America’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal: ‘It’s even worse than people know’

The following is according to firsthand accounts.

  • U.S. Embassy left behind biometrics on Afghans who helped U.S.
  • Taliban used the information to contact the Afghans with spoof emails, telling them report to fake “safe houses,” where they were executed

“It’s even worse than people know,” says a source who was present for the botched U.S withdrawal from Afghanistan in August.

As the capital of Kabul descended into chaos, the CIA managed to destroy all sensitive materials at its compound at the Ariana hotel prior to departing.

Operatives reportedly deployed the “vulcan fire,” option, a multi-stage thermocorrosive chemical destroyer, to obliterate anything that the U.S. did not want to fall into the enemy’s hands.

However, important and sensitive material was left behind a short distance away at the U.S. embassy. 

That included decades of biometrics information collected about Afghans who assisted the American effort: fingerprints, facial recognition data, and information on their social media.

The biometrics files were quickly collected by the Islamic extremist Taliban.

What did the Taliban do with it? 

According to information, the Taliban sent spoof emails, pretending that the emails were generated by the U.S. State Department, instructing the Afghans to report to “safe houses.”

When the Afghans arrived at the fake “safe houses,” the Taliban executed them.

“It’s criminal that [the State Dept.] did not destroy” the biometrics database and information prior to evacuating the U.S. embassy, says a source in Kabul, at the time. 

It’s unclear whether the alleged failure to destroy the material was due to the rushed exit, or other reasons.

The U.S. military’s killing of Afghan children

Another point of contention surrounds the horrifically bad call on the part of the U.S. military to drone-strike a vehicle that turned out to contain only innocent civilians.

Ten Afghans were killed, including seven children. No Taliban or ISIS terrorists were among the dead, even though U.S. military officials initially implied the strike had hit the right targets. 

Military officers recently testified to Congress that they knew within a short period of time that civilians had been killed, but they did not publicly admit it at the time.

To date, no U.S. officials have been held accountable for the deaths.

One U.S. source who was in Kabul, and was not part of the drone strike, says numerous American officials were remotely monitoring as the U.S. drones marked the car in question. 

“Word was that the car was supposedly full of explosives,” says a source. “If so, then why blow it up in a neighborhood around a bunch of kids?”

The source says they watched with surprise as military drones marked the vehicle and quickly moved to blow it up. 

“Everyone knew immediately there were no explosives [inside] because there was no residual explosion. Only a gas tank,” says a source.

Undeclared evacuation operation

Another problem raised is that sources say they were told President Biden refused to allow declaration of a noncombatant evacuation operation (NEO). Such a designation, widely expected by those on the ground as Afghanistan fell, would have triggered a specific military and special operations response with an adequate number of U.S. troops heading to Kabul to assist in evacuations. 

For example, 10,000 NEO troops, including U.S. forces from Kuwait, could have descended quickly upon Kabul. Some would have parachuted into Bagram air field, if allowed, to secure it and use it for evacuations. 

But President Biden reportedly did not want that number of U.S. troops to go to the country even to help safely get Americans and Afghan allies out.

By not declaring a NEO, the military was reportedly limited to working with what it had and was unable to mount the necessary, by-the-book response.

Left behind

Among those whose biometrics were left behind were Afghan Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams or CTPTs. 

“[The U.S.] trained and used 30,000 of them and their families,” says a source.

As for the regular Afghan National Army (ANA) that quickly folded when the Taliban moved in: “They hadn’t been paid in a year,” says a source.

Although U.S. taxpayers have generously funded the ANA soldiers over two decades, multiple sources say there is so much corruption among the Afghan leadership that the money often didn’t make it to the fighting forces.

Besides that, a Taliban member would hold a U.S.-made weapon to the head of an Afghan helicopter pilot, for example, and say, “You work for us now, or you and your family will be killed.”

Residual damage

In the wake of the scandal, operators in other countries that assist the U.S. are said to be worried and skeptical. 

“The [CIA] Director came to Afghanistan for talks with two of the top ten Most Wanted Taliban that we tried to kill for the past 20 years,” says one. “Other countries are asking, ‘Why would we help you?’”

That includes Kurds asked to help the U.S. in Northern Iraq. “Are we going to be like Afghanistan?” one source says the Kurds are asking. 

As a result, Iran and Russia are able to get a new foothold in places where they’d been kept at bay.

U.S. leadership

Also thrown into question, according to numerous sources, is confidence in U.S. leadership.

“Now I know how [the last generation] felt about Vietnam,” says one source. “America has suffered Pearl Harbor, 9/11, the Saigon pullout and now, my generation, Afghanistan.”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley recently told Congress that the Afghanistan withdrawal was “a logistical success but a strategic failure.”

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41 thoughts on “America’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal: ‘It’s even worse than people know’”

  1. Biden and his coaches are more concerned with photo -ops than doing the right thing. Border, Afghanistan, inflation, Socialist agenda to destroy the US. They don’t have a mandate to make these socialist agenda programs law. Weaponizing the IRS, dismantling the Border patrols effectiveness, vaccine mandates, Woke military, terrible foreign policy decisions, and the list goes on. Millions of immigrants were released into our country without health screenings. WHO is really acting as president when it comes down to policy?

    1. Since Biden’s administration is stacked with many from the Obama administration,
      Biden is serving as a figurehead proxy for BO’s third term. Susan Rice is likely the inside lead, with BO providing input from afar. BO’s bad policies have been rekindled and put on steroids.

    1. Indeed! Glenn Greenwald is another. Did anyone ever imagine a day when legitimate journalists could be counted on one or two hands?

  2. No Milley. A complete and very revealing failure. Step down.

    Who are Biden’s handlers. We didn’t vote for them who are they?

