Kan. delegation calls for action, accountability after deadly attacks outside Kabul airport

Smoke rises from a deadly explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug....
Smoke rises from a deadly explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. Two suicide bombers and gunmen have targeted crowds massing near the Kabul airport, in the waning days of a massive airlift that has drawn thousands of people seeking to flee the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon)(Wali Sabawoon | AP)
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 5:28 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Kansas’ delegation in Washington, D.C. on Thursday responded to the deadly attacks outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed at least 70, including 13 U.S. military service members. In an address Thursday afternoon, President Joe Biden blamed Islamic extremists for the attack and vowed to avenge deaths.

“We will hunt you down and make you pay,” the president said of those behind the attacks.

Ahead of the president’s address, Kansas’ delegation that includes two Republican senators, three Republican House members and one Democratic House member issued statements on the situation.

Among the more aggressive remarks, Senator Roger Marshall and Rep. Jake LaTurner saddled Biden with much of the blame.

In a four-part message on Twitter, LaTurner, representing Kansas’ Second Congressional District, said he is “angered and heartbroken by what happened in Afghanistan.”

The Biden Administration’s lack of planning and complete mismanagement throughout this withdrawal process has now led to the deaths of at least twelve United States servicemembers,” he said. “This is totally unacceptable. I will do my job representing the people of Kansas’ Second Congressional District by holding the Biden Administration accountable for this disaster. We must make it abundantly clear to the Taliban, ISIS, and all other extremist groups that any attacks on American citizens in Afghanistan will be met with the full force of the United States military. Suzanne and I are praying for our servicemen and women, American citizens, and our allies on the ground in Kabul. It didn’t have to be this way.”

Marshall said in part, “President Biden must face the American people and address questions on how we will respond to this massacre or he should resign.”

“I express my deepest empathy and eternal gratitude to the family members of the U.S. service members who lost their lives in the line of duty outside of the Kabul airport today. Laina and I continue to pray for all U.S. troops, citizens, allies, and innocent people whose lives remain at risk in Afghanistan, and urge the White House to act swiftly to get these people to safety,” Sen. Marshall said. “Tragically, these horrific deaths in Afghanistan were completely preventable and are a direct consequence of this administration’s proven failure. President Biden’s aloof approach to this withdrawal has been disgraceful and the lives lost today fall squarely at his feet. America must respond to these attacks with strength not weakness, but doing so requires a Commander in Chief fit to lead.”

Statements from Rep. Tracey Mann and Sen. Jerry Moran offered further insight into action national leaders should take.

“We must use every resource available to evacuate all Americans, allies and partners out of Afghanistan and protect our servicemembers on the ground. Americans need leadership and strength from our commander-in-chief,” Moran said. “Weakness will only make the situation worse and cost more American lives. President Biden and his administration must immediately make clear how we are going to get people to safety and deliver justice for our fallen servicemembers.

It is our duty to honor the service and sacrifice of all those who responded to the attacks on our country since 9/11 including those who lost their lives today.”

In an earlier statement, Moran said his “heart goes out to the families of our Marines who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Mann said Speaker (of the House Nancy (Pelosi) “needs to bring Congress back before Aug. 31 to pass legislation from Rep. Mike Gallagher, R - Wisconsin, “prohibiting President Biden’s withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan until every American is home safe.”

Rep. Ron Estes and Kansas’ lone Democratic delegate, Rep. Sharice Davids also expressed condolences for families of those who died. On Twitter, Estes said he and his wife Susan, “are praying for the family members of the US Marines who died today in Afghanistan.”

In a call to action on her Twitter page, Davids added that, “We must secure the safety of our people and allies as soon as possible.”