A former Green Beret has raised nearly $40,000 to help an Afghan interpreter escape the country — as the lives of those who worked with American forces during the 20-year-war are increasingly in jeopardy following the withdrawal of US troops.
Greg Adams, who served in Afghanistan as part of the US Army Special Forces, launched the fundraiser for Moneer, an Afghan civilian, because he did not trust the State Department’s Special Immigrant Visa program.
Moneer worked as his interpreter in 2009 and 2010.
The fundraiser has raised $38,327 as of Tuesday morning since it was started in June.
“Moneer was instrumental in everything that we did,” Adams told Fox News Monday.
“This is somebody who was a trusted adviser for me and was tied into decision-making every single day.”
On the page, Adams said Moneer has been working with Army Rangers and Navy SEALs since he was 18 years old.
“He shares our values and sense of integrity deeply. He was part of some of the best work done by the international effort, from high-risk missions to social enterprises,” Adams said.
“His efforts kept elite US service members alive on hundreds of dangerous missions and resulted in adversaries behind bars and more stable communities,” the former Green Beret added.
Matthew Griffin, a former Army Ranger who also worked with Moneer in Afghanistan, told Fox News he is joining the effort to save Moneer and his wife.
“Guys like Moneer, who have been in more firefights than 95 percent of veterans – he’s served our nation more than 99 percent of our population, and he can’t get his paperwork through,” Griffin said.
Adams said it’s been more than 10 years since Moneer began the visa process — and there are still no results.
“I trusted that there was a system in place in 2010 when I wrote his letter of recommendation and then basically what you find over time is there’s a bunch of bureaucratic red tape in a deeply flawed system,” Adams said.
“In my case, nobody’s really asked me a question about whether Moneer is somebody that I would trust – which I have over and over again – with my life,” he insisted.
“Griff has done the same thing. And we don’t really count in this process at all whatsoever.”
The federal government has said they are reviewing the applications but neither Adams nor Griffin has gotten word to confirm that and they have yet to receive any additional information.
“Right now, trying to fix the program, that’s not going to happen. What we need to do is get these people out and figure out the paperwork later,” Adams said.
According to the fundraising page, Moneer and his wife managed to get out of Afghanistan through Adams’ work with a NATO ally — but then they had to fly back to Kabul for biometric screening.
”This screening needs to happen immediately (this week), and can not be done at another embassy or consulate. Indicating that Moneer is out of Afghanistan risks the offer being rescinded. And so Moneer and his wife just flew back to Kabul … The irony is not lost on us,” Adams wrote.
But Moneer is at a safe location in Kabul, Adams said.
Faced with the possible massacre of thousands of translators and other Afghan civilians who worked with American forces, President Biden promised to ensure the allies would be brought to the US or another country where they will be safe.
“Our message to those women and men is clear,” Biden said during an announcement last Thursday at the White House about America’s involvement in Afghanistan. “There is a home for you in the United States if you so choose. We will stand with you, just as you stood with us.”
When pressed about why the interpreters can’t wait in the US for their visas to be processed, as some immigrants at the Mexico border do, Biden insisted the “law doesn’t allow that to happen.”
Meanwhile, the House reportedly is taking up legislation this month that would streamline the visa process.
However, Griffin said he’s not optimistic.
“I think what we’re seeing is a lot of speeches regarding the issue and very rarely do speeches turn into great plans, and it’s very rare that great plans turn into well-executed operations,” he told Fox News.
“If we’re looking at past performance as an indicator of future performance, I think the United States government is going to fumble this hard,” he continued. “I believe that the government is just going to trust that the American people are going to forget and move on to the next major thing.”
Adams said the US must act now to protect America’s allies.
“If this isn’t who we are, this is who we want to be. The country that will follow through on this,” said Adams. “This is our opportunity. It’s in front of us on a silver platter.”
The Biden administration accelerated the timeline for the troop withdrawal from Sept. 11 to the end of August.