Tales of American grit and heroism are emanating from the ash-heap left by the Biden administration after the fall of Afghanistan. What follows is one of those stories:
In what appears to be a real-life game of Risk, Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) was last heard from after contacting the U.S. ambassador in one of the many “-stans” in Central Asia. The Oklahoma representative reportedly made a phone call to the U.S. ambassador to Tajikistan on Monday, August 31, requesting help in a daring rescue of five Americans still trapped inside Afghanistan.
He was turned down flat. Then things went silent.
Late Tuesday, following reports that the lawmaker was missing, Mullin’s communication director, Meredith Blanford, piped up on Twitter that the congressman was “safe.” She then released a statement to Tulsa World, explaining:
“Congressman Mullin has been and is currently completely safe. He and the Office of Oklahoma’s Second District will continue to do anything in our power to bring home all Americans from the war zone that President Biden abandoned. The safety and security of the American people will always be his top priority. We have no further comment at this time.”
Rep. Mullin attempted to enter Afghanistan from Greece last week but was unable to make any headway. His next move was to enter the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, by way of Tbilisi, Georgia. That’s where he met with resistance from U.S. Ambassador John Mark Pommersheim. Unnamed sources told a prominent Washington newspaper that the congressman was incensed by the American official’s refusal to aid his efforts. Mullin had hoped to hire a chopper that would bring him across the border into Afghanistan to rescue an American woman and her four children.
Instead of coming to the aid of the heroic congressman, U.S. officials complained about the lawmaker, saying he “has gone to extraordinary lengths to defy U.S. warnings.” It is an odd reaction – putting the emphasis on the State Department’s level four travel advisory for Afghanistan rather than the effort to extricate Americans from the war-torn nation following the final departure of U.S. forces on Monday. This signals an administration actively working to dissuade private American rescue efforts from taking place inside the Taliban-controlled nation.
Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way
A speech by the president on Monday, August 31, revealed the administration’s failure in reaching its goal of getting every American home despite repeated promises. Mr. Biden told the nation that 90% of those who wanted to come to America were rescued, though the White House later chalked this number up to a speaking error by the president, saying he should have said 98%. Either way, those percentages do not reflect the unequivocal assurance of guaranteeing the safe passage of all who wanted to leave the Taliban-controlled country. This vacuum left the door open for individuals like Mullin. As Liberty Nation recently reported, these private entities are succeeding in covertly extracting abandoned Americans.
On Wednesday, September 1, the Oklahoma representative posted the following message on his Instagram page:
I am heading home…
Have we been helping get Americans out of Afghanistan, yes. Is the mission continuing, yes. Am I missing, no. Did I go dark for a little, yes because it wasn’t safe to be communicating. Am I extremely disappointed in how we (United States) left Americans behind… that would be an understatement. President Biden and his Administration are absolutely lying to the American people about Americans and our friends being left behind.
That there are still Americans languishing in Afghanistan, awaiting that dreaded knock on the door from the Taliban, demonstrates – along with the deaths of 13 U.S. service members – that Biden’s Afghanistan exit turned into a humanitarian fiasco of massive proportions. One would think the administration, having failed in its leadership role and facing heavy criticism, would quietly aid any private efforts – or at least get out of the way.
As these independent-minded Americans such as Rep. Markwayne Mullin risk their very lives to rescue those Americans now caught behind enemy lines, the White House seems more concerned about the political optics of triumphant rescue efforts than saving the lives of men, women, and children. That a sitting U.S. president would not come to the aid of these heroic individuals is telling, and to actively place barriers in the way of those who wish to come to the aid of these abandoned Americans, shameful. Such as it is, the administration should recognize that this 2021 version of Risk is no game.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.