President Biden may have 'turned the page' on Afghanistan, as he declared at the United Nations last week, but tens of thousands of Americans and allies still stranded in that country have no such luxury. We know that tens of thousands of Afghans who helped us over the last 20 years have been abandoned, despite Biden's repeated promises to evacuate them. The administration has also finally admitted that thousands of American permanent residents and green card holders are also stuck in the Taliban-controlled country. Biden pledged on national television to keep US troops on the ground until all Americans were out, then flat-out discarded that vow at the eleventh hour. The White House has also repeatedly estimated that "about 100" US citizens are also stranded on the ground -- a number that hasn't seemed to budge significantly for weeks -- but some have questioned that claim. A former military officer who's currently attempting to coordinate rescue missions is similarly rejecting the Biden administration's squirrelly quasi-official number, saying that the reality is significantly worse:
"Definitely there are more than the 100 that's being stated," Jean Marie Thrower told Fox News, noting that her organization's tallies suggest the real figure is roughly ten times higher than what the administration will acknowledge publicly. This does not include other legal non-citizen American residents. She said that the administration has been derelict in the slow-going private evacuation efforts, a point echoed by a Congressman working toward the same goals:
Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., is one of many members of Congress involved in the ongoing effort to help get Americans and U.S. allies out of Afghanistan, but in his office, it’s a group effort..."Our State Department has been deplorable. Their response — if they do call back — has been utterly deplorable," Murphy said of his office’s efforts to help those left in Afghanistan...The Department has been overwhelmed with requests for help, and Murphy added that the U.S. no longer has any "assets" on the ground in Afghanistan. "We don’t have an embassy there," the congressman, who represents the district with the sixth-largest veteran population in the country, said.
Thrower expressed concern for betrayed Afghan allies who are being "executed" and "hunted" by the Taliban. This past weekend offered another grisly reminder that this isn't an exaggeration (strong content warning):
BREAKING: Witness says Taliban have hanged a dead body from a crane in the main square of Herat city in western Afghanistan. https://t.co/df2NiHcqcZ— The Associated Press (@AP) September 25, 2021
CBS News is highlighting the story of one Afghan translator who is in extreme jeopardy, with an American veteran working desperately to get the man and his family to safety:
"He's an incredibly honorable man who served our country at great peril to his own life," Donoghue told CBS News senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge. Shirzad is still in Afghanistan. He's been in hiding since the Taliban's takeover, and Donoghue said it won't be long before the Taliban find him and his family. "Could be hours, could be days. I'm just hoping he makes it back," said Donoghue. Documents reviewed by CBS News suggest Shirzad applied for a special immigrant visa as early as 2016. Donoghue said the process was botched and he re-submitted Shirzad's papers, along with multiple recommendations from the U.S. military. "Every moment I'm in danger," Shirzad told CBS News. He's hiding in a safe house in Afghanistan that's littered with garbage and filth. Shirzad said he was taking the risk of speaking to the media because he has only two options: Get his message out and get to the U.S., or face the very real prospect that he and his family will be killed by the Taliban.
Inexcusable. Again, Biden promised these people that they would be protected, then he broke that covenant, hanging people like the Afghan interpreter who literally helped save Joe Biden years ago out to dry. Ed Morrissey points out that when the administration is occasionally asked about exfiltration progress, their answers are decidedly underwhelming. Finally, if you missed it, I strongly urge you to listen to my interview with Fox News foreign correspondent Trey Yingst, who describes his conversations with desperate Americans and Afghan allies on the ground in Afghanistan -- as well as his refusal to evince any fear as he interviews hardened jihadi Taliban fighters:
Absolutely riveting interview with @TreyYingst from Kabul. The desperation of the people we betrayed & left behind is heartbreaking. And his fearlessness in sitting down with terrorists for interviews is astounding. Listen: https://t.co/ul8dfTp4ki— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 25, 2021