- Secretary of State Antony Blinken denied that the US gave the Taliban a potential “kill list” of American and Afghan evacuees.
- He clarified that the Taliban was given a manifest of people who did not have the right papers.
- This was done so the Taliban would allow these evacuees through their checkpoints.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken denied that the US gave the Taliban a list of American and Afghan evacuees’ names that military officials said could be used as a “kill list” for militants to exact revenge.
Blinken spoke to NBC’s Chuck Todd on Sunday, August 29, and said that it was “simply not the case” that the US had handed over such a list. ‘
He said that what was shared were specific names of people who did not have the prerequisite papers or the right travel documents. These people were put on a manifest so that the Taliban would be able to verify their identities and let them through the checkpoints along the route to the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
Blinken was responding to comments from an unnamed military official who told Politico on Thursday that giving the Taliban a list of people to let through would put them in harm’s way.
Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list. It’s just appalling and shocking and makes you feel unclean.”
“In specific instances, when you’re trying to get a bus or a group of people through, and you need to show a manifest to do that because, particularly in cases where people don’t have the necessary credentials on them or documents on them, then you would share names of the list of people, of the bus so they can be assured that those are people that we’re looking to bring in,” Blinken said.
“The idea that we put anyone in any further jeopardy is simply wrong,” he added.
Blinken added that the US had evacuated 5,500 American citizens from Afghanistan since the Taliban took control of the country on August 15. The State Department estimated on Saturday that there were around 350 Americans left to evacuate from Afghanistan.
In the meantime, President Joe Biden has defended his administration’s decision to use the Taliban to provide security around the airport’s perimeter in the wake of a suicide bombing that killed more than 169 Afghans and 13 US troops.
“There is no evidence thus far that I’ve been given, as a consequence by any of our commanders in the field, that there has been collusion between the Taliban and ISIS in carrying out what happened,” he said
“No one trusts them [the Taliban]; we’re just counting on their self-interest to continue to generate their activities,” he added.
Biden was briefed on Friday that another terror attack is likely to happen in Kabul following Thursday’s bombing, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.