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New Email Shows Biden Stopped Vetting Afghans to Juice Airlift Numbers

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

America — and the world — knows that President Biden's withdrawal from Afghanistan was a massive failure. While the president and his administration continue attempts to spin the United States' exit as something different, more information showing how things went completely off the rails is surfacing. 

Setting aside the Biden administration's failure to consider the possibility that the Taliban's violent offensive would topple the Afghan government in a matter of weeks — going so far as to say such a reality was "anything but inevitable" — a new email sheds light on the airlift that ensued from Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport. 

The airlift was disastrous from the start. Images of Afghan citizens clinging to the sides of U.S. aircraft on the tarmac and videos apparently showing humans falling from the landing gear of planes as they departed HKIA gripped Americans and the world. Once control of the airfield was regained, the progress seemed slow as Biden's withdrawal deadline loomed. 

Then suddenly, the number of flights and individuals evacuated from Afghanistan increased. Yet something seemed off as the State Department, Pentagon, and White House bragged about the scale of what they insisted was a tactical and coherent evacuation yet refused to say how many Americans had been airlifted so far or, perhaps more importantly, how many still awaited evacuation. 

The airlift, allegedly, was launched to get American citizens and special immigrant visa (SIV) applicants safely out of Afghanistan. But that's not what happened. 

According to the screenshot of an email tweeted Tuesday by U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO), President Biden changed the goals of the airlift to stop prioritizing Americans and SIV applicants and just load up planes to juice his administration's airlift numbers. 

According to Hawley, the email was sent to his office by an "American official present in Afghanistan during the evacuation who was shocked" by the orders Biden gave in an email with the subject line "Presidential Directive."

The August 18 email describes a phone call between President Biden and U.S. Ambassador in Afghanistan Ross Wilson in which the president directed "who to clear to board evacuation flights" out of HKIA. 

"1. Anyone with a valid form of ID should be given permission to go on a plane if that person plausibly falls into the categories we will evacuate: U.S. citizens and LPRs plus their immediate families, LES plus their immediate families, those entitled to an SIV, and Afghans at risk.

2. Families including women and children should be allowed through and held to fill out planes.

3. Total inflow to the U.S. must exceed the number of seats available. Err on the side of excess."

So the President of the United States — the same one whose administration admitted was relying on the Taliban for security at HKIA and to allow safe passage for those attempting to reach the airport to be evacuated — told the military to allow people to board U.S. aircraft without vetting or certainty that they were eligible to be flown out.

Any claims made by the Biden administration after August 18 that there was vetting or screening of evacuees are simply not true, save for a quick ID check. Instead of ensuring security and eligibility, Biden turned those running the airlift at HKIA into heavily armed bouncers. Biden didn't care about who was getting on the planes — arguably taking seats away from American citizens or Afghans who had helped the United States during two decades of war.

As we now know, hundreds of Americans remain stranded in Afghanistan as a result of President Biden and his administration's failed withdrawal. Thirteen American service members gave their lives working to meet Biden's impossible goals. Hundreds of innocent Afghan citizens were killed trying to flee. And Biden responded by killing ten more innocent Afghans, including seven children. 

If it wasn't clear before, Biden didn't care how disastrous his withdrawal ended up. He got what he wanted by stacking planes full of unvetted individuals: the ability to claim that he had orchestrated the largest airlift in U.S. history. That point was made ad nauseam by the president's spokespeople in Washington, but ultimately what he deserves to go down in history for is the avalanche of missteps and failures of leadership that made America's departure from Afghanistan a humiliating and deadly debacle. 

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