In the middle of the night, last month, Bagram airbase – about 30 miles north of Kabul – plunged into darkness. Nothing like this had ever happened before. Bagram is more than an airbase, it is an enormous place, the size of a small town. The base has a hospital, shops, gyms, two runways, and rows of hangers, barracks. As of last month, Bagram also had a prison, which held thousands of foreign fighters, including from ISIS and the Taliban. Then, all of sudden, for the first time in 20 years, the lights at Bagram went out.
The locals immediately understood what was going on. Without warning or even a courtesy notification, the U.S. military just left. Split in the middle of the night, and turned the power off as they did. The base's new Afghan commander fled too. Within minutes, looters descended on the base. They found thousands of vehicles, hundreds of them armored, as well as huge caches of weapons and ammunition. The Pentagon didn’t seem concerned. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had already explained that quote, "Bagram is not necessary tactically for what we are going to do in Afghanistan."
That turned out to be a massive miscalculation. The decision to abandon Bagram Airfield was idiotic. It led directly to the killing of 13 American servicemen yesterday. With Bagram abandoned, the evacuation of Afghanistan is being staged from a commercial airport in the capital. Given its location, Kabul’s airport is almost impossible to defend. Yet despite that it can’t be defended, it remains the only way for American citizens to get out of the country. As Bill Roggio, editor of the Long War Journal, put it, abandoning Bagram Airbase quote, "is the perfect example of the generals just saluting, saying ‘yes, sir’ and ‘can do’ and not standing up and saying, ‘This is madness, and I can’t execute this because I’m putting the lives of Americans at risk, and you need to find someone else to do this.’"
Tragically no one in authority was brave enough to say that. Instead, at every turn, they made unwise decisions that seemed designed to make the country they serve weaker – to humiliate the United States. Now, these very same people are overseeing what may be the largest airlift in generations, of thousands of Afghan citizens to the west and this country. How’s that airlift going? You hear a lot about it, but very few details. Who exactly are these Afghans, many of whom are on their way here? The truth is, despite what they’re telling you, we have no real idea. We don’t know. We just learned, for example, that at least 100 of the refugees U.S. military has flown out of Kabul – people we’re told are heroes – are in fact on terror watch lists. One man we evacuated apparently works for ISIS. Today, an Afghan interpreter told Fox News that this kind of thing is happening constantly. People are getting on planes in Kabul without any proof of identification whatsoever. It’s like voting in California:
Interpreter Carl, Aug. 27: I know people that are in the same situation as I am right now. They have fought for the United States, they have provided supplies for the United States. But guess what? There are people that are getting inside the airport that have never worked, they knew somebody with a green card or they know somebody with a passport, that’s how they got through inside. I know people that are inside but they never worked.
That’s not an analyst on MSNBC, that’s somebody at the Kabul airport. If you listen carefully, there are a lot of stories just like this. One pilot with United Airlines, who's flying people out of Kabul as part of the Civilian Reserve airlift fleet, just told Fox News that he was simply told to evacuate people from Afghanistan, no details beyond that. The pilot said he was never given a passenger manifest, and that when the plane arrived at Dulles airport outside Washington, the State Department refused to share any passenger info with Customs and Border Protection, they just whisked right on through. In other words, as always, the unnamed foreign nationals got far better treatment than you would get if you landed at Dulles. Surprised?
Another commercial airline employee – a flight attendant – just told this show that her flight crew was told they'd be ferrying U.S. civilians who escaped from Kabul and she was happy to do that. When they arrived in Qatar, they learned that in fact, they’d be carrying no American citizens at all. Instead, they'd have to transport Afghan nationals, many of whom became unruly on the flight. And by the way, since they weren’t American citizens, they didn’t have to wear masks. Rules like that are only for you and the rest of us who are paying for it. The rules don’t apply to people without passports from Afghanistan.
That may shock you but trust us – it’s normal in Washington. Democrats actively demand it. Every refugee is a potential new voter. You'll remember that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was very worried about all those "unvetted" Trump voters wandering through what they thought was their Capitol on Jan. 6. She said she thought she might be raped, despite the fact she wasn’t even there at the time. But, strangely, Ocasio-Cortez, so sensitive about her own safety, doesn’t seem in the least concerned about sending huge numbers of refugees into your neighborhood. She’s seen what Afghan migration has done to Europe, and she approves – she wants more:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Aug. 27: In order to carry out and in order to make good on the role that we have played in this violence, we have a responsibility to make a home for the people whose lives have been upended by interventionist U.S. foreign policy. And so, as a result, I`m proud to have co-wrote a letter with Rep. Barbara Lee to ask and urge the Biden administration to – as they set their refugee quotas, to make it no less than 200,000.
So the macro question like that is why do silly children like that have any power whatsoever in this country? Why should some girl from BU who knows nothing, has never done anything in her whole life, be in charge of the way your country looks going forward the next hundred years? Who knows? Listen carefully to what she’s saying: no fewer than 200,000 refugees! Why? Because we’re evil and we deserve it.
