'Humanitarian disaster': Marine veteran from Raleigh speaks on Afghanistan

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Friday, August 20, 2021
Former Marine colonel from Raleigh speaks on Afghanistan
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Doug Mason, who served in Afghanistan, wrote a scathing opinion piece on the Biden Administration's handling of the chaotic situation.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Marine veteran and Raleigh native said the peace in Afghanistan was unnecessarily flipped on its head and is calling United States leaders a bunch of "amateurs."

Doug Mason wrote a scathing opinion piece, published in the News & Observer, and is sharing why he was compelled to pen it.

"I was really angry," he said. "I was angry at what I perceive as amateur hour from our federal government."

He says the situation unfolding is "one of the humanitarian disasters of our time."

Mason's team did paperwork in 2013 to bring Afghan interpreters to the States.

Some of their families were still working to get visas and one family is a week away.

Emails started pouring into Mason's inbox this weekend. Afghans were begging for help in escaping the Taliban takeover.

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"It's heartbreaking to get those emails on Sunday," he said. "I don't know where they got my email address from, it's been eight years since I dealt with any of them, but they're a determined lot."

He says families are being blocked by Taliban checkpoints and he worries about what's next.

"My biggest fear is that Islamic extremists and terrorists from all around the globe, but mainly the Middle East, are going to migrate to Afghanistan and use it as a base of operations again," said Mason. "We're going to have no ideas what's going on. We don't have no eyes on the ground anymore."

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Though Mason is retired from the armed services, he still has skin in the game.

His son is a brand new second lieutenant and started flight school just last week in Florida.

"I sure as heck don't want him having to do what I did during the 2000s and 2010s with multiple deployments overseas to fight Islamic terrorists," said Mason. "It's a concern."