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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – More than 500 Afghan journalists who were employed by the United States Agency for the World Media (USAGM) remain in Afghanistan, with their families, despite assurances from the Biden administration that they would be eligible for evacuation as American employees, Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Michael McCaul.
“The US State Department claimed to have evacuated their local employees when in reality they abandoned hundreds of USAGM reporters and their families,” McCaul said in a press release Tuesday. “Some of these reporters received express assurances from the Biden administration that they would be treated like local staff – but were not.”
L / D @RepMcCaul to @StateDept to give up @USAGMgov journalists in #Afghanistan: “It is absolutely shameful that the US State Department claims to have evacuated their local employees when in reality they have abandoned hundreds of USAGM journalists and their families …
– House of Foreign Affairs GOP (@HouseForeignGOP) August 31, 2021
McCaul pointed out that only 50 USAGM personnel were evacuated, thanks to the efforts of US allies and not the US government. USAGM is the umbrella organization that oversees five US-funded media outlets, including Voice of America and Radio Free Asia.
McCaul said calls from his office to help one of the reporters, his wife and baby have been repeatedly ignored.
US media estimated in an Aug. 25 report that at least 250,000 Afghans eligible for expedited US visas remained in the country at a time when US forces could only evacuate about 20,000 a day.
As the last American troops left Afghanistan, the Taliban celebrated a victory. We have emboldened our adversaries and we have weakened our alliances. What happened to any man left behind? In short, our commander-in-chief should not turn his back on the Americans. pic.twitter.com/bV5xApFO2l
– Michael McCaul (@RepMcCaul) August 31, 2021
House Republicans have renewed their demand to impeach US President Joe Biden and his Secretary of State Antony Blinken for the failed and chaotic US evacuation from Afghanistan. The president should voluntarily step down to preserve “a minimum of honor” and pave the way for Vice President Kamala Harris, Congressman Clay Higgens said.