When Republicans retake the House in the 2022 midterm elections, there will be a “reckoning” for what happened in Afghanistan, warns Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla.
In a recent interview, Steube said, “Unfortunately, we can’t do anything right now. The chairs are all Democrats. They’re run by Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi, the Senate’s run by Democrats, so there’s not much we can do to force these individuals to come and testify to us.”
Steube said that lawmakers should be calling on critical members of the Biden administration, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, and calling on them to testify under oath to gather information and answer tough questions.
When recently testifying, Secretary of State Antony Blinken refused to answer questions, including one posed to him about an airstrike the Biden administration claimed had killed a terrorist planner, reiterated Steube.
Referring to Blinken, Steube explained, “Of course, he’s not going to respond to Republicans or to the American people of the atrocities and the failures that have occurred in Afghanistan. I wasn’t one of those that wanted to ask a question because I knew he would deflect or blame the Trump administration.”
Steube contends that the Biden administration is at fault for what happened in Afghanistan because they had already breached the Trump administration’s agreement before former President Trump left office.
“They were supposed to get out of Afghanistan by May 1, based on the conditions that the Trump administration negotiated. So, don’t you think that the Taliban is going to start taking land and taking areas in Afghanistan?
“Because you breached the agreement? All of this happened under Blinken’s watch. All of this happened under Biden’s watch…still, as we sit here today, we have American citizens that are trapped behind enemy lines. We have American citizens that can’t get out, and he’s relying on the Taliban to get them out,” Steube said.
GOP demands transparency
Republican Representatives are demanding ‘substantive briefings’ from the Biden administration after the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal.
Nineteen GOP House members, led by Rep. Young Kim, R-Calif., sent a letter to the Biden administration calling for increased “substantive briefings” by the Administration on the situation in Afghanistan.
The letter said, “Since the August 31 deadline for U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, Members of Congress have received little to no engagement from this Administration on classified briefings and updates on the situation in Afghanistan and ongoing efforts to evacuate our citizens and Afghan partners.
“We request that your Administration provide more frequent classified briefings for relevant congressional committees as our Afghanistan policy continues to evolve.”
Rep. Kim and her colleagues said that Secretary of State Antony Blinken appeared before Congress for two days of questioning but that his answers “failed” to address congressional concerns. The Representatives noted that Blinken strictly adhered to “administration talking points.”
In the letter, the congressional representatives applauded the difficult work done by State officials and the U.S. military to evacuate over 124,000 Afghan allies and Americans from the now Taliban-controlled country. However, it also blasted the Biden administration’s evacuation plan.
“Contrary to your repeated statements, the implementation of this withdrawal has been an unmitigated disaster. As you said previously, ‘the buck stops here,” wrote the GOP representatives.
They added, “As long as Americans and our Afghan partners remain behind enemy lines and the Taliban continue to provide a haven for terrorist organizations, Congress has a responsibility to hold your Administration accountable.”