The organizer of the non-governmental mission to rescue an American mother and her three children from Afghanistan says the U.S. State Department has tried to claim credit for the successful operation, according to a new report.
On Monday, top State Department officials announced that the “U.S. has facilitated the safe departure of four U.S. citizens by overland route from Afghanistan. Embassy staff was present upon their arrival.”
“But those actually involved in the dangerous rescue operation say the State Department deserves little to no credit for Mariam’s escape from Afghanistan,” Fox News reported.
“Cory Mills and a private team of military veterans, drawing on funding by private donors including the Sentinel Foundation, led the effort to rescue Mariam and her three children from Afghanistan, where they had been left behind by the Biden administration, multiple sources with knowledge of Mariam’s evacuation confirmed to Fox News,” the outlet reported.
Mills had been alerted to the family’s struggles by Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX).
After 2 weeks & multiple life threatening attempts, I am overjoyed to share that 4 U.S. citizens from #TX13 were part of the first successful ground evacuation since the U.S. left Kabul. Thank you to Cory Mills & the other patriots on his team for saving these BRAVE Americans! pic.twitter.com/1Tv9KRUgcE
— Ronny Jackson (@RepRonnyJackson) September 6, 2021
According to the report, Mills and a group of people worked for weeks to get the American family out of Afghanistan, trying to get them on one of the last U.S. government flights out of Kabul. But the mother and her children could not get into Kabul airport, which had been taken over by Taliban militants.
“The final time Mariam tried to enter the airport, a Taliban fighter pointed a pistol at her head and warned her not to come back. Shortly after that, Taliban fighters asked Kabul locals who knew Mariam how they could find her. Mills’ team rushed to get her and the children out of the city and into a safehouse,” Fox reported.
The woman then tried to book a private charter flight from Mazar-i-Sharif airport, a couple hundred miles from Kabul, but the plane was never cleared to take off. “Some private evacuation organizers have blamed the State Department for failing to gain clearance for private charter flights to land in third countries, while Republican Texas Rep. Michael McCaul has blamed the Taliban for the planes remaining grounded,” Fox reported.
Finally, Mills’ plan was “to travel overland to a neighboring country -– the exact country is being withheld to avoid jeopardizing future rescue missions -– and attempt to get the family across the border. It took multiple attempts and sleight-of-hand tactics that Mills compared to a shell game, but Mariam’s family finally crossed the border on Monday – just before the Taliban closed the checkpoint to prevent Americans from escaping, Mills said.”
Mills said on Fox News that the State Department’s claim that it “facilitated the safe departure” of the family is “absolute nonsense.”
“The fact that they’re spinning this, trying to take 100% credit when they didn’t track this family, when they placated this family, when the mother, who was under extreme stress and extreme pressure, reached out to the State Department multiple times and got no help,” he said.
“This is an attempt to save face by the administration for the Americans they left behind. This is a woman with three children from age 15 all the way down to two-years-old. And they did nothing to try to expedite this… But at the very last minute you have these ‘senior officials’ at the State Department trying to claim credit for this like ‘oh yeah look what we’ve done,'” Mills said.
“It’s like we carried the ball to the 99-and-a-half yard line and them taking it that last half yard and being like ‘look what we did,’” he added.
Jackson echoed Mills, saying: “The only thing the Biden Administration seems to be good at is patting itself on the back for a job horribly done. This administration left my constituents behind in Afghanistan and now they’re lying about their role in getting these four American citizens out.”
“The State Department didn’t do anything for two weeks except put my constituents in danger and leave them stranded. I know this for a fact because my office has been working around the clock to get our people home with no legitimate support from State. Only after Cory Mills and his team got them into the third country did State offer support by securing tourist visas,” the congressman continued.
“Cory and his team are brave patriots. Praise God that American veterans have more resolve than Joe Biden or his State Department,” Jackson added.