US Gave Taliban Names of Americans, Afghan Allies to Evacuate
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NEWSMAX: The Taliban got the names from U.S. officials of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies who’d be allowed into the militant-controlled perimeter of the Kabul airport — permission that outraged critics called a ”kill list,” Politico reported.
Citing three unnamed U.S. and congressional sources, Politico said the move was designed to expedite the evacuation the tens of thousands fleeing Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover.
”Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list,” one unnamed defense official told Politico. ”It’s just appalling and shocking and makes you feel unclean.”
A spokesperson for U.S. Central Command declined to comment.
According to Politico, the issue came up at a classified briefing on Capitol Hill, and turned ugly when top Biden administration officials defended their coordination with the Taliban. Biden officials contended that it was the best way to keep Americans and Afghans safe and prevent a shooting war between Taliban fighters and U.S. troops at the airport, Politico reported.
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”They had to do that because of the security situation the White House created by allowing the Taliban to control everything outside the airport,” one unnamed U.S. official told the news outlet.
President Biden was asked directly about the allegations during a Thursday afternoon press briefing.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. There are reports that U.S. officials provided the Taliban with names of Americans and Afghan officials to evacuate. Were you aware of that? Did that happen?
And then, sir, did you personally reject a recommendation to hold, or to recapture Bagram Air Force Base?
THE PRESIDENT: Here’s what I’ve done on the — ask this — I’ll answer the last question, first.
On the tactical questions of how to conduct an evacuation or a war, I gather up all the major military personnel that are in Afghanistan — the commanders, as well as the Pentagon. And I ask for their best military judgment: what would be the most efficient way to accomplish the mission.
They concluded — the military — that Bagram was not much value added, that it was much wiser to focus on Kabul. And so, I followed that recommendation.
With regard to — there are certain circumstances where we’ve gotten information — and quite frankly, sometimes from some of you — saying, “You know of such and such a group of people who are trying to get out and they’re on a bus, they’re moving…” — from other people — “and this is their location.”
And there have been occasions when our military has contacted their military counterparts in the Taliban and said, “This…” — for example, “This bus is coming through with X number of people on it, made up of the following group of people. We want you to let that bus or that group through.”
So, yes, there have been occasions like that.
And to the best of my knowledge, in those cases, the bulk of that has occurred — they’ve been let through. But I can’t tell you with any certitude that there’s actually been a list of names. I don’t — there may have been, but I know of no circumstance. It doesn’t mean it’s not — it didn’t exist, that, “Here’s the names of 12 people; they’re coming. Let them through.” It could very well have happened.White House
But after thousands of visa applicants arrived at the airport, overwhelming the capacity of the U.S. to process them, the State Department changed course — asking the applicants not to come to the airport and instead requesting they wait until they were cleared for entry.
From then on, the list fed to the Taliban didn’t include Afghan names, Politico reported, and as of Aug. 25, only U.S. passport and green card holders were being accepted as eligible for evacuation.
The Biden administration has been coordinating the evacuation effort and airport security with the Taliban, Politico noted.
After the Islamic State terror attacks near the airport Thursday, in which 12 U.S. servicemen were killed, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez, D-N.J., appeared to criticize that coordination, stating, ”As we wait for more details to come in, one thing is clear: We can’t trust the Taliban with Americans’ security.”