tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN August 19, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT
department's ability to process or the ability of people to physically get inside of the airport as we understand they're lined up outside. >> so let's talk first about the movement, the air capacity. it is set. and as i briefed a couple of times before, so that ability to air move up to 5,000 to 9,000 a day has been set and continues. as i think you've seen in the reports today of the increased numbers, we continue to see the ability to build those ready to fly on kabul airport to increase to allow us to fly those out. with the ability to continue obviously as mr. kirby said, we want that to continue to increase as we continue to bring more people and more american citizens and sivs and those on to the airfield so that they could be processed and ready to fly. >> and have there been any requests from d.o.d. officials
to expand the perimeter around the airport so there is more safe zone for people waiting in line and if there have been what is the taliban's response. >> so the think the commander on the ground the airfield is secure and every day in security operations commanders are always what we call improving the security environment. so as the commander on the ground at every level, finds those things that need to be improved to increase the security to allow mission success, they're going to do those things that they have those authorities to do on a daily basis. so i think as you saw today, the ability to continue state departments and the ability to bring more people on and to continue those, that is what we'll continue to look at over the next few days. >> do they have the ability to zpand expand the perimeter around the airport. >> i don't want to get ahead of where we are. the mission remains security at the airport and inside of the perimeter of the airport and that is what we're doing.
there are -- as we speak there is no plans to expand beyond that and i think we leave it at that. the other thing i want to touch on your first question, what general is talking about is capacity. and as i said from very early on, what we want to make sure is that airlift is not a limiting factor and it hasn't been. that doesn't mean that at this point in time every single seat on every single plane is going to be filled. we're working hard to get there but we want to build out to that capacity and there are a lot of factors that go into the through-put. including the situation out in town. including the checkpoints that the taliban have set up. including processing at the gates where we have set up and the general mentioned we have additional gates available to us so that is fleshing out of the capacity and weather is a factor and security at the airport is a factor. and we're not taking other of
the last two -- not taking any of them, certainly not taking weather or security at the airport for granted. it changes every day, the security environment changes and of course the weather. so there is a lot of tick points on the way to getting to through-put. what we want to make sure is that one limited factor is not airlift capacity. and as the general said, we're confident that it is not now and going forward it will not be. but that doesn't mean that there aren't going to be -- that doesn't mean that you could -- just because you have 5,000 seats that you could automatically fill 5,000 seats every day. now that is what we want to get to. as the secretary said, we want to move as many people as fast and as safely as possible. but there is a lot of steps in the prose. not all of them do we control and we understand that. >> could i ask one clarification. you're saying you're at that capacity right now but with the c-17s that have come in you
would have the capacity to take 5,000 people out in 24 hours right now but you've only taken 2,000 out. >> so, like i said, within the cent com commander assets and availability, we have the appropriate air assets to fly the 5,000 to 9,000 aday. defending upon the ability, the queue, those ready to fly, we bring in assets to fly them out. so, yes, we have assets available throughout cent com and available to reach those numbers today. and we have had those. >> but what is physically flying in right now, in the 24 hours is that enough and i guess we could do the math and see how many people. >> it is not about the math but what w.or who is ready to fly. as the numbers increase, which
you've seen they have in the last 24, 48, the cent com command team with continue to bring in the air flow required to fly out those people. >> i have a follow up. is isis a factor in this. is the u.s. dependent upon the taliban to keep those terrorist groups in check during this operation? >> isis and al qaeda is absolutely a planning factor. you wouldn't expect it to be other wise. and i'm not going to talk about specific force measures against terrorist threats. i i think clearly we're -- we're mindful that that threat could persist. >> is that part of the reason for the overhead flights? >> the over watch flights again have been in the air since before the noncombat ant evacuation operation. it is prudent force protection measures in the air. to make sure that we could
