Sen. Cotton Helps Translator Leave Afghanistan, Says Thousands Remain Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., asks a question during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Dirksen Senate Office Building on April 28, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 23 August 2021 02:34 PM
Sen. Tom Cotton, who helped an American translator stranded in Afghanistan and his family get out, appeared with the man on television Monday and pointed out that there are "hundreds and thousands" of Americans like him in Afghanistan who need the U.S. government to "get inside the wire and get back to their country."
The man, whose name was simply reported as Haroon on Fox News' "Fox and Friends" Monday, had appeared on the network last week to beg President Joe Biden and his administration to get him out of Afghanistan and away from the Taliban, and was back with Cotton on Monday to describe his escape.
"There are hundreds and thousands of other Haroons all around Kabul and all around Afghanistan, Americans who are standing by, who need help from our government," Cotton, R-Ark., said Monday. "It's pretty disappointing that it took a freelancer in the United States Senate office who's been working around the clock with all of my young men and women on my team to get help get Haroon out, so many others when it should be the State Department who is providing this information of helping them get out," Cotton said.
He also called on Biden to declare that American forces will stay in Afghanistan "for as long as our people are there. That's what we owe our fellow countrymen."
Cotton served in Afghanistan in 2008-09 as an Army officer. He said Haroon was not his translator but had contacted his office last week, and that his staff helped Haroon navigate from his home to the airport.
Haroon told the program that it would have been "impossible" for him and his family to escape without Cotton's help.
"Everything is fine. We're feeling safe and happy, a little tired. We haven't been sleeping for almost 36 or 40 hours almost, but yeah, we made it," Haroon said.
Last week, when Haroon appeared on the program, he said Afghans, including himself, were required to show the Taliban all their paperwork to enter the U.S. embassy to leave, including himself, even though he had told them he is "an American and wanted to go inside."
He said he'd gotten an email saying the embassy was open but he said he was met by the Taliban when he arrived.
"I saw the Taliban sitting there," he said. "I couldn't give myself the courage to go and ask them, ‘Hey, I'm an American. I want to go in the embassy.’"
"The last day, Mr. Tom Cotton, he tried his best," at the airport, said Haroon. "His people … did their best to help me get out. They gave me a ride from my home to the gate, and from the gate, somehow, they had connections without going through the crowd. They put me all the way in the front, and I got the chance to talk to one of the Americans, so I showed my passport, and they got my kids from over the fence, and then I went behind the wall. They gave me a ladder to get in."
He said he would like to ask Biden to "please help all these families that are on the street. Their kids are not deserving this. They help you and they help America, they help the world. They put their life at risk to help the world, to do the right thing. This is what my family did."