Both Psaki and Blinken Try to Downplay Hostage Situation With Taliban in Mazar-i-Sharif

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The Biden administration owes us a lot of answers when it comes to leaving Americans in Afghanistan and what they are doing to try to get them out.

As we reported over the weekend, there were multiple situations they didn’t handle well. There was an American family — a mother and three children — who a private organization got out of the country overland, after weeks of trying to get them out. The State Department tried to take credit for the rescue when all they seem to have done is get the family tourist visas after they were already out of Afghanistan and they had to be called out by the people involved in the actual extraction who said that was a lie.


Then, there have been planes being held up for at least six days in Mazar-i-Sharif with Americans and Afghan allies waiting to fly out. According to Newsweek, there were at least 142 Americans as part of the group trying to get out with hundreds of Afghans. Private organizers of the rescue said that at least part of the problem was the State Department failing to clear people out of the airport fast enough. Because of that, it then developed basically into a hostage situation with the Taliban reportedly holding the planes up until they got something from the United States, according to Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX).

So when White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked today about Americans still stranded and specifically what they were doing about the Mazar-i-Sharif situation now being held up by the Taliban, Psaki once again tried to play word games rather than simply answer honestly about getting Americans out.

The same folks who said they weren’t going to strand people in Afghanistan (and then did) are now trying to downplay the situation on the ground in Mazar-i-Sharif, not taking any responsibility for their part in the delay, covering for the Taliban holding up the planes. Psaki refused to even ascribe blame there, between the State Department and the Taliban, just calling it a problem of “incorrect paperwork” — that’s now held the planes up for more than six days. That’s crazy and those people are still in great danger from the Taliban, not to mention any other terrorists who now know about them waiting for the planes there. Why are they still there and why has it taken the Biden bunch all this time — and they’re not even done yet — dealing with “paperwork?” That’s how you know that this is nonsense and you have to ask what is actually going on behind the scenes.


Psaki claimed that there were just under 100 Americans still in Afghanistan. This is refuted by just the reported number according to Newsweek waiting to go out on the planes Mazar-i-Sharif — at least 142 Americans (minus the four who got out overland). Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has also said, based upon his understanding of people they’ve been in contact with, there are closer to 500 Americans.

From NY Post:

Questioned about the planes sitting for days on the tarmac at the Mazar-i-Sharif airport, Psaki echoed Secretary of State Antony Blinken in blaming documentation for the delays.

“We’re working to get every single American citizen, any individual who has documentation out of the country, and I think our secretary of state also spoke to this on the ground in Qatar where he conveyed that he has not received reports … that individuals who have documentation have been stopped,” she said.

Blinken acknowledged that there was a “relatively small number” of Americans trying to leave Mazar-i-Sharif and that the Taliban were allowing US citizens and Afghan allies and their families to depart as long as they have the proper travel documents. ​

But those lacking the correct paperwork are being held up, he said.

“On these charter flights, as I mentioned, one of the challenges has been that, as we understand it, there are groups of people who are grouped together, some of whom have the appropriate travel documents — an American passport, a green card, a visa — and others do not,” Blinken said.

“​And it’s my understanding that the Taliban has not denied exit to anyone holding a valid document, but they have said that those without valid documents at this point can’t leave. But because all of these people are grouped together, that’s meant that flights have not been allowed to go​,” he continued. [….]

“We are not aware of anyone being held on an aircraft or any hostage life situation in Mazar-i-Sharif,”


While they’re trying to downplay the hostage situation, what else do you want to call it if they can’t leave and what are you doing to resolve it? They don’t give any indication that they are any closer today to resolving it than days ago. The people were at last check still waiting in safe houses, waiting for the planes to be cleared.

Psaki then tried to steal credit for the rescue of the four Americans as well, something which we already reported the Biden team wasn’t responsible for.

“I think the State Department has given numbers that as you may have seen out there reported over the weekend, there were four American citizens who were able to depart overland. That’s one of the ways that we are working with American citizens to get out of the country,” Psaki said.

Yeah, no, that was a lie, you didn’t do anything to rescue them.

They really have no shame at all, especially given that they put them in this situation.

Imagine, the Biden folks let all kinds of folks across the border without any form of ID but they held up Americans whose lives are actually in danger because of “paperwork” and allowed this to fall into the hands of the Taliban. They can’t just get them out, hold them in a foreign country and figure it out there? They’d rather endanger everyone’s lives because of it? These people are seriously twisted human beings.


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