It has been nearly a year and a half since 13 American service personnel lost their lives during President Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.
In an embarrassing moment for the White House, someone who survived the operation recently described how a lack of leadership got people killed.
Request to engage suspected suicide bomber was denied
According to Breitbart, United States Marine Corps Sgt. Tyler Justin Vargas-Andrews appeared before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday and he recalled seeing a man at the Kabul Airport who appeared to have been a suicide bomber.
Marine Tyler Vargas-Andrews breaks down while testifying today on the Biden administration’s disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal.
He said he and others spotted the suspected Kabul airport bomber before the bombing and asked their commander if they could engage, but were never… https://t.co/Fpuvvaz1Sm pic.twitter.com/V95VqJ33mM
— Kristina Wong 🇺🇸 (@kristina_wong) March 8, 2023
Hours before a deadly attack was perpetrated, Vargas-Andrews spotted a man who fit the exact description of a terrorist he and others had been warned to look out for.
Although the individual was “consistently and nervously looking up at our position through the crowd,” Vargas-Andrews said he was prohibited from taking action.
“This was as serious as it can get,” he explained. “I requested engagement authority while my team leader was ready on the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System.”
“We believe he was the suicide bomber”
Despite this, Vargas-Andrews was told that his “leadership did not have the engagement authority for us” and his team was not to engage.
Vargas-Andrews testified that he next asked Marine Lt. Col. Brad Whited to come to his position while the suspect’s description was again confirmed.
“We asked if we could shoot. Our battalion commander said, ‘I don’t know.’ Myself and my team leader asked very harshly, ‘Well, who does? Because this is your responsibility, Sir,'” Vargas-Andrews complained.
“We received no update and never got our answer,” Vargas-Andrews said. “Eventually, the man disappeared. To this day, we believe he was the suicide bomber.”
Marine left “catastrophically wounded”
“We made everyone on the ground aware. Operations had briefly halted but then started again. Plain and simple we were ignored. Our expertise was disregarded. No one was accountable for our safety,” he added.
Later, Vargas-Andrews grew emotional as he described surviving the blast, saying, “I open my eyes to Marines dead or unconscious around me.”
“A crowd of hundreds immediately vanished in front of me and my body was catastrophically wounded with 100-150 ball bearings now in it.”