Joe Biden went to Dover Air Force Base earlier today, as we reported, to receive the bodies of the 13 members of the military killed in the suicide bombing at the Kabul airport.
Now, the event was closed to the press, but they did allow a video of the “dignified transfer ceremony.”
Video of the dignified transfer ceremony at Dover Air Force Base for the 13 U.S. service members who gave their lives serving this country & saving Americans & Afghan allies — and were killed in the Kabul airport terrorist attack on Thursday. Heroes all.🇺🇸pic.twitter.com/QV8WxiMOVy
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) August 29, 2021
Today, 11 of the 13 were received at the base. The thirteen who were killed on Thursday were Navy corpsman Max Soviak, Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Knauss, and Marines Hunter Lopez, Rylee McCollum, David Lee Espinoza, Kareem Nikoui, Jared Schmitz, Daegan Page, Darin Taylor Hoover, Humberto Sanchez, Johanny Rosariopichardo, Dylan Merola and Nicole Gee. You can see our memorial post to them here. Most of them were between 20-23 years old.
But during the ceremony, Joe Biden appeared to surreptitiously check his watch. You make the call. It surely looks like it to me. This is a horrible look.
It's true. Joe Biden checked his watch during the dignified transfer of the servicemembers killing in Afghanistan at the airport. You can see him jerk his left hand to pull the watch out from under his sleeve, then look down at it. pic.twitter.com/M3QVzJbTIm
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) August 29, 2021
Biden sneaking a view of his watch at Dover. pic.twitter.com/UlBgv4ZnWO
— Henry J. Killingsfield (@killingsfield) August 29, 2021
It’s that little extra jerk he does with the arm to make sure the watch comes out from beneath the jacket that gives added weight to this, in my mind, and also makes me think he’s done that move in the past.
The only thing he needed to do was stand there, respectfully, and now he’s even called that into question. Is he unable to even stand there in silence for a little while? I don’t know what was in his mind, if there was anything there, but these are not the optics to be sending out at such a somber and important ceremony.
Was he concerned about his nap time or calling a lid? Whatever it was, nothing was more important as part of his job in that moment than showing the proper respect to our military dead.
Woah. I’m sorry but this is just all so so so wrong. (Watch 👇) I don’t care what your schedule is. These young men and women paid the ultimate price. Heartbreaking. https://t.co/AZX0aKUEZn
— Trish Regan (@trish_regan) August 29, 2021
Many of us remember Pres Bush 41 checking his watch during a debate and how awful it looked (even though we all felt same way about that debate.) But this is shocking and will be remembered. https://t.co/sFfW032JNm
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) August 29, 2021
As we reported earlier, there were reports that some of the families didn’t want to meet with him.
Heard from a reliable source some of the families of the service members who were killed in Kabul do not want Biden to be at Dover AFB for the dignified transfers.
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) August 29, 2021
Some of them have already vented in media at this, as we reported yesterday, blaming him in part for the death of their loved ones and letting him have it. We have yet to hear from them about the interactions with Biden, but likely will hear that, as well. But this one action is not a good sign, on top of the whole debacle he has made of Afghanistan.
There is nothing more important than paying your respects to America's fallen war heroes, Mr. President. https://t.co/OxrAfHG7Cq
— Nile Gardiner (@NileGardiner) August 29, 2021