‘It’s like Noah’s Ark. The doors are shut. No more animals are getting in.’
The mad dash to get journalists out of Afghanistan.
Journalism is too opaque and misunderstood. Chills gives a behind-the-scenes look at how dangerous investigative journalism gets made.
The people who have risked their lives in the past 20 years to tell us stories of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan are being left behind — and those trying to get them to safety are losing hope.
Thousands of foreign nationals are still being evacuated from Afghanistan, even as violence increases around the Kabul airport, including two explosions Thursday that killed at least 12 American troops and dozens of Afghan civilians, according to the Pentagon. And while these people have reason to be concerned about remaining in a Taliban-controlled country, such fears are an order of magnitude higher for the Afghans who worked — or who continue to work — with the U.S. and other NATO countries as media workers and translators, as it is for all Afghan journalists. Nobody likes a truth-teller in a time of coverup.
One group that, surprisingly, has hundreds of staffers and their families stranded in the country is the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which runs the pro-democracy Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
On Wednesday, 67 members of Congress sent President Biden a bipartisan letter saying that these staffers are being forgotten. “We stress to you that the 550 USAGM employees and their families are no different from journalists you have already doggedly worked to evacuate,” the letter reads.
I’ve been hearing from fellow journalists who are trying to get their own colleagues out of Afghanistan that there is a much higher number than 550, but, like everything in this shambolic pullout, the truth is obfuscated.
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