While no one is particularly happy with how the end of the war in Afghanistan has played out, some extremist U.S. congressional representatives are taking extraordinary measures by taking evacuation efforts from the country into their own hands.
Last week it was revealed that Congressmen Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Peter Meijer (R-MI), both veterans of the Iraq war, had made an unauthorized “oversight” trip to Kabul and were heavily criticized for distracting the American military command from the frantic evacuation process.
Now, it seems like another congressman, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) is trying to outdo his colleagues in ignoring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s warnings to avoid interfering in the withdrawal process by attempting to run his own personal evacuation of five American citizens, a woman and her four children, that he says are stuck in the country.
So far, Congressman Mullin has made two unsuccessful attempts to reach Afghanistan.
Last week, he flew to Greece where he asked the Department of Defense for permission to visit Kabul, a request that was denied due to the fluid security situation at the airport, according to an account in The Washington Post.
This week, Mullin is being accused of threatening the U.S. ambassador to Tajikistan, John Mark Pommersheim, and his staff after they denied his urgent, last-minute request to arrange for assistance in transporting a large amount of cash into the Central Asian country in defiance of their currency restrictions, apparently planning on using the money to travel by land from Tajikistan to Afghanistan to hire a helicopter to rescue the people he was concerned about.
“Mullin was outraged by the response, the officials said — threatening U.S. Ambassador John Mark Pommersheim and embassy staff and demanding to know the name of staff members he was speaking with,” The Washington Post reported.
A State Department official commented on the situation anonymously, stating that “to say this is extremely dangerous is a massive understatement.”
As of Tuesday evening, U.S. officials were uncertain of exactly where Rep. Mullin was, but he resurfaced with an Instagram message on Wednesday morning saying that he was “heading home,” while declining to indicate where he was currently.
“Have we been helping get Americans out of Afghanistan, yes,” Mullin wrote. “Is the mission continuing, yes. Am I missing, no. Did I go dark for a little, yes because it wasn’t safe to be communicating. Am I extremely disappointed in how we (United States) left Americans behind . . . that would be an understatement,” he concluded.
While Congressman Mullin has never actually served in the U.S. military as his colleagues Reps. Moulton and Meijer have, he has been a vocal right-wing extremist critic of the Biden administration and particularly of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, which was actually set in motion by former President Trump in his poorly vetted deal with the Taliban.
Mullin has also not explained why he didn’t merely forward the information about the five American citizens to the proper military authorities who would have had the resources to extract them from the war-torn nation.
It remains to be seen if Congressman “Rambo” Mullin will face any sanctions from the House of Representatives for his ill-fated and unapproved rescue mission, but his attempts at recreating some action film hero scenario need to be vigorously condemned for being the dangerous stunt that it was.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.