State Department's Afghanistan rescue program had 325,00 unread emails, federal watchdog

The U.S. also has a backlog of applications for its Special Immigrant Visa – to get Afghan allies out of the country and into the U.S.

Updated: October 25, 2022 - 10:32am

A new federal watchdog report shows the State Department recently had as many as 325,000 unread emails from Afghans who assisted the U.S. war effort and want to be evacuated.

The report by the State Department's inspector general shows the number of unread emails was as of May – nearly nine months after the U.S. military completely pulled out of Afghanistan, in a chaotic last-few-days exit in which residents were seen clinging in vain to the takeoff gear of cargo evacuation planes and ultimately being left behind.

The IG report follows complaints that emails from those who helped and had been left behind remain unanswered, according to The Washington Times.

Some of the unread messages dated to August 2021, before the last troops were withdrawn, the newspaper also reports.

“As of May 2022, the email account had over 325,000 unread messages, and [the Office of the Inspector General] observed that [National Visa Center] were still opening unread emails dated from August 2021," the report reads.

The U.S. also reportedly has a backlog of applications, reportedly as many as 300,000 – for the Special Immigrant Visa designed to get Afghan allies out of the country and into the U.S.