A potentially fatal mistake by President Joe Biden’s administration effectively handed the Taliban a ‘kill list’ to target Afghans who aided the United States, a report released Thursday says – and admitted it may have happened when asked later during a White House briefing.
After the Taliban took control of Kabul, US officials gave the Islamic extremist group the names of US citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies so that they could be allowed into the perimeter controlled by Taliban around Hamid Karzai International Airport, according to Politico.
The move was reportedly made despite the Taliban’s notorious reputation for brutally executing Afghans who aided the US military and other Western forces during the war and occupation that followed the September 11 terrorist attacks.
“Basically, they just put all these Afghans on a list of people to kill,” a US defense official told Politico. “It’s just dreadful and shocking and makes you feel unclean. “
At a press conference on Thursday’s deadly terrorist attack at Kabul airport, Biden acknowledged unspecified “occasions” when the U.S. military contacted the Taliban to say, “For example, this bus arrives with an “X” number of people on board. , composed of the following people.
“And to the best of my knowledge, in these cases, most of it has happened. They were let through, ”he said.
“But I can’t tell you for sure that there was in fact a list of names. There may have been, but I don’t know of any circumstances.
Biden added, “That’s not to say it isn’t – it wasn’t there. That, ‘Here are the names of 12 people. They arrive. Let them pass. It could very well have happened. “
The shocking revelation came just days after it was revealed that the Taliban death squads had been ‘door to door’ to hunt down suspected Afghan ‘collaborators’, along with tens of thousands of US allies. potentially in danger.
The White House’s major miscalculation surfaced during a confidential Capitol Hill briefing earlier this week, Politico said.
The closed-door meeting was reportedly heated when senior administration officials attempted to defend coordination with the Taliban, saying it was the best way to prevent a shooting war between US troops and fighters. Taliban broke out at the airport.
The Biden administration relied on the Taliban to provide security outside the airport, and General Frank McKenzie, commander of the US Central Command, and Rear Admiral Peter Vasely, chief of the US forces on the ground in Afghanistan, referred to the Taliban. in written and oral communications as “our Afghan partners,” two defense officials told Politico.
After the fall of Kabul on August 15, the US military and diplomatic team at the airport began giving the Taliban lists of people the US was seeking to evacuate, Politico said.
“They had to do it because of the security situation created by the White House by allowing the Taliban to control everything outside the airport,” said a US official.
But after thousands of visa applicants began arriving at the airport, the State Department reportedly told those people to stay away until they were cleared in and the lists handed over to them. Taliban no longer understood the names of Afghans.
On Wednesday, only people with U.S. passports and green cards were admitted to the airport and processed for evacuation, the defense official told Politico.
A spokesperson for US Central Command declined to comment, Politico said.