      1. The web of the Obama team and their continued connectivity can be measured by similar actions taken during Obama’s 8 years domestically and abroad..

        Law would be useful to requuire prior political appointees to end government service with their patron. Unfortnately the most committed and -institutionally supported- political operatives in America are from the former Obama administration. Many, many work directly for this administration or appointed in other related agencies. It is supposition but when the Durham investigation is completed we may be surprised at the linkage.

        The Obama team’s connectivity to this current administration is probably best measured by the way operatives use the same method of media influence campaigns. They normalize radical policy, political opponents and clearly anti-Constitutional actions. It is not the CCP just influencing Biden, it is the Obama Team

    1. How much longer do we all have to go along with the pleasant fiction of “Biden says,” “Biden decided, and “Biden did”?

  3. Thank you for this info. I am continually writing my congresswoman from VA asking for answers on these and other issues. This info was just included in my email to her

  4. Can’t you come up with at least one source on the record? I appreciate what you do, but credibility is greatly enhanced if you can identify sources.

  5. A corrupt foreign government diverting our foreign aid $$. Who’d a thunk?
    Here’s how I’d give foreign aid. Along with the money we send a team of accountants who are in charge of the checkbook. Their salaries come out of the foreign aid dollars. End of corruption.
    Pardon me for dreaming!

  6. Sharyl,
    Thank you for straight up reporting the facts! This easily should have been a NEO as soon as we saw the Taliban start to make an advance. Both the political and military leadership froze under pressure. As a wise former military officer once said, “at this point a Private who loses a rifle faces more discipline than a General who loses a war”. Sad but true.

    Keep up the good work, Sharyl!

  7. Good article. The legacy media have so far (and for the foreseeable future) ignored the strategic aspect of China gaining control of Afghanistan’s mineral deposits, as we head into an ever more battery-dependent economic future. Afghanistan has a short border with China, which enables the Afghan (northeast) panhandle to serve as logistical extraction route directly to Chinese markets. Ever wonder why everyone is pushing for electric cars? It would make China the major economic world power, to America’s exclusion, in the 21st Century, even more than it has been to date.

  8. The next question is what need the State Department had for biometric data, and why it was stored in the embassy.

  9. I appreciate this reporting. Facts are facts. When news organizations have agendas you can’t be sure if it’s true or exaggerated to fulfill a narrative. Integrity is lost and may never be regained. Do you realize how difficult it is to find a news source that is committed to facts first and always? Nearly impossible.

  10. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley recently told Congress that the Afghanistan withdrawal was “a logistical success but a strategic failure.”

    A “logistical success? Did anyone in Congress believe this? Anyone inthe world believe this? Has no one seen the stack (looked to be about 8ft by 4ft by 4ft) of US hundred dollar bills the Taliban found after we left them behind? All neatly bound in packets, fresh off the presses of the treasury department, each one worth $10,000?

    Has no one in the military learned about gasoline and matches?

  11. Thank you Sharyl,

    I doubt I have ever found anything for which I could complement Biden. nor have I had any difficulty in finding things to condemn.
    However, I will not condemn the drone strike mentioned above.
    I have no idea how many of our troops deliberately & intentionally killed by our so-called Afghan allies. The Taliban allowed an ISIS bomber to kill 13 Americans and a hundred plus Afghans with a couple hundred injured.
    The Taliban had no control over the city they had just conquered nor attempted to gain control.

    Until I am shown proof that these kids were not droned as part of a public relations operation by the Taliban, I will withhold any criticism.

    Biden cheated his way into the 0val 0ffice for the sole purpose of destroying America and the death of those kids is not my concern.

    1. “Biden cheated his way into the 0val 0ffice for the sole purpose of destroying America.”

      Kevin, you rather lose credibility when you make such preposterous statements of motivation.

      I have a friend who doesn’t even believe Biden is alive, but replaced by a body-double, and the double isn’t even in the WH, but a Hollywood set somewhere, while the Trump administration still works diligently in the West Wing to overthrow the unelected deep state pedophile who sex-traffic children.

      The modern world seems to be one where whatever you want to believe, you can find someone online to support you. But it is strange all the wild things people think that just don’t make sense.

  12. Who pulled over 10,000 troops out last year with no plan for what would follow
    and left fewer troops in country than Texas has police to cover the American retreat

    Currently there are over 78,000 licensed peace and police officers in Texas…

    Trump left about 2,5000 troops

    – Trump did that.

  13. Thank you for telling us the truth and shedding light on so much that is being twisted and covered up by fake media. Our Generals and the SOD need to step down for this mess and the mess they are making of our military.

    Here in OK we are getting ready to receive a bunch of Afghans. Tinker AFB is here. I want to know why they are coming when we didn’t get our own people out. This doesn’t sit right.

    The current chant across our country is “F – Joe Biden” and it is loud and clear but the propaganda machine reports the chant as “Let’s go Brandon”. Brandon who?? ?

    Thank you for real reporting.

  14. It was botched from the very beginning when WTC7 was supposed to come down in the dust of WTC1 and 2 instead of showing the world a plainly obvious (now proven) controlled demolition. From the Casus belli to the withdrawal the whole thing was a bloody boondoggle to benefit the war and intelligence industries.

  15. I wrote a piece for The Stream attempting to lay out a clear chronology of these events. I don’t know that I got everything in that should have been included. I’m a professor and not a journalist, but it seems like a lot of the citizens just don’t know the extent of this disaster. Here’s the article:

    Keep up the great work.

  16. It wasn’t even a logistical success. We left behind a treasure trove of equipment as well as lists of allies. It was Saigon times at least 2.

  17. Great reporting. If true will eventually come out due to horrendous nature and impact to our relationship with our allies

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