U.S. officials gave the Taliban a list of names of American citizens and Afghan allies to expedite their evacuation out of the country, but critics say they essentially handed terrorists a ‘kill list.’
“Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list,” an anonymous defense official claimed. “It’s just appalling and shocking and makes you feel unclean.”
At a Thursday news conference, President Biden confirmed the practice of the U.S. military contacting the Taliban military with requests to let bus loads of people through checkpoints, but could not confirm or deny the existence of specific manifests.
“I can’t tell you with any certitude that there’s actually been a list of names,” he commented. “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.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken flat out denied the actuality of such lists insisting “it’s simply not the case,” but later confirmed the U.S. had given the Taliban names of bus bound evacuees.
“The idea that we’ve done anything to put at further risk those that were trying to help leave the country is simply wrong. And the idea that we shared lists of Americans or others with the Taliban is simply wrong,” Blinken said to “Meet the Press’s” Chuck Todd.
When Todd asked what U.S. officials had shared, Blinken said that they did in fact share names of evacuees with the Taliban.
“When you’re trying to get a bus or a group of people through and you need to show a manifest to do that — particularly in cases where people don’t have the necessary credentials on them or documents on them — then you’ll share names of the lists of people on the bus so they can be assured those are the people we’re looking to bring in,” Blinken explained.
Despite the admission, he stood by the process. “By definition, that’s exactly what’s happened,” he continued. “But the idea that we put anyone in any further jeopardy is simply wrong.”