We are just learning today that Biden officials actually gave the Taliban a list of the names of American citizens and Afghan allies to expedite the evacuation process. This has caused great consternation and pushback from lawmakers and defense officials [….] Biden has said from the beginning that we were depending on the Taliban for a successful evacuation. Little did we know just how much we were depending on them….
HOT AIR notes a possible conversation before we get to the meat of the Politico article:
— “We’ll secure the airport perimeter for you, but how will we know who should be allowed through and who shouldn’t?” — “What do you suggest?” — “The names of all of your remaining citizens and every Afghan who assisted you in your infidel occupation.” — “Consider it done.”
U.S. officials in Kabul gave the Taliban a list of names of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies to grant entry into the militant-controlled outer perimeter of the city’s airport, a choice that’s prompted outrage behind the scenes from lawmakers and military officials.
The move, detailed to POLITICO by three U.S. and congressional officials, was designed to expedite the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from Afghanistan as chaos erupted in Afghanistan’s capital city last week after the Taliban seized control of the country. It also came as the Biden administration has been relying on the Taliban for security outside the airport.
But the decision to provide specific names to the Taliban, which has a history of brutally murdering Afghans who collaborated with the U.S. and other coalition forces during the conflict, has angered lawmakers and military officials.
“Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list,” said one defense official, who like others spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive topic. “It’s just appalling and shocking and makes you feel unclean.”
A spokesperson for U.S. Central Command declined to comment.
The issue came up during a classified briefing on Capitol Hill earlier this week, which turned contentious after top Biden administration officials defended their close 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 the thousands of U.S. troops stationed at the airport.
After the fall of Kabul, in the earliest days of the evacuation, the joint U.S. military and diplomatic coordination team at the airport provided the Taliban with a list of people the U.S. aimed to evacuate. Those names included Afghans who served alongside the U.S. during the 20-year war and sought special immigrant visas to America. U.S. citizens, dual nationals and lawful permanent residents were also listed.
“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 U.S. official said.
Someone I would rather be in charge makes a point I think many feel: