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Tipsheet

Lawmakers Torch Biden on Second Anniversary of Kabul's Fall to the Taliban

AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

Tuesday marks two years since Kabul fell to the Taliban, concluding fighters' campaign to topple Afghanistan and confirming that Biden's withdrawal from the country was on a collision course with death and disaster. While the Biden administration is, understandably, doing nothing to remember the events of August 2021, there are plenty of lawmakers — including those still engaged in investigating Biden's botched departure — who want to make sure Americans remember what happened and why the United States' presence in Afghanistan didn't have to end the way it did. 

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House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) recalled how the fall of Kabul forced American and Afghan allies to "flee for their lives," leading to "a deadly and chaotic evacuation that saw Americans beaten in the streets by the Taliban, evacuees falling from planes to their doom, and the deadliest day for U.S. troops in Afghanistan in more than a decade, claiming the lives of 13 heroes." Biden's withdrawal, McCaul noted, "diminished our moral authority and invited aggression from adversaries like Russia, China, and Iran."

Calling the ordeal a "catastrophe," McCaul said the unfolding chaos "was the result of one terrible decision after another by President Biden and his administration, who ignored the advice of military leaders and dire warnings from diplomats on the ground." What's more, McCaul pointed out, "President Biden has refused to take responsibility for the disaster he caused or even acknowledge it as a failure. Not a single person has been held accountable," he reminded. "That ends in this Congress."

Pledging to "not rest until we uncover every stone and get to the bottom of how this happened and who is responsible for these failures," McCaul said America's "service members, veterans, and our Gold Star families — especially those who lost family on August 26th at Abbey Gate — deserve answers and justice" as well as action to "make sure this never happens again."

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Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) said that, in the two years since Kabul's fall to the Taliban, "it has become increasingly clear that the Biden administration was unprepared for the consequences of their short-sighted withdrawal, and American families and our allies paid the price." Recalling the "terrifying scenes of civilians hanging from planes, and women separating from their children to ensure their safety," Fitzpatrick said the situation made for "an embarrassing display of weakness on the global stage and only emboldened our adversaries." He also restated his commitment to "holding those who made these devastating foreign policy decisions to account and getting answers for the American people, especially those Gold Star families who love their loved ones. Such a failure can never happen again, under any administration," he said.

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In a letter to his Republican colleagues in the House, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) pointed to the recent testimony of one Gold Star Mother, Kelly Barnett, whose family was irreparably impacted by Biden's botched withdrawal. "Confusion. Deceit. Lost. Angry. Sad. Heartbroken and disgusted. These are the feelings that the service members felt. And are still feeling. These are the feelings I’m feeling," she said.

McCarthy outlined how House Republicans "used our constitutional tools of oversight and investigations to deliver accountability and uncover the truth," including the production of a report from Chairman McCaul that proved "much of the deadly chaos during the evacuation from Afghanistan could have been prevented." The Speaker pledged that the House GOP would "continue to provide answers and accountability, rebuild our nation's honor, and earn back the trust of the men and women willing to sacrifice everything to keep us safe" while also remembering their "responsibility to honor the fallen."

Speaker McCarthy called on his colleagues to join him in "saying a prayer this week for all the brave men and women, both in and out of uniform, who have their lives in Afghanistan to keep our country safe and prevent another major terrorist attack from taking place on the homeland" as well as "for everyone who was harmed by the botched Afghanistan withdrawal, including our translators, our diplomats, our service members, and the thirteen Gold Star families whose loved ones gave their lives to bring Americans home safely."In closing, McCarthy invoked a passage from the Gospel of John: "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends."

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