Are you familiar with the name Dr. Shakeel Afridi? If not, Dr. Afridi, was the Pakistani physician who helped the CIA run a fake hepatitis vaccine program in Abbottabad, Pakistan, to confirm Osama bin Laden’s presence in the city by obtaining DNA samples. Afridi was later arrested at the Afghan/Pakistani border while trying to flee the country with his family just days after the bin Laden raid, and was subsequently sentenced to 33 years’ imprisonment for treason and other bogus charges.
India Today, the most widely circulated magazine in India opined, “Dismissed as a traitor in Pakistan but lauded as a hero by the United States, Shakeel Afridi is paying a heavy price for his role in bringing an end to Osama Bin Laden.” Dr. Afridi, now fifty-nine, remains locked in a squalid solitary confinement cell in Sahiwal Jail in Pakistan’s central Punjab province, a scapegoat for Pakistani authorities who denied knowledge of bin Laden’s presence in their country.
Husain Haqqani, who was serving as Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington at the time of the raid said, “He is being kept in prison now only to teach every Pakistani a lesson not to cooperate with a western intelligence agency.” Afridi’s health and sanity are slowly slipping away as his legacy that has been lost to the fog of war.
Even Trump, whose administration orchestrated the release of more American hostages than any other administration in modern history couldn’t effect the brave doctor’s release. But leaving sacrificial lambs behind isn’t new to President Biden. He had a great mentor in Barrack Obama who was not only responsible for not getting Afridi and his family out of Pakistan immediately after the bin Laden raid; but whose administration oversaw the Benghazi fiasco that failed to send help to Ambassador Chris Stevens and the other three Americans who, left to fend for themselves, were brutally murdered by Libyan terrorists.
We’ve all heard Obama spin the story, even telling the UN the attack was about a video, but as the Wall Street Journal reported, the Obama administration promoted a false narrative. Even then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, confided to her daughter, Chelsea, in an email that night (and obtained by the WSJ) that an al-Qaida faction was responsible.
So, leaving people behind is nothing new to Joe Biden, after all, he was the Vice President when all this transpired and was surely aware if not complicit in those decisions, which brings us to Afghanistan. The media won’t examine this matter as it should, but I believe future historians will call the Kabul debacle ‘the most shameful and humiliating episode in American foreign policy history.’ Perhaps the Joint Chiefs or the president’s “woke” national security advisors may feel the “Leave no man behind” creed that once underpinned our national code of honor is no longer relevant–I can only speculate and judge their actions and results.
Fifty years ago, I was a Marine helicopter pilot in Vietnam, and when flying into combat I did so with full knowledge that if I shot down (which I was) someone would come to rescue us (which they did.) Further, I would have been much more ‘circumspect’ about flying into some of the situations we did without that knowledge. So, I ask, after witnessing this abandonment of allies, who is going to trust the United States during our next conflict? Does anyone think it’s going to be easy for our operatives to gain cooperation from the next foreign national doctor or the next local populace?
In 2008 an Afghan interpreter named Mohammed helped rescue then Senator Joe Biden and two other senators stranded in a remote Afghanistan valley after their helicopter was forced to land in a snowstorm. Today, Mohammed and his four children are hiding from the Taliban and are among the thousands Afghan allies Joe Biden left behind.
The appalling way we exited Afghanistan will haunt this nation for years – perhaps decades; even our staunches allies Britain, France and Germany are aghast. But then Joe Biden has had a lot of experience watching White Houses he worked in and the State Departments he oversaw leave people behind.
I predict two consequences from this ignominy, first, America’s reputation will never be the same, and secondly, I fear that it’s just a matter of time before we see more young American men and women back in Afghanistan.
Quote of the Day: “Joe Biden has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”—Robert Gates, former Obama administration Secretary of Defense.