A Gold Star mother on Monday accused the Biden administration of lying about her son’s death in Afghanistan two years ago, calling the president and the Pentagon “incompetent, cowards, evil.”
Kelly Barnett made the comments at a congressional forum held by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who assembled the families of all 13 troops who died at the Kabul airport in public for the first time.
Barnett’s son, Staff Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover, was one of those 13 in the August 2021 suicide bombing. The pain of being lied to, shown “total disrespect,” compounds the loss of her son, she said.
“I was told to my face, he died on impact. That’s not true. The only reason that I know this is because witnesses told me the truth,” Barnett said. “I was lied to and basically told to shut up.
“He lived for a little while … he was giving out his ammo,” she added. “He tied a tourniquet around his leg. I don’t 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.”
Hoover was in Afghanistan for his final deployment. His job, Barnett was told by her son, was 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. These are the feelings that the service members felt. And are still feeling. These are the feelings I’m feeling,” Barnett said as she cried.
Hoover’s father, Darren Hoover, was even more direct in his comments toward President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Mark Milley.
“Be a grown a** man. Admit to your mistakes. Learn from them so that this doesn’t happen ever, ever again,” Hoover aimed at Biden.
“You all need to resign immediately. Our sons, daughters have more integrity in their little toes than every one of them combined,” he added.
Hoover and his fellow soldiers died during the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan in a suicide bombing at the airport during the military’s evacuation.
“Biden, the Biden administration, Blinken, Milley, Austin … unfortunately, there’s more,” Barnett said. “That’s just the ones that I’m focused on at this moment. Incompetent, cowards, evil. Some are a few of those, some are all of those. I want justice. I want accountability. Why would they just not say, ‘Oh, we made a mistake. Our plan was wrong. I’m so sorry.’
“You know, that would’ve been something.”