Sunday, March 29, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Afghan interpreter who helped U.S. deserves a chance

By
From page A6 | October 01, 2013 |

The issue: His visa was revoked at the last minute; now, the Taliban is looking for him

In the unlikely event the U.S. military has to return to Afghanistan, it’s also unlikely that Mohammed Janis Shinwari will be on our side — as he was for seven years as an interpreter, guide, fixer and, in a life-or-death situation for a U.S. soldier, a fighter.

FOR ONE, the Taliban may have killed him. For another, he may well be justified in simply not trusting us to fulfill our promises or keep our word.

Shinwari thought by now he would be safe in the United States with his wife and two children under a State Department visa program designed to help allies. But that program seems to be bidding for a record for bureaucratic sluggishness.

After years of paperwork and lobbying by Army Capt. Matt Zeller, whom The Washington Post identifies as a former Afghanistan analyst at the CIA, the U.S. embassy in Kabul issued Shinwari a visa and he quickly made arrangements to leave Afghanistan.

But at the last minute, Shinwari was summoned to the embassy and his visa revoked, apparently without explanation.

According to the Post, “The rare instances in which applicants are issued visas that are later canceled appear to be triggered by anonymous tips to U.S. counterterrorism hotlines.”

The suspicion is that many of these tips originate with insurgent groups like the Taliban, whose members don’t want Afghan nationals considered traitors to leave the country before they can be killed.

THE SPECIAL Immigrant Visa program hardly operates at a full boil. Of the 8,750 visas authorized by Congress, only about 1,120 have been issued to Afghan interpreters, among those most visible in their aid to Americans.

Zeller told the Post that Shinwari saved his life and that of his men when they were pinned down and outnumbered by a Taliban force by arriving just as the Americans were out of grenades and running low on ammunition.

The State Department runs the visas by multiple agencies to accommodate national security concerns and to determine if the interpreters are “inadmissible to the United States or otherwise ineligible.”

Why don’t we just take a chance on them? After all, they took a much more serious chance on us.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Where do Davis recyclables go?

    By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    UCD faculty receive lowest pay in the system

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1

    Motive for murder-suicide remains a mystery

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Davis sewage to get new digs

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Human Relations Commission hosts Chávez celebration

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

     
     
    Davis Flower Arrangers meet Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    ‘Music as Medicine’ is radio show topic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Friendship the topic on radio program

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Forum

    These results were meaningless

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Survey not representative

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Answers on the green waste program

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    A phone call could have fixed this

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    Milt Prigee cartoon

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    Some ‘survey’ …

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Mayor’s corner: Looking ahead to spring

    By Dan Wolk | From Page: B5 | Gallery

     
    A Little Respect for Dr. Foster

    By Nicholas Kristof | From Page: B5

    Universities need more funding

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Father of the bride snubbed

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Which experiences count as ‘once in a lifetime’?

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A8

     
    After a month of no TV news, I’m feeling much better

    By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A8

    Take a hike for your heart

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Sports

    Aggie softball splits doubleheader

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Davis softballers suffer setback, remain optimistic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Republic stun Galaxy with repeated history

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Bad fourth quarter sinks boys lacrosse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Aggies’ walkoff win clinches series against Riverside

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Burns scores shootout winner to lift Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    UCD roundup: Aggie women’s tennis dominates at home

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Millennials are changing our community

    By Rob White | From Page: A9

     
    With new owner, DAC will Get Fit

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Grant writing for non-profits workshop set

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, March 29, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8