Monday 15 August 2022 05:10 PM Ex-Green Beret who helped evacuate Afghans slams government 'betrayal' for ... trends now

Monday 15 August 2022 05:10 PM Ex-Green Beret who helped evacuate Afghans slams government 'betrayal' for ... trends now
Monday 15 August 2022 05:10 PM Ex-Green Beret who helped evacuate Afghans slams government 'betrayal' for ... trends now

Monday 15 August 2022 05:10 PM Ex-Green Beret who helped evacuate Afghans slams government 'betrayal' for ... trends now

Nearly a year to the day the last US service members left Kabul, veterans who worked tirelessly to get their Afghan allies out of the war-torn country are feeling like the federal government has left them and their partners behind.

Retired Lt. Colonel Scott Mann, who served in the Middle East as a US Army Green Beret, told DailyMail.com that he feels 'a very deep sense of betrayal' that the Biden administration and military leaders did not do more to help those who fought alongside Americans for two decades in Afghanistan.

'When I look at the moral injury that's happened to our people, our veterans, our volunteers, and the national security impacts of this abandonment at every level, it really makes me - I really want to see some accountability,' Mann said.

'I feel like the Biden administration has really tried to just move past this.' 

Exactly one year ago on Monday, Afghanistan's capital fell to the Taliban in a lightening-fast offensive just four months after President Joe Biden announced he would honor Donald Trump's agreement with the Taliban for a full military withdrawal. 

Amid the chaotic evacuation from Hamid Karzai International Airport, current and former members of the military as well as other government workers came together in an unprecedented effort to help vulnerable Afghans escape. Those largely volunteer groups got very little formal aid from the federal government. 

Mann is head of on of the most recognizable - dubbed 'Task Force Pineapple' for the symbol evacuees would flash at the gates of the crowded, volatile airport to then be pulled up over its walls to safety.

He documents his involvement as well as the harrowing experiences of Afghan refugees and other volunteers in the forthcoming book, 'Operation Pineapple Express,' to be released by Simon & Schuster on August 30.

Task Force Pineapple is the nickname of one of several volunteer groups that worked to help vulnerable Afghans escape the Taliban's takeover (pictured is a group of Afghans who were successfully led inside the bounds of Kabul airport by Task Force Pineapple)

Task Force Pineapple is the nickname of one of several volunteer groups that worked to help vulnerable Afghans escape the Taliban's takeover (pictured is a group of Afghans who were successfully led inside the bounds of Kabul airport by Task Force Pineapple) 

'Shepherds,' some in-person but the vast majority remote, guided Afghans in the dead of night through safety checkpoints and to Hamid Karzai International Airport (pictured is another successfully saved group inside the airport's borders)

'Shepherds,' some in-person but the vast majority remote, guided Afghans in the dead of night through safety checkpoints and to Hamid Karzai International Airport (pictured is another successfully saved group inside the airport's borders)

An Afghan girl seen crying last year after her father was beaten by the Taliban and a bomb went off nearby

An Afghan girl seen crying last year after her father was beaten by the Taliban and a bomb went off nearby

Her family is pictured in the aftermath in this photo taken by Task Force Pineapple

Her family is pictured in the aftermath in this photo taken by Task Force Pineapple

He and other military members worked remotely as 'shepherds,' guiding Afghan Special Immigrant Visa applicants - and other vulnerable groups - to various checkpoints in the dead of night from thousands of miles away, with the goal of reaching the Kabul airport.

They did so using their own money and little communication or funds from the government.

But according to Mann, hundreds of people are still left behind with no recourse - specifically, Afghan commandos who do not qualify as SIVs because they were not employed by the US government or related organizations. These fighters would be valuable Taliban targets for their advanced military knowledge from American troops. 

'There's almost no pathway for an Afghan commando,' Mann said, adding that the US State Department has 'no visible interest' in helping them.

'I would be lying if I didn't, you know - I still feel a very deep sense of betrayal,' the Green Beret told DailyMail.com.

'I feel like our institutional leaders - not only did they dropped the ball on the - and this includes military leaders too, senior leaders - dropped the ball on the withdrawal, but just the wholesale abandonment of our partner force, particularly our Special Operations partners and the [Afghan National Mine Removal Group], and then just turning the page like it never happened.'

Mann said getting these groups out of Afghanistan has not been a priority

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