Secretary of State Antony Blinken blamed America’s outrage over citizens abandoned in Afghanistan on “confusion” over the weekend; saying many wish to remain in the country because “their entire lives” are there.
“I want to ask about Afghanistan… We now believe there close to 200 Americans trying to get out… Is it acceptable to you that so many Americans are still trying to get out of Afghanistan?” asked CNN’s Dana Bash.
“Let’s be very clear about this, there’s a tremendous amount of confusion about this issue that’s built up in recent months,” deflected Blinken. “These are people whose entire lives are in Afghanistan.”
Blinken’s comments come days after the Pentagon confirmed nearly 450 American citizens remain in Afghanistan.
“One of the many confusing things about this whole thing is that we really don’t know how many Americans are left in Afghanistan,” Sen. Jim Inhofe said during an exchange on Capitol Hill. “The administration’s number of U.S. citizens left in Afghanistan keeps changing. We all understand that. It’s very confusing.”
“In terms of how many American citizens we estimate are currently in Afghanistan, the Department of State is in contact with 196 American citizens who are ready to depart –and arrangements are being made for them to do so, either via air or over ground – and another 243 American citizens have been contacted and are not ready to depart, either because they want to stay in Afghanistan or aren’t ready,” Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl responded.
“This total of 439 American citizens still in Afghanistan is up from the 363 the State Department had told congressional staff last week – which itself was up from the estimate of roughly 100 the administration had said in September,” reports Fox News.
Watch Blinken’s comments above.
??????: Biden Launches Incoherent 3-Minute Rant Over Whether Americans Can Get Out of Afghanistan
President Biden held a disastrous press briefing Friday when he finally took answers from the media; launching into a three-minute rant about whether Americans can safely reach the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.
“You said there’s no circumstances where American citizens cannot get to the airport. That doesn’t square with the reporting on the ground. Are you saying any American who wants to get to the airport can get there?” asked one reporter.
“I thought the question was, how can they get through the airport, outside the airport, the answer is, to the best of our knowledge, the Taliban checkpoints, they are letting through, people […] That’s why we had to, I guess yesterday, or the day before? We went over the wall, and brought in, how many?” said the Commander-in-Chief.
“My guess is, no matter what, under what circumstances, we, anyone, there’s not a whole lot of Afghanis, there’s a whole lot of Afghanis who just as soon come to America,” he concluded.
A report from Reuters highlights the scope of the crisis unfolding in Afghanistan as the agency claims the Taliban now control 2,000 American-made vehicles and between 30 and 40 aircraft.
“U.S. officials tell Reuters that the current intelligence indicates that the Taliban control at least 2,000 U.S.-made armored vehicles, between 30 and 40 aircraft and an untold number of small arms,” writes a reporter from the global news agency.
“Joe Biden creates the Taliban Army and Air Force,” posted former Trump official Richard Grenell on Twitter.
Watch the bizarre comments above.
ABANDONED in AFGHANISTAN: US Embassy Posts Dire Message, ‘Don’t Rely on the US Government’
The US Embassy in Afghanistan posted a dire message on its official webpage Tuesday, saying the office has “suspended operations” and Americans can no longer rely on “United States government assistance.”
“The U.S. Embassy in Kabul suspended operations on August 31, 2021. While the U.S. government has withdrawn its personnel from Kabul, we will continue to assist U.S. citizens and their families in Afghanistan from Doha, Qatar,” states the memo.
“The Embassy will continue to provide information via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), the Embassy web page, Travel.State.Gov, and Facebook and Twitter. Consular services remain available outside Afghanistan. To locate the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate click here,” adds the warning.
“Make contingency plans to leave when it is safe to do so that do not rely on U.S. government assistance,” warns the message.
Latest security alert on US Embassy In Afghanistan website: “Make contingency plans to leave when it is safe to do so that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.” pic.twitter.com/d2DujvpSZ2
— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) August 31, 2021
Read the full memo below:
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul suspended operations on August 31, 2021. While the U.S. government has withdrawn its personnel from Kabul, we will continue to assist U.S. citizens and their families in Afghanistan from Doha, Qatar.
The Embassy will continue to provide information via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), the Embassy web page, Travel.State.Gov, and Facebook and Twitter. Consular services remain available outside Afghanistan. To locate the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate click here.
The Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas. U.S. citizens still in country should:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
to receive security updates and ensure you can be located in an emergency.
- Review your personal security plans.
- Be aware of your surroundings and local security developments at all times.
- Keep a low profile.
- Notify a trusted person of your travel and movement plans.
- Make contingency plans to leave when it is safe to do so that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
- Monitor local media.
- Please review, “What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis.”
Resources for U.S. citizens in Afghanistan:
- State Department – Consular Affairs Afghanistan Call Center
833-741-2777 or 606-260-4379
- Embassy Citizens’ Services Page
- Afghanistan Country Information
- Afghanistan Travel Advisory
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
- Refer to our website for the latest Alerts and Messages for U.S. citizens.
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Afghanistan.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to ensure you receive Alerts and other information
For information on Special Immigrant Visas see: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/special-immg-visa-afghans-employed-us-gov.html