protect our people and our operations. against any threat, tara. any threat. >> could i just -- so i still want to be clear, you're nowhere near the demand for getting people out is nowhere near the 5,000 to 9,000 that you have established and maintained as capacity to do, right. one question. two is what is best estimate, if americans are the first priority, what is the best estimate that you have that you'll work through those and then turn full time as it were to sivs, afghans or whatever. so they're not thinking about the -- >> so a couple of points on this. as the general said, we have the capacity now. there is certainly enough air frames to meet the capacity we'd like to have of five to nine. but that doesn't mean that that number of air frames are just landing at kabul and then just
taking them off empty. we're trying to make maximum use of the ramp space, of the aircraft and of the queue. and we're going to adjust that every day. the demand will drive -- and the demand and the queue will drive how many sorties we fly. and i'm sorry your second question was? >> what is the bestest m estima when you are will be -- >> yes, with the general citizens. just in the last 24 hours of the 2,000 that got out, it was a mix of american citizens and family members as well as special immigrant visa applicants and other at-risk afghans. and i think you'll see that every day, gordon. i mean, obviously we want to take care of our fellow americans and the secretary and the chairman were clear about that. but we also want to take care of at-risk afghans and special visa
immigrant applicants so. we're not holing up a plane just to fill it with americans and sending it off. we're processing people as fast as we can and getting them on to their on ward stations. it is -- it is a balance. and we're trying to strike that balance every single day. >> john, what proportion of the 2,000 are american citizens versus siv and what proportion are women. >> i don't have a gender break down. of the 2,000 over the last 24 hours, i think nearly 300 of them were americans and that includes legal permanent residents, it includes obviously american citizens and family members an that is going to change every day. but i don't have a gender break down of what the manifests are on a daily basis. >> and does the u.s. government recognize the taliban as the legitimate government of afghanistan. >> that is a question for the state department. the defense department is focused on conducting this n
noncombatant evacuation. >> are you see more able to access the airport, are you seeing more people able to access the airport over the last 24 hours? >> we've seen, by opening up another gate, by adding counselor officers now, we believe that we will soon begin to see an opening up of the apa tour and we're hopeful that that means a more consistent increase in the flow. but i can't tell you right as we speak here louie that there is a dramatic rise. we have additional officers at gates with additional troops helping the counselor officers so i think we're poised to see an increase, but i want to be careful before i make predictions. what i want to drive is an increase, that is very much on everybodies a minds. >> and you were talking about american citizens and about
afghans and sivs. but the 7,000 number that was presented earlier, the general had said that you're now including other countries evacuations in those numbers. is that accurate or is the 7,000 exclusively u.s.? >> no, it is others. it as always, since the 14th when we've given you number, there have included some amount of nationals. >> is that on u.s. flights. >> hang on. one at a time. >> it is confusing. how many people has the u.s. government flown out on u.s. military planes because 7,000 if you're including other countries and if you're including civilian frights. >> we're giving you the total number of people that we've evacuated since the 14th and it is not all just americans. there have been some allies and partners that have gone out and we're giving you u.s. government flights that is not counting people still getting out
commercially or on charter flights. does that clarify. understand at the pentagon, we're fixating on the the tails that we own. but it is not the only way out of kabul right now. as the general briefed, the commercial side is open. there is limited, it is not as -- it is not as robust as what we could do on the military side but people are still getting out that way. >> can you recount the numbers that are 7,000 saying this is u.s. and afghan. >> i do not have a break down. i expect over time as our manifesting process gets more refined we may be able to be there but we don't have that specific breakdown. >> how many americans citizens remain in afghan -- >> i don't know. >> but your planning for these operations and you should be, did have some kind of account of how many americans are whether in harm's way or need to be evacuated, right. >> i think as you probably know,
first of all, the state department would be a better place to go for an if estimate of how many americans or in afghanistan or around kabul. that is not a figure that the united states military will know and i think as you also know not everyone american citizen in another country, there is no obligation that they register their presence. and that we -- and that you could have a perfect accurate count. but i don't have that figure and i would refer to you my state department colleagues for the best estimate on that. >> kirby, does the president has -- does the pentagon have the authorization at this point in time to expand the perimeter at the airport or to go into kabul if necessary from the president. >> the mission, helene, is to provide safe and secure operations. >> i know, i'm asking if the pentagon has the authorization from the president. >> i'm not going to talk about potential of any future decisions one way or another.
