Full Episode: Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Sir thanks for joining us. President biden today declared an end to america's longest war a conflict. That over nearly twenty years cost the lives of two thousand four hundred sixty one americans and two trillion dollars now the abc news documentary for hulu examining the events leading up to the final hours fellow. Americans war in afghanistan is now over on the day after the last soldier left the longest costliest war in american history president joe biden today fiercely defending his withdrawal from afghanistan goes asking for third decade of war in afghanistan. I asked him what is the vital national interest while highlighting the one hundred twenty thousand people evacuated from afghanistan. President biden also acknowledging. The americans left behind the bottom line. Ninety percent of americans in afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to leave for those remaining americans. There is no deadline. We remain committed to get them out if they want to come out his presidency. Forever marked by a chaotic close to a decades long war. He inherited one of the final searing images that horrific suicide bombing at the airport last week as thousands desperately tried to get on any plane they could. The mccullum family is painfully familiar with the ultimate sacrifice pay during the tumultuous withdrawal from afghanistan. Everybody's he met. He touched their life in some way he was special. Anytime you talk to him. You knew he was genuine. Funny wise beyond his years riley mccullum was just twenty years old one of the thirteen american service members who died in the kabul airport terror attack. Riley wanted to be a marine. Since he was three years old he would run around In a diaper and my pink princess cowboy boots snow boots when he was little with his toy rifle and he was either pretending to be hunting or pretending to be marine running through the bushes It was something he wanted to do and talk to everyone about. He wanted to be proud of him. Which was he just didn't know it so he enlisted and on his eighteenth birthday. He said i'm going got married on valentine's day. It was just a small wedding. He wanted to make sure that they were together before he left. Gee-gee confirmed that they were pregnant. It changed him immediately. He was ready and he embraced it just like he did everything else. They ended up. Actually deploying in april and he thought he would be back in time for the birth of his baby is commander came in his room and said pack your bags and we'll be in afghanistan. Within the next twenty four hours we lost contact with riley. About three weeks ago i would get online every day. If his little facebook messenger icon had the green light next to it. I knew he was good last week. The light never came on three thirty that morning. I got the knock on the door and the two marines were standing on the porch. I knew as soon as i looked out the window. That was one of the things that had died of those thirteen. Twelve were in their twenty s. The oldest was thirty one. They were brand new to what they were doing. It is the commander in chief who ultimately makes the decision where to send people why to send them his own son served. It is not his fault. There was a terrorist attack but every commander in chief knows that they are the ones who send the military so that hangs heavy in their heart. The mccollum family went to delaware on sunday to receive riley's caskets. It was too difficult for me to speak really to any of the other families but he died hero and he died doing what he wanted to be doing. And i can't ask for any more than that. The mccollum family now one of thirteen families. Grieving marine corps sergeant johann. -i rosario staff sergeant darren taylor hoover marine corps. Corporal hunter lopez marine corps corporal. Degan william taylor page marine corps lance corporal. David espinosa navy corpsman maxon soviak marine lance corporal. Jared schmitz marine corps corporal. Umberto sanchez marine lance corporal dylan merola marine lance corporal. Kareem nicoli army staff sergeant nas marine sergeant nicole g. She was just twenty three years old featured in a defense department photo cradling and afghan baby posting on instagram. I love my job. They came in and just selfless selflessly. Put themselves at risk. Selflessly worked themselves to the bone trying to get people they've never met knew nothing about the just knew that they were americans or knew that they'd helped americans. Any american looks at that suicide bombing and thirteen. Young americans dying while holding babies in their arms and says how could that happen. Why were there in such a vulnerable position. I don't think the military should have been there that close game. But i don't think that was a military mistake. I think that that was a policy mistake. The military's they're doing their best and in doing what they thought was right. I am a little angry with president biden over this. I don't put all the blame on him and it's not one administration there. Several administrations are involved in this. It's been one bad decision after another. Jim mccullum refused to meet with president biden at the dignified transfer ceremony. Part of it's political and part of it is the absolute utter failure of what they did in how they did things after being afghanistan for twenty years. I do believe some of this was all for. Not i did not see the president of the transfer he came in and i chose to go sit in a separate room with another family. Who wasn't interested in seeing him. I came out for just a moment. And i saw him and i broke down completely at the thought of him. Kneeling at our flags so many times and then to come in and say he cares about our soldiers and to say that he has sympathies for our marines. I have zero respect absolutely none. Yes i do. The administration in all these press comes to serve conflicting everything was the evacuation mission a success. They got out more than one hundred twenty thousand people. It is an historic with but that is not the issue. It's that the president said. We are not going to leave people behind and we did isis k. Taking responsibility for the blast that killed those thirteen american troops raising the fear that afghanistan could become a safe haven for terrorism. Once again president biden ordering counterstrike immediately. We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down. Make you pay america's so called forever war finally over yet up to two hundred. Americans still remain in the country. There's a lot of heartbreak associated with this departure. We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out there to outcomes for. Us citizens left in afghanistan. One is the taliban rounds them up throws them in prison or worse. The other is the taliban seasons in their interest to find those american citizens and see them safely back to the us and they're going to have to show that their new taliban despite everybody believing that they're still the old taliban when the taliban was last in power has created an enormous level of panic that this is the same taliban. That's coming back. People feel that this is actually a more menacing and a more strategic taliban. It's devastating to see yet. Another generation lose their homes their identities their past and face an uncertain and insecure future. The afghans will never left with a choice. They believed us. When we said we would help. Rebuild their nation. We gave them hopes and dreams and the rug has been pulled from beneath that fate. It was a stunning fall from grace concern you that a number of tests weren't working on