by Senator Joni Ernst
Can the world’s deadliest terrorist organization be trusted to protect insects and salamanders?
After ordering a hasty and disastrous retreat from Afghanistan last August, the Biden administration has now authorized the flow of U.S. taxpayer dollars back into the country through the Taliban and the Haqqani Islamic Terrorist Network. Among the activities these tax dollars are intended to support is “the preservation and protection of threatened or endangered species,” which include four plants, a salamander, and one insect in Afghanistan.
There is no question the people of Afghanistan are suffering terribly from widespread famine and human rights abuses and desperately need help. But, the Biden administration has not put protections in place to prevent this new U.S. assistance from ending up in the hands of terrorists, just like when billions of dollars of weapons and supplies were handed over to the Taliban following Biden’s poorly planned and mishandled withdrawal.
The Biden administration explicitly allows the Taliban and Haqqani network to collect “payment of taxes, fees, or import duties, or the purchase or receipt of permits, licenses, or public utility services” on these U.S. taxpayer dollars, for example.
The Taliban has already been caught blocking food and emergency assistance from being delivered to those in need. Within the six months since these terrorist organizations seized control of Afghanistan, women have been beaten with whips and sticks and all but made hostages within their own homes under the Taliban’s draconian rule. Afghanistan now tops the list as the most dangerous country in the world for Christians.
Folks, we can never trust the Taliban to protect the people of Afghanistan, much less salamanders or insects—and we certainly can’t trust that they won’t steal U.S. tax dollars intended for humanitarian assistance without adequate safeguards.
The Biden administration needs to stand by its promise to maintain financial sanctions against the Taliban unless they change their governing policies, deny safe harbor to terrorists, and guarantee the fundamental human rights of Afghan women and girls. Clearly, they have not met any of those conditions.
For these reasons, I am giving my January 2022 Squeal Award to the Biden administration whose carelessness is once again putting taxpayers dollars within the grasp of terrorists in Afghanistan.