The Biden administration released a statement announcing the departure of 150 U.S. citizens from Afghanistan and called the Taliban ‘businesslike and professional.
Gold Star mom Jill Stephenson told the New York Post that the White House statement praising the Taliban was “blasphemous.”
“Wow, the first word that comes to mind was blasphemous, horribly blasphemous. To call the Taliban that…it’s absolutely disgusting. And it’s coming from the White House. Given the circumstance of why it’s even happening in the first place, why are we even negotiating with terrorists? That makes me shake my head.”
“As a Gold Star mother and as a voice that represents so many families who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom, and especially those of us whose loved ones took their last breath in Afghanistan, it’s embarrassing. It’s completely embarrassing. It’s disappointing. It’s disgusting. It’s unbelievable.”
“It’s like living in the ‘Twilight Zone.”
Press Secretary Jen Psaki tried to explain that the remarks were focused on the successful extraction of U.S. citizens from Afghanistan (see below).
Stephenson’s only son, 21-year-old Army Ranger Cpl. Ben Kopp died in 2009 after Taliban fighters attacked his unit.
After White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki complimented the Taliban during a press conference, Peter Doocy let her have it by asking:
“Why the White House in a statement is calling the Taliban businesslike and professional.”
Psaki replied that “the Taliban was cooperative in facilitating the departure of these American citizens and legal permanent residents from HKIA.”
Doocy then reminded Psaki that the new Afghan Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani is on the FBI’s Most Wanted List:
“But you’re saying the Taliban is businesslike and professional. Their interior minister has an FBI Wanted poster. He’s got a $10 million bounty on his head. That’s…what’s the business?”
Peppermint Patty is so in over her head.
Doocy shows her wanted FBI poster of Taliban minister.
— Bodhi Crane (@BodhiCrane) September 9, 2021
Psaki pivoted off of what Doocy said by saying, “We are here to celebrate the return of American citizens who wanted to leave Afghanistan, of legal permanent residents, of Afghans who fought by our side to Qatar successfully on a Qatari airlines flight and in order get them out, we had to work with some members of the Taliban to press them and to work in a businesslike manner to get them out.”
Psaki then said, “That is what we were stating in this statement.”
Doocy pushed back with a great follow-up question: “And in that statement, it says, “this is a positive first step.” Towards what?”
Psaki answers: “Towards getting additional people out who want to leave Afghanistan.”