According to a new petition filed in federal court, the Biden administration is illegally concealing information about last year’s disastrous withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan. Alleged to be included in the material being withheld is information that could demonstrate senior government officials knew the Taliban would rapidly retake power and that Americans would be trapped in the war-torn country.
The case has been filed by the Center to Advance Security in America (CASA) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and asks for an order compelling the State Department to release official communications documents.
Among the information sought are records regarding the vetting of Afghan refugees and the number of American citizens and legal residents who were not evacuated.
No official statement or documents have been released by the Biden administration showing the number and identity of Americans left behind when the last military forces left Kabul. Administration officials have also avoided investigations by Congress into the issue.
The Biden administration has similarly evaded inquiries into the procedures that have been used to screen refugees from Afghanistan that have been brought into the U.S., including vetting those persons for connections to any known terrorists or terror groups.
CASA first went through the federal Freedom of Information Act seeking the documents before filing suit. Those requests which were made in January are referenced in the complaint filed with the court. CASA alleges that the government has shown it will not voluntarily comply with the law without a court order compelling them to do so.
In a press statement, CASA said that Afghan terror and criminal networks are extensive, and Americans have a right to know who the people are who are being let into the interior of the country.
The administration claimed for months after the withdrawal that the number of Americans left stranded behind Taliban lines totaled “around 100.” Multiple lawmakers indicated that they had received contact from thousands of people who said they were having trouble getting help from the State Department in getting out. It remains unclear at this time exactly how many persons were left behind and who may still be unaccounted for.
CASA described the State Department’s lack of transparency regarding the withdrawal as “gravely concerning.”
No hearings have yet been scheduled in the case.