The following statement was provided by Mukhtar Alizay, a former combat linguist who served with U.S. forces in Afghanistan. In 2013, he was blacklisted after he failed a scientifically baseless polygraph screening "test." The U.S. government routinely denies Special Immigrant Visas based on failed polygraphs. Alizay's polygraph failure could end up being a death sentence for him. If you are in a position to assist, please contact

Polygraph Statement of Mukhtar Alizay

5 August 2021


With Sergeant Julian Kitching, ODA 3236 in Mushan, Afghanistan

My name is Mukhtar Alizay. I worked as a linguist with the United States Marines in Nowzad district during the Helmand province campaign in 2009, and with the U.S. Army Special Forces in Mushan, Panjwayi district, Kandahar province from December 2010 until April 2012. I want to tell one of the stories of my job.

When I was working with U.S. Special Forces in Mushan, it was one of the worst places. It contained several villages and was very dangerous. No one was prepared to go to Mushan. When I was assigned to go to this place, my manager, who was an Afghan, at first didn't tell me where I was going because he didn't want me to reject the offer. I started the job anyway.

Mushan was dangerous! One day we headed on a military patrol toward a Taleban-held town. Along the way, one of the villagers called me to come close, and my captain was with me too. The villager told me, "You are a good man, and I don't want you to be hurt. Last night, I saw some flashlights down there, so they might have buried something for you. Be careful on the way."

Every step was stressful, as any military person knows. We thanked him and gave him some chocolate we had, and continued the patrol. We found three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) there and blew them up, and we were looking for a fourth one. At the same time, along the way, we came across a compound.

With Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 3236, 3rd Special Forces Group, in Mushan; Team Sergeant Benjamin Franklin Bitner, wearing a kafiyya, is seen by the large tree in the background

My captain, myself, and two other team members entered the compound to search it. There were three rooms inside, and the three Special Forces soldiers entered the rooms. I moved toward the wall inside the compound. I had backed up to the wall for shade because the weather was quite hot that day when suddenly, a very irritating sound came to my ear and the wall behind me changed into small pieces covered by dark dust. I couldn't see anything around me, and I felt some pieces of the wall had hit my body. It was an ambush, and unfortunately we lost two members in this explosion: Team Sergeant Benjamin "Ben" F. Bitner and an interpreter named Khan.

The explosion was right behind the wall, and the distance between me and the IED was just the width of the wall. I was okay, in any event. After that incident, all of the other interpreters left the base, and I was the only one remaining. I worked with the entire Special Forces contingent for about one month, because no one was ready to come to Mushan. That was really tough on me. Most nights, I neglected to even to take my boots off to sleep because I was too tired.

With my team's captain, David S.

I had to take care of a variety of tasks, like coordination meetings with the with Afghan National Police. We had missions every day. I went nine months without vacation. That was a record in fact, and I was the only interpreter who returned from vacation and went back to Mushan because I loved my team and my team's captain was my best friend. He would even ask me for advice because he trusted me, and I never broke his trust.

I had a good name in my team, and my team loved me a lot because I was brave and loyal to my job and my team. I have never done any wrongdoing during my duty, but in 2013, Mission Essential Personnel in Kabul gave me a lie detector test. I didn't know actually what was going on. I was sweating and felt pressure because of the test. The next day I received a call and they told me, "You are not allowed to work with U.S. forces anymore." My destiny was ruined for no reason.

It has been eight years that I am at very high risk, and I have received several threats. I haven't been able to pursue my career, because once someone has worked with the Americans, it is difficult to find work elsewhere.

I think that after the withdrawal of U.S. forces, this threat will increase, and I may even lose my life because I am from Farah province, and they are all Taliban there, and they know that I was working with U.S. forces. To the Taliban, it isn't important how long or how long ago I worked with U.S. forces. I kindly request that my background be reviewed to find the facts about me so that I may become free of the fear of being sacrificed.

This is the time that I must receive help. If I am not eligible to be helped on the basis of my service that I have mentioned above, then I must receive help for my daughters' sake. Their destiny is dependent on mine. If the Taliban kill me, it is unimaginable to think about their future, so please help! Save both my life and my daughters' future. America is big and can do this for me.