Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken demanding answers on why a U.S. military official allegedly stopped Americans and Afghan allies from evacuating Afghanistan at the Kabul airport.
Johnson said he has heard reports indicating “a group of over 400 individuals including U.S. citizens were turned away from the airport” by “the commander of the 82nd Airborne Brigade … who told them to get back on their buses and turn around because ‘the rescue was over.’”
“It is not clear what happened to the Americans and the other individuals after they left the airport,” Johnson wrote. “It’s hard to believe that any U.S. military official would deny Americans the ability to evacuate Afghanistan. What generalized or specific order was given to the commander that caused him to take this alleged action? Where did this order originate?”
Johnson also asked who specifically ordered the commander to turn evacuees away and if the Department of Defense and/or the State Department are “aware of this alleged incident” and actively investigating it.
“What actions are being taken to locate and evacuate the American citizens that were allegedly turned away?” he concluded.
Johnson asked the bureaucrats to provide answers to his questions by August 30.
The New York Times also reported that “hundreds of students, their relatives and staff of the American University of Afghanistan” were turned away from airport gates because “evacuations were permanently called off” and “the airport gates remained a security threat, and civilian evacuations were ending Monday.”