Update: during this surreal press conference late on Thursday, Biden did not deny the report of U.S. handing over names of Americans to Taliban, saying 'There may have been.'
"There have been occasions where our military has contacted their military counterparts in the Taliban and said this bus is coming through...made up of the following group...let it through," the president said. "Yes, there have been occasions like that."
Biden added that to his knowledge, the "bulk of that group" has been let through but can't say with "certitude" that there was a list of names passed to the Taliban. In short, yes, the Biden admin handed "kill lists" to the Taliban.
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A day that will live in infamy for the reeling Biden administration just got even worse, after Politico reported that Biden administration officials in Kabul gave the Taliban a list of names of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies to grant entry into the militant-controlled outer perimeter of the city’s airport, a choice which according to the media outlet which was just purchased by Germany's Axel Springer, "prompted outrage behind the scenes from lawmakers and military officials."
“Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list,” said one defense official, who like others spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive topic. “It’s just appalling and shocking and makes you feel unclean.”
After the fall of Kabul, in the earliest days of the evacuation, the joint U.S. military and diplomatic coordination team at the airport provided the Taliban with a list of people the U.S. aimed to evacuate. Those names included Afghans who served alongside the U.S. during the 20-year war and sought special immigrant visas to America. U.S. citizens, dual nationals and lawful permanent residents were also listed. - Politico
The bizarre decision which was revealed by three U.S. and congressional officials, was meant "to expedite the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from Afghanistan as chaos erupted in Afghanistan’s capital city last week after the Taliban seized control of the country." It also came as the Biden administration has been relying on the Taliban for security outside the airport, which in retrospect was a catastrophic decision.
But the decision to provide specific names to the Taliban, which has in recent days already brutally murdered numerous Afghans who collaborated with the U.S. and other coalition forces during the conflict, has angered lawmakers and military officials.
More from Politico on this unprecedented diplomatic disaster:
The issue came up during a classified briefing on Capitol Hill earlier this week, which turned contentious after top Biden administration officials defended their close coordination with the Taliban. Biden officials contended that it was the best way to keep Americans and Afghans safe and prevent a shooting war between Taliban fighters and the thousands of U.S. troops stationed at the airport.
“They had to do that because of the security situation the White House created by allowing the Taliban to control everything outside the airport,” one U.S. official said. In other words, the handing over a kill list to the Taliban is the direct result of Biden's bungled evacuation of Kabul, which was overrun by Taliban, and now ISIS, just hours after US forces started pulling out.
But after thousands of visa applicants arrived at the airport, overwhelming the capacity of the U.S. to process them, the State Department changed course — asking the applicants not to come to the airport and instead requesting they wait until they were cleared for entry. From then on, the list fed to the Taliban didn’t include those Afghan names.
In the fluid situation, starting Aug. 25, only U.S. passport and green card holders were being accepted as eligible for evacuation, the defense official said. Still, that U.S. officials handed over a list of Afghan allies and American citizens and residents shows the extent to which they outsourced security of the airport’s outer perimeter to the Taliban which as Biden said previously, had being treated as "allies" of the admin.
Instead of helping expedite the evacuations, the Taliban has gone door-to-door in search of Afghan interpreters and others who helped U.S. and Western forces.
In written and verbal communications, Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, and Rear Adm. Peter Vasely, head of U.S. forces on the ground in Afghanistan, who were among those responsible for this unprecedented fiasco, have referred to the Taliban as “our Afghan partners,” according to two defense officials.
Needless to say, news of this idiocy sparked fresh call for Biden to resign or be impeached.
So now we are giving a terrorist organization the names of US citizens and other allies? How does this not endanger them greatly?— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) August 26, 2021
We impeach presidents for having a phone call with a president of another country but not this insanity! You awake yet? https://t.co/1tmIFHpo1D
Trump had a call with the Ukrainian President -- IMPEACH!— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) August 26, 2021
Joe Biden gave terrorists a list of American citizens to kill -- *crickets* https://t.co/5UAEBesbZx
The news came just hours after two Islamic State terrorist attacks rocked the area just outside the airport, killing at least a dozen U.S. citizens and wounding dozens more.
After the attacks, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) appeared to criticize the Biden administration’s strategy of coordinating with the Taliban, writing in a statement: “As we wait for more details to come in, one thing is clear: We can’t trust the Taliban with Americans’ security.”