Exclusive: In secret texts, U.S. military officials lamented leaving Americans behind in Kabul
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President Biden declared to a puzzled country on Tuesday that the U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan was an “extraordinary success,” while his Pentagon portrayed a prosaic, workaday process to repatriate Americans still stranded in the war-torn country.
But text messages between U.S. military commanders and private citizens mounting last-minute rescues tell a far different story, one in which pleading American citizens were frantically left behind at the Kabul airport gate this past weekend to face an uncertain fate under Taliban rule while U.S. officials sought to spread the blame between high-ranking generals and the State Department
“We are f*cking abandoning American citizens,” an Army colonel assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division wrote Sunday in frustration in a series of encrypted messages that detailed the failed effort to extricate a group of American citizens, hours before the last U.S. soldiers departed Afghanistan.
The text messages and emails were provided to Just the News by Michael Yon, a former Special Forces soldier and war correspondent who was among the private citizens working with private networks and the military to rescue stranded Americans.
Yon told Just the News that a group of Americans were abandoned at the Kabul airport, pleading for help as military officials told them they were finished with evacuations.
“We had them out there waving their passport screaming, ‘I’m American,'” Yon said Tuesday while appearing on the John Solomon Reports podcast.
The heart-wrenching scenes unfolded this weekend as the U.S. military prepared to exit the capital city on Monday, leaving both the airport and most of the country under Taliban control.
“People were turned away from the gate by our own Army,” Yon said.
After the episode ended and the Americans scattered to safe houses to avoid being captured, Yon wrote a stinging email to an Army major whose team had tried to coordinate the rescue before abandoning it.
“You guys left American citizens at the gate of the Kabul airport,” Yon wrote Tuesday to the commander. “Three empty jets paid for by volunteers were waiting for them. You and I talked on the phone. I told you where they were. Gave you their passport images. And my email and phone number. And you left them behind.”
He added: “Great job saving yourselves. Probably get a lot of medals.”
Yon’s account, backed by three dozen text and email exchanges with frontline Army officials in Afghanistan, stands in sharp contrast to the claims of the Biden White House that U.S. citizens would not be left behind in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
“I think it’s irresponsible to say Americans are stranded,” White House press secretary Jen Pskai said in an Aug. 23 press briefing. “They are not. We are committed to bringing Americans who want to come home, home.” President Joe Biden earlier this month underscored that position, saying that the United States would evacuate every American who wanted to leave the country.
With the American military no longer in Kabul, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, John Kirby, acknowledged Tuesday that Americans in fact were left behind. He described a calm, diplomatic scenario for bringing those people home.
“Right now I think the tools we have available to us and that we’re going to use as a U.S. government is going to be more in the diplomatic, economic lanes, and we don’t really see a military role right now,” Kirby told MSNBC when asked if the U.S. military would rescue the stranded Americans.
Pentagon officials declined to immediately comment on the text messages Yon provided.
But Kirby on Tuesday couched the repatriation efforts as similar to how the U.S. would help, for example, a citizen who inadvertently crossed the wrong border.
“It’s not completely unlike the way we do it elsewhere around the world,” Kirby said. “We have Americans that get stranded in countries all the time, and we do everything we can to try to facilitate safe passage.”
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) the top Republican on the Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations, first raised concerns in a letter Monday to the Pentagon that Americans had been knowingly and willingly abandoned. Reached late Tuesday, Johnson told Just the News the text messages confirmed his worst fears and raised questions about whether the Biden administration has been misleading the public.
“I’m not sure what planet President Biden and members of his administration are on, but here on planet Earth, his withdrawal from Afghanistan is an abysmal failure,” the senator said. “What we’ve been hearing from people working the evacuation is completely different from the administration’s rosy spin.
“These texts confirm my worst suspicions and should serve as further justification to dramatically increase the vetting process before granting refugees legal status and rights.”
Those involved in the rescue efforts described a volatile, frightening effort to get Americans into the airport and aboard planes.
“I personally know and was involved in an operation two nights ago,” Yon told Just the News. In that mission, Yon and a tight cadre tried to shepherd four American citizens — a woman and three children — onto an evacuation flight. First, the group had to get past Taliban checkpoints and through the gate to the airport.
“We had Taliban take them to the south gate,” Yon said. “That’s how they got through the checkpoint.”
Once at the gate, the family stood waving passports, screaming that they are Americans. But, Yon said, American forces would not come out to get them.
