Following reports that Americans were being prevented from leaving Afghanistan by Taliban fighters, Secretary of State Antony Blinken maintained his insistence that the flights aren't being blocked and that his department is not to blame for any delay. Instead, Blinken blamed those seeking to flee Afghanistan for not having proper travel documents.
As Townhall reported, Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX) shared the story of an attempted evacuation of American citizens and Afghan allies being blocked by the Taliban who he said are "holding them hostage for demands." The six-aircraft evacuation operation is still being blocked from taking off from Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport in northern Afghanistan, but Blinken denied that he shoulders any blame. Instead, repeating a common refrain from the Biden administration amid its disastrous withdrawal, Blinken blamed those trying to leave for not having proper documentation.
"It’s my understanding that the Taliban has not denied exit to anyone holding a valid document, but they have said that those without valid documents at this point can’t leave,” explained Blinken. “But because all of these people are grouped together, that’s meant that flights have not been allowed to go."
So, despite his claims otherwise, the Taliban is in fact blocking flights with Americans from leaving the country. New satellite images over the weekend also seem to show planes stuck on the ramp in Mazar-i-Sharif as Leah reported.
Newly released satellite images show six commercial airplanes at Mazar-i-Sharif airport in northern Afghanistan that are not being allowed to depart by the Taliban. American citizens and Afghan interpreters are reportedly waiting to board the flights. ??: @Maxar pic.twitter.com/Ov7kB3z5VP— Daniel Lippman (@dlippman) September 5, 2021
Due to Biden's failed exit that resulted in a complete absence of American military or diplomatic presence in Afghanistan, Blinken and the rest of the administration are left to again rely on Taliban terrorists and their assurances that they are allowing safe passage to those wishing to leave the country. And once more, the Taliban are apparently not keeping their word.
"We have been assured, again, that all American citizens and Afghan citizens with valid travel documents will be allowed to leave,” insisted Blinken. “It’s my understanding that the Taliban has not denied exit to anyone holding a valid document."
It was already shameful enough that the Biden administration suggested those who were left behind in Afghanistan were at fault for not getting to the airport in Kabul before the airlift ended. Those who were left behind, of course, faced violence at Taliban checkpoints and warnings from the U.S. embassy in Kabul to stay away from Hamid Karzai International Airport before Biden pulled up stakes and left them behind.
But now, those the President initially promised he would get out before withdrawing, a vow he subsequently trampled, are again being blamed by the Biden administration for being unable to take off from Afghanistan because they didn't manage to keep track of proper identification while trying to flee a terrorist playground.
President Biden, who was on vacation at his Delaware home over the long weekend, has so far said nothing about the Taliban's obstruction of departure flights after insisting those he left stranded in Afghanistan would be allowed to leave by the Taliban. In a gaggle aboard Air Force One on Tuesday morning, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki repeated the blame game played by Blinken, insisting those attempting to evacuate are being blocked by the Taliban because they do not have proper travel documents.