Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) criticized President Joe Biden for the alleged list the United States gave to Taliban leaders containing names of Americans and allied personnel still on the ground in Afghanistan seeking to evacuate.
Rubio’s comments were contained in a letter sent to the White House.
“I am greatly distressed by your admission that your administration may have provided a list of American citizens, legal permanent residents and vulnerable Afghans to the Taliban. Regardless of the assurances your administration may have received from the Taliban, your decision to believe them was nothing less than irresponsible and naïve. Sharing such a list provided the Taliban a powerful tool in their ongoing ‘revenge killings’ of those who stood with the United States, and its mission in Afghanistan, during the last twenty years.”
The letter goes on to address the claims the Biden Administration made saying the list was designed to help Americans and allies navigate their way through Kabul’s checkpoints, based on the promise the Taliban made ensuring “general amnesty.” With the Taliban not keeping their promise, they began conducting door-to-door raids seeking individuals tied to the United States.
“This action has endangered Americans, and our allies, who have been unable to leave Afghanistan and seriously calls into question your administration’s decision making. As such, I will oppose any and all of your nominees for national security positions until you provide responses to the questions posed.”
As evacuations have continued after a terrorist attack which killed 13 American service members and nearly 100 Afghans, Biden’s officials are being blasted as they said they are relying on the Taliban to help with the evacuation process and the Taliban is providing security around the Kabul airport.
Biden’s Administration also said it cannot guarantee safe passage for Americans left behind after the August 31 deadline to exit the country.
Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA-28), also said Americans and allies likely would not all be out by the deadline.
“Given the number of Americans who still need to be evacuated, the number of [Special Immigrant Visas], the number of others who are members of the Afghan press, civil society leaders, women leaders,” Schiff said. “It’s hard for me to imagine all of that can be accomplished between now and the end of the month.”
The Taliban has said retaliation could come if the withdrawal is not complete by the deadline.
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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Marco Rubio” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo “Joe Biden” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Taliban” by ResoluteSupportMedia. CC BY 2.0.