The House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul gave the following remarks on Wednesday at a full committee hearing examining the administration’s disastrous emergency evacuation from Afghanistan.
McCaul’s remarks, introducing a Marine who added his eyewitness and emotional testimony, exposed what a total disgrace Democrat Joe Biden is, and what useful idiots his supporters are in creating a massive crisis that could have been avoided.
Here is what McCaul said that should burn into the memory of every person who refuses to take responsibility of voting seriously:
“In the spring of 2021 –against the advice of his top generals and the intelligence community – President Biden announced he would unconditionally withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan, a decision I opposed.
I, and many on this committee, received multiple briefings – from the State Department, the Department of Defense, the Intelligence Community, and the difference in their assessments was stark.
Both DOD’s and the IC’s outlook were very grim. While the State Department – mimicking the White House – consistently painted a rosy picture, ignoring the realities on the ground.
The president promised, “There is going to be no circumstances where you see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy like in Vietnam.” Yet they were.
Multiple people in the Biden Administration said they’d plan for every contingency. They did not. Instead, they spent the next four months ignoring the realities.
As a result, when the Taliban rapidly captured territory during the summer of 2021 and entered Kabul on August 15th – we simply weren’t ready.
Because of the Biden administration’s dereliction of duty, the world watched heartbreaking scenes unfold in and around the Kabul airport for the next two weeks.
A sea of humanity, desperately trying to make it through airport gates that represented freedom.
We all saw the images of desperate Afghans clinging to planes as they took off – with some plummeting from the sky to their deaths. Mothers handing their children to strangers over the airport walls – willingly giving them up in the hopes of saving their lives.
And then, horror struck on August 26th.
A suicide bomber at Abbey Gate killed 13 American servicemembers, injuring at least 45 more, and killing approximately 170 Afghans.
That day was the deadliest day for American troops in Afghanistan in 10 years.
We are joined today by Marine Sergeant Tyler Vargas-Andrews and former Army Specialist Aidan Gunderson. Both were deployed to Afghanistan during the evacuation. They can give a first-hand account of what it was like inside the Kabul airport during those harrowing two weeks.
Sergeant Vargas-Andrews, a sniper at Abbey Gate, was gravely injured in the terrorist attack there. He has undergone 44 surgeries, and has lost both his leg and his arm, as well as his kidney.
Thank you, sir for the courage to be here today.
Former Specialist Gunderson, a medic with the 82nd Airborne, was one of the first people on the scene, helping anyone he could.
Gentlemen, this nation owes you a debt of gratitude.
Not just for your service to our country. But also for the work both of you did to help get numerous people to safety during the evacuation saving so many lives.
You should be proud of all you have done. And I would like to thank you for your service.
I would also like to ask the many Afghanistan veterans here today to please stand and be recognized.
On behalf of a grateful nation, we thank you.
In the midst of the unfolding chaos in Kabul in August 2021, the United States State Department was all but useless.
Like myself, many of my colleagues – including people on both sides of the aisle in this room today – were forced to become mini-State Departments.
We worked any avenue we could to rescue Americans, green card holders, and our Afghan allies that we promised we would protect. No one left behind was a credo, we violated that promise.
Thankfully though– in the void left by an absent State Department – many Americans stepped up to fill the vacuum.
Primarily organized by veterans, groups like Allied Airlift 21, Team America, and Task Force Pineapple – just to name a few – that saved thousands of lives.
That is why I’m honored to have France Hoang, Peter Lucier, Scott Mann, [and Camille Mackler] here with us today as well. All [four] of these [people] worked tirelessly to rescue as many people as they could during the evacuation.
It is often referred to like Schindler’s List. If you’re on the list, you made it out alive. If you weren’t, you didn’t.
What happened in Afghanistan was a systemic breakdown of the federal government at every level – and a stunning, stunning failure of leadership by the Biden administration.
Because even though President Biden said, and I quote, “if there’s American citizens left, we’re gonna stay to get them all out.” – we now know he left more than 1,000 American citizens in Afghanistan.
In addition to the almost 200,000 Afghan partners and allies that we promised we would save. We promised them we would help them – only to abandon them to the Taliban.
Not to mention the women who were left behind to the mercy of the Taliban under Sharia Law.
This was an abdication of the most basic duties of the U.S. government: To protect Americans and leave no one behind.
I want every gold and blue star family member, and every veteran out there watching this today to know:
I will not rest, and this committee will not rest until we determine how this happened – and hold those responsible for it accountable.
And before I close, I want to honor the 13 servicemembers who died at Abbey Gate. That tragic, tragic day:
Staff Sergeant Darin T. Hoover;
Sergeant Johanny Rosario;
Sergeant Nicole L. Gee;
Corporal Hunter Lopez;
Corporal Daegan W. Page;
Corporal Humberto A. Sanchez;
Lance Corporal David L. Espinoza;
Lance Corporal Jared M. Schmitz;
Lance Corporal Rylee J. McCollum;
Lance Corporal Dylan R. Merola;
Lance Corporal Kareem M. Nikoui;
Petty Officer Third Class Maxton W. Soviak; and
Staff Sergeant Ryan C. Knauss.
May God bless them and God bless their family, and God bless the United States of America.”
The Washington Post reported on some of the details from Vargas-Andrews comments which came later:
“Some of the thousands of Afghans denied help during the August 2021 evacuation of US forces from Kabul chose horrific deaths rather than risk capture by the Taliban after helping Americans during their 20-year war there, a Marine told lawmakers on Wednesday.
Sgt. Tyler Vargas-Andrews described what he called the “surreal” horror he and other US service members saw during the chaotic and deadly evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport while testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“Some Afghans turned away from HKIA tried to kill themselves on the razor wire in front of us that we used as a deterrent,” he said.
“They thought this was merciful compared to the Taliban torture that they faced.”
While the US and coalition forces evacuated nearly 130,000 people during the weeks-long mission, hundreds more Americans and thousands of their Afghan allies were left behind.
And the Democrats built this entire exit mess. Never let them forget it.
Democrats know they are voting for people who are ill-equipped to run our government and who are totally incapable of caring about American citizens or strategizing during difficult situations, but they don’t care because they want to enable their political idols and not get jeered at by Marxist Community Organizers whose- job it is to keep people on the Democrat plantation.
Knowing that the Afghanistan War was ending, Democrats voted for Democrat Joe Biden to be the commander-in-chief. They alone built the massive humanitarian crisis in that region that destroyed the lives of American military members and of innocent Afghanistan people- including women and children.
They should never be allowed to virtue signal that they ‘care about people”, they don’t and we have proof.
Of course the following footage will not mean anything to people who worry about virtue signaling over pro-nouns- but to the rest of us, the following footage from Wednesday will ignite massive frustration over the way Biden handled the pullout of Afghanistan:
Sniper Sgt Tyler Vargas-Andrews testimony on Cap Hill, detailing his ordeal during Afghanistan withdrawal. He could’ve taken the bomber out, but was told not to. “We informed our Commanding Officers, but they ignored us.” pic.twitter.com/LERjGM2sxJ
— 🇺🇸ProudArmyBrat (@leslibless) March 8, 2023