Testifying before Congress Monday, a Gold star mother accused the Biden administration of lying to her regarding her Marine son’s tragic death during the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal in 2021.
Gold Star mother Kelly Barnett’s son, Staff Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover, lost his life in Afghanistan along with 12 other U.S. service members due to a suicide bomber in Kabul as the U.S. military withdrew and ceded control to the Taliban.
According to Fox News, Monday’s Congressional forum organized by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) was the first public event that relatives of all 13 fall service members had spoken at.
Opening the forum with her testimony, Barnett said, “I’m going to be brave and in [sic] tell you about my kid. He’s an amazing kid. And I want you to know that I am not a victim. We’re not victims. We’re parents to some mighty heroes. I want you to know that.”
Barnett accused the Biden administration of lying to the family members of the 13 service members killed during the Afghanistan withdrawal. She claimed that families were “told lies” and provided with “incomplete” and “incorrect” information regarding the death of their loved ones, adding that the entire situation was “total disrespect.”
“I was told to my face, he died on impact,” Barnett said. “That’s not true. The only reason that I know this is because witnesses told me the truth,” Barnett claimed. “I was lied to and basically told to shut up.”
According to Barnett, her son “lived for a little while,” was seen distributing ammunition and “tied a tourniquet” around his leg prior to his death. Barnett told Congress she did not “understand the reasoning of that lie.” “It makes no sense other than the fact that, did they really even do an investigation? Did they talk to witnesses? I don’t know,” she said.
Barnett noted that her son was concerned about the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan from the “moment that he landed” in Afghanistan for his last deployment. Barnett’s son had characterized the situation as “chaos, no communication, lack of leadership.”
Breaking down into tears, Barnett recalled how her son and other military members realized “command cares nothing for us” as they were directed to “clean up the airport” because “we can’t leave it dirty for the Taliban.”
“What kind of disrespect? What kind of hatred for our military? What kind of mess? Confusion. Deceit. Lost. Angry. Sad. Heartbroken and disgusted,” Barnett said. “These are the feelings that the service members felt. And are still feeling. These are the feelings I’m feeling.”
According to Fox News, after the incident in Afghanistan, Darren Hoover, Taylor’s father, demanded for the resignation of President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Mark Milley.
“You all need to resign immediately,” Hoover said. “Our sons, daughters have more integrity in their little toes than every one of them combined.”
Hoover also told Biden, “Be a grown a** man. Admit to your mistakes. Learn from them so that this doesn’t happen ever, ever again.”