Joe Biden has told a lot of stories over the years, most designed to puff himself up, and some of them with very little relationship to reality.
But there’s one story that he tells that does have some relationship to reality — that’s the story of having to land in a helicopter in the woods of Afghanistan in 2008. He often told the story to add to his alleged foreign policy credentials when he was running for office.
“If you want to know where al Qaeda lives, you want to know where [Osama] bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me,” he said on the campaign trail in October, just months after the February rescue. “Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down…in the middle of those mountains. I can tell you where they are.”
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Now, Joe being Joe, there’s puffery there — they weren’t exactly near al Qaeda, and their helicopter was “forced down” by a snowstorm, not by any enemy action. But, it was true that it had to land and there was potential danger, given he was a U.S. senator and there with two other U.S. senators — Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE).
But one of the people who came to his rescue was a man named Mohammed, who was a 36-year-old Afghan interpreter. Mohammed came out with members of the 82nd Airborne and three Blackwater SUVS from Bagram Air Field, driving hours through the snowstorm to help. Once he got there, he helped to ward off any locals until the military was able to get the Black Hawk out of there. Thanks to Mohammed and the rest, Joe Biden got out of there safely.
But now Mohammed is stuck, with his four children, in hiding from the Taliban, after years of helping the United States — even helping Biden himself.
“Hello Mr. President: Save me and my family,” Mohammed said to The Wall Street Journal, as the Americans pulled the military out. “Don’t forget me here…I can’t leave my house…I am very scared.”
“His selfless service to our military men and women is just the kind of service I wish more Americans displayed,” Lt. Col. Andrew R. Till wrote in June to support Mohammed’s application for a Special Immigrant Visa.
Mohammed’s visa application became stuck after the defense contractor he worked for lost the records he needed for his application. Then the Taliban seized Kabul on Aug. 15. Like thousands of others, Mohammed tried his luck by going to the Kabul airport gates, where he was rebuffed by U.S. forces. Mohammed could get in, they told him, but not his wife or their children.
Army veterans called lawmakers and issued dire appeals to U.S. officials for help. “If you can only help one Afghan, choose [Mohammed],” wrote Shawn O’Brien, an Army combat veteran who worked with him in Afghanistan in 2008. “He earned it.”
A White House official declined to comment, saying the administration couldn’t discuss individual cases for confidentiality reasons.
Why after everything -after over 122,000 people that they supposedly got out — is Mohammed and his family still there? He’s the perfect example of the person that we gave our word to save, and there are likely few interpreters like him that could say they even saved Joe Biden.
Yet, Biden — the allegedly empathetic one — has had months to save folks like Mohammed. Months knowing that the folks like the man who helped save him would be endangered. But, he did nothing. He does nothing now. He appears not to care one whit. He’s more concerned that people would challenge him or question his action. Is that empathy? It may be sociopathy, but it surely isn’t empathy. That’s the real Joe Biden. Let’s hope that Mohammed can get help to get out. Because the very man he saved has left him, high and dry.