- Military veterans spoke at a hearing about the atrocities their Afghan partners are facing under Taliban rule
- The Taliban effectively took control of the Afghanistan following Biden’s military withdrawal from the country in August 2021
- Witnesses detailed the Taliban’s gruesome torture, mutilation and murder since
A panel of witnesses testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday detailing the gruesome horrors inflicted by the Taliban on U.S.-Afghan allies since President Biden’s botched military withdrawal from the country.
The committee hearing on Taliban reprisals featured witnesses with extensive military experience recounting second-hand the horrific incidents that translators, Afghan defense officials and civilians have endured.
The veterans and non-profit operators described the torture, rape, mutilation and murder performed by the Taliban on U.S.-aligned Afghans.
The Chairman of the hearing, Republican Rep. Brian Mast, who lost his legs after stepping on an explosive device during his service in Afghanistan, recounted multiple cases of abandoned U.S. allies getting killed or tortured by the Taliban following Biden’s military withdrawal.
‘An Afghan police chief who had helped the United States, was tortured for 49 days, and then was hanged,’ Rep. Brian Mast said at the hearing. Another ‘Afghan police officer was shot dead in front of her husband and children while she was eight months pregnant.’
Taliban fighters atop vehicles with Taliban flags parade along a road to celebrate after the US pulled all its troops out of Afghanistan, in Kandahar on September 1, 2021 following the Talibans military takeover of the country
A helicopter displaying a Taliban flag flies above Taliban supporters gathered to celebrate the US withdrawal of all its troops out of Afghanistan
‘A military officer arrested in August with no charge. A week later, his family received his body without his head,’ Mast Continued.
A key issue at hand in the hearing was wether the U.S. recognizes that its Afghan allies are currently being hunted as reprisals for their service.
At a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in September, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Vitoria Nuland testified, ‘I don’t believe that we’ve seen a consistent pattern of those Afghans who worked and supported our efforts in Afghanistan being murdered by the Taliban.’
However, Democrat Rep. Jason Crow disagrees.
‘It is well documented that there are reprisals, that people are being hunted down and tortured, and killed,’ Crow, a former Army Ranger recounted. ‘These are our brothers and sisters who fought with us, who served with us a great personal expense, who, you know, protected so many of us.’
‘Many of us would not be here today, if it hadn’t been for the service of our Afghan brothers and sisters,’ the Democrat continued.
President Joe Biden speaks about the end of the war in Afghanistan on Aug. 31, 2021
A Taliban fighter watches over laborers building a road in a remote region of Afghanistan
Another witness, Michael Cizmar – who served in the Army and later the FBI – also spoke about the Taliban-inflicted horrors experienced by U.S. allies.
‘We have record of countless acts of hideous violence … the beheading of two 12-year-old boys after the fall of Panjshir; the hanging of two members of the National Directorate of Security after they were granted amnesty, and the list goes on,’ he told the committee.
‘Afghan Security Officers and their families now live day to day under the most severe conditions, with the Taliban actively hunting them,’ he continued.
Cizmar also testified about U.S.-trained Afghan sniper instructor that was murdered in front of his family in January 2023.
Thomas Kasza, a Green Beret with 15 years in uniform, testified that one of his allies, Omar, was killed after being identified in a National Geographic documentary about the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
‘While the Taliban had me, they showed me the Retrograde movie and accused me of working with the foreign forces in it,’ Omar told Kasza, which the Green Beret then recounted to the comittee. ‘They asked me what my job was, and I told them I cleared IEDs. They found me through the Retrograde movie and are still asking villagers and family members about me.’
Soon after, Omar succumbed to the wounds he received from 16 days of Taliban torture.
‘We are here to talk about Taliban reprisals,’ Kasza added. ‘There’s the case study: Nat Geo gave the Taliban a target package. The Taliban used it.’