FLASHBACK: Why Gold Star Parents Are Furious at Biden for Afghanistan

August 9, 2023

Angry testimony this week by parents of the 13 military service members killed during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has drawn renewed attention to President Joe Biden’s ongoing failure to take responsibility for the botched operation.

"Do what our son did, be a grown-ass man—admit to your mistakes," said Darin Hoover, the father of Marine Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover.

The younger Hoover was killed by a suicide bomber at the Kabul airport in August 2021 while he was providing security for the final stages of the U.S. evacuation. His father joined the parents of several other service members killed in the attack in condemning the Biden administration's handling of the chaotic withdrawal and subsequent evasion of responsibility. Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) convened the meeting in his district so that the Gold Star families could give their testimonies.

"You all need to resign immediately," the elder Hoover said of Biden and other officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. "Our sons and daughters have more integrity in their little toes than every one of them combined."

Biden and his aides have repeatedly sought to shift blame for the failures of the withdrawal, which saw the United States rush out of the country amid a Taliban takeover that he assured Americans would not happen.

Five days after the bombing, Biden called the mission an "extraordinary success." In April, the White House released a long-delayed summary of classified internal reports on the evacuation, claiming the Trump administration had left them "no plans" to get troops out of the country. In a press briefing regarding the report, White House spokesman John Kirby said that the document was "not about accountability today; it’s about understanding."