A “furious” Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT) released a statement Monday on his behind-the-scenes efforts to help evacuate stranded Americans and Afghans from Afghanistan, blasting the Biden administration for “delay and inaction.”
Blumenthal said he has been working with groups to evacuate two planeloads of Americans and Afghan stuck at the Mazar-E-Sharif airport in northwestern Afghanistan.
Blumenthal demanded the White House and State Department “do everything in their power” to facilitate the evacuation from Afghanistan and arrival at the U.S. base in Doha, Qatar.
“My staff and I have worked night and day to secure the safe passage of two planes waiting in Mazar-e-Sharif to take American citizens, at-risk Afghan allies, and their families to safety. My office joined forces in this humanitarian mission with an incredible coalition of advocates – NGOs, former servicemembers, and journalists – to try and evacuate our fellow citizens and Afghan allies. I haven’t yet spoken publicly about these efforts because we were worried that heightened attention would only escalate tensions and put these people at greater risk of being targeted.
“I have been deeply frustrated, even furious, at our government’s delay and inaction. There will be plenty of time to seek accountability for the inexcusable bureaucratic red tape that stranded so many of our Afghan allies. For now, my singular focus remains getting these planes in the air and safely to our airbase in Doha, where they have already been cleared to land. I expect the White House and State Department to do everything in their power – absolutely everything – to make this happen. These are Americans citizens and Afghans who risked everything for our country. We cannot leave them behind.”
Dem @SenBlumenthal with a scorching assessment of Biden admin's handling of grounded flights: "I have been deeply frustrated, even furious, at our government’s delay and inaction." pic.twitter.com/IkPJEw5FUn
— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) September 6, 2021
Besides the two planes Blumenthal is working on, there are a reported total of six planes for evacuees stuck at the Mazar-e-Sharif airport.
Blumenthal’s statement was released hours after the Biden administration claimed to have helped four Americans leave Afghanistan overland with the permission of the Taliban.
“The State Dept. says the US facilitated the safe departure of four US citizens from Afghanistan by an overland route. “The Taliban was aware and did not impede their transit,” according to the official.”
The State Dept says the US facilitated the safe departure of four US citizens from Afghanistan by an overland route. “The Taliban was aware and did not impede their transit,” according to the official.
— Chris Jansing (@ChrisJansing) September 6, 2021