that would be a policy decision. we are focused on security at airport. >> my question is, do you have the authorization now at this point -- who makes that decision? is it biden or is it austin? >> we are authorized to provide safe and secure operations at the airport, helene. >> you could talk about the logi logistics regarding the human need at the airport, there is a lot of civilians and troops and there is food and sleeping arrangements and are you handle military and civilian and how are you doing that. >> so when you look at when whom ever comes into the gated at h-kai, all basic needs to ensure the welfare, they're care and to ensure that the medical -- all of the things to ensure they could go forward and fly are being done. and that is a combination of state department support, and
military support. working hand in hand, the commander and state department to ensure eating, sleeping, well taken care of. out of the elements are being done, absolutely. >> you've got like two more weeks almost of this. are there concerns about maintaining the input of supplies, the cleanliness over time? >> as military planners, we always ensure that we have the proper supplies on days for -- to conduct missions. and those are assessed on a daily basis and the commanders are always assessing what do we have now and what do i need to do in the short-term, and so forth. and so we are always continuing to, and that is why you see other planes continuing to arrive at required to continue to ensure commander as everything that they need to do to execute the mission that we have right now. >> i need to get to somebody on the phone, too.
tom squitary. >> good morning. i want to check on something. in regard to the pentagon policy that existed to provide air support and other assistance to the afghan government that was in place this summer, has that policy ended with the fall of kabul? or is it still alive for elements of the government that is still functioning in places like the pan cher valley. thanks? >> tom, as i think you could see by events, there is -- that there aren't operations out in the rest the country to support. and our focus in terms of air power is as the general described, and that is providing appropriate overwatch for our operation and that operation right now is at the airport. barbara. >> can i go back on the question of gates at the airport.
can you tell us this new gate that you opened, are the taliban outside of that gate or are they out letting people of afghans and people with u.s. documentation, united states citizens through the new gate and have you been able to keep very specifically all of your gates including camp sullivan on your side, have you been able to keep them open or have you had to close camp sullivan at various points have you have to close any of the gates? >> so the gates at the kabul airport are secure. and as we continue to flow more forces in, that gives the commander greater capability to provide security at those gate and as we said and open more gates and allow for greater input and into kabul airport. >> i'll follow up with kirby.
all respect, the question is, are all of the gates continuously open if you had to close -- have -- if the marines had to close sullivan at various points, do you have the taliban letting people through this new gate that you're talking about? have you been able to keep them all continuously open? >> barbara, as the general said, we have additional gates now and reporting this morning is that they are open. but i can't tell you with perfect clarity that there haven't been times over the last 72 hours when temporarily because of security incidents that they have had to close. i suspect that that is true. i don't have a firm answer for you on that. our goal was obviously to keep them as open as possible and to increase the flow as much as we can. >> just for the record, have any of the u.s. troops been involved in any additional crowd control measures that included them
having to fire? >> i'm not aware of any over the last 24 hours. >> thank you. >> i think that is probably a good place to stop. so thanks very much. my plan is to -- jim. >> could i just get if a haiti question. there are reports that american military medical teams are going in to the area. do you have anything on that. >> that is what i said earlier. so first we do have air force medical personnel there helping assist. and the first thing i said were the flights of the helicopters that we are bringing in one of our medical hospital capabilities and more to come today to be able to help and assist in a medical hospital first aid type care. >> so their setting up a field hospital that will be manned by american military personnel. >> that is correct. >> thanks everybody. my plan is to update you again
this afternoon. but it be off camera so we'll see you about 2:15. that is the plan right now. thank you. >> kate bolduan here. thank you for joining us. we're been watching an update from the pentagon on unfolding situation in afghanistan right now. joining me now is retired major general james spider marks. he's a cnn military analyst. thank you for being here. you were listening in to john kirby on the the update. what sticks out to you? >> well, what we really see is a plan that is starting to gain momentum. you have to believe what you're hearing from the the senior folks in the pentagon. that there is every effort being made to make sure that there could be safe passage, entry into the airport and the departure of those that have been vetted so they could get out of kabul. what they indicated i think is very important. there are limited multiple
factors that have to come in plan here. the two factors are what is the taliban going to do and what the is weather like on the ground. you have little ability to affect the taliban and no ability to affect the weather. everything else is within the power of cent com and the department of defense to make happen. that includes aircraft availablity and fuel access, vetting of the personnel, et cetera. so of those things that you could effect and control, you get after those and that is exactly what i heard. >> they're not yet up to the level that the president has said and that they have said that they want to get to in terms of number of people evacuated. they are nowhere near the number now. why not, spider? >> primarily i would say, and you know kate it is very difficult to evaluate and even try to critique an ongoing operation. this is a combat operation. we certainly as we have talked won't critique an on going gun
fight in combat. so i'm a tad hesitant to try to dissect this. but the key thing laid out is it is the access, two things, it is access to the airport, the karzai airport, are there multiple entry points and the second part is there sufficient screening taking place at those checkpoints to ensure a real voluminous kind of flow of potential passengers into the airfield because the air force and the joints staff, they're -- and the cent com folks, they'll get the c-17s in there for departure. it is loading those bad boys up and that is what is going to take. access and really good screening. if i may, there is one way to do this as well. we're sorting them and thend sending them out. >> that is exactly what i was just going to ask you. because a former marine, he's now a member of congress, rubin gallego, he put it in colorful terms.
