A Business Insider article touting an opinion from a Trump-Pence administration adviser that former President Donald Trump’s Afghanistan policy set the stage for disaster omits that the adviser was a holdover from the Obama-Biden administration.
The article, published last week and titled “Afghanistan: Former advisor to Mike Pence warned in 2020 that Trump was setting up another ‘Benghazi,’” details opinions that Army veteran Jim Golby expressed last November in a thinkpiece for the Atlantic.
Business Insider identifies Golby’s veteran status and job in the White House as special adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, but the outlet does not give any further specifics about Golby’s role with Pence and leaves out entirely that Golby also worked under the Obama-Biden administration.
In a statement to Breitbart News, Pence spokesman Devin O’Malley blasted Business Insider for omitting that context and noted the outlet did not reach out to the former vice president for comment.
“Had Business Insider cared to conduct basic due diligence to ensure accuracy in their reporting, we would have been happy to tell them that Mr. Golby was, in fact, a Biden Administration holdover that was assigned to the National Security Council, not the Office of the Vice President,” O’Malley stated.
Golby, who has been a fervent Trump critic for years, worked in national security affairs for then-Vice President Joe Biden in 2016 and stayed in national security affairs when the administration transitioned in January 2017, according to his LinkedIn page. The page also states Golby worked in the Pentagon for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2014–2015 before working for the vice presidents.
Business Insider’s article highlights Golby’s opposition to Trump’s decision in November to continue a phased withdrawal of the U.S. military from Afghanistan by reducing the number of troops present there to 2,500 by mid-January.
Golby contended that Trump’s reduction in forces would be “leaving behind an unsustainable presence in Afghanistan, a crisis for the Afghan people, and a mess for the Biden-Harris administration.”
Biden, when he took office, eventually settled on a deadline to leave Afghanistan by August 31, but the withdrawal effort became a turbulent, chaotic process that was confined to the Kabul airport about two weeks ago when the Taliban quickly overtook Afghanistan’s government. Tense encounters with Taliban forces outside the airport as American citizens and Afghan allies desperately sought to leave the now-Taliban-controlled country were reported before a deadly terrorist attack hit Kabul last Thursday.
Two explosions outside the airport killed more than 100 people, including 13 U.S. servicemembers. The Business Insider article, which was published the same day as the attacks, noted Golby’s opinion that “perhaps by design, perhaps by incompetence, perhaps out of sheer spite or arrogance, Trump has created the circumstances for another Bay of Pigs, Black Hawk Down, or Benghazi.”
Biden, who has also blamed Trump for the withdrawal, has received his own bipartisan criticism for his administration’s execution of the mission, and the president’s approval rating has plummeted since the evacuation concluded.
Breitbart News reached out to Business Insider for comment on its editorial decision to characterize Golby only as a Pence adviser and not as a Biden adviser but did not receive a response.
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