Molly Montgomery, the deputy assistant secretary of Europen and Eurasian Affairs at the State Department, tweeted then deleted comments decrying the prospect that women in Afghanistan will experience a regression of their rights after the U.S. leaves the country.
In the since-deleted tweet, Montgomery wrote, “Woke up with a heavy heart, thinking about all the Afghan women and girls I worked with during my time in Kabul.”
“They were the beneficiaries of many of the gains we made, and now they stand to lose everything. We empowered them to lead, and now we are powerless to protect them.”
Axios’ Jonathan Swan shared a screenshot of the tweet and added, “This deleted tweet from a senior Biden State Department official captures the private feelings of many others.”
This deleted tweet from a senior Biden State Department official captures the private feelings of many others. pic.twitter.com/uoeEukSerh
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) August 13, 2021
The tweet comes as the Taliban has rapidly gained control of wide swaths of Afghanistan.
The Taliban now has full control of southern and western Afghanistan.
In areas where the Taliban has taken over, there have been reports of attacks on civilians and executions of captured soldiers. Additionally, the Journal reports, “Taliban commanders have demanded that communities turn over unmarried women to become ‘wives’ for their fighters—a form of sexual violence, human-rights groups say.”
The Taliban has denied reports of executions or forced marriages.
In July, Biden defended his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan after roughly 20 years of war, “We did not go to Afghanistan to nation build.”
“It’s up to the Afghans to make decisions about the future of their country,” he added.
Last year, Biden was asked by CBS News’ Margaret Brennan if he would “bear some responsibility for the outcome if the Taliban ends up back in control and women end up losing their rights.”
Brennan: “Don’t you bear some responsibility for the outcome if the Taliban ends up back in control & women end up losing their rights?”
Biden: “No, I don't… Zero responsibility. The responsibility I have is to protect America's national self-interest.”pic.twitter.com/1RtlV3s2wL
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) August 13, 2021
“No, I don’t,” he responded. “Look, are you telling me that we should go into China because — go to war with China because what they’re doing to the Uyghurs, a million Uyghurs, out in the west in concentration camps? Is that what you’re saying to me?”
He added, “Do I bear responsibility? Zero responsibility. The responsibility I have is to protect America’s national self-interest and not put our women and men in harm’s way to try to solve every single problem in the world by use of force. That’s my responsibility as president, and that’s what I’ll do as president.”
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