Thursday, Aug. 26, marked one year from the day when President Joe Biden’s shameful abandonment of Afghanistan’s Bagram Airfield resulted in the deaths of 13 Americans.
Just days before the terrorist assault, electricity was cut off to the airfield that Americans had used for almost 20 years. The military left in the middle of the night without notifying the base commander, who found out two hours after they were gone.
Afghan partners who risked their lives to fight terrorism alongside the U.S. military were not notified.
On Aug. 15, the Taliban gained control of Bagram Air Base, a mere 30 miles from Kabul. Thousands of terrorists held in its prison were released and a treasure trove of military equipment and supplies were eagerly taken by the victors.
One of those freed was identified as jihadist Abdul Rehman. As part of the Islamic State, he was arrested in New Delhi five years earlier for a plot to avenge Kashmir.
An Indian news outlet said he was handed over to the Central Intelligence Agency by Bagram authorities.
For the past four years he had been held at the Bagram Prison, but the U.S. withdrawal and Taliban takeover quickly freed him. Note that the prisoners were not transported to another secured location.
NEW: One year later, grief is still palpable among the families of the 13 U.S. service members murdered in the ISIS-K suicide bombing at Kabul airport, as the families speak of their children’s legacies & condemn Biden for not properly honoring the fallen.https://t.co/iIcOZtO4lw
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) August 26, 2022
Instead Abdul Rehman Al-Loghri, known Islamic State member, was freed and free to carry out a murderous attack at Kabul airport on Aug. 26, 2021. That bombing killed 13 U.S. service members and wounded 20 others. At least 169 Afghan civilians also lost their lives.
Of all the consequences that Democrats fear if or when Republicans assume control of the House after the November midterms, responsibility for the catastrophic fallout of the bungled Afghan withdrawal must be high on the list.
There has not been proper congressional oversight as to how such a travesty with devastating consequences could have happened. It is past time that decision makers, and that includes in the White House, answer for a preventable disaster that cost so many lives.