Leaked Email Reveals State Department Blocking Rescue Flights From Afghanistan Even With Americans on Board: Report
A leaked email shows that the U.S. State Department has refused to greenlight some privately chartered planes out of Afghanistan, which could have evacuated U.S. citizens and Afghans wanting out of the country.
Military lawyer and retired Marine Eric Montalvo opened up about the details of the email to Fox News after he organized some of the flights, claiming that the federal government had thwarted his rescue effort, Daily Mail reported.
The leaked email shows that State Department officials refused to allow Montalvo's privately paid flights to use U.S. property either inside the country or in any of its overseas bases.
The officials cited possible security threats from landing charter planes at military bases, saying they lack the resources on the ground to thoroughly verify flight manifests.
An email from September 1 read that no independent charters are allowed at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, Defense Department base, and "most if not all countries in the Middle Eastern region," except for "perhaps Saudi Arabia."
An official suggested Montalvo look to a different destination country for help. The official added that it "can't be the U.S. either."
Though some third countries "may require" official approval from the State Department before accepting the private charter flights, the official noted that the agency "will not provide" that approval.
"DOS (Department of State) will not provide an approval, but we will provide a 'no objection' to the destination country government via the U.S. Embassy in that country," the official said.
It was also reported that the delay was caused by the administration officials of President Joe Biden not informing Taliban leaders that it had approved the departures of chartered flights.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki argued that reports claiming that the Biden administration was stopping efforts to evacuate remaining people in Afghanistan was incorrect.
Psaki earlier said that anyone suggesting that the administration was preventing the flight was not accurate, New York Post reported.
Rep. Markwayne Mullin also blamed the State Department for blocking a rescue mission he had sponsored from landing at the Kabul airport.
U.S. Forces to Return to Afghanistan
The Washington Post reported that Sen. Lindsey Graham believes that the U.S. forces would be going back to Afghanistan despite ending the nearly two decades of U.S. military presence in the war-torn country.
Graham told his predictions to BBC, saying that the U.S. will have to go back to Afghanistan "because the [terror] threat will be so large."
He also predicted a looming clash between the Taliban and extremist groups such as the Islamic State. The Republican senator claimed that Afghanistan would be a "cauldron for radical Islamic behavior."
He further noted that the Taliban is not reformed and that they will be giving a safe haven to Al Qaeda, who have ambitions to drive the U.S. out of the mid-east.
Graham said that Biden's choice would be either to let the threat fester or "hit them before they hit you," The Hill reported. Graham was among the Republicans who criticized Biden for failing to correctly forecast the fall of the Afghan government and Army, with the Taliban earning the territory.
The Taliban earlier called on the U.S. to adhere to the August 31 deadline to withdraw the troops. The withdrawal was three months later than what former President Donald Trump had agreed on with the Taliban during the U.S.-Taliban deal in Doha, Independent reported.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden had promised that the U.S. forces would be able to keep terrorists in check without deploying military forces in Afghanistan.
The president said they conduct effective counterterrorism missions in multiple countries without having to commit a military presence permanently. Biden noted that they would do the same in Afghanistan if needed.
This article is owned by Latin Post
Written by: Mary Webber
WATCH: Taliban Blocks Plane From Leaving Afghanistan - From GMA
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