i want you to ask you about, what is the hold up, why can't you get the people on planes and then sort it out. he tweeted, there are tons of cruiseships that are empty, there are bases around the world and there is a massive country to that is used to assimilating immigrants just put them on f'ing plans and get them out there. >> and i know congressman gallego. he was an infantry man in the marines that fought in the mideast. there are no soft terms that he would use to describe this. and that is a course of action. now there is in herent risk. you have put people on a aircraft. have you ensured that you don't have any real problems. now you could get a bad guy out of the country but we could figure that out down range. i think there is a strong argument to say let's load these bad boys up, let's get them going and then we could sort shem out wherever we land. whether that is someplace else in a host country in the
mideast. tajjica stan took ghani. >> i'm out of time. but looking forward, do you think they're going to need more troops on ground there in order to pull this all off? >> kate, i think so. when do you the troop to task and you look at timeline, the president has opened the window for continuation of the operation beyond 8/31. i think it is a prudent measure to say in order to accomplish this tank, we're going to take additio additional troops in there because if we want the volume going we're going to need some additional help. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. so the chaotic situation that is there now has turned deadly. president biden defiant and defensive on his handling of the crisis there and in any new interview. reuters is reporting that at least 12 people have been killed and around the kabul airport since the taliban took control of the capital on sunday. the deaths were caused either by stampedes or by gunshots in the area if you trust the word of
the taliban. new this morning, president biden tells abc news that he is willing to keep u.s. forces in afghanistan until all americans are able to leave the country. the president disputes that his military leaders told him to keep a residual force in the country. president biden also saying that despite the devastating images out of kabul, the withdrawal could not have happened in any other way. listen. >> you don't think this could have been handled better in any way? no mistakes? >> no. i don't think it would have been handle in a way that -- we're go to go back in hindsight and look. but the idea that somehow there is a way to have gotten out without chaosen sho-- chaos en shoeing, i don't know how that happens. >> i knew that they're going to have an enormous -- look, one of things that we didn't know is what the taliban would do in
terms of trying to keep people from getting out. what they would do. >> and with the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks just weeks away president biden was asked how b how he explains a taliban takeover of afghanistan now to the american people. >> in a couple of weeks we're all going to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11. the taliban are going to be ruling afghanistan like they were when our country was attacked. how do you explain that to the american people. >> not true. it is not true. they're not going to look just like they were when we were attacked. there was a guy named osama bin laden there was still alive and well. they were organized in a big way that they had significant help from other parts of the world. we went there for two reasons, george. two reasons. one, to get bin laden and two to wipe out as best we could and we did the al qaeda in afghanistan. we did it.
