Commander of the United States Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie admitted an “intelligence-sharing” operation had occurred between the United States and the Taliban on Thursday at a Department of Defense briefing.
McKenzie’s comments came only hours after terror bombings rocked those trying to evacuate Afghanistan in and around the Hamid Karzai International Airport, which killed at least fourteen U.S. military troops and 60 Afghan civilians.
Shortly after McKenzie’s comments, a bombshell Politico article was published revealing United States officials in Kabul had shared a list of names “of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies” to the Taliban. The perception was that the list would give the Taliban the names of individuals they were to allow to pass through their checkpoints and get to the airport safely.
However, Politico reports the decision “prompted outrage behind the scenes from lawmakers and military officials.” One defense official simply said, “basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity and added “It’s just appalling and shocking and makes you feel unclean.”
According to McKenzie, the Taliban and the United States share a “common purpose” of finishing the ongoing evacuation mission by August 31. “As long as we’ve kept that common purpose aligned, they’ve been useful to work with” said McKenzie.
Multiple reports from the ground in Afghanistan indicate the general could not be further from the truth. National Review reports:
Florida senator Marco Rubio has accused the Taliban of turning unaccompanied American women away from the airport. Numerous reports have indicated that the group is hunting down Afghans who assisted the U.S. during its nearly 20 year stay in the country.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Menendez, a Democrat, reacted to the attacks this morning by declaring that “as we wait for more details to come in, one thing is clear: We can’t trust the Taliban with Americans’ security.”