President Joe Biden’s chaotic troop withdrawal from Afghanistan continues to spark fierce criticism from vocal opponents across the political spectrum.
Now, reports claim that the White House is blocking private evacuation flights from Afghanistan — and one of those who came forward with such an allegation said he believes the president is simply trying to save face in the wake of his own failure to provide safe passage for Americans and allies.
“Not allowing any private charters”
The final U.S. service members left the country at the end of last month, ending a nearly 20-year occupation of Afghanistan and leaving hundreds of Americans and Afghan allies behind to face possible reprisal from Taliban militants.
Rick Clay, whose group Plan B has a manifest of roughly 4,500 Americans, green card holders, and allies eager to leave Afghanistan, said the Department of State has been slow to grant clearance for evacuation flights to land in Qatar.
He said the organization was finally able to evacuate four Americans on Monday but described the administration’s policies as woefully inadequate.
According to Clay, the State Department “is not allowing any private charters carrying refugees [to] land anywhere,” a claim backed up by two others involved in organizing such flights.
“The blood is on their hands”
“It is not the Taliban that is holding this up – as much as it sickens me to say that – it is the United States government,” one source told Fox News.
Although dozens of Afghan refugees have been flagged as possible terror threats, it is unclear what impact expedited vetting might have on security. In any case, critics attempting to organize private evacuation flights warned that Biden will bear responsibility if harm comes to anyone attempting to flee the country.
“This is zero place to be negotiating with American lives,” one individual said. “Those are our people standing on the tarmac and all it takes is a f***ing phone call. If one life is lost as a result of this, the blood is on the White House’s hands. The blood is on their hands.”
For its part, the White House has indicated that it has limited capacity in Afghanistan since the Taliban regained control. Senators on both sides of the aisle, however, have intervened to help move the process along.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) insisted that Biden’s rosy portrayal of the troop withdrawal “not only shows he’s detached from reality, it also calls into question everything this administration is telling the American people.”