Project Exodus: Special Forces, Veterans, Private Citizens Rescue Those Left Behind in Afghanistan - Daily updates Aug. 28 to Sept 28
Senate questions Gen. Milley, Gen. McKenzie, Secretary of Defense Austin on Withdrawal
Scroll down to read my daily updates on the Afghanistan withdrawal crisis from Aug. 29 - Sept. 28, 2021.
*To read Sept. 29-today, click the box below to go to the new link*
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Pres. Joe Biden lost the final battle in the Afghanistan war. Americans and Afghan allies were abandoned by the U.S. government in the days before the August 30 departure.
However, brave and patriotic retired military special operators, veterans and private citizens have taken over the mission to leave no man behind.
To get caught up on, start reading at the bottom. To read the latest update, scroll down past the photo.
NEWS TIPS —If you have information to be made public, email me at email@example.com. I will protect your identity and location. Do not email me for rescue. Do not send secure documents such as passports and visas.
U.S. PRIVATE RESCUE GROUPS — Go to this link for a comprehensive list of the U.S. rescue groups operating in Afghanistan and to sign up for help.
The top commanders for the U.S. military today broke ranks with the Commander in Chief on live TV.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley and General Frank McKenzie, the head of US Central Command, both said they told Pres. Joe Biden to keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan. McKenzie added that he told the president that “the withdraw of those forces would lead inevitably to the collapse of the Afghan military forces, and eventually the Afghan government.”
Biden said last month no one advised him to leave troops for stability.
It’s remarkable for Gen. McKenzie to publicly contradict the commander in chief. The Pentagon is openly calling the president a liar.
This all happened during the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today — the first on the U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan. You can watch it back on C-SPAN at this link.
So now we know better how the U.S. ended up with terrorists back to planning to attack us in Afghanistan.
Gen. McKenzie was asked by Sen. Joni Ernst if there are terrorists in Afghanistan who threaten the U.S.
"What we see is ISIS newly rejuvenated with prisoners that came out of Parwan and Pul-e-Charkhi prisons. They are gathering strength ... but we know for certainty that they do aspire to attacks us on our homeland. And we know the same for al Qaeda."
There is still a major threat in Afghanistan, and Pres. Biden thinks it can be handled with “over the horizon” capabilities.
Sen. Rosen asked Gen. McKenzie if keeping open Bagram Air Force Base would have helped to not leave behind so many people. He said no and that the U.S. couldn't hold Bagram air base after going under 2,500 troop level
Left behind in Afghanistan
The senators asked about all their own lists of Americans and SIVs and allies left behind. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) was furious. She glared at Gens. Milley, McKenzie and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
"The special ops guys I met with Friday in my office in Nashville that are taking their time, their money and risking their lives to do a job that the three of you could not do,” said Blackburn. "Maybe we're going to remember you three as the three who broke the military."
She added that the withdrawal has “caused a lot of anger from people who have trusted the military.”
Sen. Shaheen asked Austin about all the Afghan SIVs who worked for the U.S. military and can’t get documents to prove it for their applications. Austin said he will work with her office for a point person to get this process working.
Why isn’t there a public office with a name and email and phone?
I have been getting photos from Afghans who happily served for the U.S. military. They should not have to wait for documents from the Pentagon. I wrote this story today about a combat interpreter with photos of his “friends”, who are our troops.
The interpreter said he hopes his military friends recognize him from the photos (in this email and in the link below) so they can help him now. So please forward to anyone who served in Afghanistan and may know him. If you recognize him or yourself in these photos, contact me to connect with him.
Click the link below to read his story.
Who is in charge of Afghanistan escape
Austin also said the point person for the entire government on getting people out of Afghanistan is Amb. John Bass at the State Department. Bass was nominated by Pres. Biden to be undersecretary of management, but it seems that has not been approved by the Senate yet.
Since Bass is in charge, he needs to be on TV in briefings so Americans and SIVs in Afghanistan can see his face and hear from him directly.
Sen. Kaine asked Austin how many American citizens are in Afghanistan now.
"According to State there are currently fewer than 100 American citizens who want to depart and are ready to leave," replied the Defense Secretary.
Notice all those caveats — “who want to depart” and “ready to leave” — to a simple question. This administration does not want the public to know the truth about the American citizens left behind.
Remember Biden said there are 100 Americans in Afghanistan. Secretary of State Blinken protected his boss when he told the House that there are 100. There was outrage. So the next day, Blinken did not give a number to the Senate.
State has already said it has helped over 100 Americans (an additional 28 people today, per Austin).
There are thousands of Americans in Afghanistan, according to the private groups doing rescues. The truth will become known whenever these people get home, God willing.
I’ve known for a few weeks that some of the larger veteran groups met in DC with the Pentagon and State. The meetings were intended to share the lists of names gathered by the groups to the U.S. government to help rescue them (plus clear for terrorists who try to get in that way.)
Gen. Milley told the Senate said he met in Pentagon with some of the private veteran groups volunteering on rescue and then connected them with Amb. Bass at State to work on it.
There are some veterans groups aligned closely with the Biden administration so you’ll never hear them criticize the government for inaction. They also have not given any conditions for this silence, like seeing progress made on a diplomatic solution and rescues. Keep an eye on this problem.
Today is four weeks since the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan and abandoned Americans and Afghan allies in the disastrous departure. The government is finally showing a little effort.
A senior State Department official had a background briefing today with reporters on getting people out of Afghanistan. The briefing was on the phone so you won’t see this on TV. There were some big issues clarified, but nothing to show an end to the humanitarian crisis. Here are the key points:
AMERICAN CITIZENS: There are only about 100 American citizens and LPR who the State Department has deemed “ready to go.”
(The Biden administration has lied repeatedly about the number of Americans in Afghanistan. There are thousands. It’s sneaky of them to keep using this false 100 number to say those ready to leave with help from the government that left them behind for over a month. No one trusts them .)
The U.S. government is planning a flight out of Kabul for the 100 citizens soon.
there’s a number of American citizens in and around Kabul who wish to depart and are ready to do so. And we’re working to help them, and a number of Afghans who have residency in the states, to leave in the near future.
American citizens are only allowed to return with immediate family, not extended family. I know from my own reporting that this is a big problem for Americans who believe their family will be killed by the Taliban if left behind. Read this story about Ali, who snuck into Afghanistan to save his sisters. Also, Fatima is terrified that if she leaves alone, her nephews will get killed, as her brother was last month. Read her story.
The State Department official said:
There are a number of American citizens inside Afghanistan who would like to leave but are unwilling to leave behind members of an extended family, which, in some cases, is a quite large extended family.
And I entirely understand how painful that choice may be for them, but for matters of law and policy up to this point, we have not extended support for expedited departure and resettlement in the U.S. for extended family members of U.S. citizens.
So that population, those American citizens, are going to have to continue to think carefully about some potentially painful personal choices in that regard.
AFGHAN SIV: The State Department does not know how many Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders were left behind. The official said the number is being determined by the Department of Homeland Security figuring out how many are already in the U.S. Also, there is no official plan to help them escape right now.
we’re very focused on ensuring that SIV applicants or recipients in particular, folks who were far enough along in the process where they had been issued a visa, whether it’s a physical visa or an electronic visa – we’re focused on ensuring that, for starters, that population is able to leave as opportunities become available, as transportation becomes available.
AFGHANS WHO WORKED FOR THE U.S. GOVERNMENT: The official was vague on how the U.S. is going to help all those who worked for the U.S. military and the Embassy in Kabul an other government agencies.
We’re also going to continue working closely with other governments and with a range of outside advocates to support the departure of some Afghans who are seeking to leave the country, which includes colleagues who worked for the U.S. Government or who may be at risk due to their long association with our government.
WHICH AFGHANS THE U.S. GOVERNMENT WILL HELP: The State Department gave specifics on what criteria it is using to determine who it will help get out of Afghanistan and also come to the U. S.
I would define acute risk as people who can demonstrably demonstrate that they’ve got active threats against them. They’ve got people looking for them as opposed to people who simply are uncomfortable or fear the unknown that comes with the Taliban taking control of government and the state and who are uncertain about the future and would prefer not to be inside Afghanistan until they see a bit more about how the Talibs intend to rule.
PRIVATE RESCUE PLANES: State says the people getting on the chartered planes by the rescue groups are not consistent with the manifest, which stops them from getting further than a lilypad.
We’re in regular communication with private groups who are organizing their own charter aircraft in the hope that they’re able to persuade the Taliban to let their Afghan friends depart, so that those charter groups understand not just the limitations inside Afghanistan, but some of the challenges associated with the groups of people that they bring out, particularly if those people who come off a plane are not people who those groups had said would come off the plane, or were not manifested for that flight.
Also, the government does not know how many Americans have gotten out on these private charters because man are “going to third countries and not coming to a location where they’re going to get direct support from U.S. Government personnel.”
CAUSE OF STALEMATE: The U.S. says reasons that people are still trapped in Afghanistan is the Taliban is inconsistent, Kabul airport is still closed and there are no regular commercial flights.
The biggest constraint to the departure of our citizens and others from Afghanistan, of course, remains the Taliban’s unpredictability regarding who is permitted to depart. The second big constraint is the absence of regular commercial air service to enable folks who wish to depart to do so in a predictable manner.
I’ve consistently written that there is no way to get all the people trapped in Afghanistan out until there is regular, commercial air travel and an overland route. The State Department needs to negotiate those things to end this humanitarian crisis.
The FBI is looking into the private rescue groups, in particular their finances. While, it is important to stop fraud and abuse in a desperate situation, this government power is frightening to many volunteers.
