The Biden team told us about how the Taliban were being “helpful” in the final days at the Kabul airport, even “pragmatic and businesslike” in the words of Gen. Frank McKenzie. This, despite repeated stories of people being stopped or hindered from getting into the airport.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan even treated us to the ridiculous possibility that they might funnel money now to the Taliban, dependent upon their behavior and living up to their “commitments” as though the Taliban hadn’t already been blowing those “commitments” all over the place.
Since the Biden administration was so horrible at going out and trying to get Americans and Afghan allies past the Taliban checkpoints, many of those people reached out to members of Congress for help.
But now some more of the stories are getting out, confirming how bad it was and how far from helping the Taliban’s actions were, contrary to what the Biden team claimed. “They were creating as much problem as they could,” said one Afghan-American that Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) was helping.
The man recalled being told by the State Department to go to the Interior Ministry in Kabul, where he was confronted by a Taliban guard. After the man explained the situation, the Taliban fighter responded: “Go and tell the State Department to f— themselves.”
The evacuee said he made it into the airport by making a break for it during a firefight at a checkpoint on Aug. 27, the day after an ISIS-K suicide bomber killed at least 13 US service members and at least 169 Afghans at the airport’s Abbey Gate.
“I know it was stupid, but I took just my chance,” he said. “I ran towards the soldiers. I had my passport in my hand — shouting that I’m an American citizen.” The man is back in the US, along with his wife and their four children.
Another American was on the phone with Bacon’s deputy chief of staff, Felix Ungerman, at a checkpoint on the way to the airport, according to the Washington Examiner:
“He goes, ‘Oh my god, he’s shooting.’ And I said, ‘Please get away from there, go get to safety,’” Ungerman said. “His phone cut off while I could hear gunshots going off, and I couldn’t get in touch with him again. I tried calling his cellphone every couple of hours to see if I could get him, tried an email, sent him a text message. And it wasn’t until [Tuesday] morning that he actually texted me back and said, ‘Yeah, I’m OK, but now what do I do?’ I’m like, ‘You get to somewhere safe, and you stay there until we can — our government can offer some solutions to help you.’”
Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) had video of the Afghan American mother with her citizen children who the Taliban wouldn’t let through, despite them having four American passports. She asked what should she do, as her child called for “mama” on the video. “This is why you don’t rely on the Taliban to be the ones monitoring the checkpoints,” Garcia said. Unless you’re Joe Biden.
“Where we were successful is where we weren’t necessarily beholden or waiting on the State Department,” Garcia said. “In fact, all of our successes — we ended up getting roughly 97 folks out successfully — these were all folks that we were able to do so through our own channels and folks on the ground there that were supporting mostly American citizens and SIV’s who otherwise would have been stopped by the bureaucracy, frankly, by the State Department.”
About eight families from El Cajon got out with the help of Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA). They said they were blocked at Taliban checkpoints, and had to dodge gunfire and make it through thousands of people. One father said he was beaten by the Taliban. One of the men said he had paperwork for 30 people who qualified for SIV status but are still stuck in Afghanistan.
There is still an unknown number of Americans and Afghan allies stuck behind enemy lines because of this debacle, despite the best efforts of the members of Congress and private groups. That includes about 27 children from California and a woman named Sara who was hiding out with 37 other Americans.