As RedState’s Jennifer Van Laar exclusively reported in October 2021, a U.S. Army Major General ordered more than 50 evacuees attempting to escape Afghanistan off one of the last U.S. military flights to leave Kabul. Now, a new documentary claims five busloads of evacuees — including American civilians — were blocked last August as they desperately tried to flee the war-torn country during the chaotic evacuation.
We begin with the August flight. As Van Laar first reported, Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue, commander of the All American Division, ordered the evacuees off the August flight to make room for a Taliban souvenir.
During the last hours of the evacuation, according to troops under his command and as documented by photographs and witness statements, Donahue ordered all of the passengers aboard a C-17 transport plane to disembark so he could have a souvenir loaded onto the plane.
That souvenir, or “war trophy,” was an inoperable Taliban-owned Toyota Hilux with a fully operational Russian ZU-23 anti-aircraft autocannon mounted in the bed. Once the Hilux was loaded passengers were allowed back on the plane, but, of course, there wasn’t room for all of them. According to troops on the scene, at least 50 people and perhaps as many as 100 people were left at Kabul to make room for the Hilux.
It’s believed that many of those left behind were likely killed, in part because of information provided to Taliban commanders by Donahue himself. If all of this is true, particularly Donohue’s alleged interaction with Taliban commanders, words cannot describe this guy’s reprehensible actions.
Then the plot Van Laar later reported on RedState:
In addition to the curious statement provided to RedState hours after its publication by Army Col. Joe Buccino, spokesman for the 101st Airborne, its publication spurred a piece in Task & Purpose purporting to be the “true story” of what happened – and which conflicts with the statement Buccino provided and with other evidence/facts. Before the Task & Purpose piece was published, though, I’d received another statement from Col. Buccino that conflicts with some of the information in Task & Purpose and which will be published in this piece. In addition, Breitbart published a story about the chaotic last two weeks in Afghanistan that contained some interesting tidbits from people on the ground.
Basically, the narrative put forth in the Task & Purpose story is that it was a Toyota Land Cruiser and not a Hilux; that it was an Afghan National Army truck (ANA) and not Taliban; that no evacuees or American citizens were denied passage to the United States due to the truck taking up space in a C-17; that all appropriate paperwork was filled out for the truck to become a museum piece; and that an ambitious Iraqi-born Private traded some ANA soldiers two cans of chew for the truck.
The narrative set forth by both Task & Purpose and Col. Buccino is simply not credible. I’ll go through the elements of the narrative then point out the conflicting statements or evidence.
Angry, all over again? You should be — as should every decent, freedom-loving American who grew up proud of the U.S. military. But, as claimed in the documentary I referenced at the top, it was far worse in the final days of Afghanistan than we were told — unconscionably so.
As reported by AP on Sunday, a U.S. Army colonel last August turned away busloads of Americans, allies, and orphans as they attempted to flee the Afghan capital. The unidentified colonel was accused of “murdering” the passengers by witnesses who said he blocked passengers of five buses from getting on planes that could have flown them out of Kabul.
Members of a high-level special operations volunteer team make the shocking claim in the new documentary, “Send Me.”
As tweeted by New York Times bestselling author and Navy SEAL sniper, Jack Carr:
SEND ME is the story of thirteen friends whose mission to save one Afghan interpreter quickly turned into one of the largest civilian rescue operations in history. Find this powerful and emotional one hour documentary via the link.
What are the chances of Joe Biden, Lloyd Austin, and Mark Milley — all of whose unforgivable decisions responsible for the Afghanistan tragedy must never be forgotten — seeing the documentary?
SEND ME is the story of thirteen friends whose mission to save one Afghan interpreter quickly turned into one of the largest civilian rescue operations in history. Find this powerful and emotional one hour documentary via the link. @SaveOurAllies https://t.co/BKLEu9SDLa pic.twitter.com/BnLj8RKHVF
— Jack Carr (@JackCarrUSA) August 26, 2022
The refugees all had verified documents and had been searched by Marines when they arrived at the airport’s secret US military-controlled Black Gate on Aug. 25, 2021, at around 3 a.m., team members said in the documentary, where they were met by an unidentified official from the 82nd Airborne Division who refused to let the buses through.
MMA fighter-turned-soldier Tim Kennedy said:
There was a colonel who came out and wanted to show that essentially he was the one that could decide whether or not somebody could get on a plane or not. The colonel made the call to ‘put everybody back out.
Kennedy, who said that even after the team explained that the bags of the Americans, allies, and Afghan orphans had been screened and were already at the airport, also said the colonel shot back:
I don’t care who they are — they get back on those buses and those buses go back into Kabul.
The colonel then ordered the evacuees back into the bus and off the base at gunpoint, said several members of the team, knowing they would pass through a Taliban “security force.”
“This decision to turn this bus around essentially just killed — just murdered these people,” former Marine Chad Robichaux, said, adding: “And by the way, some of these people are children; some of these people are women; some of these people are Americans that we just sent back to the Taliban.”
The mission of the 13 friends whose only mission was to save a single Afghan interpreter, yet turned into something far greater, was not in vain. The team said it got 800 people to waiting planes on the second night of its mission, as the Taliban became more brutal and Afghans became more desperate. Nick Palmisciano, a former soldier, now a writer and a producer, said:
It’s impossible to explain the level of desperation people felt. Just think in the first couple of days people were trying to hang on to the bottom of C-17s. That’s desperation that Americans don’t understand. There were people that threw babies over the wall [of the airport] … not realizing that on the other side of the wall was concertina wire.
Decent Americans also don’t understand and never will, particularly those who surely believed that once they had escaped the grasp of the most brutal terrorist organization on the planet and into the protection of American forces, they were finally safe.
Little did the desperate evacuees know that despicable men like Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue and an unidentified Army colonel had other plans and would shockingly return them to the horror of Taliban “justice,” sealing their unknown fates.