White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, the guy some think is the power behind the throne at the White House, was on CNN today when he was asked about Afghanistan and the Americans still trapped behind enemy lines after the Biden team pulled out.
His response was a perfect example of the Biden team’s inability to be honest and transparent when it comes to this whole issue.
“State of the Union” host Dana Bash asked, “Let’s turn to Afghanistan. More than 100 American citizens were left behind when the last military flight left Kabul earlier this week. What is their status right now? Have any gotten out, and how many are still there?”
Now that’s a simple question, right? At least you could answer the “how many have you gotten out.” Unless the answer is none, and you don’t want to say it. Then you do what Klain did and just say a lot of words that don’t respond to the question.
Biden Chief of Staff Ron Klain doesn’t know how many Americans are stranded in Afghanistan, how many have gotten out since the military pulled out, or how they’ll be evacuated. pic.twitter.com/mSVliSFNeM
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 5, 2021
“We believe it’s around a hundred,” he said. “We’re in touch with all of them, who we’ve identified, on a regular basis. Obviously, we’re hopeful that in the coming days that the Qataris will resume air service out of Kabul. And if they do, we’re obviously going to look to see if Americans can be on those flights.
“We are going to find ways to get them, the ones that want to leave, to get them out of Afghanistan,” he added. “We know many of them have family members, many of them want to stay, but the ones that want to leave, we’re going to get them out.”
So he says things in there that are problematic. He tries to inject this “many of them want to stay” thing to diminish leaving them there and downplay how serious this is. Then he says they’re in contact with “all of them” on a regular basis which, based on the reports, is doubtful, since they don’t even seem to know how many people there are and it doesn’t match the reports of people who feel they have been abandoned by the State Department. Moreover, saying you’re in contact doesn’t mean you’re actually doing anything and that’s what people, especially the people stranded want to hear — what are you going to do to get them out?
There are reports from one of the people trapped — a pregnant woman from California — that the Taliban are hunting Americans down now. That’s on top of reports of the Afghan allies being slaughtered.
“The question is whether or not you’re hearing what we believe are credible reports about the Taliban systematically hunting them down, many of them, and killing them,” Bash asked Klain. “Have you heard about that and what is the administration doing about it?”
“We’re in close communication with our sources and our contacts in Afghanistan to try to get those SIVs out, to get them out safely,” Klain claimed.
“I know that some are coming out by land. We are again, continuing to work on efforts to get them out by air as well. We’re going to continue to move those SIVs out of the country. What I will say is, as everyone knows, we launched a historic airlift that brought 124,000 people out of Afghanistan, American citizens, legal permanent residents of this country, residents of other countries, and a lot of Afghan nationals. And we are going to get those people — we have gotten those people to safety. We’re ultimately going to resettle them in Europe and the United States. And that’s a big part of rescuing that SIV population.”
But the problem is of the 124,000 they got out about 8,500 SIVs when you’re talking about over 80,000 SIVs and thousands more who helped the US but may not have technically qualified for the SIV status. 8,500 out of 80,000 is not a “big part rescuing that SIV population.” Indeed, it’s offensive, almost, that so many were left with a lot of questions remaining about some of the people they did take onto the planes.
.@CarlaBabbVOA: “[T]here are about 7,000 of the 88,000, so that leaves more than 80,000 SIVs & family members left behind. Does the Pentagon see that as a success leaving 80,000 SIVs who worked alongside our troops behind?”
Kirby: “Carla, I can’t verify the number.” pic.twitter.com/jyrWcDZQP1
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) August 30, 2021
But on top of all that, as we reported earlier today, there are planes being prevented from leaving by the Taliban that have 19 Americans as well as hundreds of Afghan allies in Mazar-i-Sharif at last check, with the Taliban essentially holding them hostage to get concessions/recognition/money from the United States. Notice how Klain didn’t mention that. That’s a serious problem with the administration not offering up any solutions of what they are going to do besides paying whatever ransom the Taliban request. How are they planning on helping get those Americans and the rest out?