Sitting down with the Gold Star families of the 13 servicemembers killed in the 2021 Afghanistan withdrawal, Representative Cory Mills (R-FL) gave a stirring address of gratitude and demands for the Biden Administration and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to hold themselves accountable.
"Transparency, accountability. Those are two words I keep hearing from every single person here. But we sit here two years later, not a single person having resigned, having been transparent, having been held accountable even though we know that there was a willful dereliction of duty. And you can call it whatever you would like, maybe it is a vote of no confidence, maybe it is articles of impeachment, whatever it is deemed worthy. But I look at this at the highest level: you have the right to call yourself the Commander-in-Chief, or the Secretary of Defense, or the Secretary of State, and the accountability stops at you," said Rep. Mills.
It was an honor to sit among the 13 Gold Star families today.
The failures that occurred in this Afghan botched withdrawal had everything to do with the suits and nothing to do with the boots.
Our men and women carried out their missions, and their objectives, with purpose,… pic.twitter.com/7pSk0osk36
— Rep. Cory Mills 🇺🇸 (@RepMillsPress) August 29, 2023
Citing his own experiences as a combat veteran, Rep. Mills added that the blame for the Afghanistan withdrawal lay in "the suits and nothing to do with the boots" and that "they do not deserve to have the feeling as if all that they had fought for and lost was for nothing."
As a result, Mills said he stood by his articles of impeachment against Secretary Austin because the intelligence gathered ahead of the Taliban attack, which killed 13 American servicemembers, could have prevented their deaths.
"Never during my career have I seen that the idea that this was political optics or a military strategy is the reason that we have 13 Gold Star families sitting amongst us," Mills continued, demanding the intel reports be declassified, "So we can get one of these two words, which is transparency."
Finally, Mills vowed to continue seeking policy changes, such as the case of Nicole Gee, one of the 13 servicemembers lost in Afghanistan, or simply by demanding those at fault admit to wrongdoing "so it does not happen again."
"But I will tell you, the most successful and victorious battle is the one that we do not get ourselves into to begin with. We have to start prioritizing our nation, our people, and our borders, and make that our priority, and not the borders and the lives 9000 miles away. Our American lives must come first, and I am honored to be here and thank you so much for everything that you did," Mills concluded.