Without Authorization: US Lawmakers Visit Kabul Airport amid Evacuation
Two members of the US Congress arrived in Kabul Tuesday without authorization.
Representatives Seth Moulton, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and Peter Meijer, a Republican from Michigan, spent several hours in Kabul airport during the ongoing evacuations of Afghan nationals, and US and other allied civilians.
“As members of Congress, we have a duty to provide oversight on the executive branch,” the two said.
They further added: “We conducted this visit in secret, speaking about it only after our departure, to minimize the risk and disruption to the people on the ground, and because we were there to gather information, not to grandstand.”
According to reports, the incident angered State Department, War Department and White House officials as it was done without any coordination with diplomats or military commanders conducting the evacuation efforts after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
US President Joe Biden said he would not extend evacuation efforts past August 31, despite pressure to fully evacuate Americans, citizens of allied nations, and Afghan civilians and their families who aided in the war against the Taliban.
Moulton and Meijer said their visit aimed “to push the president to extend the August 31 deadline. After talking with commanders on the ground and seeing the situation here, it is obvious that because we started the evacuation so late, that no matter what we do, we won’t get everyone out on time, even by September 11.”
Both lawmakers are veterans, Moulton of the Marines and Meijer of the Army.