Sgt. Tyler Vargas-Andrews, a Marine Corps sniper, gave a chilling testimony before Congress on Tuesday, March 8th, recounting the events that took place during the Kabul airport bombing in August 2021. The suicide bomber killed 13 U.S. service members and dozens of Afghan civilians.
Vargas-Andrews testified that he had his rifle trained on the suicide bomber and requested permission to take the shot, but was denied by his superiors. He explained that he knew he could have stopped the attack if given the green light.
“Every day I think about it,” Vargas-Andrews said during his testimony. “I dream about it at night.”
The Marine sniper’s testimony has reignited criticism of Joe Biden’s handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan and raised questions about why Vargas-Andrews was not allowed to take action against the suicide bomber.
Vargas-Andrews also spoke about how his unit had warned commanders that they saw two suspects in the chaotic crowd outside Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport prior to the bombing, but their warnings were ignored.
“Plain and simple, we were ignored,” explained Vargas-Andrews. “Our expertise was disregarded. No one was held accountable for our safety.”
The Marine Corps sniper’s testimony has sparked outrage among many Americans who believe that more could have been done to prevent this tragedy from occurring.
In response to Vargas-Andrews’ testimony, Republican lawmakers have called for an investigation into why he was not allowed to take action against the suicide bomber.
“The American people deserve answers as to why Sgt. Vargas-Andrews was not allowed to do his job and protect his fellow service members,” said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
As we continue to mourn the loss of those who died in this tragic event, it is important that we honor their memory by ensuring that our military personnel are given every opportunity to protect themselves and others in harm’s way.
Sgt. Tyler Vargas-Andrews, a U.S. Marine Corps sniper, tells Congress that he was denied permission to shoot the suicide bomber in Afghanistan that killed 13 service members and over 170 civilians:
— kanekoa.substack.com (@KanekoaTheGreat) March 8, 2023