fairness was devices or story unbelievable. Her voice aunt mistake. Abo- i know that we made so many mistakes. This strange saga saga of elizabeth homes continues. I'm rebecca jarvis. And i've been reporting on the case of elizabeth homes for more than five years and now that she's finally going to trial will be following the case and elizabeth every step of the way. She's big risk fingered. I think she's hold a robot. Dummies the dropout is back. Listen now in every tuesday during the trial. Wherever you get your podcasts earlier. I spoke to congressman ro khanna who's fremont california district is home to the largest afghan-american community in the us congressman khanna. Thanks for being here. Thank you for having me on. Well we know that you've worked to help. Evacuate americans and afghan allies in the recent weeks and we understand that there are at least fifty. Afghan families in the bay area. In your district area asking for help evacuating loved ones. So how is your office providing resources to those not only who've arrived but for those who've been left behind you're doing very proud of my team we've helped numerous families get on the state department list. They were able to get to the airport. Some faced beating some had to go multiple times before they could actually get on a flight. But we've had about seventeen cases where families have been able to to come but in candor. There are still people who have written to us or unaccounted for. We still have american citizens that were trying to get out there still green card holders that are trying to get out there still. Sib applicants that are trying to get out some. We are working to make sure that happens. And we want to work with the state department to say what specifics. We should tell these families when you're communicating with these families. What's your message to them as they're arriving and what's your message to american communities that are taking them in my message. I is that come visit by district. The afghan-american community is an extraordinary community. I represent the heart of silicon valley. They are leading entrepreneurs leading technology. They're artists poets doctors. This community will enrich america that we should stop the demagogry which would stop the fear and common actually see what. The afghan-american community has to contribute. But we still have a hard job in making sure that our commitment is fulfilled to afghan-americans and to those afghans who worked with us in this twenty year war and and i have been working with the state department. We need to see. We need to put pressure on the taliban at least to open the borders. We need to still have perhaps special operations to help rescue american citizens. We need to see whether they can go across the border to pakistan or the jacobson and then see how they can be evacuated. Our work is not done. And the president. Today repeatedly praised the success of the american withdrawal and yet so many critics are pointing to failures planning failures in logistics and coordination that led to the chaos including the thirteen deaths of us servicemembers. Where in your mind and the policy go wrong. I let me just say something about those servicemembers. They're heroes might. Heart is with their families they really died in a valiant cause to save american lives into afghan lives and i have so much admiration for them so much empathy for their families. I do believe the president was correct to bring this war to an end. That was a courageous decision. And this war had cost us a lot of lives and it would have cost us more service lives at. We stayed and we saw the risks of based on the isis bombing. That occurred and i'm on the armed services committee. We're going to having full oversight. But then oversight can't just be about the less twenty days it needs to be about the last twenty years. Why were they general. After general that came to my committee and said we were winning the war knowing full. Well that we were losing that needs to be answered because that's one of the reasons that the there was a mistake made in seeing how quickly the afghan army fell administration has acknowledged that that was a mistaken assumption and that led type thing some of the problems with the evacuation and you initially applauded the withdrawal plan. When the president announced it in april saying that quote it will help bring peace to a country that for decades has been ravaged by war but after this swift taliban takeover. Do you still have that same optimism i do. I believe that it will put american service. People have less risk. I believe it will have a less of a cost. We've spent over two trillion dollars in in afghanistan and then we don't remember all of the civilians in afghanistan that have died. Now i am clear eyed about the taliban. They obviously have had an oppressive history with women have had a depressive history with with girls we need to continue to put economic diplomatic pressure on them and they need to know very clearly that we have over the horizon capability. We will strike there if they start to harbor any terrorists that are credible threat to the united states. The president is shown he will do that. He's taken decisive action twice and they should not underestimate the resolve of the united states in taking action. If there is any threat to our homeland. I want you to expand a bit on over the horizon capability. And what do you mean that. And in addition to that what are you hearing from the afghan refugee families. And what are they telling you about what they saw and heard under taliban rule before they evacuated doodoo over the horizon capability as i understand. It just means that we have the capability of launching strikes and we can launch strikes with a tremendous precision to take out. Terrorists threats that affect our homeland or that impact our troops and we have also special counterterrorism operations. We have them across the world. That doesn't require a permanent troop presence. So the american people should be assured that even though we have withdrawn proofs. That doesn't mean that we have withdrawn our commitment to make sure the terrorism doesn't sprout up again in afghanistan. This president is aware of the risks of isis k. He's aware of the risks. Kinda and he's made it clear to the taliban that if there is such a threat we reserve the right to strike it. Take that threat out. There are a lot of thorny. Issues ahead. Congressman khanna of california. Thanks for your time. Thank you for the opportunity. Our thanks to congressman kana and finally tonight a family reunion in the heartland sharafat ray. An afghan-american translator returned home to omaha from visiting his family and couple just one week before the taliban takeover when he left he feared for their safety. Goodbye never see again but thank god. They're here his brothers. Their wives and fourteen year old sister managed to get to the airport in time traveling ten days through four different countries with very little food. Now they're together and that's not line for tonight. You can watch all of our full episodes on hulu. We'll see you right back here same time tomorrow. Thanks for staying up with us. Good night america from la from thirty for thirty podcasts. And the undefeated. This is the king of crenshaw. I i'll be. I wasn't him inspired and influenced by new. It was a celebration of blackness. We're not just here to entertain the that you're putting on that community in when he earned enough lee. He stayed a story of basketball hip hop rapper. Nancy hustle life is really a marathon. Listen now on sirius. Xm pandora stitcher or wherever you get your pocket.