United States officials in Kabul gave a list of names “of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies” to the Taliban. In an exclusive report, Politico revealed details given by three U.S. and congressional officials.
In theory, the list of names was intended to notify the Taliban of who should be granted entry into the militant-controlled perimeter of the airport, as “the Biden administration has been relying on the Taliban for security outside the airport.”
The decision to hand over a list has “prompted outrage behind the scenes from lawmakers and military officials.” One defense official simply said, “basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity and added “It’s just appalling and shocking and makes you feel unclean.”
In a news conference Thursday, President Joe Biden was specifically asked about the list of names reported by Politico. His answer was, at best, clueless:
“There have been occasions when our military has contacted their military counterparts in the Taliban and said this, for example, this bus is coming through with X number of people on it, made up of the following group of people. We want you to let that bus or that group through,” said Biden.
“So, yes there have been occasions like that. To the best of my knowledge, in those cases, the bulk of that has occurred and they have been let through…I can’t tell you with any certitude that there’s actually been a list of names,” he added. “There may have been. But I know of no circumstance. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist, that here’s the names of 12 people, they’re coming, let them through. It could very well have happened.”