Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

Trump’s exaggerates claim that many Americans are ‘hostages’ in Afghanistan

By 37ci3 Mar30,2024

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump made a broad point when he argued that President Joe Biden failed to pull America out of Afghanistan in 2021. Some of Biden’s fellow Democrats will admit – he often complains that his campaign has hundreds or thousands of US citizens trapped in a Taliban-run country.

“For 18 months, we didn’t lose anybody in Afghanistan. And then we had that terrible, terrible retreat where we lost 13 soldiers, we had 38 terrible injuries, we left the Americans behind,” Trump said in a statement after his Super Tuesday victories earlier this month.

“You still have the Americans behind you right now,” he said. – Call them hostages if you want.

In a campaign video released last week, Trump repeated the charge.

“We still have a lot of Americans in Afghanistan, probably living as hostages.

But two senior national security officials in the Biden administration told NBC News that the Taliban had detained two Americans whom the US government wanted freed. Other Americans in Afghanistan are there voluntarily, they said.

“Every American who wanted to go went,” said the first official. “Actually, we haven’t left a single person behind. And we’re taking out our Afghan allies every month.”

State Department officials said they could not provide an exact figure for how many US citizens are in Afghanistan and are seeking help to leave the country.

“It is impossible to say exactly how many US citizens are in Afghanistan today,” a State Department spokesman said. “In the 30 months since our embassy closed, many US citizens have left, returned and left again.”

Ryan Corbett, one of the Americans arrested by the Taliban, opened a microfinance company in the country during the war, escaped in 2021 with the help of the US government, and then returned in 2022. The harsh conditions he faced and his deteriorating physical condition were described in detail by fellow prisoners who were once released. He has not been charged with a crime.

National security officials declined to name the other person they are seeking to release, but noted that he entered Afghanistan on a tourist visa after the 2021 evacuation.

“They both went to Afghanistan after we left,” he said in the first official text message.

According to State Department officials, at least 67,000 Afghans have applied for Special Immigrant Visas created for local nationals supporting the US mission in the country. At least 20,000 Afghans have been found eligible for these visas and are moving forward.

Since regaining power, the Taliban have killed at least 200 members of the Afghan security forceswho fought alongside US forces. The Taliban also banned girls over the age of 11 from attending school, the only government in the world to do so.

The ban is applied unevenly across Afghanistan, but an unknown number of Afghan women are also believed to want to leave the country.

Trump’s spokeswoman Carolyn Leavitt defended the former president’s argument.

“President Trump is absolutely right to call out Joe Biden for betraying Americans in Afghanistan,” Leavitt said, “Biden’s tragic retreat left behind hundreds, if not thousands, of citizens and resulted in the tragic deaths of 13 U.S. service members at Abbey Gate.”

Abbey Gate is a location outside Kabul Airport where 13 American servicemen are stationed died as a result of a terrorist attack As the US vacates Afghanistan in August 2021.

“Now the Taliban have regained control of the country using our billions of dollars of military equipment, and radical terrorists have been emboldened throughout the region,” Leavitt said.

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By 37ci3

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