What’s more, Gaetz swung and hit President Joe Biden square in the process.
Gaetz came swinging out of the gate immediately at Milley, making it clear that his call about pulling out of Afghanistan was a massive error.
“You really blew that call didn’t you, General?” asked Gaetz.
Milley began to respond that they were in a “strategic stalemate” but Gaetz cut him off and pointed out that Milley focused more on writing his book “Peril” with investigative journalist Bob Woodward than he spent analyzing “the very likely prospect” that the Afghanistan government would be overrun and toppled by the Taliban should the U.S. have departed as we did.
Milley denied this but Gaetz was immediately back on him.
“Oh really? Because you said right after Kabul fell that no one could have anticipated the immediate fall of the Ghani government.”
Gaetz immediately followed up by asking when he became aware Biden tried to get Afghanistan President Ghani to lie about the situation and conditions in his country. Milley said he wasn’t aware of this ever happening, yet Gaetz wasn’t accepting the answer as he was the top military official in command of the region.
Milley answered that he said the situation was “stalemate” and if they’d kept advisors there then the army would have stayed in Afghanistan. Gaetz moved on to secretary Austin for a moment, asking him if he can assess when people have the will to fight an enemy and made it clear that Austin definitely doesn’t because of his consistent failures in training people in their regions to fight their enemies.
He wasn’t done with Milley, however. Gaetz made it clear that he undermined the chain of command in terms of his actions about calling China behind the back of then-President Trump. Milley denied it, but Gaetz wasn’t having it.
It was toward the end that Gaetz gave one of the most punishing blows a congressman has ever given a General. Gaetz recited Milley’s claim that he has no intention to resign and Gaetz said that this was probably true.
“You seem to be very happy failing up over there, but if we didn’t have a president that was so addled, you all would be fired,” said Gaetz. “Because that is what you deserve.”
“You have let down the people who wear the uniform in my district and all around this country, and you’re far more interested in what your perception is and how people think about you in insider Washington books than you care about winning which this group seems incapable of doing,” he concluded as his time was up.