Representative Matt Gaetz absolutely shredded General Mark Milley and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin over last month’s troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, noting they’d all be fired if President Biden wasn’t so “addled.”
Gaetz (R-FL) was one of few lawmakers appropriately fired up for a hearing of military leaders before the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday.
He was so fired up, the video has gone viral.
The Florida congressman was on the attack right out of the gate, demanding Milley address previous comments the General had made indicating the Taliban would not be able to defeat the Afghan military.
“We know we’re not going to defeat the Taliban militarily, and they’re not going to defeat the government of Afghanistan militarily,” Gaetz quoted Milley as saying.
“You really blew that call, didn’t you, General?” a clearly unimpressed Gaetz said.
Matt Gaetz, throughout his allotted five minutes, continued to hammer away at General Milley and Defense Secretary Austin with the kind of anger you’d expect for two men whose operational planning under President Biden led to the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The kind of passion you’d expect directed at men who oversaw a mission resulting in a suicide bombing that killed 13 service members, a retaliatory drone strike by the United States that killed 10 civilians – including an aid worker and 7 children – and countless Americans being left behind in the Taliban-controlled country.
Still, Gaetz understands these men have no intention of resigning. And the President certainly isn’t going to hold them accountable.
“I believe that you guys probably won’t resign. You seem to be very happy failing up over there,” Gaetz told Austin, Milley, and U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie.
“But if we didn’t have a president that was so addled, you all would be fired, because that is what you deserve,” he continued.
“You have let down the people who wear the uniform in my district and all around this country, and you’re far more interested in what your perception is and how people think about you, and insider Washington books than you care about winning.”
Gaetz’s comments reflect the knowledge that Milley spoke with several authors about the Trump presidency, one which led to a revelation that the General made phone calls to China assuring them a military strike of any kind would be impossible without his input.
Assuring them he would tip them off.
“If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time,” he reportedly told his counterpart General Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army of China.
Representative Matt Gaetz also addressed the fact that not Milley or Austin, nor any other military leader, have been held accountable for the disaster in Afghanistan, with the exception of a Marine jailed for openly criticizing those responsible.
Marine Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller is currently in “pre-trial confinement” according to the Marine Corps after producing repeated viral videos and statements on social media regarding military leadership.
“While Stuart broke the chain of command, General McKenzie and General Milley and Secretary Austin broke the chain of trust and confidence of the American people,” Scheller’s father said during a recent interview.
“For that, they should be embarrassed,” he added. “They should resign for that.”
“It just seems like you’re chronically bad at this,” Gaetz continued.
“But when people in the military like Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller stand up and demand accountability, when they say that you all screwed up, when they point out the General Milley statement that the government of Afghanistan is not going to get defeated by the Taliban. Well, he ends up in the brig and you all end up in front of us and your former employer Raytheon ends up with a lot of money and we have poured cash and blood and credibility into a Ghani government that was a mirage.”
Raytheon is a major U.S. defense contractor with core manufacturing concentrations in weapons and the military.
Defense Secretary Austin sat on the board of Raytheon before moving to the Pentagon.
How do you know you’ve struck a chord with the chronically incompetent military brass? When warmonger Liz Cheney steps in to run cover and apologize to them.
Cheney (R-WY) immediately followed Matt Gaetz and promptly apologized to Milley and Austin for her colleague’s “despicable” line of questioning.
“For any member of this committee, for any American, to question your loyalty to our nation, to question your understanding of our Constitution, your loyalty to our Constitution, your recognition and understanding of the civilian chain of command, is despicable,” Cheney said.
“I want to apologize for those members of this committee who’ve done so, and I want to thank you for standing in the breach when so many, including many in this room, failed to do so,” she added.
Imagine that. A pro-war member of the Cheney family apologizing to a man who, according to reports, said he would call an enemy of the United States ahead of time if former President Trump decided to take military action.
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