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Gaetz: Team Biden is 'abandoning' U.S. troops in Niger, 'engaged in a massive cover-up'

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News April 19, 2024

Joe Biden's administration has essentially abandoned 1,100 U.S. troops in the lawless African nation of Niger, Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz said.

“We have Army soldiers right now in Niger who aren’t getting their troop rotations, who aren’t getting their medicine, who aren’t getting their supplies, who aren’t getting their mail and the two senior people in the United States Army are sitting before me and it’s like ‘hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil,’ ” Gaetz said in a hearing with U.S. Army officers on Tuesday.

“The Biden Administration and the State Department are engaged in a massive cover-up,” Gaetz told The Intercept. “They are hiding the true conditions on the ground of U.S. diplomatic relations in Niger and are effectively abandoning our troops in that country with no help in sight.”

In a new report, Gaetz said that the U.S. Embassy in Niger, under Ambassador Kathleen FitzGibbon, is “covering up the failure of their U.S. diplomatic efforts in Niger.” The report says the embassy is “dismissing or suppressing” intelligence from the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations, or OSI, as well as Special Operations Command Africa.

“When our AFRICOM leaders look to us to provide atmospherics on the ground, they go to the Embassy first and hear a watered down or false story than what is being reported,” according to one service member quoted in Gaetz's report. “I know of at least 3 reports from OSI about Nigerien sentiment that have been discredited by the Embassy and turned out to be 100% true.”

(The State Department denied the allegations but did not provide a statement on the record.)

Military personnel said the blood bank at the U.S.'s Air Base 201 in Niger is not being replenished, possibly jeopardizing troops in the event of a mass casualty situation.

Next month, critical medications will also run out for individual service members. U.S. personnel “have repeatedly reached out for assistance but their strategic higher headquarters such as AFRICOM routinely overlook their concerns and those of AB101’s higher chain of command, or simply do not provide relief or guidance,” Gaetz's report states, referring to Air Base 101, located at the main commercial airport in Niger’s capital, Niamey.

“The Biden administration needs to acknowledge that their plan in Niger has failed and they need to bring these troops home immediately,” Gaetz told The Intercept. “If there is no remedy between Niger and the United States before the end of the month, our troops will be in immediate danger.”

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