Sen. Johnson: Did US Military Block Americans From Entering Kabul Airport? Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) speaks on the bipartisan infrastructure bill during a press conference with fellow Republican Senators at U.S. Capitol on August 04, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty)
By Solange Reyner | Monday, 30 August 2021 05:24 PM
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., wants to know why a military official blocked a group of 25 American citizens from entering the Kabul airport.
“It’s hard to believe that any U.S. military official would deny Americans the ability to evacuate Afghanistan,” Johnson, the ranking Republican members of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, said in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin Friday. “What generalized or specific order was given to the commander that caused him to take this alleged action? Where did this order originate?”
Johnson was referencing former Force Recon Marine Chad Robichaux’s claims that the commander of the 82nd Airborne Brigade turned away buses full of American evacuees from the Kabul airport early Thursday morning because the “rescue was over.”
"Our team members were met by the Commander of the 82nd Airborne Brigade and asked 'what were they doing here? Who did we think we are bringing these people into the base? The rescue is over,’” Robichaux told Newsmax last week.
Robichaux was working with non-government organization to help evacuate American citizens and Afghan allies.
Johnson in the letter said it wasn’t clear what happened to the Americans and the other individuals “after they left the airport.”
Specifically, he asked for the secretaries to hand over the "generalized or specific order … given to the commander that caused him to take this alleged action," where the order came from, and who the order originated from.
He also asked if either department was "aware" of the allegations, whether there was an open investigation and what the administration is "doing to locate and evacuate the American citizens that were allegedly turned away."
When asked by Fox News about the claims, a spokesperson for the State Department pointed to a tweet from acting Afghanistan Ambassador Ross Wilson denouncing the allegations of Americans being turned away as "false."