Here’s the Politico story: FBI agents question Afghan rescue groups
A private rescue group I spoke with today told me they are getting American citizens and Legal Permanent Residents on rescue planes (along with immediate family with passports.)* But they can’t help Afghans get on planes, even visa holders. It’s not their fault. This is the US policy decided by Pres. Biden and Secretary of State Blinken.
This isn’t a new policy, but I get so many emails every day from people in Afghanistan who want me to help them get out of the country, but I can only bring attention to the crisis through the media.
I understand that people are desperate to escape the brutal Taliban government in Afghanistan. The SIVs and humanitarian cases have the best hope of getting to safety now in a neighboring country. I know there is no safe land route and no other country is allowing refugees. But this needs to be the primary goal of Afghans who worked for the U.S. until or unless the State Department makes a diplomatic deal.
*If you and your family falls into this very narrow category, you can email me and I”ll send you this group’s link.
Friday 9/24- Taliban threats on amputation, execution
I spend hours every day responding to emails and texts from people trapped in Afghanistan. I’ve been doing this for almost a month.
I start each message with “I am sorry.”
I am sorry my/our government left you behind and in the hands of the Taliban.
I am sorry Pres. Biden doesn’t acknowledge you anymore.
I am sorry you don’t have enough food.
I am sorry the State Department did not respond to your call or email.
I am sorry you’ve run out of money to pay for a safe house for your family.
I am sorry you served America in the military or the U.S. Embassy, but your SIV application was never finalized.
I am tired of saying “I’m sorry.” As I have written for more than three weeks, the State Department needs to form a 24/7 task force to respond immediately to the people left behind in the Afghanistan.
While we wait for a government response, I'd like to create a network of American citizens to reply to emails/calls/texts from Afghanistan. We would share information on logistics, safety, rescue, visas and provide emotional and spiritual support.
We can start small, but we need to just fill in this gap where the government failed. These are the challenges we face in building the network:
Tens of thousands incoming messages daily
Taliban is watching most apps and checking physical phones for contact with westerners
Passports and visas are sent and not secured
I’ve thought about building a thread on this website, but I’m not sure if that is safe. If you have any ideas on how we can do this, please leave in the comments.
Abandoned in Afghanistan update:
This is my first story with a real name and photo. The brave TV journalist Jan Mohammad Momand, news editor and anchor at SHAMSHAD TV, decided to go public to speak up for the journalists at risk for their lives.
You are well aware of the situation here in Afghanistan, journalists are being beaten and threatened with death every day. There is no more freedom of speech. Reporting here is as hard as walking on a minefield.
Read his story and comment on that link so he can hear from you:
State Department Spokesman Ned Price today acknowledged the four rescue planes that got out of Mazar-e-Sharif last weekend that we organized and funded by Glenn Beck’s charity, The Nazarene Fund. The government continues to claim that getting fewer than 100 Americans out of Afghanistan in the past month is some kind of achievement. Price today:
Since August 31st, a total of 85 U.S. citizens and 79 lawful permanent residents have departed Afghanistan with our assistance. That includes four Qatar Airways charter flights that have departed Kabul with a total of 78 U.S. citizens and 66 lawful permanent residents. Additionally, since August 31st, seven U.S. citizens and thirteen LPRs have departed Afghanistan with our assistance via overland crossing.
Price was asked about this horrifying AP story that the Taliban is restarting executions and amputations. The only reason TB is making this public terror is to show off because it knows Pres. Biden is weak and won’t do anything for the people left behind. Here’s the official response from the State Department:
the announcement we’ve heard from the Taliban, we condemn in the strongest terms reports of reinstating amputations and executions of Afghans.
The acts the Taliban are talking about here would constitute clear gross abuses of human rights, and we stand firm with the international community to hold perpetrators of these – of any such abuses accountable.
The world is watching. The international community is watching very closely. And together we have consistently emphasized the importance of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for any future government in Afghanistan. Those rights include freedom from torture and cruel and inhuman – inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, as well as rights related to due process.
Thursday 9/23 - Getting on rescue lists
The mission of the private rescue groups in the U.S. is inspiring and hopeful. But it is also confusing and anxiety provoking for people in Afghanistan desperate to get on “lists.” This guide is an effort to bring transparency and fairness to the system. It is also a comprehensive list of the legitimate groups.
Click through below to find links for the two groups which are accepting sign up online, Pineapple Express and Human Rights First - aka Evacuate Our Allies.
I know that people are desperate to escape. But I recommend that you look at several criteria to choose a legitimate group that has the best chance of successful rescue.
You should not pay anything for rescue. The groups are funded by private donations.
No group can promise you will be rescued. Every attempt has many risks and complications.
Watch out for the people you see on TV and social media who are taking credit for rescues. The most successful rescues have been done quietly so that more people can escape from the same method and route.
Thoroughly research means and routes out of the country that your friends have successfully taken. Make sure their circumstances are applicable to your own.
POLITICAL UPDATE: At the United Nations today, Secretary of State Blinken met with Pakistan’s Foreign Minster Qureshi. Their statements on Afghanistan:
SECRETARY BLINKEN: A lot to focus on, starting with Afghanistan and the importance of our countries working together and going forward on Afghanistan. (Inaudible) appreciate the work that Pakistan has done to facilitate the departure of American citizens who wish to leave as well as others, but a lot to talk about there as well as our own bilateral relationship, including the economic relationship between our countries and working in the region as a whole.
FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: As you said, we’ve had three telephone phone conversations discussing the regional situation, the Afghan situation. I thought a time would come where we’d be talking beyond Afghanistan, but it seems Afghanistan is there, we can’t wish it away, and we have to find a way of collectively working to achieve our common objective, which is peace and stability. So it gives me a good opportunity to discuss the evolving situation in Afghanistan, to discuss our bilateral relations, and the delicate situation in South Asia.
Tuesday 9/21 - Serena Hotel in Kabul
I’m a big fan of the music by Five for Flighting. The singer John Ondrasik wrote this song “Blood on our Hands” about the horrible consequences of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. I keep listening to the song — link below— and think you’ll appreciate it too. It captures all our emotions of feeling helpless, angry and determined.
NEWS UPDATE: A man with Special Immigration Visa (SIV) in Afghanistan told me that people are going to the Serena Hotel in Kabul to consult with government agents about evacuation.
A spokesman for the State Department said no U.S. government official is at the hotel.
My source was at the Serena Hotel yesterday. He said Qatar has government representatives with “a list from the U.S. State Department.” The agent, named Rafi, told him that they are only helping U.S. passport holders. He said they won’t help legal permanent residents (LPR) in Afghanistan.
I saw by my own eyes a green card holder came and asked them to add his name on the list but they didn’t the person said we are evacuating only passport holders at all ..
Since he is a SIV and doesn’t fall in the categories that Pres. Biden and Secretary of State Blinken are prioritizing, he did not get any help.
They told me if you want to add your name on the list, you should contact State Department of USA. They will will add your name and will send it to Doha department in Kabul.
POLITICAL UPDATE: The annual United Nations General Assembly meeting is happening now in New York City. Pres. Biden spoke today and the success of Afghanistan withdrawal (he’s his own biggest fan.)
Tomorrow, Secretary of State Blinken will meet in the morning with the foreign ministers of the nations that border Afghanistan. The most important thing that the U.S. can do now is to work with one of these countries to arrange for Americans and SIVs to cross the borders for a temporary refuge. The U.S. can process documents once everyone is safely out of Afghanistan.
Monday 9/20 - Rescue planes and everyone else
RESCUE UPDATE: Glenn Beck told me that that his organization, the Nazarene Fund or Mercury One, was finally able to get four of the six charter planes out of Mazar-e-Sharif. It has been a complicated, multinational deal to fly the planes from Afghanistan to Doha. He will not say publicly who was on the planes, but his charity is committed to getting persecuted Christians out of dangerous countries.
Also, Glenn told me Sunday that the Afghan women’s soccer team - aka the FIFA girls- was flown to safety in Portugal. Read here how he worked with Pakistan Prime Minister Imrahn Kahn — yep! — to make the final deal happen.
POLITICAL UPDATE: As I’ve been writing, I know these few hundred people who have gotten out from the private groups are a grain of sand in the beach of the Taliban’s enemies.
10 reasons why people are still trapped:
The U.S. government is “prioritizing” American citizens
The government is lying about how many Americans are in Afghanistan. I originally heard 750-1000 but now I’m hearing as high as 5,000 citizens left behind. Whatever the total, 99% are still there.
The green card holders (LPR) are the second priority. Secretary of State Blinken told the Senate last week there are “thousands” of them.
The U.S. has a backlog of at least 17,000 SIV applicants, per Blinken. Special Immigration Visa (SIV) holders are people who worked for our government, generally the military, the embassy and USAID, plus tons of contractors — who are targeted by the Taliban because of their alliance to America.
The State Department cannot interview the SIV applicants because we no longer have an embassy in Afghanistan.
The 100,000 plus people who the U.S. brought to America in the evacuation are not all SIV — no one seems to knows what was the criteria for coming here.
Americans or visa holders cannot go to an airport and buy a commercial airline ticket to leave Afghanistan.
There is no legal ground route to another country because Afghanistan’s neighbors don’t want a mass of refugees at the border. Taliban set up checkpoints along the roads to all borders and airports.
The U.S. can’t trust the Afghanistan government because it’s run by Taliban terrorists so there is very limited diplomacy.
The retired special forces vets mostly think it’s too dangerous to do any kind of in country rescues any more.
These 10 reasons are far from all the complications, but I think it gives you a big picture of why people are still trapped.
RESCUE RESOURCES: I’m trying to put together all the private groups that are accepting applications for rescue. Since it’s all private citizens, it’s not cohesive nor transparent. It seems everyone in American knows someone in Afghanistan who is scared for his or her life. We all want to help but feel powerless. I am angry that our government isn’t doing more.
