Gold Star dad to Biden: ‘You have no business having ultimate command over our military’

by WorldTribune Staff, August 30, 2023

Two years to the day that Joe Biden repeatedly looked at his watch as the U.S. received the bodies of the 13 troops killed in an ISIS-K attack during the botched withdrawal from Kabul, Gold Star families of nine of the fallen ripped into him.

During a Tuesday hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Mark Schmitz, the father of Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, who was one of the 13 U.S. service members killed in the terror bomb blast, noted that as he was receiving his son’s “lifeless body” at Dover Air Force Base: “While I stood there on the tarmac, watching you check your watch over and over again, all I wanted to do was shout out ‘it’s 2 f—ing 30, asshole.’ But out of respect to the other families I bit my tongue once again.”

Joe Biden checks his watch during a ceremony at Dover Air Force Base for the transfer of the remains of the 13 service members killed in the August 2021 Kabul airport bombing. / AFP / Getty Images

“You are a disgrace to this nation. You have no business having ultimate command over our military, and I regret not saying that to your face when I had the opportunity,” Schmitz said.

Cpl. Schmitz’s mother, Jaclyn, said: “What I still struggle with most is how this was all avoidable, and [with] the continued lack of information, help and accountability and justice from the government.”

Jaclyn Schmitz said her “family was lied to” about the events leading up to the ISIS-K attack, calling out testimony by Marine Sgt. Tyler Vargas-Andrews, who told the committee in March that “the suicide bomber had been identified well before the blast, but Marines were instructed to stand down.”

“We were pitched a well-executed defense and evacuation, and [they] ultimately spit in our face by referencing the evacuation as an ‘extraordinary success,’ ” she said. “Is losing 13 of our servicemen and women successful? Is success ending a 20-year war where veterans feel they fought for nothing?”

The families said accountability for the botched withdrawal that resulted in their loved ones’ deaths is something Team Biden apparently has no interest in.

“We want answers. We need answers. And we expect those answers,” said Darin Hoover, whose son Staff Sgt. Darin “Taylor” Hoover died in the blast. “I want to know why this current administration is unable to take responsibility for their actions in the days, the weeks and the months leading up to this fatal fateful day.”

Paula Knauss Selph, whose son Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Christian Knauss was among those killed, not only slammed the Biden team for dodging accountability, but ripped the administration for blaming the chaos on the decisions of President Donald Trump.

Biden “and his executive Cabinet must accept responsibility publicly for the chaotic withdrawal at the end of the 20-year war,” she said. “Several presidents preceded Mr. Biden in this 20-year war, but none of them are to be held accountable for the withdrawal. That is he and he alone. That is his burden.”

New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith called for an independent investigation into the lead-up and aftermath of the Kabul airport terror attack.

“I apologize on behalf of our government, especially the executive branch for it, not being candid with you and for engaging in what I consider to be a gross cover-up,” Smith told the families. “There needs to be a truly independent investigation into all of the very valid questions you have asked and my colleagues have put forward in there with regards to our concerns as well.”

Some of the families called for a ceremony in the White House’s Rose Garden to honor the fallen, accusing Biden of failing to speak the names of the 13.

The New York Post reported that it was also unable to find records of Biden speaking their names in person.

“They need to have 13 of these pictures in the Rose Garden at the White House and be honored by this administration. Period,” said Steve Nikoui, father of late Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui.

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