During the first public hearing of the Biden administration’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal, veterans shared emotional testimonies and pointed to the Biden administration’s negligence that led to the death of thirteen U.S. service members. According to NBC News, powerful testimonies were told by veterans including a Marine sergeant who nearly lost his life during the deadly terrorist attack at the Kabul airport on August 26, 2021.
Marine Sgt. Tyler Vargas-Andrews, 25, reflected on the attack saying, “I opened my eyes to Marines dead or unconscious lying around me. … My body was overwhelmed from the trauma of the blast. My abdomen had been ripped open, every inch of my exposed body except for my face took ball bearings and shrapnel.” Vargas-Andrews was part of the sniper team that was assisting evacuations at the airport. He demanded that the Biden administration take accountability for their reckless decision that killed 11 Marines, one sailor, and one soldier.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee, led by Chairman Mike McCaul, R-Texas, listened to Vargas-Andrews’ testimony and that of other veterans who witnessed the catastrophic Afghanistan withdrawal. Those who shared their testimonies were either serving on the ground during the evacuation, or trying to help Americans and Afghan allies escape the country to get to safety. An estimated 200,000 Afghan allies, including 78,000 that had worked for the U.S. government and applied for special visas, were left behind to an undeserving fate in the hands of the brutal Taliban.
Calling the withdrawal a “stunning failure of leadership by the Biden administration,” McCaul said “This was an abdication of the most basic duties of the United States government to protect Americans and leave no one behind.” McCaul vowed to hold accountable those who were responsible for the disastrous withdrawal that was not properly planned for and led to many deaths, some of which, he suggests, could have been prevented had the withdrawal been carefully planned.
Despite losing thirteen U.S. service members and leaving thousands behind in the hands of the Taliban, the Biden administration and Democrats still defend their decision. In a speech after the attack, Biden asserted that he made no mistake saying, “I stand squarely behind my decision.”
To the families who lost their loved ones, and to Americans who lost their heroes, McCaul remains committed to his efforts to ensure Americans know the truth about the senseless decision on the part of the Biden administration to carry out a botched, unplanned, chaotic, and deadly withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.