Not everyone is a fan of President Biden’s overtures to the Taliban or the disastrous exit from Afghanistan, but for Debra Burlingame, the anger is quite personal.
Burlingame told ‘The Story’ on Fox News that when she thinks of Biden’s handling of Afghanistan or his attempts to treat the Taliban like a viable partner for peace, she is “filled with rage.” Burlingame’s brother, Charles “chic” Burlingame was the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77, which was en route from Dulles, Virginia, to Los Angeles, California, when it was hijacked by an Al Qaeda terrorist team led by Hani Hanjour. This plane was then crashed into the Pentagon on that terrible morning, killing all aboard as well as multiple people within the Pentagon.
The attitude towards the Taliban by the Biden administration and former president George Bush couldn’t be more different, and The Story host Martha MacCallum played back some key quotes from his presidency in the wake of 9/11 for contrast:
“Either you’re with us or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime,” and “There’s no negotiations, there’s no calendar. We’ll act on our time.”
After listening to the quotes from Bush being played, Burlingame had some strong feelings to share:
“Just listening to that fills me with rage, because I can’t imagine what the soundbites 20 years from now will be from President Biden: Those [from Bush] speak to everything he’s not doing. I believe we’re in grave danger now. This administration is now embracing a terrorist regime: The very people he’s referring to sheltered Osama bin Laden, the ones that provided him a safe haven while they practiced storming the cockpits and killing the pilots.”
Burlingame pointed out that terrorists like Hanjour had been trained and drilled on the hijackings to come in Al-Farooq, Afghanistan. These mock hijackings used animals as the passengers, and short knives as a substitute for the box cutters that would be used in the actual event. All of this occurred under the governance of the same Taliban that has once again seized power in Afghanistan.
“That regime is now in place [in Kabul]. Some of the very people involved … are the people that President Biden is calling a friendlier, kinder Taliban,” said Burlingame. “No. There are mullahs installed now. They have members of the Haqqani Network in their ministry: Haqqani is more vicious than Al Qaeda: They are known for brutal hostage-taking.”
The withdrawal from Afghanistan has become a lightning rod for criticism, both at home and abroad, and Burlingame is not alone in being a family member of a 9/11 victim who has come to despise Biden. In August, 1,800 survivors, first responders, and family members of victims signed an open letter telling Biden not to come to any 9/11 memorial events unless he declassified any files relating to any potential involvement by the Suadi Arabian government in the attacks.
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