The State Department and U.S. military are racing against time to evacuate American citizens and Afghan allies from Kabul’s airport.
However, reports from Afghanistan say that Taliban checkpoints are now in place, cutting off escape to safety and freedom. Other reports from inside the country indicate that the Taliban and militants are regularly executing people who helped the United States over the past two decades.
According to retired Marine Sgt. Ryan Rogers, the interpreter he worked alongside is trapped in Kabul. Rogers said the interpreter had worked with him during the 2010 bloody battle in the Helmand province.
He is in hiding in Kabul, unable to reach the airport because Taliban fighters were seeking to murder any former Afghan commandos and interpreters.
“He told me yesterday they hung three (Afghan National Army) commanders that they had found. And that close to the place that he’s hiding, they’re going house-to-house and that they send a transmission out saying they had plans for the people that operated with America,” Rogers said.
“I said, ‘Hey, did you see any of this stuff with your eyes?’ He said yes. They’re not showing this stuff because the people are cheering, but they’re scared to death, and they’re hanging these people.
“And he said they’re going house-to-house, and their priorities are Afghan National Army Special Forces, the special police forces, and the interpreters.”
The Biden Administration has only recently acknowledged that there are reports of evacuees having trouble or being unable to reach the international airport in Kabul, which is now surrounded by Taliban checkpoints.
Ned Price, State Department spokesman, said that the government had only received a “small handful of reports” of American citizens who could not reach the airport.
Price also said he couldn’t confirm the reports but that U.S. officials had been made aware of reports that former Afghan military officers and interpreters were being hunted down and murdered by Taliban forces.
“I’m just not in a position to confirm those details. Every time we see a detail like this, we take it extraordinarily seriously, and we do what we can,” Price said.
As the Taliban swept their way across the country, there were wide-ranging reports of Taliban militants rapidly executing surrendering Afghan soldiers.
Some videos have been widely circulated that show gunmen in trucks, firing bullets indiscriminately in the streets of Kabul.
Weakness, not strength
Representative Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, expressed frustration at recent events.
“In a bipartisan fashion, there’s an extreme disappointment, especially by those that have served,” he said. “And we have lost on this our moral standing in the world, and it’s a sign of weakness rather than strength.”
Wenstrup referred to bipartisan legislation passed months ago, which was designed to reduce the red tape allies of the U.S. would need to get through to leave Afghanistan as U.S. troops withdrew safely.
However, Wenstrup says, the rushed withdrawal has left thousands of people stranded.
“I find it hard to believe that our military and intelligence community would have recommended it this way,” said Westrup, faulting the Biden administration.
“But those are some of the questions that we need to have answered.”
Wenstrup, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, said he has helped more than one interpreter relocate. According to Wenstrup, one interpreter he helped escape is now a U.S. citizen and a physician at Ohio State. He calls the Afghanistan situation “disheartening.”
According to the Pentagon, thousands of additional troops have been sent to the airport this week to assist evacuations.
However, defense officials did not mention any rescue of Afghan allies or Americans who have not been able to make it to the base. Meanwhile, U.K. paratroopers have left the base to rescue their citizens and others who have assisted them.
Rogers takes issue with President Biden’s recent comments that there was no way to leave Afghanistan without “chaos ensuing.”
He explained that the government should have developed a plan to secure Americans and our allies before the Taliban took over Kabul.
“If somebody is going to help us for 20 years, and we’re going to make a bunch of promises to them, we need to fulfill those promises. And yesterday, it sounded like they weren’t going to go outside the airport.
“And that’s where a lot of those promises are hiding now,” said Rogers.