Politics

State Dept Blocking Private Rescue Flights From Leaving Afghanistan, Organizers Say: ‘Blood Is On Their Hands’

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FIRST ON FOX: Americans engaged in the rescue of U. S. citizens, SIVs and green card holders left behind by President Biden in Afghanistan are horrified by what they describe as inexplicable delays from the State Department that are preventing evacuation flights from leaving the country.

The State Department’s delays are recklessly endangering American lives, three different individuals involved in the private evacuation effort told Fox News.

Rick Clay, who runs the private rescue group PlanB, told Fox News that the State Department is the only thing preventing the flights he’s organizing from leaving Afghanistan.

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Two other American individuals separately involved in evacuation efforts, whom Fox News is not naming to avoid jeopardizing ongoing rescue efforts, similarly said that the State Department is the sole entity preventing their charter flights from leaving Afghanistan.

“This is zero place to be negotiating with American lives. Those are our people standing on the tarmac and all it takes is a f****ing phone call,” one of those individuals, who has been integral to private evacuation efforts from Afghanistan, told Fox News.

“If one life is lost as a result of this, the blood is on the White House’s hands. The blood is on their hands,” that individual said, adding: “It is not the Taliban that is holding this up – as much as it sickens me to say that – it is the United States government.”

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That individual suggested that the State Department’s obstruction is motivated in part by embarrassment that private individuals are rescuing Americans that the U. S. government left behind.

Military command over Al Udeid Air Base in Doha, Qatar, have informed those seeking clearance to land that they must first go through the State Department to gain approval, an email reviewed by Fox News shows.

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Clay has a manifest of 4,500 names of U. S. citizens, green card holders, SIVs and refugees trying to get state-side. So far, they’ve given the State Department 800 names for a first round of flights. Fox News has reviewed that manifest, which confirms Clay’s account.

“It is imperative that we get into Doha where there [are] other refugee centers,” the PlanB founder told Fox News in a text message. “That is where I’ve asked for clearance.”

Clay told Fox News that his organization is “having problems getting permission” from the Biden State Department “to land on the return flight” from Afghanistan in a neighboring country.

The State Department “is not allowing any private charters carrying refugees [to] land anywhere” in nearby countries if they are coming out of Afghanistan and is making different “excuses” as to why, such as pointing to the lack of air traffic controllers and radar issues, Clay told Fox News this week. The two other individuals separately involved in private evacuation efforts confirmed Clay’s account.

“If we can get aircraft in and pick up people and bring them out, why can… (Read more)

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