ABANDONED IN AFGHANISTAN: Today’s message is from an American man. Read all the stories in the link below.
My wife and 10m old child are stranded in Afghanistan. She was unable to make her way to the airport during the evacuation operation.
Saturday 9/18 - THE CRISIS IN AFGHANISTAN
If you’ve been following along this post from the beginning, you know that veterans approached me and asked me to use my public platform to bring awareness to the retired special forces trying to rescue people in Afghanistan. They shared detailed information that they wanted me to release (like the six planes stuck at Mazar airport, along the the tail numbers.)
Others came to me to offer their help and support so I put connected people in a big group. I told them they need a name to differentiate from the other private groups in communications. We decided on Project Exodus. I believed they would be able to rescue people. That’s why I set up a secure website to get in the names and secure passport/visa information. Unfortunately, they haven’t yet been able to save anyone.
But now their lists — those of you who have sent in your information to that Project Exodus website— has been securely added to a larger database of many of the biggest private groups working on rescue. This will ensure that the group with more resources now have your information and will continue to work with you for rescue and support in the future.
Other veterans groups and nonprofits have gotten people out of Afghanistan, like the plane Friday, but it’s a drop in the bucket. Still, the people who have to escape have put all their hope in the American citizens who have publicly said they will get them and keep our promises. But realistically, even these very dedicated volunteers need the help of the U.S. government, the Taliban and other regional counties.
Afghanistan is a foreign policy crisis that Pres. Biden pretends doesn’t exist.
As I’ve said from the beginning, the U.S. government must take the lead in this evacuation mission. The Pentagon and State Department have the personnel, equipments, secure resources and legal means that regular people do not.
Each time the State Department puts out another release about a few Americans getting rescued, it creates a panic. How are these people getting picked? Who is getting them out? How do you reach the private groups? Which group is the most successful? Who is in charge? I can’t find answers to those simple questions.
This rescue operation should not be happening in the shadows, on personal cell phones, unsecured networks, unofficial lists and websites. The only way to save all these lives is for a diplomatic breakthrough for reopening air travel to commercial airlines and for overland travel to a neighboring country are the only ways to save everyone.
Waiting for the U.S. government and the Taliban to come to an agreement for the people left behind is making has made people desperate and terrified. Waiting while your life is in danger is unbearable.
Pres. Biden should be giving regular updates on TV to the Americans and the Afghans who worked for our military and government who he left behind.
And if I can do a daily update, then so can the U.S. government. A voice mail or email every day on the status of exits, talks with the Taliban, visas, tracking passports and all other relevant information. There’s plenty to share over open networks that is not secured but will help those terrified people (and their families here) know that the American government is back to work.
The good news is the government is now working with, not against, the private groups. Now the next phase is shifting all the work the groups have made in finding the people who need rescue and consolidating it with the government to continue the evacuation. The conversations have started but it’s needs to be sped up and implemented. I would love if I could forward all the emails to me begging for rescue and help to someone whose email ends with .gov and know that person is in good hands.
It’s really hard for all of us to get so many emails, text and social media messages from the terrified people in Afghanistan and not do something. I wish I could respond to each one and promise we know you’re there and we won’t forget. To help continue to keep our countrymen and allies in Afghanistan heard in public, I’ve started a new post with the messages. It’s called “Abandoned in Afghanistan” and you can read it at this link:
The State Department statement released a statement today about that one plane that flew Maz to the U.S. base in Doha.
We can confirm that a Qatar Airways charter flight departed from Kabul yesterday with 28 U.S. citizens and 7 lawful permanent residents on board. We are grateful to Qatari authorities, who continue to coordinate these flights with us. We will continue to help U.S. citizens and Afghans affiliated with the U.S. government to depart Afghanistan. The international community welcomes the Taliban’s cooperation on these flights, and we will continue our engagement so that U.S. citizens and Afghans enjoy full freedom of movement.
Read my new story about an American man who went by plane and then foot and taxi to get into Afghanistan three weeks ago to try to save his sisters. You’ll also read his strong opinion on what the State Department needs to do for overland escape from Afghanistan. He also wants Americans to ask who exactly are the 120,000 Afghans refugees in the U.S. now. Read his story below:
It’s official now, the first private rescue plane out of Afghanistan has landed at the U.S. airbase in Qatar. Prayers answered! This was a private group’s charter plane that got State Department approval of the manifest of vetted people. I believe everyone on board is an American citizen but State will announce the number.
This does not mean everyone else is left behind again. There are so many more people to rescue! Thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of SIVs to rescue from the Taliban.
I had a great conversation today with one of the heads of Afghan Evac about the process of consolidating the small veteran, special forces rescue teams into a more effective, better resourced organization. This will help everyone in Afghanistan (Americans, SIVs). I'll have details soon for contact, links etc.
Update on Mazar-e-Sharif planes: The plane took off again. Good news for rescues!
One plane took off today, circled and came back. This was seen clearly online in the circle below. My sources say this is not due to anything the Taliban has done, so no one is in danger. It will be excellent news when planes start departing from Afghanistan again, which is hopefully soon.
Now into the third week of this crisis in Afghanistan, the emails and text I get from people over there are more desperate. Americans, SIVs and desperate Afghan allies who are terrified of being killed by the Taliban, which has full control of the country.
They want to know when we are coming to rescue them. They want hope. I have no answers to give them. We are at a standstill.
The two airports in Afghanistan are still not functional. The State Department says it is working with the Taliban to get planes to take off again, but it’s unclear if that is an urgency.
The overland routes are too dangerous right now — Taliban check points all along— for the unofficial and unescorted to use. There have been a few exceptions with Americans veterans’ help but it’s not a solution for the massive humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
The Secretary of State said the priority is getting out American citizens only. So the only path to rescue for the Afghan allies who worked with our government is by the help of veterans. But there are no safe ways to do it now.
I just want people in Afghanistan to know that we are all still working around the clock to pressure the government and to find other ways to rescue. The sign that things have turned a corner will be planes taking off from one of the airports.
We know you’re running out of cash and food. We know the Taliban is terrorizing and trying to kill innocent people. We pray for you constantly.
I’ll soon be finished with a new story about an American man who got into Kabul after the Taliban had taken control. It’s a remarkable story of bravery and possible solutions.
I think the biggest news from the State Department today is all of us working to get Americans and Afghan allies out of Afghanistan are no longer a shadow government. There will still be private rescues, but State and DoD are aware at some point.
The State Department Spokesman, Ned Price, said today in his briefing that,
when it comes to the various groups – and certainly veterans groups have played an important and welcome role in this, but other advocacy groups, humanitarian groups, lawmakers, NGOs, private companies, media organizations, a constellation of actors have come to the support of the people of Afghanistan.
And that is certainly something that this department is playing a leading role in coordinating. I can tell you not a day goes by, not an hour goes by, I would venture to guess not a minute goes by that many of us are in touch with individuals who are outside of the U.S. Government who are helping to coordinate these efforts.
There have been a total of seven U.S. citizens and 13 LPRs have departed overland since August 31st. Yesterday, while Sec. Blinked testified before the Senate, the State Department helped three more people get out by land. He would not say which country they went or if people are using the same route each time.
on September 14th, the department assisted one U.S. citizen and two LPRs in departing Afghanistan via an overland route. As we have done in the past with these overland routes, we provided guidance to them, we worked to facilitate their safe passage, and embassy officials greeted them once they had crossed the border.
Price also said that anyone who knows Americans in Afghanistan who want to get out can contact the State Department.
The invitation is always open for Americans to reach out to us. The invitation is open for NGOs, for advocates, for members of Congress, for lawmakers to reach out to us if they are familiar with an American in Afghanistan who has not been in touch with us and who may want to leave.
This means that State is ready to help but has not opened up commercial air travel nor flights that are not tied to Qatar (like all the ones at Mazar-e-Sharif airport):
We’ve also noted that with the successful facilitation of these charter flights and these overland transfers, we fully expect that additional Americans who at first may not have been in contact with us at all or who initially may have told us that they were content remaining in Afghanistan will change their minds.
Price focused on Kabul airport reopening and played down any hope of getting people on flights out of MeS.
To simplify, Americans and Green Card holders (LPR) in Afghanistan options now:
Can not leave by commercial flight
Can not leave by private charters from Mazar-e-Sharif airport
Can leave by land (if want to take that risk)
Can leave by Qatar Airways charter flights (State organizing)
This all means Americans should probably stay hidden in Afghanistan until the air travel is organized and official (or you get a call/email from State to do something.)
I know that none of this helps the SIV holders and our Afghan allies who are being targeted by Taliban. Various agencies of the US government had a phone call with reporters that addressed the many complications, so read more about these issues at this link.
Also, I keep updating this link with any information from the U.S. government for all categories (visa/asylum refugee/family):
You can read or watch the entire State Department briefing at this link.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on oversight of the disastrous government evacuation of Afghanistan started at 10am. Livestream here.
Secretary of State Blinken showed up in person but Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was a no show.
This hearing is a lot less political and partisan than the House one yesterday. In fact, the Democratic chairman of the committee was strongest in saying Austin needs to show up and explain himself. Committee Chairman Menendez (D-NJ):
"A full accounting of the U.S. response to this crisis is not complete without the Pentagon. I expect the Secretary will avail himself before the committee in the near future. And if he does not I may consider the use of subpoena power to compel him..." -
An American citizen whose wife and baby are trapped in Afghanistan is watching Blinken testify. He sent me a text during the hearing. He said:
"Sec Blinken keeps boasting about the emails DOS sent to US citizens. I thought you might find this interesting."
He attached this screenshot (below) of the email from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul from Aug. 24 saying Americans are on their own now. He said it’s okay for me to make it public. Then he sent me second email from State to Americans in Afghanistan that replaced the one saying they are on their own. As he said, the second one is the “PC version.” Here are both:
For those looking at how rescue and escape will work, Blinken gave some specifics on which countries are in diplomatic ties with us. He said Qatar and Turkey are running Kabul airport for charter and commercial flights out of Afghanistan. Also, he said we have agreements with Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan for land crossing.
The big public news in DC today was Secretary of State testifying before the House Foreign Relations Committee about the mess in Afghanistan. He was remote by video, which was ridiculous since the State Department is about a 10 minute drive from Capitol Hill. The video dropped out at some point. The Biden administration really needs to think about showing the world that the US is strong. Appearances matter.
This reminds me of when I worked at the State Department and traveled with Secretary of State Colin Powell. He once explained to me why we always had a uniformed military representative with us. Powell said the Secretary of State goes into the foreign meetings to make diplomatic efforts. And the General or the Admiral with all the medals sitting quietly in the room gave the silent reminder that the Secretary of State is backed by the power of the U.S. military.
Today the Secretary of State was backed by a bad video background. The Taliban were surely watching.
Blinken didn’t get any new information from this public meeting. He still claims there are only 100 American citizens in Afghanistan, which is wrong. He also said the State Department has a task force of 500 people to call those 100 Americans. I know several Americans in Afghanistan. Only one has gotten a call back from the State Department.
Some of the private groups are meeting privately with the State Department and Pentagon. It would be good if the government took over all these rescues in Afghanistan because it has the intel and military strength that the veterans can’t match.
But the government just failed to do its job for the past two weeks, so how can any private promises be believed? I’ll know the government is back in action when I no longer get emails and phone calls from Americans trapped in Afghanistan or Afghan allies hiding from the Taliban.
I wrote a new story for paid subscribers about the connection between when the Flight 93 passengers saved my life on Sept. 11, 2001 and the retired special forces and veterans who are working to rescue in Afghanistan. Click below to subscribe and read.
A source sent me this photo to show the Taliban going door to door in east Kabul. He describes this photo as “Four Taliban and a technical with a mounted PK Machine Gun (7.62×54mm).”
Can you imagine the terror of the person who took this photo while watching out the window? Others in Kabul have told me what it feels like when they see the Taliban at a building down the street and prepare to run to escape. These poor people can not live in this life or death fear for much longer.
I am still getting emails from people who want help but have not applied for a Special Immigration Visa (SIV). That is absolutely required for help and rescue. And I cannot provide letters of recommendation for anyone. That would be illegal. See updated information on rescue at the bottom of today’s update.
The numbers of Americans and SIVs abandoned in Afghanistan will start to harden this week in the public. The private groups have combined lists (not names, just numbers by category) and will be sharing that information with the administration and Capitol Hill.
Of course, most people left in Afghanistan have not been in contact with a private group because it’s hard to find them. But the accounting should give the government a better idea of how big of a crisis this evacuation is now.
Since Project Exodus put its new website live, the numbers of Americans more than doubled and the SIVs are high triple digits.
Make sure to watch Sec. State Blinken testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday at 2pm ET and Senate Foreign Affairs on Tuesday at 10am ET.
To reach Project Exodus for rescue:
American citizens or Green Card (Permanent Resident), please complete this form to: https://forms.gle/MRwDjBuiHGWyJCr16
Visa holder, please complete this form: https://forms.gle/qsDeg7AB4AwzdUzY9
Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicant or have an Authorized SIV P1/P2 case number, please complete this form: https://forms.gle/SSP6tNLABuKRb9xe7
If you DO NOT have a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) and believe you are eligible, please go to this link to start the process.
If you are looking to submit a P1/P2 visa application, please go to this link:
If you do not fall into these categories and need to escape Afghanistan, please contact the US Department of State.
Important note: Project Exodus can only help American citizens, Green Card holders, Visa holder and SIV with application numbers.
Project Exodus promises you that we will track each person, pass you information to assist in your rescue and provide any viable means of rescue that we can facilitate out of Afghanistan.
A volunteer angel from a big internet company made a Project Exodus website that can intake all the information for rescues, so we don’t have to try to do it by hand. The site is secured on the back end. Once we have the information, our team of retired special forces takes each individual or family to be in direct contact about rescue.
The website is here: www.proexodus.com
And we’re flooded already with new people to rescue from Afghanistan. It’s complicated work to sort through who has passports and visas. Nothing is cut and dry. We are trying to help everyone get to safety.
The single, American woman I have written about below has to move to a new safe house because the Taliban are too close. This is common in Afghanistan for the people we are in contact with for rescue. The operators and intelligence guys on our team give people the best information we have about what’s happening on the ground.
But the decision is finally the individual’s or the family’s. I just can’t wait until we get flights moving so people aren’t in holding patterns. It’s just so dangerous.
I went on another twitter outburst of frustration at the US government today because of all these people emailing and messaging me directly for help to save their lives. I feel responsible for each one, and I’m not trained to do this work. But I care a lot more than the government does, so this is better than them getting no response from the State Department.
We believe air travel will restart again out of Afghanistan. Keep praying and let’s see people get out before we celebrate this progress.
I wrote a story about an American in Kabul who I have gotten to know since she emailed me for help. Link below:
In today’s story, I gave recommendations to the State Department on how to function better:
If Pres. Biden told the truth that there are only 100-200 Americans in Afghanistan, then it should be easy to assign State Department teams to talk to each of the people on the phone every day.
The State Department should give all the Americans and green card holders daily updates on what areas are more dangerous, providing status updates on rescue plans and just checking on them.
Why isn’t there a phone number for American citizens in Afghanistan to call the State Department?
Well ask and ye shall receive!
The State Department sent us phone numbers today only for Americans or green card holders (LPR) in Afghanistan to use. The numbers are over in the US government info link here:
** American citizens and Green Card Holders (LPR) in Afghanistan can contact the State Department now at (833) 741-2777 or (606) 260-4379. The email remains the same, and I don’t know if it’s being answered yet. AfghanistanACS@state.gov
We are getting too many emails to Project Exodus asking for rescue to process everyone by hand by the veteran volunteers. I asked a major internet company for free help and it really came through for us. In the next day, we should have a whole new website where you can input all your information needed for rescue. It has the highest levels of security on it. I’m personally controlling access.
If you’ve already emailed us, you’re on our list. If you emailed in the past few days and haven’t gotten a reply, check for a new email from Project Exodus that gives you the new link to put in your own information. Everyone else, standby while we make sure there are no kinks and then we’ll post it.
I get so many emails from people in Afghanistan every day and my heart breaks just reading the terror they are living. I’ve considered posting some of their emails (with consent) to show others. I will start that soon on another link.
But tonight, I was asked to post this email from a man who I’ve been corresponding with regularly. The Taliban took down internet and mobile phone communication today. I heard this from others who were terrified from being cut off from the rest of the world. I took out his location and names mentioned. Read this:
Pray for your safety and your pen to write the pain of the Afghan people.
Kabul and the resident's lives are in danger day by day. See what happened today in Kabul.
We’re in the big worse situation in life and can’t do anything, we (me & my family) beg you and from your team to please help us to out with a safe passage.
The single, American woman who I’ve been telling you about also emailed about not having any way to contact us:
"Hi Miss Emily, we were facing internet issues today, I don't know if it's true but there are rumours of Taliban blocking it for some security reasons."
Just imagine for a moment that you get trapped in a terrorist country and suddenly you can’t use your phone. The terror and panic is horrific. The Taliban are evil. I can’t understand why Pres. Biden doesn’t set up a way for these people to contact the U.S. government directly. I’m so angry.
The flights that took off from Afghanistan today were not open to the Americans and SIV holders stuck in the country. We are still waiting for the Biden administration to open up air travel with the Taliban.
There’s a story in the media today about all the “private groups” of retired special forces working now with the Defense Department and the State Department. While we at Project Exodus would be happy to see the U.S. government do its job, we have not seen anything but a PR effort so far. We hope it is a step toward taking over for us to save more lives. The Taliban is murdering people every day, so we are not stopping now. My tweet explains our position:
Remember a week ago when I reported here that there were six planes at MeS airport in Afghanistan with American citizens and no one believed me? Well, Secretary of State Blinken finally admitted it is true today. But he blames it all on the Taliban.
We know the Taliban wants bribes for those planes (which is one reason they cost so much to operate), but it’s unclear what would be the latest problem.
Almost every day, we hear the U.S. State Department has figured a way to open up air travel from Afghanistan so we can get people out of there (plus those six planes sitting on the tarmac.) But then nothing happens. I know it’s so disappointing to all the people in the airport and many others hiding in Mazar-i-Sharif safe houses, that aren’t that safe.
Flights out of Afghanistan will not be going to the U.S. There is no way to sort through the American citizens and green card holders from the SIV holders from those who don’t have a visa but in danger of getting killed. The planes will land in another country - likely a military base- to get people processed.
Kabul Airport still isn’t operational for international flights, which is another problem with air rescue plans. The problem with escaping on a ground route is the neighboring countries don’t want to handle the influx of people. The State Department hasn’t found a solution to that problem either.
I’m talking by email with the American woman from California who is trapped in Kabul. She is letting me tell her story, so expect that soon. I also tried calling Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) today on her behalf to see why he wasn’t responding to her. I got the office voice mail that said to call back during regular business hours 9a-6pm. It was 4:30pm. I am so frustrated on her behalf with the elected officials failing to do their jobs.
I have so many emails from Afghanistan with people asking me to save their lives. Every one is being tracked by a member of Project Exodus to give them the best intel on how to stay safe now while we work on a rescue plan. I wish I had time to answer every email. Would you like me to post excerpts with their permission?
