To oversee the evacuation of Americans held at the Kabul airport, Representatives Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) and Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) traveled secretly and consulted with officials in charge of operations.
They learned that it is impossible to transport all the people by Aug. 31, the deadline set by the Taliban terrorists who seized power in Afghanistan, Breitbart reported on Aug. 24.
Then, in a joint statement, Meijer and Moulton shared the results of the monitoring conducted.
“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,” they concluded.
They added: “Sadly and frustratingly, getting our people out depends on maintaining the current, bizarre relationship with the Taliban.”
These lawmakers sit on the House Armed Services Committee and consider Kabul’s trip part of their responsibilities.
“As Members of Congress, we have a duty to provide oversight on the executive branch. There is no place in the world right now where oversight matters more,” they wrote.
Among their goals in traveling was to press President, Joe Biden, to extend the Aug. 31 date for evacuating Americans remaining in Afghanistan.
Moulton expanded on his personal impressions through a tweet in which he wrote: “Today with Rep. Meijer I visited the Kabul airport to conduct oversight on the evacuation.”
He added: “Witnessing our young Marines and soldiers at the gates, navigating a confluence of humanity as raw and visceral as the world has ever seen, was indescribable.”
Meijer and Moulton’s foray caused criticism from those who felt that traveling would occupy seats that would otherwise have allowed two more people to relocate.
However, they were mindful of that aspect and sought to avoid getting in the way in that regard.
“We left on a plane with empty seats, seated in crew-only seats to ensure that nobody who needed a seat would lose one because of our presence,” they said.
According to the New York Post, they departed from the United Arab Emirates on a military flight and returned on a chartered, unscheduled flight, according to VOA.
For her part, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement Tuesday saying that travel to the region by House members would divert resources from the evacuation operation.
The situation is alarming. According to the report, some estimates say 13,000 people are waiting for a slot on the 128 flights planned for the next 48 hours.
The Department of Defense released commercial flights two days ago to help with transportation, but as of Aug. 22, only 18 trips by private companies had been confirmed.
Politico reporter Alex Ward shares data on evacuees according to a leaked message.
“NEW: Leaked State cable with evacuation numbers (as of Aug. 23 at 1500 ET): Total manifested since midnight Kabul AUG. 23: 483 U.S. citizens, 6,425 Afghans, 8 from unknown third country. Total = 6,916.”
It adds, “Total manifested since start of operation: 4,407 U.S. citizens, 21,533 Afghans, 642 citizens of other countries. Total = 26,582.”