Judicial Watch Sues Pentagon for Videos/Photos of Afghans Clinging to or Falling from U.S. Military Aircraft in Kabul

Afghanistan evacuees depart a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster lll at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Aug. 22, 2021. Photo in the Public Domain
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(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Defense videos of and photos of Afghans clinging to or falling off U.S. military aircraft at the Kabul airport. (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Defense (No. 1:21-cv-02543)).
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the Defense Department failed to respond to an August 16, 2021, FOIA request for:

  • Images, including video, showing Afghans clinging to the sides of a U.S. military aircraft at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.
  • Images, including video, of persons falling from a U.S. Air Force C-17 military transport aircraft after taking off from the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Human remains were found in the wheel well of a C-17 aircraft that had taken off from Kabul. According to the Air Force, “Before the aircrew could offload the cargo, the aircraft was surrounded by hundreds of Afghan civilians who had breached the airport perimeter. Faced with a rapidly deteriorating security situation around the aircraft, the C-17 crew decided to depart the airfield as quickly as possible. In addition to videos seen online and in press reports, human remains were discovered in the wheel well of the C-17 after it landed at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The aircraft is currently impounded to provide time to collect the remains and inspect the aircraft before it is returned to flying status.”

“Biden’s Afghanistan surrender was an unmitigated disaster that directly killed and placed in harm’s way our troops and U.S. citizens. And no one will ever forget the images of Afghanis falling from and clinging to our military aircraft,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Adding to the Afghan scandal, photos and video of this catastrophe are now being hidden, contrary to the law, from the American people.”

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