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With the Biden administration refusing to commit to rescuing all U.S. citizens from Afghanistan, at least two other nations — Qatar and the United Kingdom — have reportedly taken up the challenging but doable task themselves.
This stunning finding was revealed by retired Marine and former Trump-era Deputy National Advisor Matt Pottinger during an appearance Wednesday on Fox Business Network’s “Kudlow.”
According to Pottinger, the Qataris have for their part been using their “lines of communication to the Taliban” to arrange transportation for Americans.
“They have in some cases — at the risk of the lives of their own diplomats — have been arranging for Americans and students, journalists, Afghan staff who have been working at the American University of Kabul, for example, and they’ve been escorting, creating safe passage and escorting those people onto the airbase and then flying them out to safety,” he explained.
The Brits have reportedly been doing something similar.
UK’s ambassador to Afghanistan: “If you are a British national and need assistance please call +44 (0) 1908 516666”
U.S. State Department: “Do not call the U.S. Embassy in Kabul for details or updates about the flight. This form is the only way to communicate”
— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) August 18, 2021
“The United Kingdom right now, I know that they’re running patrols into Kabul to get British citizens, Afghans, in some cases Americans that they encounter and helping bring them to safety,” Pottinger said.
(Video: Fox Business)
The behavior of the Qataris and Brits contrasts sharply with the ineptitude and apathy of the Biden administration.
During separate press conferences Wednesday, both Defense Department spokesperson John Kirby and State Department spokesperson Ned Price couldn’t even specify how many Americans are waiting to be rescued from Afghanistan.
“I think as you probably know, first of all, the State Department would be a better place to go for an estimate of how many Americans or Afghanistan are in and around Kabul. That is not a figure that the United States military would know,” Kirby said during his presser.
“And I think as you also know, not every American citizen in another country, there’s no obligation that they register their presence and that you can have a perfect, accurate count. But I don’t have that figure. And I’d refer you to my State Department colleagues for the best estimate on that,” he added.
He at least had a somewhat valid excuse. There was, however, no excuse for Price’s ignorance, which is why reporters heckled him during his press conference later that afternoon.
“Just one final thing. How many more Americans left in Afghanistan? This was raised in Pentagon, and they referred them to the State Department,” a reporter asked during the briefing.
“Well, we have been consistent in …,” Price began replying before being heckled by another reporter.
“In not answering!” the second reporter exclaimed in a rare bout of media anger aimed at the Biden administration.
“… in explaining that in every country, Americans register with the embassy. So it’s a voluntary, it’s a voluntary thing,” Price then continued.
Unsatisfied with his answer, the first reporter asked, “Clearly, but you understand this is a question that also defines the length of this mission?”
This is relevant because the administration hasn’t committed to staying beyond the Aug. 31st deadline if Americans remain trapped in Afghanistan.
Listen to Price’s word-salad response below:
Biden State Department Spokesman Ned Price STILL doesn’t know how many Americans are in Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/6Th4Vg4V6j
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 19, 2021
Later during the same press conference, another reporter tried again to elicit a real answer from him.
“You have said specifically that you have notified all Americans that are trying to get out of state. Is there any rough idea of a number, any characterization that you can give? Clearly, they have given you this information. Clearly, they are trying to get out. Is there any idea of how many Americans are still trying to get out of Afghanistan?” the reporter asked.
Once again, Price refused to specify the required details. Instead he stunningly suggested the administration can’t provide a number because some Americans who’re stuck in Afghanistan want to remain there permanently.
“We have been in contact with the Americans who have requested to be repatriated. We’re just not in a position to give a number right now. We’re more broadly not in a position to offer an aggregate figure because we are putting forward offers to individuals who may be interested in relocating. In some cases, they may opt not to come to the airport. They may opt not to be relocated for whatever reason,” he said.
The reporters, much to their credit, continued pounding him.
“You know how many Americans have contacted you and asked to get out. Why can’t you tell us?” one asked.
“There has to be some kind of list, right?” another asked.
Ideally, but given this administration’s endless incompetence and misplaced priorities, it’s certainly possible that there isn’t even a list.
You would think that if you planned to leave Afghanistan in a few months you would have a reliable list, or at least a solid estimate, of how many Americans were there. But no one seems to have any idea.
— Paul Delmont (@DelmontPaulJ) August 20, 2021
Crazy how they have a list of all of us that make Fact Tweets but they don’t have a list of Americans in Afghanistan..?🇺🇸
— Harry 🚀🚀 (@_TheCoolTwin) August 19, 2021
There’s certainly no plan.
New message posted to U.S. Embassy to Afghanistan website:
"The U.S. government cannot ensure safe passage to the airport." pic.twitter.com/oRR0bQwX8m
— Anthony DeRosa 🗽 (@Anthony) August 20, 2021
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