Mark got a voice message this morning from his friend who he trained in the Afghan Special Forces. He sent me the message which is in my podcast today. It broke me to listen to it.
“I'm telling to all Americans, all the people, all the politicians of USA. So, brothers, I'm stuck here in Afghanistan. I did work for you guys. I served my country and also U.S. for a long time. So, now we are under threat of Taliban terrorist group.”
It is not hard for [the Taliban] to find us. If we hide for one day or two days, we can hide. But on the third day, they can reach us. They can kill us. If you can help, this is the time. Please help us. Thanks, brothers.
Listen in the link below:
An American woman emailed me from Kabul this afternoon. She sent me her passport and all her information:
You are the only hope that I am left with, I hope that anyhow I get a response and help from you.
She told me that she can’t get any help from the State Department. She’s been calling her senator — Alex Padilla (D-CA) but no one responded.
Mark is helping her plan a way to stay safe and get rescued. Where the U.S. government fails, the people will stand in and fill the void. This is the mission of Project Exodus.
Sec. of State Blinken finished his meetings in Doha, but we don’t know if he fixed any of the mess in Afghanistan. Americans and SIV holders still cannot fly out of the country (yes, the “6 planes” are still stuck in Mazar). The Taliban has sitting ducks all over the country. They are terrified for their lives. Please pray that they can keep hiding from the Taliban and ISIS-K terrorists.
The Taliban announced its government ministers today. One of them, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is a terrorist believed to have killed an American in a bombing. The FBI has a bounty on his head. I really wonder why all Afghans aren’t trying to leave that country with no freedom and no democracy.
There is a desperate need for money and food in Afghanistan. And the people in hiding from the Taliban — all the Americans and our our allies - are getting desperate for the basic needs in addition to the fear for their lives.
I’d really like to forward all my emails from people in Afghanistan to the White House so Pres. Biden can know every day what is on his hands and his legacy.
Today, almost all the “private groups” doing rescues in Afghanistan got together on one text chain to coordinate. They are veterans, special forces operators, humanitarians, Christian groups and nonprofits — all working to save lives. It’s inspiring and powerful. But it also makes it more clear that the U.S. government has failed to do its job.
Mark and I had our regular nightly recap phone call. His voice is scratchy from talking all day and not enough sleep. His wife and kid were calling for him. There are so many men like Mark who have given a week (so far) of their full time effort, energy connections and skills to save people in Afghanistan. No one is getting paid. We are all just doing what is right.
The guys on the Project Exodus team rarely show emotions. They are trained by our awesome military to do the mission. But they get upset when they get the texts from someone scared for his or her life in Afghanistan. People beg us to come help them.
I read emails from these people (yes, even if I don’t respond to you, I’ve read every word.) I want to help every one of you. Everyone on our team and all the teams around the country want to save you. We want our government to do its job. We want people to live in freedom and be safe.
After the nightly calls with Mark, I get out of the weeds and can see the big picture again about what is happening in Afghanistan. And that’s when I’m angry. I’m furious at my government.
It’s hard to write my normal columns here on Substack. All this white space stares at me as my brain rattles with so much to do. But the small white space of a Twitter let me throw out thoughts in a row. It’s called a thread. I just type until I run out of space and then start the new one. It’s supposed to be cohesive but it’s just a stream of thoughts at the end of the night. I’ll paste below the “threads” I wrote last night and tonight so you can read too.
Monday night on twitter-
Today is one week since Biden ordered the (early) withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and left American citizens and Afghan allies (literally) at the gate of the Kabul airport. Since then...
Americans have gone into hiding in safe houses. A few have escaped ground routes. Some are sitting on the floor at Mazar-i-Sharif airport. All of them are terrified the Taliban will kill them before the are rescued.
The Afghans who worked with for and with our military, lived on our bases, spied for our intelligence, speak fluent English and love Americans are being hunted door to door by the Taliban. They email/text American friends to beg us to save their lives.
The Taliban/ISIS-K has almost destroyed the Northern Resistance Force (our allies and good guys) and taken control of the country.
Pakistan has armed them and helped Taliban/ISIS-K.
AMERICA PAYS FOR PAK'S MILITARY DEFENSE. That means we are funding the ISIS-K terrorists -- the same ones who killed 13 US troops two weeks ago at Kabul airport gate.
In this past week, hundreds of special forces and veterans have replaced the US government to do private rescues in Afghanistan.
You don't see them on TV.
They aren't on twitter.
They are quietly working 24/7 to rescue Americans and Afghan allies.
God bless America.
Sunday night on Twitter-
One week ago, I got this email from retired special forces operator (who is now a friend and partner). I didn't believe him. Our government abandoned American citizens and longtime allies in Afghanistan to be killed by Taliban? Yes, and nothing has changed.
Pres. Biden told the American people that no one would be left stranded in Afghanistan. He lied. Biden said there are "ongoing efforts in Afghanistan to reopen the airport."
That's a lie.
The US hasn't even tried to get flights out of AFG. The Qatar government reopened Kabul airport after the US bailed. No Americans can fly in or out from it. WHY NOT?
As I reported on Thursday, American citizens at Mazar airport - controlled by Taliban- can't get permission for the 6 planes chartered to escape because the airline needs documents from State Dept., which is incompetent.
As long as those 6 planes sit on the tarmac at , no other rescue planes can leave. (Kabul airport still not safe for Americans to go there.) There are people waiting to escape that route and the Taliban is hunting them in MeZ.
NOT ONE AMERICAN HAS FLOWN OUT OF AFGHANISTAN IN A WEEK.
Biden's promise on reopening airports is critical because the US government is lying about how many Americans were stranded in Afghanistan.
Biden and the State Dept claim 100-200 Americans in Afghanistan. Lie. There are between 750-1,000 AMCITS there. Terrified.
And my source on the numbers is the US government. They know.
The Special Immigration Visa (SIV) holders in Afghanistan are people who worked for our military for up to 20 years. The veterans call them friends.
These brave allies are STILL HELPING AMERICA- sharing intel on the ground - and know they are on Taliban "lists" to be killed.
The SIVs also fought the Taliban for the US. They were integrated closely with our special forces and the CIA. They speak fluent English. They love America.
Biden told you that "The Taliban has made public commitments ... on safe passage for anyone wanting to leave, including those who worked alongside Americans."
The POTUS has left these allies in the hands of the Taliban.
THIS IS NOT WHAT AMERICAN CITIZENS WANT DONE.
The Pentagon and State Dept are lying to the public about how many SIV we have left in Afghanistan.
They have the database. They know it's about 20,000 people.
I get emails all day from terrified Americans, Afghans, SIVs begging me to help them escape the Taliban through our group (started a week ago!)
We are tracking each of them and giving real time help on movement in the country.
But we do not have the assets to do this mission.
We are veterans and citizens who love our country and God and want to help people being persecuted in Afghanistan. BUT WE WANT THE US GOVERNMENT TO HELP US.
I have called friends/contacts in State Dept, Senate, House, DoD. I offered to give over our list with the passport numbers, SIV application numbers and contact. THEY WON'T TAKE IT.
When this is over, I am going to make public every one of their names and their responses.
I can't keep up with these emails asking for rescue from Afghanistan. I need help. Top of my protonmail right now:
"Please start to evacuate us because it’s very terror now and it’s too dangerous for us now and for our lives. Terrorist gathering in Kabul."
I've talked to NGO, non profits, charities for help. But no one can do this rescue but a government. We need to rescue at least 750 Americans and then 20,000 SIV.
Here's what Biden needs to do now. I’ll make him a to-do list:
1) Get the damn planes flying out of Afghanistan. Tell the Taliban this is non negotiable.
2) Fly the planes to a US military base overseas (no countries want these people, fine, we'll process)
3) Call Blinken and tell him State needs to PUT SOMEONE IN CHARGE OF AFGHANISTAN.(The "consul" in Doha that took over for the Embassy in Kuwait is taking in names and not doing anything with them.)
4) The (new) State office of AFG Rescue (or whatever they call it) needs to fix the SIV process now.
The people who applied --whose lives are in danger --can't go to their interviews because WE DON'T HAVE AN EMBASSY IN AFGHANISTAN ANYMORE.
5) Email back the SIV applicants and tell them it's received. COMMUNICATE so they don't email me for answers.
6) Do interviews by video! Every Afghan has a phone. PROCESS THEM.
7) Call Taliban again and tell them you know every name and location of everyone who wants to get the hell out of Afghanistan. IF ANYTHING HAPPENS, WE WILL TAKE MILITARY ACTION
8) Tell SecDef he's authorized to hit targets in AFG that harm Americans or SIVs
9) Tell the CIA to share intel with the NRF fighting the Taliban in the North. They are fighting to free their country. HELP THEM. Share intel on Taliban movement and weapons (we are already doing this via #ProjectExodus )
10) Talk to the Hill about using $$ to pay for charter flights in/out of Afghanistan. Can't use military anymore.
Deal directly with the airlines so Taliban can't tack on bribes.
Each of those 6 planes at Maz costs $650 each because of the $ to Taliban.
We are flooded today with requests for rescue out of Afghanistan. We have instituted two new policies.
From now on, all requests for rescue must go to the secure email firstname.lastname@example.org instead of my email accounts.
Request for rescue must include as much of this information that is available:
Names of all needing evacuation
Passport information — number, country and copy with individual’s photo
Visa information (any type)
SIV status and application number
Phone number and email
Affiliation with coalition - military or government work
Project Exodus promises you that we will track each person, pass you information to assist in your rescue and provide any viable means of rescue that we can facilitate.