Wait a second, we shouldn’t have spent 20 years in Afghanistan but why did we go there in the first place? Because al Qaeda was using it as a base from which to blow up the World Trade Center and attack the Pentagon. There was a reason we went there in the first place, even if the occupation – thanks to people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – turned out to be a total disaster. So, we don’t owe the country anything. They were the staging ground for 9/11. She was a child at the time, she doesn’t remember that.
But her view has bipartisan support in Washington. It’s not just Democrats, we’re sad to report. Here's Republican Adam Kinzinger, for example, who weeps not only for Nancy Pelosi's superfans on the Capitol Hill Police Department but also for foreign nationals on the no-fly list:
Brianna Keilar, Aug. 23: They're painting Afghan refugees as invaders. There are undertones even of racism here.
Adam Kinzinger: What you see is, in the media echo chamber, this fearmongering, right, this: They're coming to your neighborhood, these hordes of people that haven't been vetted. I mean, that is not American. // Refugees to this country have always been the ones that are extremely entrepreneurial. I mean, we all know that. They come here. They work hard, they fight hard for success. And so if anybody wants to go out and fearmonger and continue that darkness in your heart and speaking it so you can win an election, A, you are either evil at your heart yourself, or, B, you're a charlatan who's only interested in winning reelection and you truly can't say you care about the health of the American people
Wait a second, son. We can debate how many refugees we admit, but making this a matter of racism – Pashtuns are whiter than you, they have beards. But there is nothing racist about having concerns about having Afghans or anyone else moving here. It has nothing to do with race. Knock it off.
But listen to what he is saying: Foreigners are more impressive than you are. They’re more entrepreneurial – he learned that at a Koch seminar. If you don’t agree with that, says Adam Kinzinger, if you thought the point of America was to serve Americans then you’re evil – that’s his position, you’re evil. Kinzinger isn’t bothered by what the Biden administration is doing at the southern border – opening it – because he agrees with the result: fewer native-born whiners. Those people can go die of obesity and fentanyl OD’s. More grateful foreigners who feel indebted to us, who we can claim to have rescued. Kinzinger is a transparently pathetic and odious example – we don’t need to beat up on him, he literally cries as he thinks about what a good person he is – but his attitudes are common in Washington. The numbers prove it.
Since July, the United States has evacuated more than 100,000 people from Afghanistan. All heroes, all Americans? No. As of tonight, just about 5,000 of them are American citizens. Five percent. Oh, but the other 95% are heroes, right – all translators? That’s what CNN is telling you, but no. Actually, just today, the State Department admitted it has no idea how many of these people have "special immigrant visas," meaning they actually worked with the U.S. military and might be heroes, perhaps even translators. They’re not all heroes. We don’t know who they are.
Ned Price, Aug. 27: In the context of this massive and many ways unprecedented evacuation effort, our first goal has to bring as many people to safety as quickly as possible. So in many cases, we are going to be in a better position to provide a fidelity on numbers in the coming days and the coming weeks. As this process has been ongoing, our goal has to been to put as many people on as many planes as we can.
To restate – they’re not all heroes, we can’t say that because we don’t know who they are. The head of US Northern Command, Gen. Glen VanHerck, just admitted it. He told Fox News' Jennifer Griffen that more than half of the Afghan refugees coming into the United States * do not * have S.I.V.'s. So they didn’t work for the United States – they’re not heroes, they’re not translators – so why do we have a moral obligation to let them live here and give them free health care? We have no proof that they’re loyal. We don’t even know if they’re entrepreneurial.
Why are we taking them into the country? Our military won't say. Instead, the Pentagon is building housing for them:
John Kirby, Aug. 27: Today the DOD can announce that it has authorized Quantico, Fort Picket and Holloman AFB to provide additional support to the U.S. mission to evacuate Afghan SIV applicants, their families and other at-risk individuals. These installations join Fort Lee, Fort McCoy, Fort Bliss and Joint Base McGuire Dix in providing this support. The DOD will continue to support the State Department in providing temporary housing, sustainment and support inside the United States for a capacity of up to 50,000 Afghan SIV applicants, their families and other at-risk individuals.
Man, they always take tragedy and run with it to change this country outside the bounds of democracy. They don’t ask anyone to vote on it, they don’t ask your permission. They just take your sadness and bewilderment and leverage it to change everything. They did that with George Floyd. They did that with COVID, which they helped create through gain of function research. And they’re doing it now in the wake of the tragedy in Afghanistan that they caused.
So we just learned that 50,000 "SIV applicants" plus their families and "other at-risk individuals!" – What's an "at-risk individual," exactly? We have no idea, but it's a term our military is using a lot. Today, the head of U.S. Central Command again used that term – "at-risk Afghans." Right now it seems like anyone in Afghanistan is an "at-risk individual," and that seems to be the Biden administration's assumption as well. CBS News is reporting that some of these "at-risk" individuals are now being housed in U.S. government shelters. Meanwhile, soldiers at Fort Bliss are building new temporary housing as part of what they're calling "Operation Allies Refuge."
Allies refuge. That sounds like something all of us can get behind – offering refuge to our allies. Then you realize the Pentagon now considers the Taliban an ally. We've giving them lists of Americans still in Afghanistan, as well as other classified intelligence. Now we're giving them free plane rides to our country.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson's opening commentary on the August 27, 2021 edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight."