By Jenny Goldsberry
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby downplayed the circumstances of Americans stranded in Afghanistan in a press conference Monday. He admitted that Americans “get stranded in countries all the time.” His comments dispute what the White House declared since people began evacuating Afghanistan.
A week ago, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki denied that Americans were stranded in the country in a press conference. “First of all, I think it’s irresponsible to say Americans are stranded,” Psaki said. “They are not.”
Instead, Psaki insisted that their communication strategy is helping get Americans out. “We are committed to bringing Americans, who want to come home, home,” Psaki said. “We are in touch with them via phone, via text, via e-mail, via any way that we can possibly reach Americans to get them home if they want to return home.”
Yet an American mother who claimed to be stranded herself said that there have been instances of miscommunication. “For four days, three, four days, we didn’t hear anything from anywhere,” she said. “And then they’re saying to go to the airport, but we’re not being clear guidance. They are saying one thing, and then the next thing, they come and say something else, so you really exactly don’t know what to do. There is a lot of miscommunication going on. You know, your emails are getting ignored.”
Then, photos of abandoned dogs at the Hamid Karzai International Airport made the rounds on Twitter. Some claimed they were military K-9 units. However Kirby also put those rumors to rest.
“To correct erroneous reports, the U.S. Military did not leave any dogs in cages at Hamid Karzai International Airport, including the reported military working dogs,” Kirby tweeted Tuesday. “Photos circulating online were animals under the care of the Kabul Small Animal Rescue, not dogs under our care.” Why their carriers were seemingly photographed at an airport is still a mystery.
As of Monday, the U.S. military evacuated over 123,000 people.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.