*New Contact: We have a new email for the team to track people who need rescue from Afghanistan. Please email your name, passport number or SIV application number and phone to email@example.com.
Our team of U.S. veterans is monitoring the secure email and will guide you on where to go and how to stay safe until rescue.
Six planes Sunday — Status update from Sam, who is the only source that has been accurate throughout this saga!
KAMAir is still grounded. I’m first on the list to call as soon as things get moving - so I’m told. I haven’t seen the news, so I’m not sure what’s being put out or if it’s helping/hurting.
Nobody is actually sitting on the planes right now.
I don’t have facts as to why the Taliban are delaying, but I’ve been told they want to verify manifests and don’t have the horse power to do so.
My guess is they are coordinating with Turkey to help them run tower operations to activate the runway.
Again, I’m drawing that conclusion by stitching several different sources together. As soon a people start getting up here, I’ll dig some more
Six airplanes in the news— Today, the media elite finally decided to publicly report about the six charter planes and Americans that can’t get out of Afghanistan. I reported it first on Sept. 2 at 2:30 pm ET.
The corporate media knew about the planes — at least since I reported it. They asked the White House and State Department about it. They were told information to keep “confidential”, and they obeyed the government.
I spoke to the State Department Spokesman directly. His “confidential” information was not being withheld for safety of the people in the airport. It just shows that the government was incapable of getting Americans out of the country. The media elite withheld that from the public for that reason only.
Money- Toward the end of last week, people in Afghanistan who need to escape started running out of cash. Today, Mark went to Western Union to send $350 to one of the Afghan Special Forces who he has worked with for years. Western Union told him that, as of today, it is no longer authorized to send any wire transfers to Afghanistan.
It costs just $200 for airline ticket to fly his whole family to fly within the country to a safer city. But the Afghanistan military stopped paying its forces two months ago so they don’t have cash.
Also, the banks in Afghanistan put a limit on ATM withdrawals to just $200 a week.
Big picture— I went on a twitterant today because I’m so frustrated with the incompetence and lies from the U. S. Government. Click below to read the thread.
We have heard great news from the Northern Resistance Force battling the Taliban. They had victorious battles and are heading to Kabul. We even have reason to hope they will be able to take back Kabul Airport. If that happens, we can start rescuing people by air again.
The aircraft in Mez are still sitting on the ground. I spoke to a source — I’ll call Dave —who is in a humanitarian group. He helped rescue people to get to those planes. He told me tonight this news:
I hope this is not another false lead, but I just got a call saying one of our flights is taking off in 5 hours. Passengers told to be ready.🤞
Dave and I have been talking daily about the Americans waiting in the airport for those planes to get permission to leave. I told Dave yesterday that the planes weren’t moving (read Friday update), and he thought they would. This is what he texted me today:
Well your guy was right. We kept getting told we would fly out today but they just told us definitely not. Planning for resumption of flights tomorrow or Sunday. Taliban cooperating.
I asked Dave about the people waiting for seven days in the airport:
The waiting is horrible. And no one is being told anything. And the conditions are terrible. Sleeping on hard floors and people are hungry.
But, you know, Taliban are actually cooperating. The only ones they are giving a hard time to are former Afghan govt leadership. Day before yesterday they came in and arrested a former official. But everyone else they have left alone.
Sam in Project Exodus still says the planes aren’t leaving because the airline hasn’t gotten documents from the State Department for destination airfield. “I’ve been told things are stalled,” he texted me tonight.
We both hope Dan is right, and we’re wrong. Dan texted this:
There is no way they are not letting these people leave. They have no reason to detain them (other than money and negotiating leverage).
With there already being internal fighting between Taliban leadership, Afghanistan bankrupt, inflation 80%, people starving; etc.; TB know they need legitimization and foreign aid. They are savages but they are not stupid.
“They are savages but they are not stupid.”
9pm - For at least six days, American citizens and Afghan allies have been sitting in an Afghanistan airport but their planes cannot depart.
This crisis gets more serious every hour because the Taliban knows the people are all sitting at the airport trying to escape Afghanistan.
Also, there are refugees all over Mez waiting to leave by air who could get trapped if the bottleneck isn’t fixed.
We have a point man - who I’ll call Sam - for the air travel for Project Exodus. He told me Friday night (DC time) that there are multiple problems on documentation and where the planes can go. There are four Boeing 737 and two Airbus 343 on the tarmac at Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport.
The destination is the biggest challenge. The passengers are a mix of American citizens, Special Immigration Visa holders and undocumented people. “There needs to be an agreement with State, destination country and fly over countries to green light take off,” texted Sam.
None of the planes has destination approvals — agreements with the country. A spokesman for the State Department said the agency can only make an agreement for a flight into a military base.
KAMair, the airline chartering the planes, told Project Exodus that three things are needed for the planes to leave Afghanistan:
1) destination and flyover permissions;
2) an approved manifest at origin and destination;
3) executed contract.
New COVID restrictions are adding to the problems. “I’ve been traveling in the Middle East for the last two weeks, and I’ve needed negative PCR tests and proof of vaccination in every country,” he told me.
He said that many countries that could take the planes require a negative COVID test in the last 72 hours for commercial travelers. Those countries include Tajikistan, Dubai, Istanbul, Georgia, Azerbaijan, etc.
The tail numbers are: YA-KME/YA-KMH/YA-KMM/YA-KMC/YA-KMK/YA-KML. “You’ll need these to file the flight plan,” said Sam. Would someone share this with President Biden or Secretary Blinken to help them do their job?
3pm — There is more good news on the battlegrounds in Northern Afghanistan.
The Northern Resistance Force (NRF) won a big battle against the Taliban yesterday. NRF took a lot of the TB’s military equipment and other stuff. Quotes below are from different members of the Project Exodus team:
We are in direct comms with NRF and helping them.
I’m so happy to see a lot of the guys we trained working for the good side.
They are moving to Kabul.
The Taliban won’t ever take over the north.
I like how all the stories are spreading about horror, but it’s celebratory fire. That shit happens a lot. I don’t believe too many stories anymore.
More news about the fighting in Afghanistan today:
Former Afghanistan vice president Amrullah Saleh the resistance is "based in Panjshir" but will defend the rights of all Afghan citizens. He continues saying that the conditions are of course hard and they are under constant attack by Taliban and Pakistani soldiers from several fronts.
However, they are holding on to their positions. They have lost comrades however Taliban has lost much more and they will continue defending their country. He denied any reports that he has left Afghanistan.
1pm — A member of Project Exodus gave this update on the rescue situation in Afghanistan and the region today.
His key points are that the Taliban controls the airspace, so no rescue attempts can take place by plane. This will only change if Pres. Biden or another global leader makes a diplomatic deal with the Taliban.
Flights leaving AFG at this point is illegal.
Every neighboring country recognizes the Talibs as in charge.
Even the Uzbekistan gov said they want people out by 24-hours time. Even AMCITS. The Qatari government backs the Talibs too.
To me, it is a critical thing in all of this. If the Taliban controls the air and the neighboring countries are following the rules, they won’t take incoming flights.
All our hands are tied unless this changes. DOD and State need to figure out who is in charge - someone has to grab the reins and take control.
Not trying to be pessimistic. More pragmatic of anything. We are all seeing this played out in real time.
“I highly doubt any of us thought we’d see our own government leave people behind, especially American citizens.”
12pm — The six planes in Maz are still there. The State Department says it doesn’t control air space, but it handles where the planes with the American citizens on it can land (military base in the region.)
The cost per charter is astronomical. Watch this space as I dig into who is profiting off these refugees.
I told a member of Project Exodus why the State official said the agency couldn’t move forward on directing the planes to fly. My guy’s response:
I have no words. How do they not have that?! Chick Fil A would hands down run this better than they are.
10pm - I just got off a long call with Mike. This is what he said needs to be done by Washington:
“We need to open up the border with Tajikistan so we can evac people out that way. I hope the White House will help.
Right now we can’t even use our smaller aircraft to fly in and out and get the refugees across the border. It would make it a lot easier than trying to fly in and out of Maz, which is controlled by the Taliban.
We know the Tajiks want to work with us but don’t want to piss off the U.S. government so they are waiting for an OK from Washington — so it’s their operation.
They don’t want a ton of Afghan refugees. but we just need to get them out of Afghanistan, whether they walk or go by helicopter or we fly them out
The American citizens and green card holders and all those people will just need to be shuttled to Dushanbe for to catch bigger plane to get home once we get them across.”
9pm - Great news on fighting the Taliban from the Northern Resistance Front.
I’ve run out of code names for the special forces guys. I talked to this one tonight after seeing his texts in our group chat to make sure I got it cleared.
He sent the photos below and said he got them from another SF guy. I don’t know if they are from a news outlet or personal. If you know the source, let me know so I can credit.
The Goooood Mooooorning Afghaaaanistan
The Northern Alliance had another night full of success. On the Baghlan front they captured 17 Humvees and destroyed 5 pick ups and showed others how to disable vehicles...as not to be recaptured by the enemy. The Taliban left behind a field of neutralized and wounded.
Northern Alliance are took the Parwan province back.
Afghan commandos belonging to the resistance in Panjshir have broken through Taliban lines. Additionally, 217 Taliban members from Badakhshan in Khawak have turned their back to their Taliban leaders and joined the resistance.
As Mark says:
“Today was great for the Northern Resistant Front wins dealing blows to the Taliban. We will keep helping.”
5pm — I’ve talked to special operators in the region and the State Department. I have connected people with phone numbers for the six charter planes. I believe the process will start moving forward to clear those planes to take off with the Americans citizens to a safe place. Then the others Afghans will be taken to a place to process visas and documentation.
The only reason this is complicated is because the government stopped doing its job on Aug. 30, so private citizens (retired military) had to step in and do it. There are no clear lines of communication.
