WASHINGTON — After the Biden administration gave the green light to taxpayer dollars earmarked to support humanitarian aid and other expansive forms of aid to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan — like money earmarked for the country’s ‘endangered species research’ – US Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, leads 15 of his colleagues to demand a full account of the money that the administration authorizes to pass through the Taliban network and Haqqani.
VIDEO: Ernst calls for a full accounting of US taxpayer money the Biden administration is allowing to flow through the Taliban.
In a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, Ernst and his colleagues write: “We are writing to express our serious concerns regarding the recent announcement by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regarding the issuance of General Licenses (GLs) authorizing the flow of US taxpayers’ money through the Taliban. and the Haqqani network. While we agree that widespread starvation and the denial of the rights of Afghan women and girls are immediate problems to be addressed with humanitarian aid and assistance, OFAC’s sweeping authorization risks passing too much US taxpayer money by the Taliban or the Haqqani Network to fund an excessive and unfortunate program, or unnecessary list of services such as activities in support of the rule of law by the Taliban, educational exchanges in a country that now devalues the education of women and girls, and research on endangered species.
They continue, “Moreover, OFAC does not describe control mechanisms to ensure that the funds do not end up in Taliban coffers. As these licenses stand, the broad administrative latitude and unclear enforcement mechanisms risk seeing the US taxpayer fund the world’s most dangerous foreign terrorist organization.
The senators continue, “We call on this administration to keep its promise not to lift financial sanctions against the Taliban unless they change their government policies, deny safe haven to terrorists, and guarantee the basic human rights of Afghan women and girls. Obviously, they did not fulfill these conditions.
In the letter, the senators request detailed responses to the following information by February 11, 2022:
- A listing of the total funds provided by the United States to each OFAC-issued GL related to humanitarian assistance, other support, and trade with Afghanistan.
- The total amount and percentage of funds collected by the Taliban and Haqqani network in the form of a tax, fee or import duty.
- The total funding for humanitarian assistance the United States has sent to Afghanistan since August 31, 2021.