Afghan interpreter who helped rescue Biden in 2008 left behind in Afghanistan: Report
An Afghan interpreter who helped rescue then Senator Joe Biden and two other senators in a valley in Afghanistan is stranded in the country under Taliban rule pleading to be rescued, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
“Hello Mr. President: Save me and my family. Don’t forget me here,” the Wall Street Journal quoted him as saying.
The last of the US troops and officials left Afghanistan on Monday, as the Taliban celebrated a country with no American presence.
Mohammed, along with many Afghans who used to work for foreign countries in Afghanistan, fear Taliban retaliation.
After the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan on August 15, they launched a charm offensive to rehabilitate their image. The group promised amnesty to government employees and soldiers and vowed to protect the rights of women.
Activists and local journalists, however, say the reality on the ground is quite different, with many concerning reports of home searches and arrests of the very people the Taliban said they would not retaliate against.
Mohammed, who asked not to use his full name, was a 36-year-old interpreter for the US army in 2008, when two US army Black Hawk helicopters made an emergency landing in Afghanistan during a blinding snowstorm.
The helicopters carried then Senator Biden, Democrat John Kerry and Republican Chuck Hagel.
“As a private security team with the former firm Blackwater and US Army soldiers monitored for any nearby Taliban fighters, the crew sent out an urgent call for help. At Bagram Air Field. Mohammed jumped in a Humvee with a Quick Reaction Force from the 82nd Airborne Division and drove hours into the nearby mountains to rescue them,” the WSJ said.
Mohammed’s visa application became stuck after the defense contractor he worked for lost the records he needed for his application.
The Afghan interpreter tried to join the thousands of people who swarmed Kabul airport in an effort to get on one of the evacuation flights out of the country, but he was “rebuffed by US forces.”
He says he could get in but US forces would not allow him to take his wife and four children with him.