by ELISSA SALAMY, The National Desk
WASHINGTON (TND) — Government watchdog group Open the Books says the Biden administration has plans to give the Taliban U.S. tax dollars.
“The Biden administration has laid out plans through the U.S. Treasury to open up the U.S. taxpayer dollars spigot back into Afghanistan,” said Open The Books’ Adam Andrzejewski to The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat. “We run the risk of funding the world's most dangerous foreign terrorist organization if we open up the U.S. taxpayer spigot through the Department of Treasury.”
Andrzejewski credited Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, for “leading the charge.” Along with other Senate colleagues, Ernst sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, sharing their concerns about the process being used right now to give humanitarian aid.
“While we agree widespread famine and denial of rights to Afghan women and girls are immediate problems to address with humanitarian aid and assistance, OFAC’s (Office of Foreign Assets Control) sweeping authorization risks too much U.S. taxpayer money flowing through the Taliban or the Haqqani Network to fund an excessive, ill-fated or wasteful list of services,” reads the letter.
Andrzejewski said two things need to occur in order to justify using taxpayer dollars.
“It has to serve people who have real needs and we need an audit trail. When we secured the country over 20 years, we didn’t even have those things in place,” said Andrzejewski. “Unless we learn from our history, we're going to repeat it. If we're using taxpayer money in Afghanistan, it's going to be stolen.”
In the letter to Blinken, Ernst also inquires as to whether U.S. taxpayer dollars have gone to Afghanistan since the withdrawal in August 2021.
“The Biden administration owes her that figure,” said Andrzejewski.