Former British defence minister Johnny Mercer has warned that Boris Johnson’s government has evacuated some Afghans “we really shouldn’t have”, while many deserving cases have been abandoned.
Mercer, a former Captain in the 29th Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery who served three tours of duty in Afghanistan, made the remarks in the context of the Ministry of Defence admitting to a second leak of vulnerable Afghans’ personal information by email.
“I’ve been concerned from the start as to how these individuals have been treated — the whole thing was such a rush to the door when Kabul fell that these mistakes were inevitable,” he said, although there is little excuse for the nature of this particular leak, which resulted from an official or officials not taking the basic security precaution of bcc’ing recipients of an email to Afghans hoping to be evacuated, so their contact information and in some cases profile pictures would not be visible to everyone.
Perhaps more concerning for many members of the public, Mercer also said that, in his view “we’ve taken out people we really shouldn’t have, and failed to bring out the majority of those we should,” adding: “I think we are only beginning to learn the scale of what has gone on here.”
UK: Evacuated Afghan Special Forces Commando Arrested by British Police in Dawn Raid https://t.co/g3BW4prL0P
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 10, 2021
The Johnson administration has been extremely reluctant to reveal to the public exactly how many people who pose a threat to national security or public safety or simply had no right to be evacuated were brought into Britain during the botched Biden-led withdrawal from Afghanistan, but troubling news has been trickling out little by little.
Firstly, it got out that at least one person on Britain’s no-fly list was airlifted from Kabul, although the Home Office has claimed — after the fact — that the individual in question is now no longer deemed a security threat. (Why he was on the no-fly list in the first place was not disclosed.)
Later, The Telegraph newspaper revealed that Border Force officials had told them that some of the Afghans landing at London’s Heathrow airport were arriving “with no documentation at all, while others carried forged papers” but seemingly waved through anyway — a state of affairs defended by an assistant director of the ineffectual agency who peevishly insisted: “We’re not going to have an argument with the people that have been through the process they’ve been through.”
Another case that has got out to the public involves a former Afghan Special Forces commando detained at the hotel he was staying at, possibly under anti-terror legislation, with the public again being kept in the dark about the precise details.
It has also been admitted that the government is having to arrange security for former interpreters due to the presence of “Taliban sympathisers” among the evacuees.
Breitbart London is attempting to force the Home Office to disclose the precise number of evacuees who are people formerly deported from Britain, formerly on no-fly or no-entry lists, or arrived with forged or no papers under the Freedom of Information Act, as press enquiries have gone unanswered.
"We've been let down massively. I'm still waiting,” said one British veteran, a former bodyguard to British ambassadors allegedly left behind as a result of the government bungling his paperwork https://t.co/7MHuW3yeaA
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 29, 2021