Important to get this fixed in DC. My source is former special operator who is in the UAE:
There are six aircraft in Afghanistan with American citizens onboard that have been sitting on the ground for 36 hours.
We’re in contact with the airline and AMCITs [American Citizens] on the ground. There are currently 5 x A/C (KAM airlines out of UAE) that have been sitting at Mez for 36 hrs because they can’t get the State Department to authorize them to take off with AMCITs.
We have a congressman working it. Originally the DoS denied knowing about them. Once the congressman told them his in contact with the airline who will provide an affidavit that they have A/C on the ground, the DoS is now saying they first A/C should be going wheels up soon.
The planes being grounded and needing someone to take the SIV refugees. At least 2 planes have AMCITs on them. They need to talk to the airline and give them the authorization to exfil. They also need to secure a landing location and refugee location that is still taking Afghans.
The tail numbers for the aircraft are YA-KME/H/M/C/K/L. 4 x B733 and 2 x A343 for a total of 6 aircraft.
Kabul airport is still closed for Americans.
1:45pm I’m very pleased that the government has REOPENED at the Pentagon and State Department to track visa applications and names and location of people who need rescue. Guidance below:
They are requesting that the individuals email helpme@JDI.socom.mil with their documentation and a picture of those who would like to be evacuated. They are also asking permission for USG to track these people's phones to aid in location and tracking.
If individuals have an open SIV application, they should contact AfghanSIVapplication@state.gov
If individuals have a P1 or P2, they should contact ATF-TF3@state.Gov
There are rescue operations in the works by retired military and special forces. I’m following the coordination and activity in the region, and it’s all very hopeful and professional — especially considering there is no U.S. government involvement on the ground for rescue.
PM update- I just got off a long call with Mark. He’s working on a rescue plan that sounds hopeful.
I got an email today from an Afghan who reads this post:
I’m at high risk of death from the Taliban member….Please take us in your list of evacuation to save our lives, only I all doings these for my 2 years son.
He worked for the U.S. government. He has a letter and documentation to prove it. I’m disgusted that our government has left its loyal employees behind to be hunted by terrorists.
Of course he’s now on the Project Exodus list. I’m also working on getting him connected with the State Department. I said to Mark today, fifteen years ago, I went to Afghanistan with the Secretary of State for the first voting registration. Now we have to get everyone who loved freedom and democracy out of that country.
Asas is still hunkered down in a safe house.
The 14 employees left behind is getting real help from their U.S. company employer. I can’t give out any more information right now. But, I prayed, “Thank you Jesus” this evening when I heard from them.
I interviewed an American woman in California about her husband stuck in Afghanistan. I’m calling her Maryam. Her blood pressure keeps going very high and then very low. This is the stress people are living with every day because their family members’ lives are on the line. Maryam said she hasn’t slept since the U.S. left the country. I wonder, has Pres. Biden been sleeping?
AM update- We’ve named our group “Project Exodus.”
Anyone who contacts me for help escaping is given information and tracked in a database.
I spoke on the phone today with one of the “Pineapple Express” organizers. I asked him to be a part of our group text to share information on the situation on the ground and the lists of people who need rescue. So he’s on our group text now.
I have been very anxious and upset today because people keep contacting me to help them get out of Afghanistan. I am a reporter, not a government official or member of the military. I connect them with Mark for guidance, but they keep coming back to me too. I’m so angry that I don’t have a government to take over this responsibility.
Since our government has failed, these private groups of former military have sprung up across the U.S. to rescue the Americans and Afghan allies left stranded. The groups are all working separately but mostly aware of what the others are doing.
I have asked U.S. senators and congressman to help coordinate all these disparate groups, but they won’t do it. Our entire government has failed and so the citizens have taken over the foreign policy. It’s just outrageous.
Tuesday afternoon DC/Tuesday night in Afghanistan - Aug. 31
9pm ET- It’s getting more confusing to add more alias names for sources so I’ll call the new retired special ops sources Operator 2 and Operator 3. They work together. One of them sent me this text message he’s been having with a family that has two U.S. citizens and four green card holders.
8pm ET- I just spoke on the phone with two guys who are retired special forces who also served in Afghanistan. They have been working to rescue people and got two people out before the U.S. closed the airport. They are in touch with more than 25 families (each family has many relatives) who should have been evacuated but were left behind.
I connected them in the group text with all my other sources. The group is sharing critical information on movement and logistics in Afghanistan and possible routes to plan the rescues. I asked them if they wanted anything made public, and they sent this to me to share:
There are over 100 Afghans who have been left behind that our group of Special Operations veterans (including Green Berets & Rangers) is directly in contact with. The abandoned group includes AMCITS, green card holders, legal permanent residents, embassy workers, US contractors and their families. Many are SIVs & the vast majority were registered with the US state department last week or earlier.
We have documentation that proves all this.
I talked to Mark afterwards. I am trying to link all these special ops teams together to share intel and resources. If you know any contacts to the other groups, please tell them to contact me so I can link them up: firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s still August 31 in DC. The last American flight out from Kabul airport was yesterday at 3:29pm ET. Why did Biden evacuate 30 hours before the deadline deal with the Taliban? Then today the president said he knows he left people behind and claims the Taliban will just let them leave. Here’s what Biden said:
And for those remaining Americans, there is no deadline. We remain committed to get them out if they want to come out.
Secretary of State Blinken is leading the continued diplomatic efforts to ensure a safe passage for any American, Afghan partner, or foreign national who wants to leave Afghanistan…..
It will include ongoing efforts in Afghanistan to reopen the airport, as well as overland routes, allowing for continued departure to those who want to leave and delivery of humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
All day, I talk to people trapped in Afghanistan who have the paperwork to get to America. They are not leaving their homes for fear of the Taliban which knows where these people live. It’s a life or death situation and time is running out now. Think how many people could have been rescued if the airport had stayed open 30 more hours — but without the Taliban guarding it and terrorizing people.
And in case you didn’t get the email, Joe connected me with one of the Afghans who he’s been working on getting rescued. I talked to Asas on the phone and wrote his story below:
5pm ET - I am getting very worried about the coming rescue operations. There are groups of retired special operators funded by private organizations who are planning rescue missions for both Americans and Afghans. I’ve linked up any who come through me.
BUT these groups are not organized together. Most don’t even know each other. I'm worried the veterans are going to get hurt. I worry the people in Afghanistan on various lists will fall through the cracks again. This is what happens when a government is not functional.
4pm - I was contacted by 14 employees of a US defense company to get rescued. I have all their names and details. I tried contacting the company. My group knows about them and is trying to help. BUT WHERE IS MY GOVERNMENT ?!
I’ve now connected together Mark, Jim and Joe and their teams so we are coordinating rescues together.
Mark was sent this from a source: “Bad news, one of my friend arif ullah has been killed by TB today in kabul, he was (NMB) national mission brigade, officer.”
A source in Afghanistan sent this video of gunfire from the Taliban. I’m hearing it’s like this all over the country today as the U.S. withdrew. I can’t say where he is located for his safety.
Tuesday morning DC/Tuesday evening in Afghanistan
A source sent this video from Afghanistan. You can see the U.S. left our allies and American citizens behind to face Taliban with armored hummers on the streets.
Listen to the audio to hear the date - Aug. 31 - when Pres. Biden ordered withdrawal before evacuating all the American citizens, green card holders, Afghan allies, SIVs etc.
Monday night in DC/Tuesday morning in Afghanistan
I have put together Mark and Jim (NGO) so the special ops can help get out the Americans and green card holders. They are coordinating the rescue efforts.
I also connected Mark with Joe (government contractor) to help coordinate rescue of the green card holders left in Afghanistan.
This war is not over just because Pres. Biden pulled the troops today.
He suggested I call Asas who he worked with closely in Afghanistan but can’t get out of the country. I spoke with Asas on the phone and he told me that he worked on the U.S. air base for 17 years. He loves Americans. He speaks perfect English. He doesn’t understand why he got left behind and has to go into hiding. He has all his papers. He said he has lost everything. I reassured him that we know of him and will not forget him. I’ll write up the interview tomorrow.
I asked about the American mother with three kids.
“She’s convinced the U.S. is going to come back for her.
“She's terrified and rightly paranoid of everyone. Helping her is going to very difficult because her instincts are telling her (rightly) that TB are likely on the lookout for her.”
Thank you for your hard work. My other 1/2 made it out early this morning. They had to leave several thousand, including U.S. citizens. The middle East country they are in — that helped all of the private groups — is now being threatened by the State Department. Whoever is still there is being hunted down and executed now. It’s so sad and unnecessary.
Our group is out of funds. They self funded and there are only 4 of them. 2 are talking with another group about going back. I hope they can get everyone that needs out, out. God Bless and you are a credit to your profession.
Monday evening in DC/ Early Tuesday in Afghanistan
My bus with the green card holders? They've gone into hiding with friends.
The four women at the gate made their way to a safe house arranged by someone I'm working with on the ground
The 7 buses of American women seen turned away at airport Sunday/Monday — “I was told they are safe.” He said the State Department was involved.
I talked to my guys and no one can confirm a fire because they said the last US mil flight just took off. He has no eyes in the airport anymore.
Monday afternoon in DC:
The retired special ops teams in Afghanistan have millions in private funding and “assets.” But the U.S. government will not work with them. I just spoke to my contact Mark on the phone. This is the latest:
Current situation (4:30pm ET)
“TB are dismantling 5 AWCC cell towers in and around Kabul (confirmed by one of my sources as well)”
“GRU (Russian intelligence) are helping TB identify AMCITS and GC (Green Card) holders.”
