Heckler Thrown Out Of State Of The Union For Screaming About Abbey Gate

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The State of the Union address is an ostentatious occasion, where members of Congress and the President are able to come together to discuss the current state of government. It’s an important night for the President, but this year, the speech was interrupted in a big way.

Witty Biden Remarks

Biden is known for giving witty speeches, especially for major events such as the State of the Union. It’s an opportunity for the President to communicate the successes of his administration as well as future plans that he might have, an opportunity that Biden clearly prepares well for.

Source: Wikimedia/The White House

The State of the Union speech is particularly important and ostentatious during an election year. The opportunity to drive home what the President hopes to achieve should he be elected to four more years of leadership means that every word is thoughtfully considered, and used appropriately.

Successes of the Biden Administration

This year, Biden touted the different successes of his administration, including the Infrastructure bill that is currently being used in various industries across the United States. He was clear and sharp in his delivery, and even used the opportunity to mock some of the Republicans and call them out for some of the shadiers deals that they’ve been trying to make.

Source: Wikimedia/The White House

Biden also used the opportunity to project things that he would like to achieve in a second term as president. Among other things, he pointed to reproductive rights and codifying the right to an abortion in United States law, as well as making progress on the immigration crisis that has been the subject of headlines for months now.

Differences Between Biden and Trump

It was a rousing speech, one that was clearly intended to propel Americans into the voting booth this November. Biden pointed to the power of women and their fury over reproductive rights when projecting ways that the Democrats could win.

Source: Wikimedia/Tia Dufour; Official White House Photo

More than anything, though, Biden used the State of the Union address to point to the differences between himself and Donald Trump. He only ever referred to Trump as “my predecessor” and went out of his way to draw attention to the various ways that Trump was actively harming America, and the ways that he might harm America in the future if he got another term in office.

A Man Making His Presence Known

The speech ran over an hour, one of the many factors that hint at how important this particular address to the nation was. However, more than an hour into the speech, Biden was interrupted by a heckler who made a ruckus for themselves, so much so that they ended up needing to be removed from the State of the Union.

Source: Youtube/9NEWS

A man started screaming from the gallery, shouting, “Remember Abbey Gate! US Marines!” He continued yelling for a few moments, and then was ultimately seen being escorted out of the House by Capitol police and being placed in handcuffs.

The Father of a Fallen Soldier

The man was later identified as Gold Star parent, Steven Nikoui. His son, US Marine Kareem Nikoui, was one of the 13 US troops killed in the Kabul airport bombing in August of 2021. This was one of the tragedies that occurred when the United States was withdrawing from Afghanistan.

Source: Youtube/9NEWS

This attack, which was a suicide bombing that took place Hamid Karzai Internaton Airport, is the event that has come to be known as Abbey Gate. At least 183 people died in the bombing, including 170 Afghan civilians beyond the 13 American soldiers who ultimately lost their lives in the attack.

A Notable Attack in the War

Abbey Gate was tragic and notable for several reasons. Perhaps most importantly, it marked the first American military casualties that were seen in Afghanistan since February of 2020. The Islamic State – Khorasan Province (IS-KP) claimed responsibility for the attack.

Source: Wikimedia/Joe Burger from Siegburg

The United States responded swiftly to the attack, sending airstrikes into the Nangarhar Province, which the US Central Command claimed was against three suspected IS-KP members. A second strike was conducted several days later in Kabul, which unfortunately killed 10 Afghan civilians.

Justice Found in 2023

It wasn’t until 2023 when justice was found for the families of the American soldiers who lost their lives in the Kabul airport attack. Intelligence came to light that year that the leader of the IS-KP cell that organized the attack was believed to have been killed by Taliban security forces, closing the book on that particular heartbreaking attack.

Source: Wikimedia/Tahirshah999

Unfortunately, though it seemed that justice was found for the US soldiers and the Afghan civilians who lost their lives, many of the families of the soldiers who were killed in the attack saw the Biden administration’s response as inadequate. This frustration, in part, is what led Nikoui to speak up at the State of the Union address this month.

Other Gold Star Parents Invited

Nikoui was not the only Gold Star parent who was invited to the State of the Union address. House Speaker Mike Johnson also invited Alicia Lopez and Darin Hoover, other Gold Star parents who lost their children in the terrorist attack, as his personal guests to the speech.

Source: Youtube/9NEWS

“President Biden’s hasty, unconditional withdrawal from Afghanistan was a failure for America and its allies. It led to the tragic deaths of brave American servicemembers, including Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Taylor Hoover and Cpl. Hunter Lopez,” Johnson explained in a statement ahead of the speech.

A Joint Statement from Hoover and Lopez

Mr. Hoover and Ms. Lopez also released a statement prior to attending, explaining that their attendance was in the pursuit of “justice” and “transparency” on the part of the Biden administration regarding the attack.

Source: Wikimedia/The White House

“Taylor and Hunter are great men, dedicated Marines and incredible sons who made our families proud every day. They paid the ultimate sacrifice along with the 11 others killed and 45 wounded for our great country, but more than two years since their death, the President has left us without answers.” The statement concluded, “As parents, we deserve transparency, and we demand justice.”

Biden’s Lack of Preparation

The Abbey Gate attack took place mere days into the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, an event that was negotiated by former President Donald Trump’s administration. Biden postponed the withdrawal for several months while attempting to negotiate with the newly formed Afghan administration the Taliban, but ultimately had to withdraw without adequate preparation.

Source: Wikimedia/David Lienemann

It is this lack of preparation on the part of the Biden administration that many believe caused the chaos that was ultimately seen in Afghanistan. Abbey Gate is merely one event that showcases the chaotic exit of the United State from the Middle East, and unfortunately American soldiers suffered for the administration’s lack of preparation.

Potentially Impeachable?

In the years since, parents of the soldiers who died as well as Republican congress members have called for an investigation into the circumstances of the withdrawal. Some claim that the lack of preparation and accountability on the part of the Biden administration reaches the levels of high crimes and misdemeanors, with some hinting at the desire to bring impeachment proceedings against the president for it.

Source: Wikimedia/Office of Speaker Mike Johnson

The events of Abbey Gate and other terror attacks that followed in the wake of America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan are undeniably tragic, but unfortunately cannot be solely pinned on the Biden administration. The situation in Afghanistan spanned four administrations, and while it could, admittedly, have been handled better, there was no way that America’s withdrawal from the Middle East was going to be anything less than bloody.

Charged with a Misdemeanor

As far as Nikoui, Capitol police officers asked him to stop while he was yelling at the State of the Union. When he didn’t, he was arrested and removed from the House Galleries. He was charged with Crowding, Obstructing, or Incommoding, which is a misdemeanor crime.

Source: Youtube/9NEWS

The charge on his record may, ultimately, be worth the trouble of bringing Nikoui’s son and the tragedies of Afghanistan back to the forefront of the American consciousness. While many people were hurt and killed during the withdrawal from Afghanistan, it doesn’t suit to forget even one American soldier who lost their lives.

Biden Has Not Responded

Neither Biden nor the administration have released a statement regarding Nikoui’s comments during the State or the Union, or his ultimate arrest. While Biden’s speech ultimately went off without a hitch, the interruption from Nikoui only showcases some of the pockets of discontent regarding the administration.

Source: Wikimedia/The White House

Regardless of whether Nikoui is ultimately found guilty of his crime, his comments are important in the grand scheme of American politics. The American people are on high alert for anything controversial or concerning ahead of the 2024 election, and a reminder of the Biden administration’s failures in the Middle East might just be enough to tip the scale in Trump’s favor ahead of election day.

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James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

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