Gold Star Families Vow To Get Accountability For Deaths

( – The parents of nine of the 13 US service members killed in the Abbey Gate suicide bombing in Kabul two years ago appeared at a roundtable event on Capitol Hill last Tuesday where they once again demanded accountability from the Biden administration and the Pentagon, the Washington Examiner reported.

During the event, hosted by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul, the Gold Star parents called for answers surrounding the decisions made before the August 26, 2021, terrorist attack. The parents also candidly expressed frustration with administration officials, including President Biden.

Mark Schmitz, whose son Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz was killed in the blast, said two years on, and the families are still “knee-deep in bullsh*t.” He noted that the military officials involved in the actions leading up to the Abbey Gate bombing have either kept their positions or been promoted. 

Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover’s father Darin called on President Biden, Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley to resign.

Chairman McCaul (R-TX) said the Foreign Affairs Committee is investigating the bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan and announced at the start of last Tuesday’s event that the Pentagon will permit Marine Corps Lt. Col. Brad Whited to sit for a transcribed interview.

The committee sought Whited’s testimony after Sgt. Tyler Vargas-Andrews said in a hearing earlier this year that he identified the would-be bomber but could not get the go-ahead to eliminate him.

When asked about last Tuesday’s roundtable event, deputy Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh insisted that military commanders in Afghanistan made decisions based on the information “they had at the time.” She said the commanders on the ground were given authority to make decisions. She said those commanders responded to threats in real-time.

Singh said while the Pentagon welcomes accountability and transparency, the US Central Command investigation into the Abbey Gate attack “was incredibly exhaustive.”

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