When I served in Afghanistan, one of my team members was an interpreter who I’ll call Tom. Tom had a helmet that was too big and it would wobble on his head making him look like a bobblehead on a car’s dashboard. On one particular night, his shoes got stuck in the mud, and he finished the mission barefoot. He had two small children.
I don’t know where Tom is. I don’t know if he was able to successfully leave Afghanistan with a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) or if he is still in the country, on the run from the Taliban because he served alongside Americans.
It pains me to say it, but the odds are not in his favor. Yesterday, the State Department confirmed that the “majority” of those who aided U.S. forces over the past two decades were not evacuated.
I, along with dozens of my fellow Members of Congress, have been asking the Administration for months to put a plan in place for our Afghan partners, but it’s clear now that those pleas fell on deaf ears.
To think of those interpreters, who put their lives on the line to fight with us for a stable and safe Afghanistan, now fleeing as their country falls into terrorist hands is heartbreaking. Leaving them behind is a shameful dereliction of duty by the President of the United States.
He must be held accountable.