, CIA paramilitary officer and former Marine officer Mike Spann, with whom she had three children and “herself a former CIA officer, has also been deeply involved in these rescue efforts.”

Harnden added in a phone interview on Wednesday that the surviving team members are active in the administrative side of the rescue efforts with some members still affiliated with the CIA being potentially more directly involved.

Harnden said his book chronicles the eight “elite warriors, linguists and tribal experts” of Team Alpha in their mission in October 2001, a month following the Sept. 11 attacks.

Story continues at: CIA Operatives


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