Blinken's contentious hearing in House is lead-up to grilling before Senate

In a contentious appearance Monday before Congress to examine events in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken offered a glimpse of what is expected to be a pugnacious defense by the Biden administration of its actions in the chaotic U.S. exit last month from Kabul.

"We made the right decision in ending America's longest war," Blinken said in response to pointed and angry questions from lawmakers, some of whom called for him to resign, or displayed photographs of Americans who lost their lives in Afghanistan. 

Blinken appeared via video link from the State Department before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, whose members attended both in person and remotely. The grueling hearing — marked by multiple Republican calls for Blinken's resignation — was the first of two sessions this week on Capitol Hill to examine how America arrived at its messy withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years at war. 

The more than five-hour hearing served as a tough lead-up to what may be an even more aggressive grilling in the Senate on Tuesday, after lawmakers have had the opportunity to scrutinize the House questioning, and look for areas to probe.
Antony J. Blinken by Diplomatic Security Service is licensed under Flickr CC BY 2.0
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