Biden administration made false claims about Americans trapped in Afghanistan

Biden administration made false claims about Americans trapped in Afghanistan

The Biden administration claimed in September that there were no more than 100 Americans in Afghanistan. In October, it claimed that there were no more than 363. Yesterday, it admitted that there are at least 439 American citizens still in Afghanistan. “In terms of how many American citizens we estimate are currently in Afghanistan, the Department of State is in contact with 196 American citizens who are ready to depart –and arrangements are being made for them to do so, either via air or over ground – and another 243 American citizens have been contacted and are not ready to depart,” said Biden administration official Colin Kahl. As Fox News notes, “This total of 439 American citizens still in Afghanistan is up from the 363 the State Department had told congressional staff last week – which itself was up from the estimate of roughly 100 the administration had said in September.”

Frankly, 439 seems too low a figure. Many states are missing dozens of citizens who went to Afghanistan. Collectively, the total of Americans still in Afghanistan could add up to more than 1,000 for all states put together.

For example, there are at least 43 Connecticut residents still trapped in Afghanistan, according to the National Review, even though only one American in a hundred lives in Connecticut. “Their school teachers are calling me asking me where are the students. The 10-year-old student from New Haven who is stuck in Kabul is sending me voicemail messages,” Chris George, executive director of IRIS said. “They’re running out of food and yes, they are running out of hope,” George said.

The Biden administration consistently made false claims during the fall of Afghanistan. In July, President Biden claimed that “the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.” But less than a month later, the Taliban had seized control of almost all of Afghanistan, including the capital city and the presidential palace.

Biden wrongly claimed that “there’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of the embassy of the United States from Afghanistan.” But people fled in helicopters as the Taliban closed in on our embassy, in what has been called “Joe Biden’s Saigon.”

“Rarely has an American president’s predictions been so wrong, so fast, so convincingly as President Biden on Afghanistan,” notes liberal-leaning publication Axios.

In August, Politico reported that “U.S. officials in Kabul gave the Taliban a list of names of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies…The decision to provide specific names to the Taliban, which has a history of brutally murdering Afghans who collaborated with the U.S. and other coalition forces during the conflict, has angered lawmakers and military officials.” Politico quoted a defense official saying that “Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list.” Indeed, the “Taliban has gone door-to-door in search of Afghan interpreters and others who helped U.S. and Western forces.”

The Biden administration failed Americans in Afghanistan, but perhaps not as badly as it failed our Afghan interpreters and other allies. The U.S. gave the names of Afghan allies to the Taliban, and evicted 50-100 Afghan allies from a plane in order to make space for a useless war trophy (an inoperable Toyota pickup). That left people stranded in Afghanistan, where they could be tortured and killed by the Taliban.

Meanwhile, the Biden Administration brought to the U.S. 124,000 Afghans between July 14 and August 31. The vast majority of these Afghans never worked for the U.S. and were not in danger of being killed if they remained in Afghanistan.

The U.S. left more than 2,000 armored vehicles and dozens of aircraft to the Taliban, notes Reuters. That includes U.S.-supplied Humvees and Black Hawk helicopters. In their abrupt and disorganized departure, U.S. troops left behind billions of dollars worth of military equipment that was seized by the Taliban. “Billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars going to Islamist extremists, thanks to the administration’s hasty withdrawal,” noted Julian Röpcke. “Now every Taliban fighter gets his own Ford, Toyota, humvee” or armored personnel carrier.

Hans Bader

Hans Bader

Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law. He also once worked in the Education Department. Hans writes for and has appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” Contact him at


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