then what happened? we began to morph into the notion that instead of having a counter-terrorism capability, to have small forces in the air or in the region to be able to take on al qaeda if it tries to reconstitute, we decided engage in nation building in nation building. this never made any sense to me. >> joining me now from the white house. kaitlan collins. are you getting a sense of the reaction inside of the white house to the president's interview. >> reporter: i think their less focused on what has happened and a large part of the interview which led to the chaotic mess that we saw that ensued over the weekend as the taliban over took kabul and a lot of their focus has to do what w what he talked about at parts in the interview which is the evacuation process that is underway. with the pentagon just briefing on. and that is what they're focused on. not really looking back at what happened. though the national security adviser said that will be a pros that's they do review in the future and said they will share
that publicly once they do have that. but i think what you're hearing from president biden in the interview is that he is defending as he has been for several days the fact that the united states left. there are a lot of questions that are being raised by his usual allies on capitol hill over how the united states left. and one thing he does tell george stephanopoulos during that interview is he believe that's no matter when the united states left afghanistan, it was going to be a messy exit. saying that it was inevitable and that is something that democrats have pushed back saying it didn't have to be this way and they could have been move fasted to get the siv applicants that they are trying to get to the airport, the logistics, you heard the top military officials talking about is now the situation that he's facing. but we're told right now that when the meetings are happening behind the scenes, when president biden is "the situation room" wthey are wondering whether they'll have
to be there past 31st or if they could get all of the americans out and whether they make the decision on whether the u.s. troops stay while the endangered afghans are trying to get out. two things we should note. one president biden has told and made clear to aides he doesn't want to see any empty seatsond flights leaving kabul. that has been an issue when they were first getting the flights underway. just trying to get flight news the airport and out of the airport. he has told aides since then he does want to see any empty seats. of course that doesn't mean that you won't see any of them given the chaotic nature that we're still seeing. but that is a directive that we have heard about from the president to his top aides. the other thing that we should note is just how even president biden seem surprised by how you will this hinges on the taliban. and they're saying that they've been talking with taliban local commanders about ensuring that people can get through. a lot of the people who are trying to leave not necessarily the americans but the endangered afghans are trying to leave
because they're worried their targets of the taliban. so it makes you step back and look at how the process is underway and how it varies day by day how this is going. >> and look, i think people appreciate that they're not looking back or doing any report now because they're in the middle of crisis. but his mild military advisers did not advise him to leave a force of 2500 troops to maintain stability in afghanistan. let me play this for folks. >> your military advisers warned against withdrawing on this time line. they wanted to you keep about 2500 troops. >> no they didn't. it was split. that wasn't true. that wasn't true. >> they didn't tell you that they wanted troops to stay? >> no. not at -- not in terms whether we're going to get out in a time frame, all troops. they didn't argue against that. >> so no one told you no, we should keep 2500 troops and it is a stable situation for the laeft several years we could do
that and continue to do that? >> no. no one said that to me that i can recall. >> kaitlan, help me with this because that doesn't match the reporting that we've had for months. >> well i think it is that last phrase that he used there, that is so important here, which is not that i can recall. we know there were strenuous debates internally how this should proceed. those happened not just at principle level but at lower levels as well and there were some, we were told at time, including the chairman of the joints chiefs of staff general mark milley who advocated for keeping a presence in afghanistan. how long he wanted to keep that presence there and what size, those are meetings that happened behind closed doors with president and his defense secretary, national security adviser and top aides. but we do know that on the day president biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election it was clear this is route that he wanted to take. now it is not clear when he was going to do that or whether or not he was going to try to abide
by this agreement that his predecessor had struck. he said during this interview with abc that he was going to get out regardless at some point. this is something that was obviously very important to him. but when it comes to what the advice was from the military, why certain paths weren't pursued, those are going to be major questions that aren't going to go away for the administration going forward because i think a lot of democrats have questions about it as well. >> but the crisis is still at hand trying to get americans and at risk allies in afghanistan out of the country. kaitlan, thank you very much. we have some breaking news as well. police are responding to a claim of an explosive device in a vehicle near the library of congress in washington, d.c. two house office buildings are being evacuated at this hour. cnn's whitney wild is live on the scene. what is happening? >> reporter: well at this point, kate, in addition to the office buildings, the capitol complex
has been evacuated and the supreme court has been evacuated. supreme court is not in ses right now. there have very few people because because congress is still in recess. that is the silver lining here as this chaotic situation unfolds. this is been going on for about 90 minutes. the early reports were that a man had driven up in a vehicle claiming to have an explosive device. this obviously prompted a lot of anxiety. a huge law enforcement response. we are still a couple of blocks away so i can't give you a visual description of what is going on. but we're told is that law enforcement is negotiating with this person, this man who is apparently in this truck. again claiming to have an explosive device. right now, kate, we don't know the veracity of that claim. we don't know if they believe there is an explosive device in there but it is a real concern. just a few minutes ago we saw a care a van of more than dozen enormous dump trucks driving toward the scene, likely to continue to block off the streets to keep everyone safe. kate right now we've learned
that the situation is under control. there is a few more details coming in. again this is a man who is in a pickup truck, law enforcement sources telling me and evan perez, the pickup truck doesn't have plates on it so we don't know if they're from washington, d.c. or came from far away. we don't know the details yet. but this is continuing to unfold, kate. >> thank you very much. we'll get back to you as this clearly is developing as we speak. thank you very much for those details. coming up for us, more and more states are reporting a record number of coronavirus patients in icus and they are running out of beds. kentucky's governor andy bashear joins us live next. [sfx: psst psst] allergies don't have to be scary.
