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Bill Bee is author of The Shot: The Harrowing Journey of a Marine in the War on Terrorwhich will be released on September 13.
Nearly a year ago, President Joe Biden was speaking at a briefing when he turned to take a question from a reporter.
It was August 29, 2021 — just three days after an Al Qaeda suicide bomber blew himself up outside the gates of Kabul airport, killing 13 US troops, including 11 Marines, and dozens of Afghan civilians.
‘Mr. Chairman, on Afghanistan. . .’ the reporter began.
“No, I’m not going to answer Afghanistan now,” snapped Biden, the commander in chief responsible for the disaster, as he walked away from the podium.
How dares he?
Now, a year after the last US military plane left Kabul airport, the president still hasn’t answered the question.
How could he lead America into one of the most humiliating and unnecessarily deadly military withdrawals in our history and remain silent?
As a Marine who flew to Helmand Province just months after 9/11 and whose combat career ended in a mud hut equipped with Taliban IEDs, I, like millions of other Americans, deserve answers.
And we deserve them now, before the withdrawal becomes a memory and public demand for Biden & Co. accountability decreases.
A Taliban sniper nearly killed the military career and life of Marine Bill Bee on May 18, 2008. The photo above of that moment has become one of many iconic images of the US war in Afghanistan
But since Tuesday morning, the silence from the White House has been deafening.
This is why Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), the first Green Beret to serve in Congress, is demanding a congressional committee to get to the bottom of the Biden administration’s failed escape from America’s 20-year war.
“No officials have been fired. Not one. No one is relieved. No one has resigned. No one has taken responsibility or responsibility,” Waltz said.
As a proud veteran, it is sickening to watch and impossible to forget. From August 15 to 30, 2021, the eyes of the world were on Kabul.
People first saw desperate locals trying to flee at Hamid Karzai International Airport from a murderous regime that would send their country back decades.
They stormed the tarmac and dangled from US military planes as they took off – only to fall. Women, children and babies waited for days around the airport, standing in filthy canals, huddled together like beasts – praying for a seat that would fly them to freedom.
For Marines and veterans like me, the chaos of the withdrawal was personal.
I knew the country well after four broadcasts in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2010.
A year since the last US military plane left Kabul airport, President Biden still hasn’t answered the question: How could he lead America into one of the most humiliating and unnecessarily deadly military withdrawals in our history and remain silent?
A Taliban sniper prematurely ended my military career and almost my life. A photo of that moment has become one of the many iconic images of the American war there.
We risked our lives and we watched the fighting kill more friends than we can count — on the front lines and back home from suicide.
The worst part about it all is that it didn’t have to be.
We wouldn’t be here demanding answers a year later, if President Biden had only followed the wise advice of his military advisers.
Gene. Kenneth McKenzie, the former chief of US Central Command, recently said he warned Biden about withdrawing US troops, adding that the Pentagon made it clear that a swift Taliban takeover would be the result.
“I have advised against withdrawing, my recommendation and my opinion, and I still do, if we had the chance to remain in the country with a small force,” said General McKenzie, who led Central Command during the war. chaotic military withdrawal.
“We believed that if we withdrew our troops, Kabul would fall. It was just a matter of when Kabul would fall and we’ve actually been saying that since the fall of the year,” he said before the withdrawal.
The people responsible for such a mockery must be held accountable.
It’s not about politics, it’s about the truth, plain and simple.
Thousands of lives lost, billions of dollars left behind, and the only ones who paid a price are those who cast their vote and demanded responsibility for those responsible.
Like Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller, who lost his command, his 17-year career and retirement for posting a video on social media that went viral criticizing the horrific operation the president had signed.
People first saw desperate residents trying to flee from a murderous regime that would send their country back decades. Women, children and babies waited around the airport for days, standing in filthy canals, huddled together like beasts – praying for a seat that would fly them to freedom
It is estimated that more than $7 billion worth of weapons and equipment was eventually left for the Taliban to steal from the incompetent Afghan national army.
That’s not just a bunch of M4 rifles and Humvees, but also thermal and night vision optics. Blackhawk helicopters. High explosives. Entire military bases.
The joke is on us now: not only have we failed to account for and recovered our own equipment, but somehow we have managed to deliver superior equipment to an enemy.
The United States military consists of more than 2.1 million personnel and is led by eight persons, the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
These eight generals and admirals are believed to be the pinnacle of leadership of our military, embodying the leadership values and corps spirit taught to every Marine, sailor, soldier and aviator.
I now look at the eight-member council and see such a lack of leadership that I wouldn’t trust them to take a bath, let alone a military operation.
Cruel? I do not think so.
Not one has stepped up and shown one of the force’s leaders: responsibility.
Bill Bee, author
What did these supposed pinnacles of leadership do when the Commander-in-Chief ordered the immediate withdrawal of all troops?
Did they resign? No.
Even General McKenzie stayed on to watch Afghanistan fall into the hands of the Taliban—just as he predicted. They collected their salary of $17,000 a month and returned to their ivory towers.
You don’t need my experience to know that every bit of this embarrassment could have been avoided with some damn common sense and the application of a little leadership and guts.
In 1945 Admiral Chester Nimitz, speaking of the Battle of Iwo Jima, said, “Unusual courage was a common virtue.”
In current parlance, that would be, “Common sense is an uncommon virtue.”
And apparently, judging by President Biden’s silence that marks a year since this shameful event, so has honesty.