(USA Features) Several congressional Democrats are privately expressing angst and disapproval over the manner in which President Joe Biden handled the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, in which several thousand Americans remained trapped behind Taliban lines.
“I am bewildered and frustrated and, privately talking to a lot of House Democrats, they feel the same thing,” one House member who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Hill.
The unnamed Democrat approved of the decision to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan after two decades but was angry over the manner in which the pullout took shape.
“The scenes are just brutal and there is no excuse for just how badly State or the Defense Department or both completely bungled the evacuations and getting folks out. Someone was really asleep at the switch,” the lawmaker said.
And though the lawmaker expressed optimism for the 2022 midterm elections they said, “I do want to know who was responsible.”
“Where was the ball dropped? Because that person needs to be held accountable. At least one person, or a group of people, screwed up so bad that it’s fireable,” the Democratic lawmaker added.
Other Democrats went public with their disapproval.
Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts called the situation a “disaster” in a press release.
“To say that today is anything short of a disaster would be dishonest. Worse, it was avoidable,” he said.
“The time to debate whether we stay in Afghanistan has passed, but there is still time to debate how we manage our retreat,” Moulton continued.
“For months, I have been calling on the Administration to evacuate our allies immediately—not to wait for paperwork, for shaky agreements with third countries, or for time to make it look more ‘orderly,’” he said on Sunday.
“While I am proud that a strong, bipartisan majority in Congress voted to expand the Special Immigrant Visa program in support of our Afghan friends, my worst fear has been realized: That ultimately this effort would distract from what is truly needed, an immediate evacuation,” he noted further.
“The fact that, at this hour, we have not even secured the civilian half of Kabul Airport is a testament to our moral and operational failure. We need to rectify this immediately,” he noted.
“America and our allies must drop the onerous visa requirements where a typo can condemn an ally to torture and death, and the military must continue the evacuation for as long as it takes,” he said.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman and Democrat New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez also expressed his disappointment but he placed some of the blame on former President Donald Trump.
“The wholly inadequate agreement the Trump administration made with the Taliban did not get commitments for the Taliban to break ties with Al Qaeda, nor did it account for the day after our withdrawal,” he said.
“In implementing this flawed plan, I am disappointed that the Biden administration clearly did not accurately assess the implications of a rapid U.S. withdrawal. We are now witnessing the horrifying results of many years of policy and intelligence failures,” he said.