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maintain healthy blood pressure with a custom blend of ingredients. i'm taking charge, with garlique. developing at this hour, a record number of coronavirus patients are filling intensive care units across the state of kentucky. t the state will soon surpass the most people hospitalized with the virus at any point in the pandemic. joining me now is kentucky governor andy bashear. thank you for being here. your state has now a record number of covid patients in icu. you said just yesterday that within ten to 14 days, you won't have enough staff to care for all of the icu patients. that is terrifying. what is happening -- what happens then? >> it is terrifying. and it is entirely preventible. what is so sad about where we are as a state and as a country
is that if people would just go out and get this vaccine, we wouldn't be where we are right now. those that are refusing to get vaccinated, are filling up our icus, we have more people in the icu right now battling covid than ever before. and that not only means there are fewer beds for covid patients, but there are fewer beds for folks in a car accident, have a stroke, or have a heart attack. it means that you're less loikey to get the full amount of care in any one of those instances. we've been proud that our hospitals have been not overcrowded due to the pandemic and it is about to happen and all we could do is get vaccinated and to wear a mask in the right situation. >> look, and i want to talk about masks because children are a big concern in kentucky right now. you've got a covid cases in kentucky among kids have risen more than 400% in the last month and that leads me to schools.
you issued an executive order mandating masks in schools. you're being challenged by your own state attorney general on that. the president has told his education secretary to use his oversight and legal power to fight against governors blocking mask mandates and i'm wonder with what you're staring down in your state, what do you say to republican governors like in florida and texas who are fighting schools on mask mandates? >> i'd ask everybody to have the courage to do the right thing. to put the health and safety of our children above personal ambition. sending unmasked, unvaccinated kids into a poorly ventilated classroom is like holding the world's largest chicken pox party except instead of chicken pox it is the third leading cause of death. last year and may surpass cancer this year. please, do the right thing. i'm not just a governor. i'm a parent. i have a 12-year-old who is now
fully vaccinated and i have an 11 who is not old enough to get vaccinated. let's make sure that we are making the decisions and we have the courage to make the decisions that protect them. but not just protect them, keep them in schools. so my kids' school system did universal masking and they've done well. sure they have some quarantines. we have had one district that went back for three days before i put the mandate in and they have 700 people in quarantine after three days. one works and keeps kids in school, and if you don't require masks, they're not going to be in person in class. >> but governor, and that is what i was going to say, there is a little bit of come on. because you're not only a governor, you are a parent and you just laid that out. do you understand just honestly fundamentally why ron desantis in florida and greg abbott in texas, why they are fighting so hard against mask mandates when
you know what you know. >> well, listen, i know what is right. and it may be hard to do what is right. but it is always supposed to be hard to do what is right. and when we look back at this time and our decisions, i would rather know that i did the right things for the health and lives of my people than the popular things at the time. but i think what people don't get is that the vast majority of people out there support this type of protection. but we are allowing just a small group of people that are really vocal on social media, that show up at school board meetings and try to bully people, at school board meetings, we're letting their voices sometimes shout out what that vast majority of reasonable folks know that we got to protect our kids and do what is right. let me tell you, as a dad of two kids who are both wearing masks in schools, they are just fine. they are in class, they are
seeing their friends and communicating and it is fine. it is not the kids. it is parents trying to argue through their kids. but our kids are not our property or our chattel. they are our solemn obligation to do the right thing for. >> governor, thank you for your time. your hart up against it right now in your state. good luck. >> thank you very much. coming up for us, the taliban cracking down on afghans trying to get out of the country. i'm going to talk to the journalist that captured heartbreaking images of some of the suffering at the hands of the taliban now. visible is wireless that doesn't play games. no surprise fees, legit unlimited data, for as little as $25 a month. and the best part? it's powered by verizon. but it gets crazier. bring a friend every month, and get every month for $5.
