It CANNOT be overstated how angry Pentagon & State Dept officials are at Rep. Moulton & Rep. Peter Meijer for flying to Afghanistan in the middle of an evacuation. “It’s as moronic as it is selfish. They’re taking seats away from Americans,” official says https://t.co/oY9IBbg1iC
— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) August 25, 2021
Seth Moulton is a child of privilege — well-to-do parents, grew up in a very nice and very pricey town, educated at Phillips Andover and Harvard — who actually did serve his country with distinction, doing four tours in Iraq. Unfortunately, that experience seems to have convinced him he is bulletproof, not to mention incapable of making mistakes. From what I know of Peter Meijer, he had a similar upbringing… and a similar conviction of his own immunity. This particular stunt, however, was a MISTAKE:
… “It’s as moronic as it is selfish,” said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to provide a frank assessment of their trip. “They’re taking seats away from Americans and at-risk Afghans — while putting our diplomats and service members at greater risk — so they can have a moment in front of the cameras.”
In a joint statement from Moulton and Meijer emailed to The Washington Post by Moulton spokesman Tim Biba, the two pushed back on the notion that their trip caused a distraction.
“We have been on the other side of this argument while we were serving and it just isn’t accurate,” Moulton and Meijer said. “Trust us: the professionals on the ground are focused on the mission. Many thanked us for coming.”
From securing the airport to stamping visas to processing biometric data, U.S. officials in Kabul are racing to rush U.S. citizens and allies out of the country in a dire security environment. The threat of a terrorist attack on the airport by the Islamic State is “real” and “acute,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned Sunday…
The two lawmakers began their journey to Kabul via a commercial flight to the United Arab Emirates, paying for the tickets using their own funds, Biba said. From there they “figured out a way onto an empty military flight going into Kabul,” Biba said, without providing additional specifics. They landed at Hamid Karzai International Airport around 4 a.m. Washington time, according to a person familiar with their travel.
It was unclear how the pair had initially planned to get out of the country…
The original Leeroy Jenkins! clip turns out to have been staged — which didn’t keep it from becoming a meme. The Errol Flynn Twins here had the know-how, and the luck, to get in and out of the mediagenic chaos unharmed… but the next Very Important Legislator(s) inspired by their stunt may not get such a happy ending.
Can you imagine having to negotiate with the Taliban to ensure the safe return of Louie Gohmert, or whichever goober wants to succeed to Chuck Grassley’s seat? Or, more likely, to collect the bodies of said self-ambitious morons?
Per the AP:
… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement Tuesday evening taking note of the desire of some legislators to visit Afghanistan and saying she was writing to “reiterate that the Departments of Defense and State have requested that Members not travel to Afghanistan and the region during this time of danger. Ensuring the safe and timely evacuation of individuals at risk requires the full focus and attention of the U.S. military and diplomatic teams on the ground in Afghanistan.”…
Pelosi can’t do much about Meijer, but I’m sure she’s got a very special ‘reward’ lined up for Rep. Moulton. (TBH, in a less demented timeline, Moulton would be an old-school ‘centrist’ Republican like Bill Weld or Mitt Romney, so his connection to the Democratic Party is purely instrumental and distinctly half-hearted.)