One of our allies that was left in Afghanistan after the botched withdrawal of American troops was Aman Khalili. He is an Afghan interpreter who actually helped to save President Joe Biden and two other U.S. lawmakers in 2008.
Fortunately, this hero has now escaped his country with the help of volunteers working to evacuate stranded Americans and U.S. allies from the country.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Aman Khalili and his family escaped from Afghanistan over the border to Pakistan last week. They had been hiding from the Taliban for weeks under the watchful eye of various volunteer organizations.
Several military veterans smuggled the former U.S. interpreter and his family through numerous Taliban checkpoints and out of Afghanistan.
This story recently appeared in the news after he cried out for President Biden to help save him and his family. Khalili was left in Afghanistan under the threat of the Taliban after Biden withdrew U.S. forces from the country in August. This left behind thousands of U.S. allies, Special Immigrant Visa-holders, and American citizens.
When Khalili’s story appeared in the Journal in an August 31 story, he was inundated with offers to help from volunteer rescue workers in Afghanistan and the Biden administration. At that time, the White House pledged to get him out through press secretary Jen Psaki on August 31. But the Biden administration was not very involved in freeing Khalili from Afghanistan.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the main drivers of the mission to save Khalili, his wife, and his five children, were U.S. military veterans from Arizona who worked with the interpreter on the 2008 operation to rescue the stranded senators.
The Journal wrote, “Although an array of high-profile people and U.S. officials said they would try to help evacuate him, it was a group led by an Afghan-American who worked as a linguist with elite U.S. forces in Afghanistan who carried out the ground operation that got Mr. Khalili safely out of the country.”
Khalili himself described 144 hours of driving, day and night, and getting through many checkpoints. He said that his family had been very afraid, but now they felt like they were in a kind of heaven. “Hell was in Afghanistan,” he said.
The Biden administration has been criticized by rescue workers in Afghanistan for their pre-withdrawal efforts before the evacuation and also their attempts to downplay both the failures and consequences of pulling U.S. forces out of Afghanistan.
Jean Marie Thrower is an Army veteran and volunteer with the Afghan Rescue Crew. She lashed out at the White House administration in late September accusing it of hiding the true number of American citizens left behind in Afghanistan.
“Definitely, there are more than the hundred that is being stated. We have multiple groups working together with teams with rosters of people, and we continue to scrub those rosters to make sure we know where these people are at,” Thrower said. “I do want to say as a veteran, quickly, that I’m appalled at our administration and how they have disrespected Americans and our allies, as well as put our soldiers’ future operations in jeopardy.”
Washington lobbyist Robert Stryk said that he has been witnessing, every day, the very best and the very worst of America. He has seen the humanity of private citizens who contact him and pledge their time, money, and in some cases, their lives so that American citizens and Afghan patriots are brought out of threatening situations. But he also has witnessed the Biden administration’s failure to protect citizens and those who worked and fought side by side with our troops.
“It’s morally reprehensible,” Stryk added. “It’s been the U.S. private sector who has stepped in to save the blood and treasure the Biden administration is leaving behind.”