BlazeTV and radio host Glenn Beck’s Nazarene Fund and Mercury One charities have six private charter planes that were set to evacuate 1,000 people including 100 Americans from Afghanistan that have now reportedly been grounded by the Taliban.
An NGO (non-governmental organization) official told Newsweek that the passengers have not boarded the planes yet in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif as negotiations with the U.S. State Department are stalled.
Beck’s planes are not the only ones grounded. Two evacuation flights by international development organization Sayara and one by Goldbelt, Inc. are also grounded. Nineteen Americans and an unknown number of Afghans were scheduled to be on those flights.
Beck has reportedly raised over $30 million to help rescue Christians, religious minorities, Americans, Afghans, and anyone else he can get out of Afghanistan. He has two Airbus 340s and four Boeing 737s from Kam Air on the tarmac at the airport in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif.
NGO officials are contending that the flights were grounded amid a breakdown in negotiations with the State Department. They noted that the Taliban could be attempting to “shakedown” the airline or the State Department for money in exchange for takeoff clearance.
One official stated that negotiations between the Taliban and the State Department are “stuck at this point” and therefore the terrorists have not “granted final clearance” for the flights to depart. The negotiations have reportedly been going on for days while the evacuees have gone into hiding.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) is describing the incident as a “hostage situation.”
GOP lawmakers: Americans, allies being held hostage on planes Taliban won’t let depart https://t.co/OmLnxihmP5 pic.twitter.com/1gEiDRsKI7
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 6, 2021
“They are not clearing airplanes to depart. They’ve sat at the airport for the last couple days, these planes, and they’re not allowed to leave,” McCaul declared on “Fox News Sunday.”
“We know the reason why is because the Taliban want something in exchange. This is really turning into a hostage situation where they’re not going to allow American citizens to leave until they get full recognition from the United States of America,” he surmised.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who serves on the Committee on Foreign Relations, tweeted: “Joe Biden abandoned Americans in Afghanistan. Members of Congress, including me and my office, have been working around the clock to get them out – and for days Biden’s State Dept. couldn’t even get out of its own way. Now there are deeply disturbing reports of a hostage crisis.”
Joe Biden abandoned Americans in Afghanistan. Members of Congress, including me and my office, have been working around the clock to get them out – and for days Biden's State Dept. couldn't even get out of its own way. Now there are deeply disturbing reports of a hostage crisis. https://t.co/EMGd5wWGxs
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) September 5, 2021
There are conflicting reports on how many Americans are now stranded behind enemy lines in Afghanistan. White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain told CNN on Sunday that “around 100” U.S. citizens were still in the country while McCaul says hundreds of Americans are still there. Others claim it is in the thousands.
The NGO officials are rejecting the “hostage” scenario. There are reporting 142 Americans stranded because these flights are being prevented from leaving.
“The planes are currently empty and its passengers are still waiting in their safe houses for clearance for takeoff from the Taliban,” one NGO official asserted. “I have 1,600 plus people on the master manifest that want to fly, of which 123 are Americans and the rest are Special Immigration Visas.”
Each of the Nazarene Fund and Mercury One’s flights reportedly cost $750,000.
NGO officials are contending that they are not negotiating directly with the Taliban due to the provisions of the Foreign Corruption Practices Act of 1977 which “prohibits U.S. citizens and entities from bribing foreign government officials to benefit their business interests.”
Beck’s people have been on the ground feverishly and fearlessly trying to save people, especially Christians and other vulnerable religious minorities.
The State Department is claiming that it could not confirm whether Americans were attempting to evacuate aboard the privately chartered aircraft due to a lack of resources and personnel on the ground in Afghanistan.
“We do not have personnel on the ground, we do not have air assets in the country, we do not control the airspace—whether over Afghanistan or elsewhere in the region,” a spokesperson stated.
Many are praying for Beck and for those he is trying to rescue from almost certain death. They also have a great deal of disgust for the State Department and President Biden at this point:
— Guardian_Elite (@Guardian_Elite) September 6, 2021
@StateDept you guys gonna actually do your jobs or just sit around and keep waiting forever private citizens to do it for you?
— Isaac Taylor (@taylorarabs) September 6, 2021
God speed Glenn
— Humanity (@Lynwapo) September 6, 2021
And this horrible Biden administration is preventing them from taking off and rescuing American citizens. pic.twitter.com/pqN6p6dciN
— Kraken (@KBradsh66555190) September 6, 2021
Hostages to the Taliban, what deal is Joe making with the terrorists?
— Impeach Senile Joe (@DemsAreDumbb) September 6, 2021
Pallets of cash
— Willard (@wcmarkham) September 6, 2021
Maybe if we had a president who could put the fear of God in them, they would be able to successfully bring them home. Nope. We have a cowardly old dude that thinks men can give birth.
— Matt Devinsky (@DevinskyMatt) September 6, 2021
In my thoughts sir
— William (The Kilted Warrior) Kincaid (@WilliamFKincaid) September 6, 2021
If only we had a state department.
— churchinc (@churchinc1) September 6, 2021
I thought that Psaki said that they were going to continue to get Americans and the people who helped us out…I guess I will add another line to the lie column…😡😡
— Jamie Sheaffer (@jamie_sheaffer) September 6, 2021
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