USAGM Watch Commentary
The Washington Post has an opinion article about the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) journalists left behind in Afghanistan after the USAGM leadership failed to arrange for their evacuation early enough to conduct it in a secure manner. USAGM leaders have been sanctioned before by the U. S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for security measures violations at the agency under their watch.
We fully agree with this comment posted under the Washington Post article by a reader identified as TahitiSW.
The reader observes: “It is interesting, to say the least, that we have a situation where the Biden-appointed management of USAGM, known as a famously dysfunctional agency, are attacking the very administration that put them in place.”
As with many things in Washington, answers will be found through FOIA requests to USAGM and congressional inquiries, seeking to know exactly what agency officials knew and when and what they did, if anything, from May 2021. It is interesting, to say the least, that we have a situation where the Biden-appointed management of USAGM, known as a famously dysfunctional agency, are attacking the very administration that put them in place. One agency source reports that this is not just a case of administration foul-ups, but of high USAGM officials abdicating responsibility and leaving evacuation details to lower level employees.
Also, let’s ask this question: how is it that USAGM ended up having some 500 people in Afghanistan? Clearly, these include sundry family members of whatever number of RFE/RL (Radio Azadi) and VOA staff were in country. But 500? The Voice of America alone has had over the years only some 1,050 to 1,200 employees worldwide. 500 people linked to this agency in one country alone? There’s more to this story.