A Gold Star father launched a ferocious attack on President Biden during testimony to a Congressional committee. Mark Schmitz was speaking to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee about the death of his son during a terrorist attack in Afghanistan in the midst of the US withdrawal in August 2021.
“Two years has gone by, and where are we? To be frank, we’re knee-deep in bullsh*t, is where we are. Everyone who held a key position in the military still has that position or has been promoted,” Schmitz said. He raged that nobody was held accountable for the tragedy, and our “so-called leader” had not even publicly stated the victims’ names.
He added that the President has presented himself as a family man for years, but that “curtain has been lifting.”
Mr. Schmitz echoed the sentiments of Gold Star mother Paula Knauss Selph, who also testified. She said Biden, and Biden alone, was responsible for the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan after two decades of US military presence there. Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Christian Knauss died in the attack at the age of 23.
In an address to mark the second anniversary of the tragedy, President Biden said he and the First Lady mourned the death of the 13 US soldiers and more than 100 Afghan civilians who perished in the assault.
The deadly incident occurred days before Biden’s August 31, 2021, deadline to evacuate US troops from the country. ISIS claimed responsibility for the killings that took place at the Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Pew Research in 2021 found that most Americans supported the decision to leave Afghanistan, but 69% said Biden had mishandled the situation. President Trump described the withdrawal, which led to a revival of the Taliban, who quickly took control of the country, as the most embarrassing episode in the history of the United States. “It’s a mess like nobody’s ever seen before. It’s a military defeat, it’s a psychological defeat,” Trump said.