An investigation has found that more than 800 Americans have fled Afghanistan in the previous year since the horribly botched U.S. military withdrawal. The number is significantly more than the Biden administration had primarily claimed, a State Department spokesperson confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reports on the investigation:
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Aug. 30 2021, just as the last U.S. aircraft departed the Kabul airport, that the State Department had identified roughly 100 Americans living in Afghanistan who wished to leave. However, a GOP House Foreign Affairs Committee report to be released Monday shows that out of an unknown number of civilians left stranded in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover, the U.S. helped hundreds leave, Politico reported, suggesting the Biden administration either underestimated those who would attempt to evacuate or deliberately obscured the actual numbers.
A State Department spokesperson confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation on Monday that the U.S. government had “directly supported” the evacuation of 803 U.S. citizens since August of 2021, adding that “individuals in Afghanistan periodically identified themselves as U.S. citizens wanting to depart the country.”
“Whether they had travel documents or whether they could get to Kabul, that was part of that factor,” a committee aide told Politico, referring to the Americans left behind to face increasing danger of directed Taliban violence
Speaking to CBS News on Sunday, Republican Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas said the State Department had not complied with the House committee’s investigation. While the White House communicated with the committee about ongoing evacuation efforts, the State Department and the Pentagon have resisted information requests, Politico reported.
“The problem was the White House and State Department put their head in the sand, not wanting to believe what they [the Intelligence Community and the Pentagon] were saying, and therefore not adequately planning,” said McCaul.
In February, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee GOP published a report claiming the U.S. had evacuated 479 Americans out of a total of between 10,000 and 15,000 Americans who were living in Afghanistan as of Aug. 17, 2021.
At least 363 U.S. citizens were communicating with the State Department in October, 176 of whom were attempting to secure a flight out of Afghanistan, CNN reported. Between Aug. 1 and when CNN reported, more than 200 Americans had already been evacuated.
“We did extensive contingency planning throughout the spring and summer of 2021 and pre-positioned troops in the region, which enabled us to facilitate the evacuation of more than 120,000 people,” including those Americans who wished to leave, National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a memo Monday.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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The Guardian Removes Osama bin Laden’s “Letter to America” Amidst Viral Resurfacing
The Guardian, a left-wing media outlet, has taken down Osama bin Laden’s notorious “Letter to America” from its website this week after the words of the deceased terrorist mastermind, responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001, gained traction on social media.
The letter, which had been published on The Guardian’s website since 2002, resurfaced online, causing a sudden spike in traffic. Social media users unearthed and shared the anti-American and antisemitic content, propelling the document to viral status. The Guardian, acknowledging the increased circulation without the full context, opted to remove the transcript.
According to reports from Fox News Digital, a spokesperson for The Guardian stated, “The transcript published on our website 20 years ago has been widely shared on social media without the full context. Therefore we have decided to take it down and direct readers to the news article that originally contextualized it instead.” The outlet declined to provide additional comments on the matter.
Osama bin Laden’s letter, translated into English, justified al-Qaeda’s attacks against the U.S. by citing American actions in Palestine. The deceased terrorist accused the U.S. of supporting the creation and continuation of Israel, labeling it one of the “greatest crimes” that must be erased. Bin Laden’s letter also propagated antisemitic tropes, claiming Jews control American policies, media, and the economy.
The 9/11 attacks, orchestrated by al-Qaeda, resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people and left thousands more injured. The letter’s resurgence occurred as it was shared by social media influencers on platforms like TikTok, with some expressing a change in perspective. Pro-Palestinian activist Lynette Adkins was among those who shared the letter online, prompting discussions and reflections.
The Guardian’s decision to remove the letter from its website underscores the sensitivity surrounding the content and its potential impact, particularly as young individuals across America engage with pro-Palestinian talking points. The episode has sparked debates about the influence of social media in reshaping perceptions and the responsibility of media outlets in disseminating controversial historical documents.
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