MPs Seth Moulton, D-Mass., And Peter Meijer, R-Mich., Traveled to Afghanistan to “oversee the executive branch” while the Biden government was evacuating thousands of people after it was taken over by the Taliban is working.
“As veterans, we care deeply about the situation on the ground at Hamid Karzai International Airport,” the two lawmakers said in a joint statement from Fox News. “America has a moral obligation to our citizens and loyal allies, and we must ensure that that obligation is met.”
US MP Peter Meijer, R-Mich. (Associated Press)
Pelosi sent a letter to lawmakers Tuesday warning her not to follow in the footsteps of her colleagues and travel to the region during “this time of danger”.
“Ensuring the safe and timely evacuation of vulnerable people requires the full focus and attention of the US military and diplomatic teams in Afghanistan,” the spokesman said in a letter from Fox News.
Pelosi said she understood lawmakers’ concerns for both Americans and Afghans who are still stuck in the now Taliban-led nation, and reminded them that the Pentagon and State Department have advised members not to travel.
“We conducted this visit in secret and only discussed it after we left in order to minimize the risk and disruption to the local people and because we were there to gather information, not to take care of the stands,” said Moulton and Meijer, who both served in the war in Iraq, said.
A Moulton spokesman told Fox News that lawmakers paid for their flights to the United Arab Emirates, where they then boarded a military flight with available seats for the remainder of their trip.
US MP Seth Moulton, D-Mass. (Associated Press)
The couple stayed in Kabul from approximately 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT.
“We flew on an airplane with empty seats that were only on crew seats to ensure that no one who needed a seat would lose one because of our presence.”
President Biden announced that the US has evacuated 70,700 people from Afghanistan since August 14 – 12,000 of them in the last 12 hours.
The government has yet to confirm how many more evacuees are trying to flee the country, although Biden said he believes the US can do this by August 31.
The president said he had directed the State Department and the Pentagon to draw up contingency plans in case the US needs to maintain a military presence after the deadline.
However, Moulton and Meijer described the situation as grim and suggested that even with a 9/11 extension, the US could not evacuate all Americans and vulnerable Afghans.
“Washington should be ashamed of the positions we put our service members in, but they represent the best in America,” the couple said. “These men and women have been ragged and are still strong. Their empathy and dedication to duty are truly inspiring.”