Recent report suggest that US officials in Kabul had provided the Taliban with specific names of American citizens and Afghan allies, in a bid to grant them access to the city‘s airport. This singular act has been deemed "appalling" by all and sundry.
The current situationhas been described as “an astonishing mistake, made after a series of other astonishing mistakes”, it’s been revealed that the joint US military and diplomatic co-ordination team at the airport handed the Taliban a list of people America wanted to evacuate.
Detailed to Politico by three US and congressional officials, the list contained the names of American citizens, lawful permanent residents, dual nationals and, to the horror of many, Afghans who had served alongside the US during the conflict — a group of people who the Taliban has a history of brutally murdering for their collaboration with coalition forces.
“Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list,” one defence official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Politico.
“It’s just appalling and shocking and makes you feel unclean.”
‘It could very well have happened’
When the President Joe Biden was asked about it during a press conference on Thursday,he said:
“There have been occasions when our military has contacted their military counterparts in the Taliban and said this, for example, this bus is coming through with X number of people on it, made up of the following group of people. We want you to let that bus or that group through,” he told reporters.
“So, yes there have been occasions like that. To the best of my knowledge, in those cases, the bulk of that has occurred and they have been let through.
“I can’t tell you with any certitude that there’s actually been a list of names. There may have been. But I know of no circumstance. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist, that here’s the names of 12 people, they’re coming, let them through. It could very well have happened.”
According to Politico, the list first came up during a classified briefing on Capitol Hill this week, which turned contentious after top Biden administration officials defended their close co-ordination with the Taliban — arguing that it was the best way to keep both Americans and Afghans safe and “prevent a shooting” between Taliban fighters and the US troops stationed at the airport.
“They had to [provide the list] because of the security situation the White House created by allowing the Taliban to control everything outside the airport,” one official told the publication.
‘We can’t trust the Taliban with Americans’ security’
Three Reporters, Lara Seligman, Alexander Ward and Andrew Desiderio wrote about the fact “that US officials handed over a list of Afghan allies and American citizens and residents shows the extent to which they outsourced security of the airport’s outer perimeter to the Taliban”.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters this week that US officials have been “in daily communication” with Taliban commanders about who to let in.
Representative for the state of Michigan, Republican Peter Meijer — who secretly flew to Kabul earlier this week on an unauthorised mission with Democrat Seth Moulton to witness the evacuation of Americans and Afghans — told The New York Times “it is utterly bizarre and baffling that we’re in this situation”.
“To go from having the Taliban as an adversary we’re seeking to kill, to relying upon them for security, co-ordinating to make sure things run smoothly,” he said.
“It’s a complicated situation that’s impossible to understand if you’re not on the ground and yet critical to saving the lives of tens of thousands.”
News of the list came hours after two Islamic State terrorist attacks in the area just outside the airport — which killed dozens of Afghan citizens and American troops — and makes one thing clear, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez wrote in a statement: “We can’t trust the Taliban with Americans’ security.”
posted 2021-08-27 23:07:18