An Oklahoma congressman who reportedly “went missing” during a rogue Afghanistan rescue mission is, in fact, not missing at all — just “extremely disappointed” about how President Joe Biden left Americans behind enemy lines.
According to a report from the Washington Post on Monday, U.S. officials were “unsure“ of Rep. Markwayne Mullin’s (R-OK) location after he requested help from the U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan with his evacuation of a woman and her four children. Mullin announced in an Instagram post on Wednesday that he was headed home and was never missing, though he had to “go dark for a little” because it was not safe to communicate.
“I am heading home…Have we been helping get Americans out of Afghanistan, yes. Is the mission continuing, yes. Am I missing, no. Did I go dark for a little, yes because it wasn’t safe to be communicating,” Mullin said. “Am I extremely disappointed in how we (United States) left Americans behind… that would be an understatement.”:
As for what he saw while he was on the ground, Mullin said the Biden Administration is “absolutely lying” about the state of stranded Americans and Afghan allies.
“President Biden and his administration are absolutely lying to the American people about Americans and our friends being left behind,” he said. “So many great Americans, many who are Veterans and many who are not, are stepping up to keep our promise….. We will never leave an American behind.”
After Biden officially pulled U.S. troops from Afghanistan on Monday, the State Department reported that a few hundred Americans were still trapped in the country. Out of 122,000 evacuees, only 5,000-6,000 were Americans.
However, following the evacuation, Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-TX) said during an interview on CNN’s Situation Room, that the number of Americans still in Afghanistan is higher than the number put out by the State Department:
I just got briefed in the — it’s actually higher than that number. And the reason — a lot of them maybe they tried to get out at the last minute. Because of the security concerns, they were not let into the airport. But a lot of them, actually, Wolf, have family members there that they can’t get out with them, and that’s part of the problem there also.
Inconsistent messaging from U.S. officials has consistently obscured the number of Americans seeking to leave the country. Earlier in the evacuation process, officials estimated that anywhere between 10,000 to 15,000 Americans were in Afghanistan, and some estimates topped upwards of 40,000. The State Department contended on August 25 that only 6,000 Americans “wanted to leave.”
Under Taliban rule, Americans and Afghan allies could face torture and even murder as terrorists seek vengeance for 20 years of western occupation. Even worse, the Biden Administration gave the Taliban a list of people seeking to leave the country and left behind U.S. military equipment, including biometric devices, which have the fingerprints, eye scans, and the biographical information of Afghans who helped the U.S.
Mullin is not the only lawmaker to venture overseas in an effort to save those left behind by the Biden Administration. Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Peter Meijer (R-MI), embarked on their own secret visit to Afghanistan on August 24 where they learned evacuations would not be completed by Biden’s August 31 withdrawal deadline.
Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) have cautioned lawmakers against traveling to Afghanistan.
“I don’t think it’s smart for others to go,” McCarthy said after the Moulton, Meijer trip. “You’re putting yourself — not just yourself, but you’re putting Americans — in harm’s way, if the military has to protect you, which they will do.”