The world sees inside Afghanistan because of journalists. Biden administration must help keep them safe.
Our View: Those who have risked everything to embody American press freedom on such unforgiving soil deserve no less than our full protection.
They're among hundreds of journalists, interpreters and others who have helped the American and Afghan people learn what was happening in that war-scarred country, where U.S. troops have been fighting and dying for a generation.
Many worked for American news organizations such as The Washington Post, The New York Times and USA TODAY. It would be impossible for American journalists to do their jobs without them. For their invaluable efforts, they and their families have been targeted by the Taliban and other Islamic extremists for reprisals and death.
Durrani, Hananzai and Kakar died in a 2018 suicide bombing that targeted the journalists covering a previous attack on the same block as NATO headquarters. Their killer used forged journalist credentials to infiltrate the reporters before blowing himself up.
More journalists don't have to join them.
The Biden administration has the power to add those who have kept the American people informed to the list of those the United States will rescue from the aftermath of our botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.
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This week The Wall Street Journal, The Times and The Post joined together to ask the Biden administration to do just that. USA TODAY joins them and asks that all journalists and their families trapped in Afghanistan – whether they work for prestigious international publications or for local Afghan media – be offered haven by the United States and our allies. Those who have risked everything to embody American press freedom on such unforgiving soil deserve no less.
As Ryan Crocker, a former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, wrote for USA TODAY, "Prioritizing help for these journalists is not just our obligation. ... It will send a powerful signal about our enduring commitment to a free press."
Maharram Durrani, Abadullah Hananzai and Sabawoon Kakar are beyond American help. The United States shouldn't turn its back on those who are not.