There commenced a series of messages and phone calls from the helper group trying to reach someone who would open the gate for the family.
The helpers made contact with an Army colonel who had knowledge of the evacuation process. In a text exchange viewed by Just the News, the colonel messaged Yon and others that people were being turned away from the airport.
Using short hand for American citizens, Yon wrote: “Any AMCITS?”
“Yes. All of them,” the colonel responded. In a follow on text, he wrote: “Yes, we are f*cking abandoning American citizens.”
While the helper group worked frantically to get the Americans through the gate, members texted one another to say they had seen National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on CNN saying that neither he nor U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Kenneth McKenzie were told that Americans were abandoned.
“Hey did they end up just taking off?” one correspondent texted the helper group. “Because the National Security Advisor just told Tapper that neither he nor McKenzie had heard anything about Americans being left at the gates.”
The correspondent noted that the private group heard differently from a lieutenant colonel (O-5): “Given we had comms with an O-5 on the ground, that means CENTCOM C3 is s–t, or someone is lying.”
Text messages viewed by Just the News showed the helper group describing their efforts — and failures.
One man wrote how he spoke to the American mother, and sent photos of her family’s passports to Americans inside the airport.
“The Americans recognize it’s her and agree but I’ve been told General Milley won’t let them in,” the man texted.
The helper group strategized on whether they should send money, how much, and to whom. Ultimately, the family did not get into the airport.
“We get them to the gate, and the U.S. Army completely fails this saying, ‘Oh, we can’t do it, because the Department of the State tells us we can’t do it,” Yon told Just the News.
Others have reported similar situations at the airport.
“I have messages from Americans outside Kabul’s gates who are now stranded in Afghanistan,” Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) tweeted on Tuesday. “It’s reprehensible that Pres. Biden’s left behind Americans along with Afghans who fought along side us, but has no problem leaving our Southern Border wide open to anyone who wants to come.”
Waltz, a combat veteran and a former Green Beret who served in Afghanistan, has noted that private citizens have rallied to save people the Biden Administration left behind.
Democrats have offered similar concerns about the Biden administration’s efforts, including Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly, a former Navy captain and NASA astronaut.
“Leaving any American citizen behind is unacceptable, and I will keep pushing this administration to do everything in its power to get our people out,” he declared Tuesday.
The private citizens have met with successes and lost opportunities — such as the effort to rescue the American mother and her young children.
“The Taliban would have let them in,” Yon said. But no one on the Americans side opened the gate.
“This is the kind of insanity that we’re down to,” he said.
Three Republican AGs will investigate GoFundMe following removal of Canadian trucker fundraiser
Three Republican attorneys general pledged to investigate GoFundMe’s decision to take down a fundraiser for Canadian truckers protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the capital city of Ottawa.
GoFundMe canceled the fundraiser Friday evening, which had raised $10 million.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey all said they would look into the matter of the California-based company, citing potential deceptive practices affecting their state residents.
Morrisey began the trend, as he tweeted on Friday night, “#GoFundMe now won’t honor #FreedomConvoy donations and will instead redirect to other charities? In WV, organizations must not deceive donors and engage in deceptive advertising practices. If you’ve been victimized by a deceptive act or practice, let us know!”
In a reply tweet, Morrisey noted that, “According to their website, #GoFundMe is not automatically refunding the donations. Individuals interested in a refund can submit the form below if they do so by Feb 19, 2022. This will avoid the ‘redirecting’ of the donation.”
Donald Trump, Jr., retweeted Morrisey, saying, “All GOP Attorney Generals should be looking at this & helping to get people their $$$ back so it can be redirected to the truckers. Don’t let @gofundme scam you… call your AGs & let them know. GFM seems to have no problem finding [sic] BLM riots… peaceful truckers should be fine too.”
GoFundMe tweeted an update overnight, saying that it would instead automatically refund all donations to the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser.
“The update we issued earlier enabled all donors to get a refund and outlined a plan to distribute remaining funds to verified charities selected by the Freedom Convoy organizers. However, due to donor feedback, we are simplifying the process and automatically refunding donations.”
