The Biden State Department insisted that all Americans who wanted out of Afghanistan last fall could leave. After that statement, several planeloads of Americans flew out of Afghanistan. We were then told that every American citizen who wanted to leave Afghanistan was eligible for assistance.
We are now told that dozens of Americans remain in Afghanistan and appear to be being held hostage by the Taliban, even though the word “hostage” has not been used.
Two of the American hostages held captive were freed today.
CNN: Friday’s release of Safi Rafi, an Afghan-American Naval Reservist and humanitarian worker in Kabul was secured by the Biden administration. He had been held captive under Taliban rule since December.
Rauf, his brothers, and all of them ex-Afghan refugees created the Human First Coalition. This group, along with others from the “Digital Dunkirk,” worked to help those fleeing Kabul’s fall. Rauf put the medical school in limbo to travel to Kabul to help Afghans.
Rauf Khalil and his brother Anees Khalil were captured by the Taliban in December. This date is important because, in December, the Taliban made friendly with the international community to try and wiggle humanitarian aid. This is perfectly in line with the Taliban strategy of talking peace and seizing negotiation assets such as hostages.
“Safiullah Rahman and Anees Khalil have been released following unjustly being detained in Afghanistan,” Ned Price, an official with the State Department, stated Friday. They are now in Qatar and will soon be returning home. While we are thankful for all the people who helped to free them, there is still much work. We will continue to work until all Americans who are being held captive against their will are able to hug their loved ones again.
It is not clear what the administration gave up in order to free the brothers. According to what we know, the Taliban probably made part of the deal. Why isn’t the media focusing on this story asking why so many Americans were in Afghanistan following the bug-out.
As the Taliban seeks recognition from the United States and other Western countries as Afghanistan’s legitimate government, the Rauf brothers were released. CNN reported that the Taliban had detained at most eight Westerners since coming to power in August 2021, when the Biden administration pulled all US troops out of Afghanistan. This included the Rauf brothers.
They worked with the Taliban during the chaotic evacuation of Afghans and foreigners from Kabul. Although US officials have maintained regular contact with them, there are still many Americans in Afghanistan who want to flee the country. However, there have not been any regular evacuation flights.
This is the price for incompetent and cowardly-led leadership refusing to admit their mistakes. This sorry mess should be investigated thoroughly if the GOP wins control of Congress.