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the scenes of chaos and suffering outside of the airport in kabul have quickly become some of the enduring images of fall of afghanistan. among the most startling, photographs from l.a. times correspondent and journalist marcus yam. a warning, these are graphic. he captured the brutal truth behind the empty promises if the taliban that they've reformed, showing a child unconscience and bloodied. a woman seemingly unconscience,
laid out on the street. bloodied. men trying to help her, we presume, in another image and a man sobbing, as he watched taliban fighter as tacking fellow afghans. marcus yam joins me now live from afghanistan. the images that you captured were so startling. do you know what happened to that woman and that child, if they are okay? with the woman and child because wasn't sure which hospital they ended up in. and there was no way for me to figure that out. they were put in a yellow taxi as in the picture and sped off. it all happened very, very quickly. it came and went in a few minutes, basically. >> of course. we've heard from -- i've heard from fellow correspondents, cnn correspondents on the ground of
how volatile the taliban fighters can be who are now in charge. do you know why the people in your pictures were beaten and attacked by the taliban as they were trying to make their way to the airport? >> i mean, they were -- there were thousands of afghans standing around and basically gathering at the airport, hoping for any information or trying their luck in basically -- a lot of them had read on facebook, according to a lot of people i talked to that the americans were evacuating afghans at the airport. so a lot of them would just show up and hope to try their luck out there, and i guess the taliban were trying to keep the crowd away from the airport. at least the road on the airport side by shoeing them away on to the other side. >> yeah. and that kind of gets to, like, the defense secretary and the joint chiefs chairman said yesterday the government's in communication with the taliban. they said that today at a briefing.
just now they're in communication to kind of create the passageways to allow people to get to the airport. i mean, but what is your sense of how well that is working at this point? >> it's changing day by day. as of today, i was at the road to the military entrance of the base where there's still, like, hundreds if not thousands of afghans still awaiting on the side, waiting for any opportunity to cross, to cross past the taliban check point to go into the airports, into the military side of the airport. and it's still a bottle neck out there. and still not as fluid as it should be. >> you've also -- you were at one of the protests that occurred in kabul. taliban fighters, they surrounded the protesters and there were some new images you published from that. kind of surrounded the protesters to try to disperse
them. what happened? >> today's the independence day of the islamic republican of afghanistan. and i was out covering a religious event at a nearby neighborhood, and i saw a flash mob march down the street about 200 people waving, you know, the national flag of afghanistan, chanting death to pakistan. you know, god bless afghanistan, long live the national flag. basically making their way to a busy downtown circle in kabul where the -- the national bank was. i guess there was a big flag pole there. and some of the plo testers climbed up and tried to raise the national flag there, basically, in defiance in front of the fighters that were posted out there to protect the building, the government build investig
ings in that circle. >> it goes without saying, thank you for coming on, but thank you for your extraordinary work and courage. thank you very much. >> thank you for having me on the show. >> be well. so a pressing question also at this hour is what does the u.s. owe afghans who helped american forces? so many with their lives at risk. earlier today david millaband called out people. tweeting announce an immediate doubling of your aid programs. usa currently flat lining to afghanistan. uk, massive cut. show you mean business. deeds, not words. joining me right now is the former uk foreign minister. he's now the president and ceo of the international rescue committee. thank you for being here. those are strong words. what do you want to see what the biden administration in this moment? >> thanks very much for having me on. there are three humanitarian crises in afghanistan at the
moment. the first involving tens of thousands of people. those who are in the midst of the bureaucratic process of showing that they've worked for the u.s. or the uk and are trying to get out. and that needs expeditious, fast, spisht processing of those claims. the second crisis is the half a million people who have been displaced within the country as a result of the fighting in the last six to eight weeks. those are people who are now homeless with nothing. and then there are about 18 million people ordinary afghans across the country, who are struck by drought, by covid, and are desperately poor and in need of humanitarian aid. we serve all those people with 17 00 afghans in the country. they're desperate while there's a u.s. military withdrawal, there's not a humanitarian development, political and diplomatic withdrawal. yes, there needs to be a fast, efficient u.s. processing system for the visa claims. but also an infusion of humanitarian aide not into
