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Top Republican Reacts To Marine’s Testimony On Biden’s Afghanistan Withdrawal

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) appeared on the Disgrace of a Nation and he commented on what his committee learned from the testimony of Sgt. Tyler Vargas-Andrews, a Marine sniper who served in Afghanistan during the withdrawal. The main item was he had a bead on the terrorist who killed 13 Marines and 170 civilians. He requested permission to take him out and reduce him to room temperature. His request was denied without an explanation.

McCaul said:

“Well, first of all, very powerful testimony, very emotional, but very devastating and damaging to the administration. These snipers and troops were put at [Hamid Karzai International Airport], surrounded by the Taliban who were put in charge, and that was the first mistake in the chaos that we heard that happened that day, and the State Department [was] virtually non-existent.”

“I think the most dramatic thing was the fact that this sniper had the suicide bomber in his sights, and an intelligence bulletin went out, you know, describing him. He said this meets the description, meets with the team, psychological operations, get together, they run this up the chain of command, and the commanding officer says, ‘I don’t have the authority.’ And then they said, ‘who does have the authority for permission to engage?’ And the commanding officer says, ‘I don’t know.’ And he never got back to them.”

“The point is, they could have taken out this threat. That then when the suicide bomber went off, not only did Marine Sgt. Vargas-Andrews have his leg blown off and his arm, but we had 140 Afghans killed, 13 servicemen and women killed. I talked to the mother of one of the marine sergeants, I gave her just a hug. She was so devastated. In addition to 50 injured, including Marine Sgt. Vargas-Andrews, and it could have been avoided.”

TRANSCRIPT:

MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome back to Face The Nation. We want to return now to our conversation with House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul. Now, Chairman, I mentioned that you held this hearing on Afghanistan this past week, and it was pretty emotional. You’re really examining the chaotic withdrawal from that country. And you had a Marine Corps Sergeant injured in the suicide bombing, who testified that he was an eye witness and he actually saw the suicide bomber before the attack. He testified he has never been interviewed as part of the US investigation. How is this overlooked?

REP. MICHEAL MCCAUL (R-TX): I think it’s very- well first of all, very powerful testimony, very emotional, but very devastating and damaging to the administration. These- these snipers and troops were put at HKIA, surrounded by the Taliban–

MARGARET BRENNAN: The airport in Kabul.

REP. MCCAUL: They put the Taliban in- in Kabul. That’s HKIA airport. And surrounded by the Taliban, who were put in charge, and that was the first mistake in the chaos that we heard that happened that day, and the State Department virtually non-existent. I think the most dramatic thing, MARGARET, was the fact that this sniper had the suicide bomber in his sights, and an intelligence bulletin went out, you know, describing him. He said this is- this meets the description, meets with the team, psyops- psychological operations, get together, they run this up the chain of command, and the commanding officer says, I don’t have the authority. And then they said, who does have the authority for permission to engage? And the commanding officer says, I don’t know. And he never got back to them. The point is, they could have taken out this threat. That then when the suicide bomber went off, not only did Marine Sgt. Vargas-Andrews have his leg blown off and his arm, but we had 140 Afghans killed, 13 servicemen and women killed. I talked to the mother of one of the marine sergeants, I gave her just a hug. She was so devastated. In addition to 50 injured, including Marine Sgt. Vargas-Andrews, and it could have been avoided.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, to the point of how it could be avoided, you know, you- you hear there were intelligence failures, events just got ahead of planning. The State Department argues that they’ve briefed Congress more than 150 times since the withdrawal. What information do you need that you don’t have yet?

REP. MCCAUL: Well, I think the compelling testimony we got from the sniper, we’ve never heard this before. In fact, MARGARET, this is the first open hearing we’ve had on Afghanistan since the fall of Afghanistan. And I intend to move forward with this investigation. And I want to know what the commanding officer was thinking when he denied permission to take out the threat, and how, what levels did it go to within the United States government? I think those are all very important questions. And the State Department has not been compliant with our document requests. I met with the Secretary. We had a very cordial conversation. Cooperation is always key. But they’re not cooperating if he fails to cooperate with my document production request by the time he testifies on March 23, I am prepared to issue a subpoena.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And issue- issue a subpoena for Antony Blinken to come testify before your committee. What exactly do you think he’s withholding? What’s the document?

REP. MCCAUL: No, he is- he- he will be testifying, but we have an outstanding document production request, that the lawyers are very combative. I think the Secretary in good faith has told me he wants to cooperate with this investigation, be transparent to the American people. But we’re not seeing that with the lawyers handling this on the ground. So we need these documents because a lot of this stuff, to your point MARGARET, has never been brought out to the public.

MARGARET BRENNAN: This is the dissent cable specifically that you are requesting? That is, people within the State Department disagreeing with the policy that was the administration’s planning?

REP. MCCAUL: It’s a dissent cable, the extraordinary measure to have 23 members of the State Department at the embassy dissenting with the policy, the after action report from the ambassador. But also the plan of evacuation, just a simple plan of evacuation. What was your plan? They have failed to deliver that to Congress. Those are three key areas that we want to see compliance with.

“Well first of all, very powerful testimony, very emotional, but very devastating and damaging to the administration,” McCaul said when asked by host Margaret Brennan to respond. “These snipers and troops were put at [Hamid Karzai International Airport], surrounded by the Taliban … who were put in charge, and that was the first mistake in the chaos that we heard that happened that day, and the State Department [was] virtually non-existent.”

“I think the most dramatic thing was the fact that this sniper had the suicide bomber in his sights, and an intelligence bulletin went out, you know, describing him,” he continued. “He said this meets the description, meets with the team, psychological operations, get together, they run this up the chain of command, and the commanding officer says, ‘I don’t have the authority.’ And then they said, ‘who does have the authority for permission to engage?’ And the commanding officer says, ‘I don’t know.’ And he never got back to them.”

“The point is, they could have taken out this threat,” he said. “That then when the suicide bomber went off, not only did Marine Sgt. Vargas-Andrews have his leg blown off and his arm, but we had 140 Afghans killed, 13 servicemen and women killed. I talked to the mother of one of the marine sergeants, I gave her just a hug. She was so devastated. In addition to 50 injured, including Marine Sgt. Vargas-Andrews, and it could have been avoided.”

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2 Responses

  1. Tell me what Joe Biden knows of combat, the enemies, tactics, and Chain of Command issues? Absolutely nothing. What he does know is how to milk the system for his personal advantage, how to get kickbacks from local, defense, and foreign governments, how to cheat, how to lie, and how do screw the American Public. Further he is senile and suffering from Dementia and is the reason he refuses to get a medical and mental check. He should be removed from Office through Article 25 of the Constitution in my opinion.

  2. Some people should never be president, like Joe Biden. Prosecute him for crimes against humanity

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