Two days ago, an alleged ISIS-K suicide bomber passed through a checkpoint manned by the Taliban…if you don’t have a program for this evening’s entertainment, the Taliban are the folks who harbored Osama bin Laden, whom we drove from power and fought for two decades, then decided to let handle the security arrangements at our Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) evacuation point…and killed 13 members of our Armed Forces and wounded twenty others.
Since the end of the Vietnam War, it has been traditional for American presidents to reach out to families of members of the Armed Forces killed in action (KIA). President George Bush called or met with all families of KIA. As far as I can ascertain, so did Obama and President Trump.
In the White House briefing after the bombing, press secretary Psaki said that Joe Biden would be making calls but had not started as the families have not been notified.
Will Biden go to Dover to greet caskets of service members killed Thursday?
Psaki tells @edokeefe: “I’m certain the president will do everything he can” to honor them. She says he has not called families yet because next-of-kin notification process is ongoing pic.twitter.com/QLhUwBBeKV
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 26, 2021
Now they have been. The Pentagon has published its official casualty list, which only happens after the in-person casualty notifications are made. (See Never Forget: 13 Members of the Military Who Gave That Last Full Measure of Devotion in Kabul.)
The question is, when and how will Biden reach out? Will he call? It is a huge political gamble because some of the parents are pretty vocal about Biden’s role in the deaths of their children.
Mother of U.S. Marine Rylee McCollum, who died in the Kabul bombing: “all you Democrats … who voted for [Biden], you just killed my son …[He’s a] feckless dementia ridden piece of crap who decided he wanted a photo op on September 11th.”
— Ian Miles Cheong @ stillgray.substack.com (@stillgray) August 28, 2021
“They sent my son over there as a paper pusher and then had the Taliban outside providing security,” said Nikoui. “I blame my own military leaders… Biden turned his back on him. That’s it.”https://t.co/STbNzi29RC
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) August 27, 2021
There are no reports of Biden making any calls or if he plans on being at Dover…that is just a quick Amtrak trip from DC, as Biden has told us repeatedly over the years. I know Joe has been busy with his presidenting (Joe Biden Appears to Fall Asleep While Meeting With Israeli PM), but one would think that someone on his staff might want to let us know his plans.
I don’t hold presidents accountable for war deaths. While the president obviously orders troops deployed, the on-the-ground decisions are made several echelons lower. The casualties from Thursday’s bombing are different. There is an emerging body of evidence that Joe Biden was personally involved in abandoning Bagram airbase and collapse the security perimeter in on HKIA. As a result, HKIA is much more vulnerable and much harder to defend, and Biden’s personal role in making this decision means that he, in no small part, owns what happened Thursday. He decided to use HKIA. He decided to reduce troop levels far beyond the point of prudence. It was his decisions that led to the Taliban being made responsible for the security of US forces. If ever a president since Jimmy Carter, whose personal meddling led to the fiasco at Desert One, personally owned a decision that directly led to the deaths of Americans, it is Joe Biden.