Tuesday, September 2, 2014
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The issue: His visa was revoked at the last minute; now, the Taliban is looking for him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

.

News

Planning begins for Davis Neighbors’ Night Out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

 
Davis is not immune: Are you ready for a big quake?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
6 militants killed in U.S. strike in Somalia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
San Francisco is first to test urban farming law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Sword-attack suspect awaiting trial in Davis

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Tickets still available for DHS Hall of Fame dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Cuddle up at Project Linus’ meeting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Public opinion sought about Nishi Gateway

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A3

 
International folk dancing offered Sundays

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Got bikes? Donate ‘em!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Rose garden bricks to be dedicated Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

It’s About Time plays Davis Farmers Market’s Picnic in the Park

By Anthony Siino | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Learn about RNA at Science Café

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Google Glass will be discussed, demonstrated

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Register year-round at Davis Chinese School

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
.

Forum

Tesla has state walking a tightrope

By Tom Elias | From Page: A4

 
Special-needs passengers ignored

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

A cure for Davis’ problems

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

 
A good use for the MRAP

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A4

 
Have the facts before you judge

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Marriage vs. male instinct

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
.

Sports

Fruits of their Labor Day

By Sue Cockrell | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS boys looking to replicate a big cross country performance

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Life without MacDonald starts Friday for DHS

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Clark recalls his hole-in-one — the first at Davis Golf Course

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Aggies edge Quinnipiac in overtime

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

Baseball roundup: Aces end River Cats’ season

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B3

 
Sports briefs: Hot Shots basketball tryouts coming up

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Junior Blue Devils strong in home debut, winning 3 on the field

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Elaine Dracia Greenberg

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7