Opinion

As WH Touts Successful Operation In Afghanistan, Reports Surface Of Students And Parents Stranded After Summer Trip Abroad

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s response to being questioned about the student group.

While the White House is desperately projecting an air of success in their withdrawal efforts, reports have surfaced that over 30 students and parents from a California school district have been stranded in Afghanistan following a summer trip abroad.

Worse, it appears that the Biden administration – or at least press secretary Jen Psaki – had no idea of their presence. 

The Los Angeles Times Tuesday evening reported that “at least 24 students from the Cajon Valley Union School District in El Cajon and 16 parents are stranded in Afghanistan.”

The families, according to the newspaper, traveled to Afghanistan on special visas for U.S. military service and had been visiting on summer vacation.

The district superintendent has been in touch with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and indicated government officials “are working to locate the children and their families.”

RELATED: Taliban Threatens Biden With August 31 Red Line For Troop Withdrawal: ‘There Would Be Consequences’

Psaki Takes Issue With Saying People Are Stranded in Afghanistan

News of the stranded students and their parents comes just days after White House press secretary Jen Psaki took issue with the characterization of Americans being abandoned, snapping at a reporter.

“I think it’s irresponsible to say Americans are stranded. They are not,” Psaki said. “We are committed to bringing Americans who want to come home, home.”

Of the student group in particular, Yahoo reports that Psaki was “caught flat-footed” by the knowledge. 

A reporter asked Psaki about the group: “Do you have any more information on that or is that?–”

“I do not. Who have recently traveled into Afghanistan?” Psaki stated in response, appearing confused about the report.

“I certainly don’t have additional information on that. I know, as our secretary of state just noted, when he went through a a thorough summary of American citizens and our contacts and our focus over the last several days, he gave an update. I am happy to take their information if there is something more detailed to have.”

In a press briefing Tuesday, Psaki continued to deflect on the notion that Americans are stranded in Afghanistan.

“You say no Americans are stranded,” one reporter asked providing an example of one such person, an American in Kabul who claims to have been stranded for days.

“I would welcome you providing their phone number, and we will reach out to them today,” replied Psaki.

She would eventually concede “we expect there could be some” Americans who are left behind “but I’m not going to get into it further.”

RELATED: Chris Wallace Turns On Biden Over Afghanistan Debacle – ‘It’s Been A Mess’

‘Success’ in Afghanistan

During a trip to Singapore, Vice President Kamala Harris touted a successful White House operation in withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.

“There’s no question there will be and should be a robust analysis of what has happened. But right now … our focus has to be on evacuating,” Harris told reporters.

“And to that end, we have seen a successful drawdown of the embassy and, thankfully, without any American casualties.”

That ‘success’ apparently “depends” on “coordination” with the Taliban.

Politico, however, is reporting that the “Taliban has now started halting people trying to get in through the airport gates.”

“Not just Afghans but American citizens,” reporter Lara Seligman tweeted.

As for the students and parents from California currently stranded, Cajon Valley School Board President Tamara Otero told the Los Angeles Times that they had plans to fly out of Afghanistan.

They had already purchased tickets.

“The biggest concern is that the Taliban closed the airport,” Otero conveyed. “We are so worried about our students that are stuck there. We’ll do the best we can to get them out.”

Let’s hope the Biden administration does the same.

 

 

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Rusty Weiss

Rusty Weiss is a freelance writer focusing on the conservative movement and its political agenda. He has been following and analyzing the political climate for several years, and his writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, FoxNews.com and more.

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