Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, told Newsmax on Tuesday that Gold Star families of 13 U.S. service members killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan are frustrated by the lack of cooperation from the Biden administration regarding the events of that day.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by McCaul, held a roundtable hearing Tuesday with the 13 Gold Star families, who McCaul said want accountability over the deaths of their loved ones at the hands of an ISIS-K suicide bomber on Aug. 26, 2021, at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul during the U.S.'s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.
"We heard very powerful testimony from the parents whose children were essentially blown up by a suicide bomber," McCaul told "Rob Schmitt Tonight." "They are very frustrated that while the American people are listening to them, and we listen to them, the [Biden] administration seems to have [fallen on] deaf ears."
The Biden administration reportedly wanted to withdraw U.S. troops by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but McCaul said "the timeline was so rushed quite honestly, they couldn't prepare adequately."
"I fault the State Department probably more so than the Department of Defense," McCaul said. "They were acting under orders to evacuate as soon as possible. They had to make really bad decisions, like we had to abandon Bagram Air Base, which, by the way, the prison there is where the suicide bomber came out of.
"The whole thing is so messed up. If you're going to do this right, do an evacuation when the fighting dies down in the wintertime in Afghanistan. Don't have some artificial timeline."
The Biden administration has never taken full responsibility for the tragedy, instead blaming former President Donald Trump, who negotiated a deal with the Taliban in 2020 to end the war. A 12-page summary of a Biden administration report released in April said Biden was "severely constrained" by Trump's decisions.
But during her testimony Tuesday, Paula Knauss Selph, whose son, Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss was killed by the suicide bomber, put the blame on Biden.
"Several presidents preceded Mr. Biden in this 20-year war," she said. "But none of them are to be held accountable for the withdrawal. That is he and he alone."
Said McCaul: "A true leader, when they make mistakes, they own it, and they take responsibility, and they show accountability. That's all these family members want is transparency and accountability, yet this administration keeps trying to sweep it under the rug. They don't want to talk about it because they know it's embarrassing and it was a disaster."
About NEWSMAX TV:
NEWSMAX is the fastest-growing cable news channel in America!
Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.