Who could possibly have foreseen that the Taliban would hold abandoned Americans and visa holders after Biden turned tail and surrendered to the Taliban? No one with one exception. The entire world, excluding administration officials and the Big Guy. There are six planes on the tarmac in Kabul courtesy of the Pineapple Express. Some say the planes can’t take off until the Taliban releases them, but, the Pineapple Express says they are awaiting documents from the State Department.
CBS News correspondent Eena Ruffini reported Sunday that “multiple flights are being held up at the Mazar-i-Sharif airport in Northern Afghanistan. The State Department sent an email to members of Congress, telling them that 6 planes are loaded, but are waiting for permission from the Taliban. Sam from The Pineapple Express says that they are waiting for documents from the State Department. It comes down to who you believe.
New: CBS has learned multiple flights are being held on the ground at the Mazar-i-Sharif airport in Northern Afghanistan… by the Taliban. 1/
— Ruffini (@EenaRuffini) September 5, 2021
A congressional source told CBS News:
“The Taliban is basically holding them hostage to get more out of the Americans.”
More from Ruffini:
The group Ascend, an NGO that teaches young women leadership through athletics, told CBS News they have two planes that have been waiting for six days ready to take between 600 and 1200 people — including 19 American citizens and two permanent residents.
“The U.S. airfield in Qatar that has been standing by, ready to receive, is now beginning to pack up,” Marina LeGree, the executive director, told CBS News. “We hope visibility will add pressure to force a solution. Six days of talks are not encouraging.”
The State Department advised members of Congress to tell groups seeking to evacuate out of Mazar-i-Sharif that the US does not have personnel on the ground in that location and does not control the airspace. Congressional and NGO sources say here are at least two physical plans on the ground and six more with approved clearance. The obstacle is the Taliban — which controls the airport and is not letting people board or the planes take off.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee confirmed reports, and when he was asked what the Taliban wanted, he replied money and recognition.
Gaining recognition by the United States would be a feather in their cap and Biden will probably give it to them even though he shouldn’t.