We already knew that the Biden administration's statistics on Americans in Afghanistan were, shall we say, incomplete. They're now admitting as much to Congress. For weeks and weeks, the official line out of the White House has been that approximately100 US citizens "who wish to leave" remained in the Taliban-controlled country (the Senate majority leader falsely claimed that "all" Americans were out). Math has never been my strong suit, but this number is definitely higher than 100, yes?
State Dept. informed congressional staff Thursday that it is in touch with 363 American citizens in Afghanistan, 176 of whom want to leave, per @jmhansler— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) October 22, 2021
That is significantly higher than the estimates of roughly 100 in Aug. which Admin officials regularly cited.
CNN's Mattingly also relays how "officials said that they have gotten 218 American citizens and 131 legal permanent residents (LPRs) out of Afghanistan since August 31." Let's set aside the reality that it's military veterans and private organizations doing most of the heavy lifting to rescue Americans and allies, and the Biden State Department doesn't get to claim credit for the work of others. Recall how Biden asserted that there were roughly 100-200 Americans left in Afghanistan on August 31, after his disastrous pullout. By his own State Department's new admission, 349 Americans have gotten out of the country since that date, with hundreds more in contact with the US government. Why should we believe any of their numbers? Their math has never added up – and their definition of "Americans" almost always excludes legal permanent residents, of which thousands remain stuck in Afghanistan. And it certainly does not include the tens of thousands of Afghan allies whom we promised to evacuate, then didn't. I cannot fathom their desperation and sense of betrayal with these sorts of horrors playing out:
An Afghan volleyball player on the girls’ national team was beheaded by the Taliban — with gruesome photos of her severed head posted on social media, according to her coach. Mahjabin Hakimi, one of the best players in the Kabul Municipality Volleyball Club, was slaughtered in the capital city of Kabul as troops searched for female sports players...She was killed earlier this month, but her death remained mostly hidden because her family had been threatened not to talk, claimed the coach, using a pseudonym, Suraya Afzali, due to safety fears. Images of Hakimi’s severed neck were published on Afghan social media, according to the paper, which did not say how old she was...“All the players of the volleyball team and the rest of the women athletes are in a bad situation and in despair and fear,” she told the paper. “Everyone has been forced to flee and live in unknown places.” One of the players who escaped, Zahra Fayazi, told the BBC last month that at least one of the players had been killed.
I'll leave you with this. The Taliban are hardened, fanatical, homicidal, anti-American jihadists. Of course, they're not going to work with us to counter Islamist extremists. They are Islamist extremists:
The Taliban have promised plots of land to relatives of suicide bombers who attacked U.S. and Afghan soldiers, in a provocative gesture that seems to run counter to their efforts to court international support. via @samya_kullab https://t.co/KrhWb8Y5yg— W.J. Hennigan (@wjhenn) October 20, 2021
The Taliban have promised plots of land to relatives of suicide bombers who attacked U.S. and Afghan soldiers, in a provocative gesture that seems to run counter to their efforts to court international support. The Taliban’s acting interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, offered the reward to dozens of family members of bombers gathered at a Kabul hotel, Interior Ministry spokesman Saeed Khosty tweeted on Tuesday. Addressing the gathering Monday evening, Haqqani praised the sacrifices of “martyrs and fedayeen,” referring to fighters killed in suicide attacks, Khosty tweeted. Haqqani called them “heroes of Islam and the country,” according to the spokesman. At the end of the meeting, he distributed 10,000 afghanis ($112) per family and promised each a plot of land. Khosty posted photos of Haqqani, his face blurred, embracing the relatives in a packed auditorium.
Would the Biden administration also consider this "candid and professional"?