President Biden declared to a puzzled country on Tuesday that the U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan was an “extraordinary success,” while his Pentagon portrayed a prosaic, workaday process to repatriate Americans still stranded in the war-torn country.
But text messages between U.S. military commanders and private citizens mounting last-minute rescues tell a far different story, one in which pleading American citizens were frantically left behind at the Kabul airport gate this past weekend to face an uncertain fate under Taliban rule while U.S. officials sought to spread the blame between high-ranking generals and the State Department
“We are f*cking abandoning American citizens,” an Army colonel assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division wrote Sunday in frustration in a series of encrypted messages that detailed the failed effort to extricate a group of American citizens, hours before the last U.S. soldiers departed Afghanistan.
The text messages and emails were provided to Just the News by Michael Yon, a former Special Forces soldier and war correspondent who was among the private citizens working with private networks and the military to rescue stranded Americans.
Yon told Just the News that a group of Americans were abandoned at the Kabul airport, pleading for help as military officials told them they were finished with evacuations.
“We had them out there waving their passport screaming, ‘I’m American,'” Yon said Tuesday while appearing on the John Solomon Reports podcast.
The heart-wrenching scenes unfolded this weekend as the U.S. military prepared to exit the capital city on Monday, leaving both the airport and most of the country under Taliban control.
“People were turned away from the gate by our own Army,” Yon said.
After the episode ended and the Americans scattered to safe houses to avoid being captured, Yon wrote a stinging email to an Army major whose team had tried to coordinate the rescue before abandoning it.
“You guys left American citizens at the gate of the Kabul airport,” Yon wrote Tuesday to the commander. “Three empty jets paid for by volunteers were waiting for them. You and I talked on the phone. I told you where they were. Gave you their passport images. And my email and phone number. And you left them behind.”
He added: “Great job saving yourselves. Probably get a lot of medals.”
Yon’s account, backed by three dozen text and email exchanges with frontline Army officials in Afghanistan, stands in sharp contrast to the claims of the Biden White House that U.S. citizens would not be left behind in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.