After an Unauthorized Trip to Kabul, US Congressmen Say US Should Be “Ashamed”
Two US congressmen secretly flew to Kabul without authorization on Tuesday to witness the evacuation of Americans and Afghans, enraging Biden administration officials.
After a “secret” trip to Kabul, two US parliamentarians are now casting doubt on the Biden administration's planned Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline, drawing the ire of the Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Representatives Seth Moulton, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Peter Meijer, Republican of Michigan, said they entered Afghanistan on an unauthorized, undisclosed trip, to witness the evacuation of Americans and Afghans, infuriating Biden administration officials.
On his account, Moulton said in a statement: “We conducted this visit in secret, speaking about it only after our departure, to minimize the risk and disruption to the people on the ground, and because we were there to gather information, not to grandstand.”
The congressmen added: "After talking with commanders on the ground and seeing the situation here, it is obvious that because we started the evacuation so late, that no matter what we do, we won't get everyone out on time, even by September 11. Sadly and frustratingly, getting our people out depends on maintaining the current, bizarre relationship with the Taliban."
In their statement on Tuesday night, the congressmen divulged that “Washington should be ashamed of the position we put our service members in” and that the situation they had witnessed on the ground was direr than they had predicted.
Still, Pelosi wrote in a letter: “Officials at the Departments of State and Defense had urged lawmakers not to travel to the highly volatile region.”
Besides, US President Joe Biden has chosen to keep the August 31 deadline for the total departure of US soldiers from Afghanistan, CNN and Fox News reported on Tuesday, citing US sources.
Biden solidified his decision following discussions with his G7 colleagues, at a time when the Taliban warned of consequences if the August 31 deadline was extended.