Photo: Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty
WASHINGTON DC, August 25, 2021 ~ Tuesday, two US Congressmen, Michigan Republican Peter Meijer and Massachusetts Democrat Seth Moulton took a trip to Kabul, Afghanistan in secret, to examine the situation for themselves.
“As members of Congress, we have a duty to provide oversight on the executive branch,” said Moulton and Meijer in a joint statement. “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.”
“A lot of reporters have been pulled out of Afghanistan now, so usually you can get a lot of reports on things from different sources so you’re getting a good look at what is happening,” said WJR Senior News Analyst Marie Osborne to 760 WJR’s Kevin Dietz. “But these eyes on the ground are really important…and these two — certainly with their background — probably offered a good picture at what is happening there.”
August 25, 2021 ~ WJR Senior News Analyst Marie Osborne talks to Paul W. about Congressman Meijer‘s visit to Kabul, Afghanistan and the criticism for the trip.
August 25, 2021 ~ Marie Osborne talks with Kevin Dietz about Congressman Peter Meijer‘s trip to Kabul.
Officials were infuriated with the trip, saying it drew much needed resources and personnel away from the evacuation amidst threats from ISIS-K and other insurgents.
Complaints were also voiced, saying the pair were taking seats that could have gone to those fleeing the country, but the congressmen replied in their joint statements that they left on a flight with empty seats. They also stated that the trip was taken in secret to “minimize the risk and disruption to the people on the ground.”
Both lawmakers are military veterans. Meijer served in the Army Reserve, serving in Iraq as an intelligence advisor. Moulton served four tours of duty in Iraq from 2003 to 2008, leading one of the first infantry platoons to enter Baghdad in the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.
“After talking with commanders on the ground and seeing the situation here,” said the Congressmen in the joint statement, “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.”