World The CIA smuggled people through a secret gate at the Kabul airport in the desperate final hours of evacuation, Wall Street Journal reports
A U.S. general warned the Taliban to stay out of Kabul or be bombed. The Taliban rolled into Kabul anyway.
Senators are expected to grill Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Gen. Milley and Gen. McKenzie about the Afghanistan pullout at a hearing Tuesday.Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, sat across from Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar and showed him a map with a circle around Kabul, about 20 to 30 km outside the city.
- The CIA set up a secret gate near the Kabul airport to smuggle out evacuees,
- Initially, the gate was used for high-priority CIA evacuees.
- According to the report, in the final days, more Afghans and Americans were able to use the gate.
During the United States' hectic evacuation from Afghanistan in August, the CIA opened a secret back door two miles from the Kabul and smuggled evacuees through the hidden corridor,
Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon officials get grilling from House
It's Wednesday, welcome to Overnight Defense & National Security, your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.The House Armed Service Committee had it's turn to question top Pentagon leaders in a hearing that revealed a number of new details about the decisions officials made in the days before and after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. We'llThe House Armed Service Committee had it's turn to question top Pentagon leaders in a hearing that revealed a number of new details about the decisions officials made in the days before and after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
At the time, thousands of Afghans took to the Kabul airport seeking to leave the country, and many were denied flights and access to the airport.
According to the report, the gate was known as Glory Gate or Liberty Gate, and was tucked away by a gas station near the northern side of the airfield. CIA operatives as well as CIA-trained Afghan soldiers helped Afghans and Americans navigate the secret entrance during the evacuation, according to CIA sources who spoke with The Journal.
"The gas station was where our guys would go grab Afghans" seeking to evacuate, a former CIA operative told the Journal.
The report added that the gate was initially "used to smuggle out priority cases for the CIA, including intelligence assets, local agents and their families, and a list of high-importance cases sent from the White House." But in the last two days of the evacuation, more civilians and evacuees were taken through the gate.
The White House, State Department, Department of Defense, and CIA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Despite soothing words, the Taliban are much as they were .
How Taliban 2.0 will rule, two decades later, is far from clear -- but there are a few straws in the wind. And they suggest the Taliban see little need to change. They believe their success was God-given. Anas Haqqani, a member of Afghanistan's most powerful family, told CNN that the Taliban "succeeded against 52 [countries]. It is not due to the worldly plan; it is because of the blessing of the faith." It followed that running the country would have but one inspiration.