JUST IN – U.S. officials gave the Taliban a list of names of U.S. citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies to grant entry into the outer perimeter of the city’s airport, prompting outrage behind the scenes from lawmakers and military officials (Politico)
U.S. officials provided Taliban with names of Americans, Afghan allies to evacuate
“Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list,” said one defense official.
“Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list,” said one defense official, who like others spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive topic. “It’s just appalling and shocking and makes you feel unclean.”
A spokesperson for U.S. Central Command declined to comment.
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The issue came up during a classified briefing on Capitol Hill earlier this week, which turned contentious after top Biden administration officials defended their close coordination with the Taliban. Biden officials contended that it was the best way to keep Americans and Afghans safe and prevent a shooting war between Taliban fighters and the thousands of U.S. troops stationed at the airport.
After the fall of Kabul, in the earliest days of the evacuation, the joint U.S. military and diplomatic coordination team at the airport provided the Taliban with a list of people the U.S. aimed to evacuate. Those names included Afghans who served alongside the U.S. during the 20-year war and sought special immigrant visas to America. U.S. citizens, dual nationals and lawful permanent residents were also listed.
“They had to do that because of the security situation the White House created by allowing the Taliban to control everything outside the airport,” one U.S. official said.
But after thousands of visa applicants arrived at the airport, overwhelming the capacity of the U.S. to process them, the State Department changed course — asking the applicants not to come to the airport and instead requesting they wait until they were cleared for entry. From then on, the list fed to the Taliban didn’t include those Afghan names.