Former Interior Secretary and Montana congressional candidate Ryan Zinke released a statement Monday evening following President Joe Biden’s remarks on the Afghanistan evacuation, referring to his efforts as a “failure from a finger pointing politician desperate to save his skin and find a scapegoat.”
Our mission in Afghanistan was to make America safe and eliminate the terrorist threat that harbored there. To be clear, I agreed with ending America’s longest war but retreating in the middle of the night and abandoning those who gallantly fought alongside us for years is unbecoming of a great nation.
What we accomplished during decades of sacrifice crumbled in a matter of days as President Biden ordered America to run away in the face of the same terrorists who aided in the attacks of September 11.
Today I watched President Biden speak to America at the podium. What I wanted to hear to from the Commander in Chief was an explanation of his actions taken, the current situation and options going forward. What I heard was failure from a finger pointing politician desperate to save his skin and find a scapegoat.
Zinke said, reflecting on his time as a U.S. Navy SEAL from 1986 to 2008:
I have served my country in war and have fought against radical Islamic terrorists. I have also trained a generation of warfighters who sacrificed in Afghanistan and have fought for freedom alongside foreign forces. ‘Winning the hearts and minds’ as Special Forces would say.
Zinke also questioned Biden’s “decision to turn over our allies and their families to the Taliban,” asking why anyone would “be willing to trust us in the future” and concluding that “they won’t.” Zinke said:
The footage of our allies literally running for their lives is hard to watch, but it is every American’s duty to speak out. We lost the war against terrorists in Afghanistan, and now we have lost our credibility in every theater across the globe. It is a stain on America’s honor and against all we as combat veterans stand for. The world is watching.
Zinke retired from the military as a Navy SEAL Commander and recently received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump in the race for the newly created Montana Second Congressional District.
“Under Ryan Zinke’s leadership at the Department of the Interior, the U.S. achieved Energy Dominance, increased federal energy revenues, and responsibly opened federal acreage for energy production,” Trump said last month.
“He was instrumental in expanding public access to public lands for recreation and rebuilding our National Parks and Forests infrastructure,” Trump added. “As Montana’s Congressman for the new 2nd District, Ryan will fight against the Radical Left Democrats who continually block the America First policies we put in place.”