Desperate Americans turn to lawmakers for help in getting out of Kabul

AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

Did Senator Cotton’s office help an Afghan American couple get out of Kabul? Yes. They turned to Senator Cotton’s office when they were unable to get out of Kabul after trying to do so for several days. His office responded and they were able to get on a plane. At a time like this, all hands are on deck to assist Americans in getting out of Afghanistan.


In today’s press briefing with reporters, Defense Department spokesman John Kirby was asked if the Pentagon knows how many Americans are in Afghanistan? His answer was one word, “No.” Unbelievable. Senator Cotton was interviewed on FNC after that briefing and Cotton said that the Biden administration is confronting the catastrophic miscalculations of his actions. Cotton is stepping up and offering to do what he can to help Americans stuck in Afghanistan. “We can make sure they have the best information possible” which includes the names of people inside the airport who can get them on a plane. His office can’t get names on manifests but can provide Americans help in maneuvering around Taliban gangs who surround the airport.

One Afghan American couple benefitted from Cotton’s offer. The couple was in Afghanistan to attend a wedding. Before they left, the chaos in the country began. They were able to make it through the Taliban checkpoints outside Kabul’s airport but were unable to get past the tall wire barrier that separates the crowd from the American military there. After many attempts, they contacted Cotton’s office. They knew he has been outspoken in the chaos.

Late Wednesday, they were still waiting for American military flights that were evacuating other United States citizens like them; green card holders; and those with special immigrant visas, including Afghans who worked as translators with the military and are now at risk from the Taliban.

The line they were in was hundreds of people long, she said.

The couple, who live in the Washington, D.C., area, said they had failed repeatedly to make it to the airport over the past few days. So they decided to seek help from the office of Senator Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican who has been vocal on the chaotic nature of the U.S. withdrawal. Mr. Cotton’s office provided the name of the contact at the airport military barricade, they said.


They made a video of their experience. They shared the video of the experience with the New York Times after they were safely on a plane. The couple was dressed in traditional Afghan clothing so it was a bit confusing for the American military. The senator’s office gave the couple the name of someone at the airport who could help them.

The woman, wearing a green head scarf, screams in terror as the American troops point their weapons at her through the barbed wire, plumes of smoke rising above their military formation. She yells over and over again the name of a U.S. military contact she had been given to ease her passage through the barricade and into the airport.

“I was calling my contact to pick me up and find me in the crowd,” the wife explained later in an interview. The couple asked that their names not be used until they were safely out of the country.

The woman described having to fight her way through a crowd of Afghans who did not have American citizenship, green cards or visas but were desperate to be evacuated.

“Pushing through the crowd was like killing yourself,” she said.

Once inside the airport, they had an hours-long wait to get on a military plane. They were successful, though, and once on the plane, the wife broke down. “I couldn’t stop my tears,” the wife said. Who could blame her?


Americans are relying on lawmakers for assistance in getting out of Afghanistan. The Pentagon has no idea how many Americans are in Afghanistan to evacuate. Let that sink in. Doesn’t America pride herself on our military not leaving anyone behind? Compare it to Saigon all you want but this didn’t happen there. This situation is far worse for Americans and their Afghan helpers.

Fortunately for Americans caught in the chaos, if they have the ability to communicate with people who can help, military veterans serving in Congress are stepping up. Others are, too.

It didn’t have to be this way. Biden remains in hiding mode, traveling back to Delaware today with no press conference from him or press briefing by the press secretary. He campaigned on a return to normal, the grown-ups being back in charge. He was supposed to be the foreign policy expert with all the great relationships with world leaders. Then he folded like a cheap suit to the Taliban at the first opportunity. He has abandoned Americans, the military, our Afghan partners, and NATO allies. Heads must roll and that includes his.


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