One congressional Republican is calling for some accountability over last month’s debacle in Afghanistan, and he’s pledged to back up his words with action.
Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri vowed on Tuesday during a speech on the Senate floor to oppose the confirmation of any nominees for the State and Defense departments until a number of high-profile national embarrassments resign.
Hawley also called for the resignation of President Joe Biden. But with that scenario unlikely, the senator vowed to withhold his vote to confirm anyone at the departments responsible for getting 13 American heroes killed in Kabul, Afghanistan, in August and for leaving American citizens to fend for themselves against the Taliban.
Hawley will deny Democrats votes to confirm the nominees until Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan resign over the decision to surrender to the Taliban.
Hawley, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called the embarrassing evacuation from Afghanistan following a 20-year war “chaos,” which led to American civilians being “left behind to the enemy.”
He then excoriated Biden for describing the Afghan disaster with the words “extraordinary success.”
“This president is a disgrace. His behavior is disgraceful. He has dishonored this country with his shameful leadership in this crisis, and it is time for him to resign,” Hawley said.
“And if he had the responsibility of leadership, he would resign. For the crisis that he has himself led this nation into and the responsibility he bears for the lives that have been lost and for the American citizens who are even now, as I speak, trapped in Afghanistan, left to the enemy, because of his failures and his shameful, disgraceful leadership,” he continued.
Hawley, on the same day Blinken testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee over the Afghanistan surrender, went on to rip not only Biden, but every inept leader who created an international embarrassment that culminated in the spilling of American blood.
“This was never necessary. It did not have to be this way and it shouldn’t have been. Joe Biden is responsible for today’s failure and now there must be accountability. Instead, the president’s team is even now coming to Capitol Hill and blaming others, shirking responsibility,” Hawley said.
“That’s cowardly. And I, for one, am not willing to look the other way.
“So let me be clear, I will not consent to the nomination of any nominee for the Department of Defense or for the Department of State until Secretary Austin, and Secretary Blinken and Jake Sullivan resign — leaders take responsibility for their failures. And the failure of these individuals, the failure of this administration has cost Americans their lives and has left American civilians to the enemy.
“There must be accountability,” Hawley said.
Hawley is not the only Republican who blistered the Biden administration Tuesday over its ineptitude. Even Democrats demanded answers about Biden’s surrender to the Taliban.
Far-left Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, laid into Blinken during the secretary’s testimony.
“The execution of the U.S. withdrawal was clearly and fatally flawed,” Menendez said. “This committee expects to receive a full explanation of the administration’s decisions on Afghanistan since coming into office last January.
Just as Hawley would do later, Menendez called for “accountability.”
Democrat Senator Bob Menendez to Blinken: “Mr. Secretary, the execution of the U.S. withdrawal was clearly and fatally flawed.” pic.twitter.com/0aS2AdDlCr
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 14, 2021
Nobody in Biden’s cabinet seems in any hurry to take responsibility for what everyone knows was a historic disaster. At least Hawley is taking a stand.
Hopefully, more will follow his lead.