Republican Representative Darrell Issa of California said recently that Republicans in the House might threaten to hold off on funding certain programs as a way to obtain answers from families who lost some of their loved ones during the 2021 terrorist attack at Abbey Gate in Afghanistan.
As Issa said recently:
“I would expect on Appropriations there will be some language that requires certain things be done or certain funds will be withheld. That’s a very effective tool. We don’t want to use it indiscriminately, but these families deserve answers.”
Issa, who sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House, made those comments after the committee hosted Gold Star families for testimony recently. The families expressed how angry they were about decisions that the administration made about the suicide attack that happened at the Kabul Airport in August 2021, which occurred while the U.S. was chaotically trying to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
Relatives of some of the people lost in that attack have accused the Biden administration of haphazardly mismanaging that withdrawal, and of also failing to give them a complete picture of information about the attack.
Thirteen U.S. service members were killed during that attack, which happened two years ago last week.
Issa organized the event so families of those who were lost could share their stories, and pay tribute to the people who were killed as well as their relatives.
At the event, he said:
“People who tell us that the next generation isn’t like our generation or the one that came before us haven’t listened to the parents talking about these 13 fallen men and women. These are the next generation, and they are every bit the soldiers, sailors and marines that we would hope will keep coming our way.
“One question that they answered was, ‘with what you’ve had to go through, do you think we should still be standing our post in Poland, with NATO, in Ukraine and in North and South Korea and so on?’ And every single one said yes. And that just says so much that even the parents who have lost so much are still part of that generation that, rightfully so, believes in America’s role in the world.”
The Biden administration tried to save face in advance of the hearing taking place. General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, released a statement that addressed the families of the survivors. He said, in part:
“We owe them transparency. We owe them honestly. We owe them accountability. We owe them the truth about what happened to their loved ones.”
He even specifically addressed claims that some of the Gold Star families regarding incorrect information when he said:
“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. I believe the briefers gave every piece of information that they could. If there was issues with that, we need to take whatever corrective action is necessary. And our hearts go out to those families.”