Report: Biden Admin Charging Americans Up to $2000 Per Evacuation from Kabul

An employee at a money changer counts USD 100 bills in Manila on October 25, 2012. AFP PHOTO/NOEL CELIS
AFP PHOTO/NOEL CELIS

President Joe Biden’s State Department is said to be charging Americans stranded in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan to be evacuated from Kabul’s chief airport.

Politico reports:

Even though U.S. officials tell NatSec Daily and others that evacuation flights from Kabul will be free, people trying to catch a plane in the Afghan capital say differently. One person said State Department staff were seeking large payments — up to $2,000 — from American passengers and even more from non-U.S. citizens.

When we relayed what this person told us to the State Department, a spokesperson didn’t deny that this is happening.

“U.S. law requires that evacuation assistance to private U.S. citizens or third country nationals be provided ‘on a reimbursable basis to the maximum extent practicable.’ The situation is extremely fluid, and we are working to overcome obstacles as they arise,” the spokesperson said.

The report comes as global outrage continues over Biden’s botched withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. The administration has been hit with blistering condemnation because of its inability to pin down the exact number or Americans stranded in the war-torn country or guarantee their safety as they attempt to make their way to the airport for evacuation.

Earlier Thursday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby conceded he couldn’t provide an exact number of stranded Americans.

White House officials stated Tuesday that the “self-identified” figure is roughly 11,000, while media outlets have suggested the number is up to 40,000.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Wednesday that the military will evacuate individuals “until the clock runs out or we run out of capacity,” sparking concerns regarding whether the Biden administration may end up leaving some American citizens behind:

And quite frankly, we’re not close to where we want to be in terms of getting the numbers through. We’re going to work that 24 hours per day, seven days a week. And we’re going to get everyone that we can possibly evacuate, evacuated. And I’ll do that as long as we possibly can, until the clock runs out or we run out of capability.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) called for Biden to expand the U.S. military’s perimeter at the airport in order to assist Americans who may be unable to reach it for evacuation due to the Taliban presence.

Cotton, who served in Afghanistan with a Provincial Reconstruction Team, said in a statement:

President Biden’s ill-planned, chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan has stranded thousands of American citizens behind enemy lines, turning them in effect into hostages of the Taliban. Instead of ordering rescue missions to save our people, as our allies have done, the Biden administration is relying on the Taliban’s good graces to ensure the safety of our citizens. As a result, terrified Americans are being forced to run a gauntlet of armed terrorist checkpoints to reach the safety of Kabul airport. My office has received numerous reports of American citizens and Afghan allies being harassed, beaten, and abused by Taliban thugs. These reports are in addition to the televised scenes of chaos at the airport perimeter.

“This catastrophe of the president’s making must come to an end,” he continued. “It’s time for President Biden to authorize the military to stop this rolling humiliation, expand the perimeter at Kabul airport, and rescue Americans trapped behind enemy lines. Anything less amounts to an abandonment of our fellow Americans and a shameful abdication of duty in a moment of crisis.”

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