government coughers but down into the communities that are desperate to hold onto some of the gains made over the last 20 years. >> and add to that you -- i saw you say that the irc has about 17 00 staff in afghanistan. i mean, what are they telling you? what are they seeing? are they trying to get out? >> thank you for giving me a chance to speak to you about what they've said to me. we had a staff meeting yesterday. extraordinary testimony from women and men working for us. some of those women were only able to go to school as a result of the last 20 years, the changes in the last 20 years and now they're working for us. of the 17 00 people, they're all afghans. a tiny handful are international staff. and they feel two things. on the one hand, real fear. fearful of the future. the older ones remember the 1990s. and some of them do believe their lives are on the threat and trying to get out. finding it very hard. but secondly, they are afghans who want to build a better
community for themselves. they know even if their own immediate family get out, they've got mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, extended family and they're fearful of leaving them behind. they say look, we don't expect you to do nation building. we're doing it, but we need your support. we understand america is leaving militarily, but for goodness sake, don't let it leave on the money front. and that's where i made the point about the u.s. aid commitment. it's flat lining at $260 million. we need more aid going into community level. we need it more flexible so it can meet need. we need it to be deployed across the country in ways that really get money into the hands of people who need it. health protection. education. crash and livelihoods. for people in desperate need. many of them women and girls trying to sustain their families. >> that's right. and those who are going to be the most suppressed now. leaning on your former roles, former secretary, there
has been a lot of criticism from abroad of the kind of unilateral action by president biden here and the withdrawal and how it was executed mostly. he spoke to boris johnson tuesday. he spoke to angela merkel finally yesterday. is -- do you think how this has played out, this kind of chaos and this debacle, really, do you think it is going to change how america's allies view president biden, the administration going forward? i mean, is there an issue of trust, do you think now? >> i think there is an issue on part of european and other allies that they want their contribution to be matched on the american side. so, for example, just to give you an example, there's been a lot of talk about the two and a half thousand american troops being withdrawn. but there were 8,000 nato troops alongside those u.s. troops. it's not the case that it was the u.s. alone. i think that european allies, allies around the world, know
that president biden is a multilateralist and his team is steeped in international cooperation. and they want that to be played out and practiced. the administration has created a new so-called quad in the far east involving australia and india as well as the u.s. and japan. european allies want to see the same kind of engagement in nato and beyond. and i think that this is obviously a crisis situation. there's an understanding that the u.s. government will have to think about it. citizens and the duty to the afg afghans. it wants to work in partnership. this crisis is happening at a time of geopolitics when countries are on the retreat or march. there's a wider context to the debates that are happening about the crisis in afghanistan. >> david, it's great to have you here. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. breaking news, we have police responding to a claim of an explosive device in a vehicle near the library of congress in washington d.c. cnn is learning the suspect is
communicating with police via a white board. whitney wild is on the scene. >> reporter: communication with the white board is slowing down. but what we're told is right now the situation is controlled. it's a positive sign that there's any negotiation going on at all. at this point everyone is safe. we don't know if this person really does have explosives in his vehicle. he's made a number of statements according to law enforcement that he has explosives in his vehicle. that he intends to detonate them. this situation is extremely fluid. we'll get an update from the leaders of metropolitan police department and the capitol police in a few minutes. while we don't know anything about whether or not these explosives are real, i can tell you the law enforcement response here is very real. federal officials and local law enforcement here trying to get a handle on this. we'll keep you updated. >> thank you so much. unbelievable how this is playing
out. you can join cnn for the we love nyc. it's the homecoming concert, the big event airs saturday starting at 5:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnnn. thank you so much for being with us this hour. i'm kate bolduan. "inside politics" starts right now. welcome to inside politics. we begin this hour with mounting frustration in afghanistan. evacuations are at a trickle. the number of people who have gotten out, 7,000 total since the start of air lifts on saturday. both americans and afghans remain stuck in limbo. president joe biden committing american troops to leave no american behind, even the president says, if it takes longer than his august 31st deadline. since the taliban seized kabul on sunday, 12 people have been killed according to the routers