I wrote a longer VIP piece about the results of an empty husk like President Joe Biden wanting position and power without doing the work to achieve that end, and how damage and disaster are always the result. This continues to unfold, and is now evidenced in Biden’s poor handling of the dignified transfer of our fallen service members from Afghanistan back to the United States.
The Washington Post attempted a glowing profile of this presidential duty. Instead of glowing, the profile glaringly pointed out Biden’s impatience, lack of leadership, and inability to take responsibility for his failure in not protecting these young men and women. Biden insulted one family by his lack of empathy toward their son, and constantly bringing up his son Beau, and making it all about him.
WaPo tried to wax eloquent about Biden’s ability to connect with grieving families because of the tragic death of his first wife, and the death of his son Beau from brain cancer in 2015. As is Biden’s so-called prowess as a leader, even this is folklore. My colleagues Bonchie and Nick Arama covered this well here, here, and here.
However, one particular instance in the WaPo profile, highlighted by presidential biographer Alex Thompson, was quite telling:
A Biden meeting w/ the pregnant widow of one of the dead Marines didn’t go well
“It struck the family as scripted and shallow, a conversation that lasted only a couple of minutes..”https://t.co/XTYDG5saMV pic.twitter.com/LxDyoZrXy4
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) August 30, 2021
“But this time, he was present for tragic circumstances he has accepted blame for setting into motion, and some family members of the dead service members remained angry with him, including the family of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, one of the 13 Americans who died last week.
“One of McCollum’s sisters, Roice, said she and her sister and her father joined McCollum’s wife, Jiennah McCollum, on the trip. But when it came time to meet with the president, they left the room, because she said they did not want to speak with the man they held responsible for McCollum’s death.
“Only Jiennah, who is expecting the couple’s child next month, stayed. But she left disappointed, Roice said. The president brought up his son, Beau, according to her account, describing his son’s military service and subsequent death from cancer. It struck the family as scripted and shallow, a conversation that lasted only a couple of minutes in ‘total disregard to the loss of our Marine,’ Roice said.
“ ‘You can’t f— up as bad as he did and say you’re sorry,’ Roice said of the president. ‘This did not need to happen, and every life is on his hands.’
“The White House declined to comment on the private conversations Biden had with families.”
No kidding. Had the White House communications arm done their usual gaslighting, it would have cast even more scrutiny on Biden’s failure to comfort the grieving families; especially since the families have now taken to other media to tell their side of the story.
At today’s White House Press Briefing, a reporter did ask Raggedy Jen Psaki about the reports that Biden upset the families rather than offered consolation. Psaki did her usual dance, disconnected from any conviction or emotion:
“I would say his message to all of the family members who were there, those who were not even in attendance is that, he is grateful to their, umm, sons and daughter, the sacrifice that they made for the country. That he knows firsthand what it’s like to lose a child. The fact that no one can tell you uhh… anything, or say anything. That there’s no words that are going to fill that hole that is left by that. He’s not going to speak to, and I’m not going to speak to the private conversations. Of course, they have the right to convey whatever they would like.
“But I will tell you from spending a lot of time with him over the past couple of days that he was deeply impacted by these family members who he met, oh, just two days ago. That he talks about them frequently in meetings, and the incredible service and sacrifice of their sons and daughters. That is not going to change their suffering, but I wanted to convey that.”
What exactly could she say? Any comments pushing back on that narrative would make the White House look as though they were stomping on the families’ pain. As if Biden is not doing that already with his refusal to acknowledge his failure.
McCollum’s sister Roice had much to say to The Sun U.S. about Joe Biden and the meeting:
Roice McCollum, told The Sun exclusively that her family believes the entire tragedy, which took the lives of 13 US service members, was avoidable.
“As far as Biden goes we are truly disgusted with the administration and how they handled the entire thing,” she said.
“It was avoidable and none of those Marines needed to be put in that situation. It was incompetent.”
She went on to describe her hero brother as an “amazing man” who always wanted to join the military.
“He wanted to be a marine his whole life and carried around his rifle in his diapers and cowboy boots,” she said.
“He was determined to be in the infantry and this was his first deployment.”
The White House is working hard to pivot away from Afghanistan and the foreign policy and humanitarian crisis they created. With the stories of these brave service members like Marine Rylee McCollum, and the Gold Star families demanding accountability for the death of their sons and daughters, it is evident that this will be impossible. This massive bungle is one that the Biden administration will not be able to turn its back on.