The president’s nomination for an ambassadorship was ripped by a former Green Beret as “just another slap in the face” to veterans following her role pertaining to the Afghanistan withdrawal.
One need look no further than Vice President Kamala Harris to see that failing up has been a consistent theme from President Joe Biden’s administration. In keeping with that, the commander-in-chief also demonstrated his apparent disconnect with the views of the military community as he nominated career State Department official Tracey Jacobson, 59, as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Iraq.
While Jacobson’s record included previous service as U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kosovo among other positions, her role in charge of the Special Immigration Visa (SIV) program following the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 was viewed by veterans as a massive failure for allies in the region.
Speaking with the Daily Mail, retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Scott Mann qualified the performance in seeing to the needs of as many as 150,000 allies that were abandoned as a “colossal embarrassment.”
“The U.S. State Department role in all of this has been a colossal embarrassment and this promotion is just another slap in the face to the veteran population,” the former Green Beret told the Mail. “Instead of being held to account and relieved her duties [Jacobson] was promoted.”
“900 days after the botched Afghanistan withdrawal, U.S. veterans are still maintaining the lifelines to our U.S. Allies who face retribution, torture, and execution,” he detailed.
Following the withdrawal that had included the tragic bombing death of 13 U.S. service members at the airport in Kabul, the SIV program was supposed to help allies that included translators and military personnel escape the Middle Eastern country as terrorists regained control
As of November, it had been reported that about 34,000 SIVs had been issued with tens of thousands still stranded. Mann himself had led Operation Pineapple Express in 2021, a veteran-run volunteer effort that worked to get more than 750 Afghans stranded after the disastrous withdrawal free from the threat of the Taliban.
However, even as millions from dozens of nations have poured across the U.S.-Mexico border, terrorists among them, known allies like Zinullah “Zak” Zaki have still been threatened with deportation after managing to escape to the United States.
Zaki had served as an interpreter alongside American troops and in Dec. 2022 detailed how his documentation of nine months of service did not satisfy the government requirement of two years’ worth, thus leading them to deny his SIV.
“It’s a real injustice for a guy who nearly died for this country multiple times,” U.S. Marine Tom Schueman had told Fox News. “A guy who saved American Marines’ lives.”
— BPR (@BIZPACReview) December 23, 2022
“I am extremely frustrated that the Biden administration continues to reward and promote those who played a role in the catastrophic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan,” House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Texas Rep. Michael McCaul (R) expressed in his own statement to the Mail. “Tracey Jacobson failed American veterans and our Afghan allies when she and the Biden administration abandoned hundreds of thousands of our Afghan allies.”
“If she is allowed to become the next U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, the Democratic U.S. Senate will be telling the American people — and the world — that there is no such thing as accountability or justice in the Biden administration,” he added.
Wednesday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Accountability brought representatives in from groups aiding Afghan allies since 2021, including 1208 Foundation, 8AM Media, Badger Six, Moral Compass Federation, NATO Afghan Justice Sector Group, No One Left Behind, Operation Recovery and Rafiq Friends of Afghanistan.
The committee highlighted, “Contrary to the Biden administration’s efforts to whitewash the Taliban’s actions, witnesses testified about the Taliban’s ongoing campaign of revenge and murder targeting our Afghan allies. Today’s roundtable made it clear: the U.S. cannot abandon its allies.”
Contrary to the Biden administration’s efforts to whitewash the Taliban’s actions, witnesses testified about the Taliban’s ongoing campaign of revenge and murder targeting our Afghan allies. Today’s roundtable made it clear: the U.S. cannot abandon its allies.
— House Foreign Affairs Committee Majority (@HouseForeignGOP) January 31, 2024
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