The next morning, Morrisey tweeted a screenshot of GoFundMe’s Twitter update, saying, “As a result of YOU weighing in, #GoFundMe has CHANGED its policy for the #FreedomConvoy and will now be AUTOMATICALLY providing refunds to donors. Thanks to everyone who RT’d our message. Little ‘ol WV making a difference! We’re not done yet & will not tolerate shady practices.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted shortly after, likely before seeing the GoFundMe update, because he said, “It is a fraud for @gofundme to commandeer $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing. I will work with @AGAshleyMoody to investigate these deceptive practices — these donors should be given a refund.”
Landry then tweeted his agreement with Morrissey, writing, “I share the concerns of @WestVirginiaAG. My office will be looking into whether or not #GoFundMe violated our state law. If you are a Louisiana donor to the #FreedomConvoy, please contact my #ConsumerProtection Section! #lagov”
On Sunday, Moody blasted GoFundMe on “Fox and Friends”.
“Think about what occurred here. You have a business that essentially makes money off people, out of the goodness of their hearts, wanting to contribute to a cause that’s important to them. You have a big business that encourages that. They take a percentage,” Moody said, according to Florida Politics.
“They make money when folks raise money through their platform. And then, without any notice to anyone, and no donor knows this before they make a contribution, they’re going to make some political judgment that they think this isn’t a worthy cause anymore, and just shut down after raising millions of dollars,” she added.
“Folks wanted to help in this protest against heavy-handed government as people historically have done when government has tried to overreach and take away the freedoms of its people. People push back peacefully. And you have a business here that makes money off of people wanting to donate to that, and they just shut it down,” Moody continued.
Biden Makes Worst Foreign Policy Blunder Since Afghanistan – GOP Goes After Joe For Greenlighting Russia
Boy, are Democrats having a day! Joe Biden’s press conference last night was an unmitigated disaster. Critics are slamming just about everything he said. But perhaps worst were his comments on Russia.
It’s no secret that Russia is trying to harass the sovereign nation of Ukraine. They’ve even amassed troops along the border, preparing what some fear could be an invasion.
Anything an American president might say right now could end hostilities or trigger conflict. The issue of Ukraine came up during Biden’s presser. I’m sure his handlers thought his comments were supposed to show strength against Putin. Instead, Biden dropped a bomb that might end up being a green light to war.
From Daily Wire:
“IT’S ONE THING IF IT’S A MINOR INCURSION AND WE END UP HAVING TO FIGHT ABOUT WHAT TO DO AND NOT DO,” BIDEN TOLD REPORTERS REGARDING WHAT RUSSIA MIGHT DO…
WHEN ASKED LATER TO CLARIFY WHAT HE MEANT BY “MINOR INCURSION,” BIDEN SAID HE DREW THE LINE AT “RUSSIAN FORCES CROSSING THE BORDER, KILLING UKRAINIAN FIGHTERS,” CNN REPORTED.
Minor incurstion? This is pretty bad. It seems Biden is willing to let Putin do whatever he wants short of an full-on invasion. Republican leaders were not okay with this.
THE REMARKS WERE WIDELY SEEN AS UNDERCUTTING U.S. DIPLOMACY THAT HAS TRIED TO STAVE OFF ANY RUSSIAN INCURSION INTO UKRAINE — “MINOR” OR NOT…
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), WHOSE BILL TO PUNISH PUTIN WITH SANCTIONS FAILED DUE TO DEMOCRAT OPPOSITION, SAID BIDEN’S ANSWERS ON UKRAINE WERE “INCOHERENT AND CATASTROPHIC.” […]
“MOST WORRYINGLY, HE DEFINED DOWN WHAT COUNTS AS AN ‘INVASION’ AND CALLED INTO QUESTION WHETHER WE’D FORCEFULLY RESPOND, WHICH WILL BE READ IN FAR TOO MANY PLACES AS GREENLIGHTING AN INVASION,” HE SAID.
Joe Biden’s comments on Russia’s hostility toward Ukraine are being called his worst foreign policy decision since his deadly Afghanistan withdrawal. His comments did not show the U.S. was ready to defend our ally against Russia. Instead, it appears as if he was giving Putin the green light, as long as he wasn’t going to send “soldiers” into the foreign land.
The phrase “minor incursion” was especially troubling. Russia has more options for attacking Ukraine than just soldiers. They can use cyberattacks, block roads, and disrupt trade moving into Ukraine. Just the fact that Biden suggested he’d tolerate an “incursion,” minor or otherwise, was slammed by critics.
His comments were so bad, White House press secretary Jen Psaki had to do damage control. She released one of several statements hoping to clarify. Once again, she is trying to backtrack something Joe said.
WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JEN PSAKI ISSUED A STATEMENT WEDNESDAY EVENING IN AN ATTEMPT TO UNDO THE DAMAGE CAUSED BY PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN’S WEAK STATEMENTS ON UKRAINE AND RUSSIA AT A PRESS CONFERENCE JUST MOMENTS BEFORE IN THE WHITE HOUSE.
She tried to project the kind of strength Joe should have during his conference. But a quickly written statement does not carry the same weight as something that comes right out of Biden’s mouth. His handlers should have done a much better job of controlling what Sleepy Joe was going to say.
Biden came out later that day to say that the U.S. is ready to take strong action against any Russian activity, but it may be too little, too late. Putin is a master poker player, and he just got Biden to admit to the world that Joe will hesitate and let Russia do what it wants.
Red Paper News
‘Let The 25th Amendment Discussions Begin:’ Biden’s Press Conference a Total Failure as Reactions Roll in[VIDEO]
President Joe Biden seemed to confirm the dark suspicions of millions of Americans that he’s mentally unfit during his rambling, two-hour news conference on Thursday.
Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson of Texas, who was the White House physician to former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Donald Trump, reiterated his grave concerns about Biden’s mental sharpness.
“He’s totally disconnected from reality,” Jackson tweeted Thursday during Biden’s first news conference in 10 months.
The blundering 79-year-old repeatedly lost his train of thought and slurred his words during the event to mark his first year as president.
“He has NO IDEA what’s going on,” the congressman tweeted. “It’s no surprise he’s been kept locked away in the basement. This is an EMBARRASSMENT.”
Jackson pointed out that Biden completely ignored a question from a White House correspondent about his flailing mental acuity.
“BIDEN JUST IGNORED A QUESTION ABOUT HIS COGNITIVE DECLINE! Something is WRONG with him,” he tweeted. “This man IS NOT qualified to be President!!”
The congressman added: “I am demanding he have a cognitive test NOW. There’s too much on the line, we need to know!”
Jackson was referencing a polite but direct question posed by James Rosen, the chief White House correspondent for Newsmax.
“A poll released this morning by Politico Morning Consult found 49 percent of registered voters disagreeing with the statement, ‘Joe Biden is mentally fit,’” Rosen said.
Biden derisively tried to brush off the question, but a persistent Rosen followed up, asking, “Why do you suppose such large segments of the American electorate have come to harbor such profound concerns about your cognitive fitness?”
The career politician awkwardly replied, “I have no idea.” Then he quickly called on another reporter.
Meanwhile, Biden was widely panned by numerous social media commentators, who said the news conference was an epic disaster.
Breitbart’s Joel Pollak tweeted six words that Biden surely didn’t want to hear: “Let the 25th Amendment discussions begin.” The amendment provides a process for the vice president to assume power if the president “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
Conservative radio host Clay Travis slammed the “incredibly embarrassing press conference,” saying Biden underperformed despite responding to “a pre-approved list of questioners on a list given to him.”
THIS IS AN INCREDIBLY EMBARRASSING PRESS CONFERENCE FOR JOE BIDEN. HE’S READING FROM A PRE-APPROVED LIST OF QUESTIONERS ON A LIST GIVEN TO HIM. IS HE INCAPABLE OF CALLING ON REPORTERS HIMSELF? BECAUSE THAT’S THE ONLY EXPLANATION MOST PEOPLE WATCHING, INCLUDING ME, TAKE FROM THIS.
— CLAY TRAVIS (@CLAYTRAVIS) JANUARY 19, 2022
Media strategist Caleb Hull noted that Biden dismissed his abysmal approval ratings as fake (“I don’t believe the polls”) and even suggested that the 2020 election and the forthcoming 2022 midterm elections could be rigged.
Reminder: The corporate media brutally attacked Trump for making similar remarks.
“Isn’t this everything that made Trump ‘literally Hitler’?” Hull tweeted.
Democrats and their corporate media lapdogs have screeched for the past year that questioning election results is “treason” and “terrorism.”
But if you’re a Democrat, you can call GOP election victories “illegitimate” with impunity.
Hypocritical Democrats and their media minions who disingenuously questioned Trump’s mental fitness for four years are now curiously silent about Biden’s bewildering babbling.
Although people laugh about it, Biden’s faltering mental fitness is not a joke. It is a pressing national security threat that will haunt him for the rest of his presidency.
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