House Republicans, upon the second anniversary of the fall of Afghanistan, are stepping up their investigations of the Biden administration after learning more about the treatment of families of fallen servicemembers and troops who were injured on the day of the pullout.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul announced Tuesday the committee will hold a roundtable discussion at the end of the month with Gold Star families of U.S. service members killed in the terrorist attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport Abbey Gate on Aug. 26, 2021.
The attack happened during the emergency evacuation from Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of the country on Aug. 15, 2021.
Thirteen U.S. service members were killed and 45 more were wounded in the attack, making it the deadliest day for U.S. service members in Afghanistan since 2011.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, Alabama Republican, excoriated the administration for its negligence that led to the catastrophic and deadly withdrawal.
“Two years ago today, Afghanistan fell to the Taliban,” he said. “Months prior, I had repeatedly warned President Biden that withdrawing from Afghanistan, without a plan, would lead to disaster. Unfortunately, President Biden ignored Congress and his senior military leaders.”
“President Biden told the American people that there would be ‘no circumstance’ where you would see people being lifted off the roof of a U.S. embassy in Afghanistan. Yet, on Aug. 15, 2021, that’s what happened.”
Mr. McCaul, Texas Republican, announced the roundtable on the heels of the families giving statements at a congressional forum arranged by Rep. Darrell Issa of California at the Escondido City Hall, near the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in Southern California.
During Mr. Issa’s forum for the Gold Star families, one mother recalled that officials lied to her about the situation related to her son’s death.
“I was told to my face he died on impact. That’s not true,” she said. “The only reason that I know this is because witnesses told me the truth,” she said.
Alicia Lopez, mother of slain Marine Cpl. Hunter Lopez, told News Nation that her son’s fellow servicemembers say they were told to stay quiet about the attack.
“When we got the Department of Defense report through the investigation, they told us that they did not have the three minutes where the bomb went off, that they didn’t have that recorded, that the drone had failed to record that,” she said.
“Some parents were told that … we shouldn’t even see that footage anyways. That it was too much for us to handle it and that in itself is a lie because that video does exist.”
Another Gold Star mother, Cheryl Rex, during Mr. Issa’s forum, said President Biden compared the death of her son, Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola, to his son Beau Biden.
“When [President Biden] approached me, his words to me were, ‘My wife, Jill, and I know how you feel. We lost our son as well and brought him home in a flag-draped coffin,’” Ms. Rex said. “My heart started beating faster and I started shaking, knowing that their son died from cancer and they were able to be by his side.”
The younger Biden, who served in Iraq, died in Bethesda, Maryland of brain cancer, six years after returning from deployment.
The Washington Times reached out to the Department of Defense and the White House for comment but did not immediately hear back.