On Kabul airport:
“The Kabul airport is closed except flights for American citizens.”
“The best option the government can do would be to deploy a Ranger Battalion to extract these people. The Ranger Regiment trains for this exact type of operation. Rangers could be there in less than 24 hours from go,”
“The best option the government can do would be to deploy a Ranger Battalion or some special operations unit to extract these people. Special ops train for this exact type of operation. They could be there in less than 24 hours from go.”
“But we have the assets to do it. If the government would even assist us, we could do the mission. But we are still encountering obstacles.”
“We were getting planes in and getting people out as of 3-4 days ago. Since then we haven’t been able to get anything into Kabul.”
Next options after Kabul airport
“The Taliban has lists of these peoples names. I think the main people they are looking for now are big generals or big Afghan politicians who didn’t get out because they weren’t high enough. My guys are not directly being hunted yet.”
“I have all my guys bedded now because it’s too dangerous.”
Why are retired military in Afghanistan?
I asked why these retired operators were putting their own lives on the line by going back to Afghanistan.
“We love those people. I have built a bond with these people and really want to get them to safety. This is the most important mission that I have ever done in my entire life.”
“This one Afghan guy trusted me with his life. And even now, he’s still saying, ‘We love America, I’ll risk my life for America.’ I have him still doing work for American citizens and Afghan partners— even while he’s trying to survive himself.”
“I have another guy, married to an American citizen, but he’s not a citizen. His English isn’t good so we’re going through his wife. And after talking to his wife for countless hours through text and over calls it breaks our hearts to see them have to go through this catastrophe that could have easily been avoided — and even reversed — if the call had been made even a few days ago.”
I asked him to find out what happened to the report that there were 7 buses of American women. He said he’s going to reach back out to the various sources on the ground who reported it back to him.
“FYI some of the plane nerds are saying 3 C-17s are inbound. Appears to be the case on flight radar, but they look to be maybe 30 away... no-one knows how long they will be on the ground. My advice remains they should go nowhere near the airport now. It will be festooned with TB once the US leaves.”
Also - for the fucknuckles trolling you with flight radar screenshots. My western guys on the ground are telling me Badri313 are now in full control of the airport. That video seems to support it and a NOTAM for HKIA went out 6 hours ago saying the airport is now uncontrolled and there is no ATC service (NOTAMs are publicly available). If they prefer to trust an app over official notifications and eyewitnesses then that's on them.
“Tell people DO NOT go to the airport now. Last US wheels leave in 15 minutes. After that, it will be overrun by TB.”
“Private advice being circulated by deputy assistant secretary of defense is for all visa holders/high risk pers, including thosE who had submitted their names to an evacuation manifest, to leave Kabul immediately. ‘As soon as the US is out, the roundups will begin’”
Sunday Late Evening:
“This is from my team on the ground.”
“We’re dealing with Kabul. There’s 7 buses of female American citizens. The CG refused to open the gate. We have a congressman with us and he had the state department reach out…*MG Donahue refused. 10 minutes ago the females were taken by the Taliban.
“They are likely dead now.
“The TB have been mass executing people on the streets of Kabul too. But that's not on the news. Confirmed by 2 sources on the ground.”
*MG Christopher Donahue is the Commanding General (CG)of 82nd Airborne, America's Division.
The Taliban have been making a mockery of the their 'rehabilitated' persona throughout. I'm currently working on evacuating the family of an interpreter that went missing 3 days ago. Feared dead.
The last bus I tried to get evacuated was approved by the MNCC [multinational coordination center] for entry into HKIA multiple times. Had green card holders on board but was never allowed in. Was pulled over to the side, everyone forced off a d beaten with the butts of rifles
I also know people (I *think) associated with the buses in that NYT article managed to get a direct line into GEN Milley to plead with him to open the gates... to no avail.
I have a lot, but to be frank the events of the last 2 weeks have beaten me down emotionally to near breakdown. I've been on ~3 hours sleep a night for the last 9 days
Taliban now demanding phone calls from US citizens to vouch for every family on a manifested bus in order to get to the gate
A fourth checkpoint has also been erected in the lead up to the south gate from what I understand
Which is obviously deliberately designed to further slow people's passage
A colleague had a bus tonight that reached a gate - was told by the US soldier on said gate that it was only accepting US citizens... said soldier walked away and left the bus to its fate with TB
Everyone sustained horrific injuries. Makes you wonder why anyone would ever trust the US ever again
If you're able to tweet the message about the 4 US women stuck at the gate right now that I just text you, you may help get them in
Please can your tweet this:
It's a mother with 3 children. It may get the traction you're looking for as well as help the family survive. They're especially at risk.
These women have exposed themselves at huge risk, expecting salvation and have been turned away
This by the way is despite this message that was sent to everyone:
Americans were already being turned away when that notice went out. Criminally negligent
FROM AMERICAN FORMER EMPLOYER OF THE RET. SPECIAL OPS IN AFGHANISTAN- CALLING “CHRIS”
Yes, the state dep and military command at the airport have informed several former spec ops guys running these private ops that they have no exit assistance and they are at the mercy of the TB. They are sitting duck's for the terrorists all these guys have been fighting for 20 yrs. This is treason. Intentional treason.
General McKenzie was involved in the drone strike hitting the interpreter.
There is no way this is mere incompetence on the part of military command.
Spec ops guys son is military under him. They are all communicating on which generals are intentionally betraying their own citizens.
this is blatant treason for the world to see. Who will or has the ability to stop this? We are watching our own government turn on its citizens in a war zone and what can be done about it?
Tweet as much info as you can, as fast as you can. The more people know what going on over there the better. You can't hurt the ops because the taliban don't care. But everyone needs to what our military command has done.
FROM A GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR “JOE” WHO IS HELPING RESCUE AFGHAN ALLIES
I am about to visit a individual [at a US refugee camp at a military installation] that has worked with us since 2008.
I have been contacted by multiple individuals that have been left behind that worked for us and supported the mission. I have currently 50 Afghans that worked at our bases that have been deserted. I have direct contact with the commander and deputy commander as well as a list of soldiers that we funded.
I have paperwork for the individuals in Kabul to include Taskera and SIV documents. My wife has been in contact with XXX regarding multiple green card holders that have been denied access to the airfield. Their children are students of a friend that is a principle at the school they attend.
Sunday, Aug. 29 afternoon:
FROM RETIRED U.S. ARMY COLONEL ASSISTING SPECIAL OPS, CALLING HIM “MATT”
Yes it is still currently a problem but we have made some headway in the past 12 hours or so. We finally have access into one country and guys were told they could fly [Monday].
I don't know why we have finally made the headway but it could be because of that letter or something else but we still have a lot of hurdles
China is deeply involved. We are experience tech attacks now and the TB don't have that capability. I know China owns the mineral rights to all of Afghanistan and from what I heard we have to be gone before they can start mining it so it does not look like we are connected to it.
They are creating websites with legitimate seeming ties and asking for tons if PII including exact current location. This is being used to target high up AFG officials.
The websites are saying they will recover people who want out of Afghanistan if they provide all of the information required. Now I can't trust any of these possible helpful sites.
Sunday Aug. 29 morning:
Retired special ops teams have been in Afghanistan to try to rescue Americans and Afghans since Pres. Biden commanded that the active-duty military cannot leave the Kabul airport. An operation leader — I’ll call him Mark — sent former colleagues an email (pasted at the bottom) Sunday morning to use their connections to get attention for an urgent need.
Mark told me that the U.S. government was no longer cooperating with them, and the Department of State is blocking their efforts to rescue people stranded.
EMAIL FROM “MARK”, RETIRED SPECIAL OPERATOR IN THE U.S.
Fellow Americans -- we need a significant movement to take place to save the poor Afghan people and stranded American citizens.
There are several groups of retired special operations guys and other veterans who have gathered significant private funding and moved lots of assets to begin rescuing people from Afghanistan since our Government refuses to do their job. These groups have sent private planes into Kabul and been told they could not land.
They have shuttled busses of American citizens to the Kabul airport and at have been told to leave and that the were not allowed to fly out.
Some of these other groups have been granted access to fly into neighboring countries to launch tactical flights to recover personnel just to have the US Dept of state come behind them and shut the door.
The U.S. Government has given rosters with the names of all our Afghan partners and American citizens to the Taliban, saying “we did it so the Taliban would allow them in.” We all know that’s not the real reason, and who would be that stupid anyway!
The stats they are pushing on the news are false. There are many more American citizens who want to escape but have no option because our own government keeps halting all actions.
We who are trying to save these people have run into roadblock after roadblock.
Everyone can understand that this is an embarrassment to the current administration but that’s no reason to stop these valiant acts of selfless service.
If you believe in the sanctity of human life then you need to make your voice heard as loud as possible.
This is the worst disaster in American history and being magnified by this pure evil attempt to stop the actions of those who truly care. This must stop!
The only way to put and end to this is if everyone will band together and make your voice heard in person and through every platform available. Go to your State Capitols! Call every politician you know!
Let them know this entire administration needs to be removed from the top down, including the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, The Secretary of State and everyone else involved in this despicable coverup that will cost the lives of many Americans, and our loyal Afghan partners!
Special Operations Veteran (Ret)
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MARK — RETIRED SPECIAL OPERATOR IN THE U.S.
JOHN - RETIRED SPECIAL OPS IN KABUL
MATT- RETIRED U.S. ARMY COLONEL ASSISTING SPECIAL OPS, CALLING HIM
JIM-INTERNATIONAL SAFETY AND SECURITY OFFICER FOR ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS
JOE - GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR “JOE” HELPING RESCUE AFGHAN ALLIES
CHRIS- FORMER EMPLOYER OF THE RET. SPECIAL OPS IN AFGHANISTAN