'We're F*cking Abandoning American Citizens': Alleged US Military Messages Describe Afghan Pullout
18:50 GMT 02.09.2021 (Updated: 13:23 GMT 06.08.2022)
While Joe Biden called the US evacuation from Afghanistan "an extraordinary success" on 31 August, text messages between US military personnel tell a different story, writes award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon.
John Solomon argues
that the US military knowingly abandoned American citizens scrambling to get on airplanes in Kabul, citing messages allegedly written by an Army colonel assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division on 29 August.
"Yes, we are f*cking abandoning American citizens", reads one of the colonel's messages about a failed effort to evacuate a group of Americans, hours before the last US military serviceman departed from Afghanistan.
The texts were provided by Michael Yon, a former Special Forces soldier and war correspondent. According to Just the News, Yon was working with private networks and the military to rescue Americans trapped in the Central Asian state.
Yon described on the John Solomon Reports podcast how a group of American citizens was pleading to be brought home as US military officials told them they were finished with evacuations
Although the rescue team managed to get the Americans to the gate at the airport, the US Army turned its back on them, saying: "Oh, we can't do it, because the Department of the State tells us we can't do it", Yon said.
"People were turned away from the gate by our own Army", Yon told the investigative journalist. "We had them out there waving their passport screaming, 'I'm American'".
The retired Special Forces soldier also provided an email which he wrote on 31 August to an American Army major who abandoned a rescue effort that he had earlier agreed to coordinate.
"You guys left American citizens at the gate of the Kabul airport", Yon wrote to the commander. "Three empty jets paid for by volunteers were waiting for them. You and I talked on the phone. I told you where they were. Gave you their passport images. And my email and phone number. And you left them behind. Great job saving yourselves. Probably get a lot of medals".
The Pentagon has declined to comment on the text messages provided by Michael Yon, according to Just the News.
Yon's account of the events, "backed by three dozen text and email exchanges with frontline Army officials in Afghanistan", stands "in sharp contrast to the claims of the Biden White House that US citizens would not be left behind in Taliban*-controlled Afghanistan", according to Solomon. The investigative journalist quoted White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who claimed on 23 August that "it's irresponsible to say Americans are stranded".
However, on 27 August, Republican Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) sent a letter
to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin citing "troubling" news reports which "contradict the Biden administration’s narrative"
on their withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The senator specifically referred to instances where US citizens were allegedly turned away at the airport by the commander of the 82nd Airborne Brigade. Johnson asked the secretaries to provide the "generalised or specific order was given to the commander that caused him to take this alleged action", where the order came from, and who the order originated from.
Commenting on email exchanges provided by Michael Yon, Senator Johnson told Just the News on 31 August: "These texts confirm my worst suspicions
and should serve as further justification to dramatically increase the vetting process before granting refugees legal status and rights".
Democratic lawmakers have also raised the alarm over the Biden administration's leaving American citizens behind. Democratic Senator Mark Kelly, a former Navy captain and NASA astronaut, has vowed to "keep pushing this administration to do everything in its power to get our people out".
While the US government appears to have left American citizens out in the cold, retired US military veterans kicked off a series of all-volunteer efforts to secretly take Americans and Afghan allies out of Afghanistan. On 30 August, KODE-TV reported
about Patriot Mountain, a group of retired veterans, which was working with the Aerial Recovery Group to rescue Americans. On 1 September, NBC 7 quoted
retired US Air Force Special Operations Commander Major Glenn Ignazio, who pledged to "leave no man behind", bemoaning the fact that American citizens had been "abandoned".
Concurrently, The Independent wrote
about retired Lieutenant Colonel Scott Mann, who along with other Afghan veterans was going to launch "Operation Recovery" aimed at continuing the evacuation of Americans and resettlement of the US' Afghan collaborators.
"To abandon our American citizens and our Afghan allies behind Taliban lines – that’s going off the cliff into the moral injury of this, not just individually, but as a collective nation", Mann told the media outlet.
*The Taliban is a terrorist organisation banned by Russia and many other states.