UPDATED 11:52 AM PT – Friday, August 27, 2021
Lawmakers and political figures on both sides of the aisle suggest missteps by the Biden administration may have left Americans vulnerable to the suicide bombing at the Kabul airport on Thursday.
In a video statement Friday, former congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said America’s powerful elite have downplayed the threat of ISIS and Al-Qaeda for reasons she could not detail because of her active duty status.
“This incident should remind the American people that ISIS and Al-Qaeda are alive and well,” Gabbard stated. “And are actively continuing to use terror to try to force the world to accept their demand that we convert to their interpretation of Islam.”
(1) Our hearts go out to the families of our brothers and sisters who were killed and wounded in the terrorist attacks in Kabul. Because I’m on active duty, I’m limited to what I can say. But what I can say is… pic.twitter.com/NLlfZZ522G
— Tulsi Gabbard ???? (@TulsiGabbard) August 27, 2021
In an interview Thursday, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) said Afghanistan is a “tinderbox” right now and cautioned that the violence would likely escalate in the near future.
“Now it’s a tinderbox and quite honestly, we have to be very careful,” he stated. “We’ve heard reports of additional bombs later this afternoon. I think the situation’s going to get even more desperate in the coming days.”
Tillis surmised that Biden’s lack of planning has exponentially complicated the situation.
“Well, my position is we should have never had a date and we should have had more contingency plans than putting over 5,000 service members in a box canyon called Kabul airport,” the senator continued.
The Armed Services Committee member said his office has been dedicated 24-hours a day to getting people out of Afghanistan. He’s questioning the administration’s readiness or plans to extract Americans left in the region after the deadline.
“What’s the solution?” Tillis asked. “It’s not enough to exit on August the 31st and ‘say hey we did what we could.’ There are American citizens, there a green card holders, there are people who have been issued as SIV visas and there are thousands in the pipeline who deserve to have them and deserve to get evacuated.”
The Republican lawmaker is concerned that the Biden administration is not taking all of those individuals into account.
“I think that we’re underestimating the number of people who are at risk of being stranded in Afghanistan,” he explained. “I think American citizens, certainly green card holders and absolutely special immigrant visa holders.”
Joe Biden has blood on his hands.
The buck stops with the President of the United States.
This horrific national security and humanitarian disaster is solely the result of Joe Biden’s weak and incompetent leadership. He is unfit to be Commander-in-Chief.
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) August 26, 2021
Also on Thursday, House GOP conference chair Elise Stefanik said Joe Biden has blood on his hands. She added, “this horrific national security and humanitarian disaster is solely the result of Joe Biden’s weak incompetent leadership…he is unfit to be commander-in-chief.”