A Gold Star father has dropped the hammer on Joe Biden over the Democrat president’s handling of the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Mark Schmitz is the father of Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, who was one of the 13 U.S. service members killed in a bomb blast on August 26, 2021.
Schmitz tore into Biden on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, saying he is a “disgrace to this nation” who has “more American blood” on his hands “than any president in U.S. history.”
The devastated dad participated in a roundtable discussion with other Gold Star family members before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“Not a single person has been held accountable,” Schmitz noted.
“Our so-called leader can’t seem to even utter their names in public, not even once.”
“You are a disgrace to this nation,” the father continued, addressing Biden.
“You have no business having ultimate command over our military, and I regret not saying that to your face when I had the opportunity in Dover.
“I felt it more important to bite my tongue, but I also had more important things on my mind at that time, like receiving my son’s lifeless body stateside.”
Schmitz recalled how Biden repeatedly checked his watch in front of grieving families as the coffins of slain troops were carried from military planes.
— GOP (@GOP) August 29, 2022
“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**king 30, a**hole’,” Schmitz said.
“But out of respect for the other grieving families, I bit my tongue once again.
“Well, as you can probably tell by now, I’m done biting my tongue.
“You, sir, stole their lives, their futures, their dreams and have ripped apart 13 families.
“You cannot even man up and admit that.”
Schmitz added that Biden likely has “more American blood” on his hands “than any president in U.S. history.”
He also requested investigations into Biden, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken “for their involvement in intentionally leaving Bagram [Air Base] and all of its assets by knowingly aiding known terrorists, all while abandoning U.S. civilians and allied partners.”
“In closing, Mr. Biden, Secretary Austin, Secretary Blinken, if trusting and supporting our military is too difficult for you, then I suggest you pack your s— and enjoy your retirement,” he said.
“Because from where I sit on my perch, the noose around your doubled-down notion that this was an extraordinary success looks like it’s tightening a little bit more each and every day.”
The Gold Star families at Tuesday’s hearing have repeatedly criticized the Biden administration for the decision-making in the Afghanistan withdrawal.
They also accuse the White House of giving them incomplete or incorrect information.
Kelly Barnett, the mother of Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover, said, “They knew this was going to happen, or it was part of their plan.
“They were too busy shaking hands with the Taliban, cleaning up, and making sure we left it clean and tidy for the Taliban to worry about giving our snipers the OK to make it all OK.”
As the hearing was about to begin, Gen. Mark Milley released a statement in which he said the U.S. owes Gold Star families “everything.”
“We owe them transparency, we owe them honesty, we owe them accountability,” said Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who has received sharp criticism for his role in the withdrawal.
“We owe them the truth about what happened to their loved ones.”
Milley addressed some of the claims from Gold Star families about incorrect information in his statement.
“I trust the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps did the best they could in briefing the families who had loved ones killed at Abbey Gate,” he said.
“I believe the briefers gave every piece of information that they could.
“If there were issues with that, we need to take whatever corrective action is necessary.
“And our hearts go out to those families.”
He continued, “This is a personal thing for all of us in uniform.
“We don’t like what happened in Afghanistan.
“We don’t like the outcome of Afghanistan.
“We owe it to the families to take care of them.
“Their sacrifices were not in vain.”
He then said that for those who served in the mission “the cost in blood was high, but every single one of us who served in Afghanistan should hold our heads high.”
“Each served with skill, dedication, and honor,” he continued.
“For two decades our nation was not attacked from Afghanistan – that was our mission, and each one can be rightly proud of their service.”
The Pentagon also released a statement of its own, expressing “our deepest condolences to the Gold Star Families who lost loved ones during the tragic bombing at Abbey Gate.”
“We are forever grateful for their service, sacrifice, and committed efforts during the evacuation operations,” the statement reads.
“We also commend the historic and monumental efforts of all our service men and women who served honorably during the withdrawal period from Afghanistan.”
It went on to say that U.S. Central Command conducted a “comprehensive, credible and definitive” investigation into the attack.
“As then CENTCOM commander Gen. McKenzie highlighted, ‘The volume of evidence collected, the testimony of more than 100 people, the analysis of experts, the findings of fact, and the conclusions of the team based upon evidence gives a compelling and truthful examination of the event.’
“U.S. military commanders on the ground in Afghanistan made the best decisions and provided their best military advice based off what was known at the time and leaders took appropriate action in response to reported threat streams.
“From the investigation at the tactical level, the Abbey Gate attack was not preventable without degrading the mission to maximize the number of evacuees, and the leaders on the ground followed the proper measures and procedures.”