Gov. Hutchinson, Arkansas lawmakers respond to deadly Kabul bombing that killed 12 US service members


Smoke rises from explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. The explosion went off outside Kabul’s airport, where thousands of people have flocked as they try to flee the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Officials offered no casualty count, but a witness said several people appeared to have been killed or wounded Thursday. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – After the bombing outside the Kabul airport claimed the lives of 12 U.S. military members, many Arkansas lawmakers spoke out about the attack.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson released a statement following the bombing expressing his condolences on the lives that were taken.

US Senator John Boozman also spoke out Thursday, tweeting that “decisive leadership” from President Joe Biden and his administration is needed during this time.

“The news of numerous deaths and injuries among U.S. service members is gut-wrenching and outrageous,” Boozman tweeted. “We need resolute and decisive leadership from Pres. Biden and his administration in this moment, which is long overdue.”

Just before 5:30 p.m., Sen. Tom Cotton released a statement on the Kabul bombing, saying he grieved the loss of the service members and that the US has to rescue any Americans left in the country.

“Twelve U.S. troops sacrificed their lives today to rescue their fellow Americans fleeing Afghanistan. We mourn their deaths and grieve with their families. To honor their lives, we should finish their mission: the United States must use all its might to rescue our remaining countrymen in Afghanistan and bring justice to the terrorists responsible for today’s savagery. We must send the clear and unmistakable message that we leave no man behind, and if you kill our service members, your days are numbered.”

Sen. Tom Cotton

Most of the Arkansas delegation in the US House of Representatives have also spoken out about the terrorist attack and said they are sending prayers for all of those involved.

Rep. French Hill tweeted that his family sends thoughts and prayers to the families of the U.S. military member killed on Thursday.

Hill later released an updated statement, outlining the efforts he had been making in trying to evacuate 300 people with Arkansas ties from Afghanistan while also questioning Pres. Biden’s decisions on the withdrawal of US troops.

“I left a bipartisan, classified briefing in April skeptical of the Biden Administration’s plan, and in the subsequent briefings to Congress since, my concerns have only grown,” he wrote. “Today, our worst fears have been realized. The tragic events in Kabul further demonstrate the complete tactical and strategic incompetence of the Biden Administration.”

Rep. Bruce Westerman also tweeted that he is praying for the safety of everyone at the Kabul airport.

Rep. Steve Womack tweeted describing the cancellation of the Dept. of State press briefing as “inexcusable”, saying that the American people deserves answers.

Rep. Rick Crawford also released a statement responding to the Afghanistan attack, calling for a “fierce US response” directed at those responsible while also questioning the president’s ability to lead this effort.

“President Biden has shown a complete inability to formulate and execute a competent and comprehensive strategy to keep Americans safe from harm and if he cannot course-correct immediately, he should resign and allow someone else who can.”

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge also spoke out about the attack, expressing her condolences and thanked the U.S. military for their services. She also spoke on Biden’s leadership during this time saying that she is “enraged by the lack of leadership.”

As of Thursday evening, as many as 1,000 Americans and many more Afghans are still struggling to get out of Kabul.

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