I was utterly flabbergasted to read this report yesterday.
U.S. officials in Kabul gave the Taliban a list of names of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies to grant entry into the militant-controlled outer perimeter of the city’s airport, a choice that's prompted outrage behind the scenes from lawmakers and military officials.
The move, detailed to POLITICO by three U.S. and congressional officials, was designed to expedite the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from Afghanistan as chaos erupted in Afghanistan’s capital city last week after the Taliban seized control of the country. It also came as the Biden administration has been relying on the Taliban for security outside the airport.
Since the fall of Kabul in mid-August, nearly 100,000 people have been evacuated, most of whom had to pass through the Taliban's many checkpoints. But the decision to provide specific names to the Taliban, which has a history of brutally murdering Afghans who collaborated with the U.S. and other coalition forces during the conflict, has angered lawmakers and military officials.
“Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list,” said one defense official, who like others spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive topic. “It’s just appalling and shocking and makes you feel unclean.”
There's more at the link.
This is so incredible, so absolutely, sickeningly incompetent, that I don't believe it can be incompetence alone. There HAS to have been actual malice involved. Someone, somewhere, must surely have thought along these lines:
"Well, we can't get all our allies and associates out, and we're going to get publicly pilloried for that: but, if we hand them over to the Taliban, perhaps the Taliban will ignore our own people, and let us get them out while they take their revenge on collaborators. We can at least get something good out of this mess, and claim some credit that way - and besides, they're not Americans, so they don't count. Yeah, let's try that."
I can think of no other possible explanation for any US bureaucrat, diplomat or official doing something so incredibly dumb, stupid, terminally obtuse and criminally cretinous.
The official(s) responsible have, by their actions, condemned every Afghan they named to the Taliban - and their wives, and their children, and their extended families - to death. Some will already have been killed. If the remainder are lucky, it'll be over quickly. If they're not . . . it'll be a slow, lingering, living hell on earth until the final mercy. That goes double (triple!) for the women.
It would be the most poetic of all possible justices if the official(s) who released those names to the Taliban missed the last flight out, and found themselves at the mercy of the new masters of Afghanistan. It would be even more appropriate if they found themselves waiting for torture and execution alongside those they betrayed.
As for the US military personnel killed yesterday in Kabul . . . I'm sorry, guys. You were put into an impossible situation - what Solomon calls a "self made kill box", which is as good a description as any - by the incompetence and short-sightedness of your leaders, both military and political. As a combat veteran, I feel for you in a way that civilians can't possibly understand. You answered Uncle Sam's call, and Uncle Sam's representatives threw away your lives. I wish I could do more about that than apologize. All I can offer you are my heartfelt, deepest thanks for doing your duty, and my condolences to those you left behind. Your sacrifice will not be forgotten.
I hope someone pays for that, too.