‘We Don’t Know Who They Are’: Tucker Carlson Slams Lack of Vetting of Afghan Refugees
14:05 GMT 28.08.2021 (Updated: 16:05 GMT 28.08.2021)
Tens of thousands of Afghans and their families have been evacuated from Kabul’s international airport by the US and other Western powers in recent weeks alongside foreign diplomats and military personnel. Some of Joe Biden’s Democratic Party allies have called on the president to double the US’s Afghan refugee cap to at least 200,000 people.
The US has “no real idea” who many of the tens of thousands of Afghan nationals presently being airlifted out of Afghanistan are, and some of these individuals may pose a terror threat, Fox News host and paleoconservative commentator Tucker Carlson has suggested.
In a segment airing on Friday on his nightly talk show, Carlson indicated that while the evacuation from Afghanistan “may be the largest airlift in generations,” the truth is that US officials have “no real idea” who many of them really are.
Carlson pointed out that just roughly 5,000 of the estimated 110,000 people evacuated from Afghanistan since July are US nationals, with the State Department admitting that it “has no idea how many” of the rest “have ‘special immigrant visas’, meaning they actually worked with the US military” or served as translators. According to International Rescue Committee figures, as of last month, only 16,000 Afghan SIVs had been issued, with 18,000+ applications in the pipeline.
“We just learned, for example, that at least 100 of the refugees the US military has flown out of Kabul – people we’re told are heroes – are in fact on terror watch lists,” the host added, referring to a recent Daily Mail report citing a US official.
“Today, an Afghan interpreter told Fox News that this kind of thing is happening constantly. People are getting on planes in Kabul without any proof of identification whatsoever. It’s like voting in California,” Carlson sardonically said.
The host went on to point to comments by a commercial pilot flying people out of Kabul to Dulles Airport outside Washington, DC, who claimed in an interview that the State Department refused to provide any information to US Customs and Border Patrol on the passengers’ identities after the plane landed on US soil. “In other words, as always, the unnamed foreign nationals got far better treatment than you would get if you landed at Dulles. Surprised?” Carlson complained.
The conservative host accused Democrats of deliberately sticking to this no-questions-asked policy on Afghan refugees, suggesting that the liberal party views “every refugee as a potential new voter.” But it’s an issue that cuts across party lines, according to Carlson, with some Republicans, such as Adam Kingzinger of Illinois, recently defending the airlift on CNN and accusing some media and politicians of “racism” and “fearmongering” and of having “evil” in their hearts.
Responding to Kinzinger’s remarks, Carlson suggested that a debate on the number of refugees that the US admits had nothing to do with racism. “Pashtuns are whiter than you are, they have beards. But there is nothing racist about having concerns about having Afghans or anyone else moving here. It has nothing to do with race, so knock it off,” he demanded.
The host went on to beret Democratic New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who recently told MSNBC that the US has a moral obligation to evacuate “no less than 200,000” Afghans to “make good on the role that we have played in this violence.” Carlson reiterated his long-held view that the US should have pulled out of Afghanistan a long time ago, but argued that “we don’t owe the country anything” now that the 19+ year war and occupation is coming to a close.
26 August, 21:13 GMT
Pointing to the construction of special temporary housing at Fort Bliss, Texas for many of the “at-risk” Afghans who have made it into the United States, which has been dubbed “Operation Allies Refuge,” Carlson sarcastically suggested that while “that sounds like something all of us can get behind – offering refuge to our allies,” it was also worth recalling that “the Pentagon now considers the Taliban an ally. We’re giving them lists of Americans who are still in Afghanistan, as well as other classified intelligence. We’re also giving them free plane rides to our country.”
Afghanistan Airlift Enters Final Stage
The Biden administration has indicated that it plans to stick to its 31 August Afghanistan withdrawal deadline, with Thursday’s deadly twin attacks on the country’s airport, which killed 13 US service members, scores of Afghan civilians, and over two dozen Taliban fighters apparently having no impact on these plans.
The skeleton crew manning the US Embassy in Kabul issued a security alert to Americans still left in the country early Saturday morning, urging them to avoid the airport due to what the Embassy said were credible “security threats.”
Daesh-Khorasan, a branch of Daesh operating across a broad geographic space including Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Central Asia, claimed responsibility for Thursdays’ attacks, and a US drone strike hit what the Pentagon said was a suspected terrorist planner in eastern Afghanistan on Friday night.
* Terrorist groups outlawed in Russia and many other countries.