The Fall Of Kabul Story Misses Some Damning Details

On August 26, during the chaotic U.S. evacuation from the airport in Kabul, a suicide bomber blew himself up at an entrance to the airport. As I wrote at that time:

Thursday’s suicide bombing in Kabul and the following panic killed more than 150 civilians (some 30 of whom were British-Afghan), 28 Taliban fighters and 13 U.S. troops.

The U.S. military at that time falsely claimed that additional shooting from outside of the airport had killed some of the people. That however did not explain the death of the Taliban guards who where outside trying to control the masses.

BBC correspondent in Kabul interviewed several witnesses of the incident who said that, after the suicide bomb went off, massive gunfire had come from the towers and walls around the airport. These were guarded by Afghan men who had worked in the CIA death squads (NDS 01, 02, …) and who were later flown out of the country.

In the following days more witnesses confirmed that account:

Most of the casualties of the attack were not caused by the suicide bomber but by guards on the wall and in the guard towers surrounding the airport.  “Most victims” had gun wounds to their upper bodies and the bullets had come from above. This has now been confirmed by multiple sources:

Sangar | سنګر پیکار @paykhar – 1:02 PM · Aug 28, 2021

“Most victims of #KabulAirportBlast were not killed by the blast but by bullets fired at them by the Americans.”
Faisal of Kabul Lovers channel interviewed aid workers at Emergency Hospital in #Kabul and this is what they have to say:
Embedded video

U.S. media try to ignore those reports. Only deep down in a long New York Times piece one will find these lines:

For the first time, Pentagon officials publicly acknowledged the possibility that some people killed outside the airport on Thursday might have been shot by American service members after the suicide bombing.

Investigators are looking into whether the gunfire came from Americans at the gate, or from the Islamic State.

It were neither the Americans at the gate nor the Islamic State but most likely the CIA’s Afghan death squads in the guard towers who caused the massacre.

On Friday the New York Times published a 20,000 words long piece from Inside the Fall of Kabul.

It was written by Matthieu Aikins who has been independently reporting from Afghanistan since 2008. I have found his previous writings mostly trustworthy, detailed and free of the usual mainstream spin. I therefore wondered how he would describe the suicide bomb incident.

Aikins himself was involved in the evacuation when he one night accompanied a bus convoy of civilians to the airport:

A group of my friends connected to Sayara, a research-and-communications company that contracted with the U.S. government, had gotten together to try to evacuate Sayara’s local staff and others at risk. The list grew as they found donors who were willing to help get more people out — journalists, women’s rights activists and even members of the girls’ robotics team, whose faces had been painted on the wall outside the U.S. Embassy.

Soon they had raised more than a million dollars from places like the Rockefeller Foundation, enough to fly their own charter plane in. They got permission from the Ugandan government to bring people there while they waited for resettlement.

They needed someone on the ground in Kabul to get a convoy to the airport. They’d been in touch with me, asking for information; I’d been getting around through the crowds on my motorcycle and had a sense of what was going on there. Now one of my friends called and asked if I’d be willing to lead the buses in.

The convoy was supposed to enter a certain gate late at night. He had checked out the airport the day before and had noticed the CIA death squad units:

I’d ridden around the airport that afternoon to get a sense of the layout. On the north side, there was a road that ran along a wide sewage canal. Across the water, Hesco barriers and concrete walls were topped with guard towers, and on one I saw something I hadn’t seen in days: the tricolor of the republic, fluttering in the breeze.

While the army and police had surrendered and deserted en masse around the country, the Zero Units had remained mostly intact.

One was the Orgun Strike Force from the southeastern border, which had participated in some of the United States’ most secret missions, including covert operations inside Pakistan’s tribal areas across the border. They were led by a longhaired, mustachioed commander whose operations that summer I’d been following on an Afghan government Facebook page. (A U.S. official requested that he not be identified by name, to protect his family.) The Orgun commander and his unit were given the ugly job of crowd control on the perimeter.

Coming around the north side of the airport, still a long way from the main military gate, I hit a traffic jam, and as I threaded the bike through I saw the reason. The Zero troopers, in their desert tiger camo, had taken over the road. They stood in front of a narrow passage formed by concrete blast walls. This new entrance, which some dubbed Glory Gate, was supposed to be a low-profile one for U.S. citizens and other priority cases, but large crowds were gathering there. When people pushed too close, the troopers fired shots in the air or brandished steel cables.

It is a gate similar to one where several days later the suicide bomber would attack.

Here is Aikins describing that incident:

On Aug. 26, an ISIS suicide bomber made his way through the crowd to the Marines at Abbey Gate and detonated his vest, killing 13 American troops. Jim and I went down to the site and then to the emergency hospital, where they were bringing in bodies on stretchers. Almost 200 people were killed; it seemed like too many for a single bomber. Some might have been trampled or drowned in the sewage ditch; according to several witnesses I spoke to, the Marines, who must have feared another bomber, also fired on those who panicked and tried to climb the walls. A doctor at a government hospital said that many of the casualties he saw had bullet wounds. (A spokesman said there was no evidence the Marines shot anyone during the evacuation.)

That is all.

This feels weird. The whole long piece is filled with detailed observations but the incident which killed so many is not worth more than that short paragraph?

How could the witnesses have distinguished Marines at the gate from the CIA death squad soldiers, clad in similar uniforms, that were up in the towers and on the walls? Those were the ones who had fired.

The spokesman’s non-denial is awfully specific. When there is ‘no evidence the Marines shot’ it does not mean that other units under U.S. command did not shoot either.

Why aren’t the CIA units, which Aikins had previously described as guarding the place, not mentioned in this?

I find this very unusual compared to Aikins’ typical reporting style. 

My hunch is that the NYT editors, or Aikins on ‘friendly advice’ from someone, took out a more detailed description of the incident before the piece was published.

I had looked out for a more detailed reporting of the incident but there seems to be some kind of omerta in the media that prevents the publishing of any reporting on it.

Meanwhile the CIA’s trigger happy Afghan baby killers have all been evacuated to the United States. They will of course happily integrate into the U.S. society and will have no trouble to adopt to their new circumstances. No one shall ever question that.

Matthieu Aikins will hopefully write a book about the fall of Kabul and expand a bit on the mass shooting of Afghan civilians by soldiers under U.S. command. I for one would certainly pay for it.