- the U.S. State Department is responsible for interfering with the departure of several planes holding American citizens and Afghan nationals at the Mazar-i-Sharif airport, BlazeTV host Glenn Beck reported on-air during his radio show Tuesday.
- What are the details?
- The planes — which held at least 100 American citizens and 1,000 Afghan nationals — were chartered by Mercury One and The Nazarene Fund, a charity founded by Beck aimed at facilitating evacuations from Afghanistan amid the U.S. military’s withdrawal and the Taliban’s takeover of the country.
- Over the weekend, news broke that multiple planes had been prevented from taking off after the Taliban refused to grant permission for the departure. But according to Beck, it wasn’t the Taliban that initially stopped the planes from exiting the country.
- Rather, it was the State Department that refused to grant landing clearance to the planes, preventing them from departing. The department allegedly called off the flights at the last minute, declining to approve the manifest. He added that U.S. officials went on to hand over the manifest to the Taliban.
- “They were on the plane, they were on the tarmac, they were [in] the seats … [and] ready to go” before State Department officials intervened and deboarded the plane, Beck explained Tuesday morning on his radio show. “They were told to go back into the airport and hand everything in to the Taliban.”
- What else?
- Beck noted that several members of Congress — including Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) and Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) — were directly involved in the evacuation efforts and were furiously urging the State Department not to block the flights.
- emails show messages from a State official to retired Marine Eric Montalvo, who chartered evacuation flights in Afghanistan
- An unnamed official told Montalvo that privately chartered flights rescuing people from Afghanistan couldn’t use US military bases or land in the US
- They suggested he look to another country for landing space but warned the State Department wouldn’t grant full approval, only saying it had ‘no objection’
- A day after the reported exchange, top Biden officials dismissed claims the State Department was hampering chartered rescue flights from leaving Afghanistan
- There are 1,000 people – including 142 Americans – waiting for those flights