Prior to the deadly suicide bombings in Kabul on August 26, Security Alert from the Department of State (DOS) stopped all Americans in Kabul from making their way to the airport and encouraged those already at the airport gates to go away. Unfortunately, the State Department has not been as helpful as it might have been in many instances. Liberty Nation reported on the August 25 halt to the evacuation imposed by the DOS.
“This president is going to leave Americans behind Taliban lines. It’s un-American,” says Mike Waltz (R-FL). In an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox News. And that’s precisely what is happening, and the State Department is looking more like the culprit. Liberty Nation has reported extensively on the Biden administration’s incompetence, but the level of seemingly purposefully bureaucratic obstructionism has only recently become known.
In a New York Times interview, a former CIA Afghanistan desk officer Matt Zeller told of how the U.S. State Department’s officiousness placed Afghans who had helped Americans directly in the clutches of the Taliban. Zeller’s organization No One Left Behind, founded to assist former Afghan colleagues, with Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs). According to Megan Stack, the New York Times reporter,
“On Sunday [August 22] night, Mr. Zeller said, veterans and contacts on the ground in Afghanistan organized an operation to bring to the airport hundreds of S.I.V. holders who were considered at high risk of Taliban reprisals. They were able to get the Afghans inside the airport, he said — but were turned back at what he described as a State Department checkpoint. On Monday evening, Mr. Zeller said, Taliban soldiers approached the Afghans outside the airport gate and separated them according to their paperwork, telling visa holders they would not be allowed to enter.”
The Taliban know that the SIV holders are Afghans who helped the U.S. The fate of those turned away is not known. Why would State Department officials send away Afghans with SIVs that the State Department issued?
In a televised address by Secretary of State Blinken said, regarding Afghanistan,
“For many years, we’ve encouraged Americans not to travel there. We repeatedly asked Americans who are in Afghanistan to enroll [with the Kabul Embassy]. As of March of this year, we’ve sent 19 separate messages to Americans encouraging and then urging them to leave the country…We’ve even made clear we would help pay for their repatriation. And we’ve provided multiple communications channels for Americans to contact us in Afghanistan and want help to leave.”
The message Blinken was sending was, “Hey, we did everything we were supposed to. If you didn’t get out, then you have only yourself to blame.” He went on to say some Americans in Afghanistan change their minds from one day to the next as to whether they want to leave. He failed to mention that in a few hours, we’re issuing a “Security Alert,” so forget what I just said because we are telling you not to come to the airport to be evacuated or go away if you are already there. In a recent television interview on Fox News, K.T. McFarland, former deputy security advisor in the Trump administration, explained the plight of those who Blinken was blaming. She said,
“Two things that struck me about what he said. Number one, he’s not addressing the people who are scattered all around the country in the hinterlands. And we have pockets of American citizens in all those provinces. Two girls who are maybe teaching English to Afghan girls, or we have aid workers who are helping build water treatment plants…He didn’t address at all how those people are supposed to make their way, all the way from where they are, traveling on a dirt road passing Taliban checkpoints to Kabul airport.”
Marc Thiessen, an American Enterprise Institute scholar in the same interview, did not mince words. Regarding Blinken’s comments, Thiessen said,
“I can’t believe what I just heard that the Secretary of State blamed the Americans who are trapped in Kabul…You have American citizens there who have been working with Afghan allies, and they’re now hold up in their homes hiding with these Afghans, and they’re being told that if they want to leave the country, they have to abandon the Afghans. Who, in many cases, really risked their lives for them – abandon them to certain death.”
Thiessen went on to emphasize, “They’re being put in an impossible position by this government. And to turn around and actually blame Americans for not wanting to leave or for not having followed the guidance to leave is simply shameful.”
The State Department has competent, dedicated foreign service officers serving admirably around the world. However, their leadership has proven that the Kabul debacle is not their finest hour. Crisis management has never been a diplomatic skill set. Those back in the U.S. watching the unraveling are left with the perception that Foggy Bottom is working against American interests. President Biden must put CENTCOM in charge and let the U.S. armed forces make what’s going on a military mission.
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.
The post Who’s the State Department Working For: Stories Suggest Not America was first published by Liberty Nation, and is republished here with permission. Please support their efforts.