The publisher of the Washington Post Fred Ryan has emailed President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan urging the U.S. to evacuate over 200 U.S, journalists, support staff and their families from Afghanistan.
The Post wrote on behalf of itself, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, according to news reports, as chaos and panic reign at the airport in Kabul. The capital city fell to the Taliban over the weekend and Afghanistan’s president fled following the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the troubled nation after 20 years.
Washington Post publisher emails Biden national security adviser @JakeSullivan46: “Urgent request on behalf of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post” to help get “204 journalists, support staff and families” to safety
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) August 16, 2021
According to NBC News, Ryan emailed Sullivan with the subject line “Urgent re safety of US Journalists.”
“Jake, Urgent request on behalf of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post is to have our 204 journalists, support staff and families transported by US Military from the civilian side of the Kabul airport to the military side of the airport where they can be safe as they await evacuation flights,” Ryan said in the email.
Reports are circulating widely that the Taliban have started house-to-house searches, looking for unmarried women and girls and individuals who have worked for U.S. forces. (A Taliban spokesman said today it is not doing that.) The Post email is said to have asked that status of journalists, staff and families be changed from civilian to military as the U.S. evacuates nationals in a mad scramble that resembles the last day of Vietnam.
Thousands of people swarmed the tarmac Monday, forcing evacuations to halt for several hours.
Biden is scheduled to address the nation about the withdrawal and its devastating aftermath at 3:45 ET today.