Quantcast
Connect with us

Now Trump administration wants taxpayers to pick up the Taliban’s travel expenses

Published

on

The Trump administration has asked Congress to authorize funds to reimburse the Taliban for its travel expenses — or at least for those the extremist group incurs during peace talks, according to the chairman of a key defense appropriations subcommittee.

Pentagon officials told Congress they have already used taxpayer funds to reimburse the Taliban for expenses like travel, lodging, food and supplies. They have requested more such funding this year, Kevin Spicer, a spokesman for Rep. Peter Visclosky, D-Ind., who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, told Roll Call.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The Defense Department requested fiscal 2020 funding to support certain reconciliation activities, including logistic support for members of the Taliban and, in March 2019, they sent a notification letter to the Committee on using fiscal year 2019 funds for similar activities,” Spicer told the outlet.

Spicer said the administration’s request to funnel money to extremist group “would implicate provisions of law concerning material support to terrorists, the Taliban’s ongoing offensive operations against U.S. service members, and their continuing lack of acknowledgement of the government of Afghanistan or the rights of women in Afghan society.”

The subcommittee rejected the administration’s request, passing a $690 billion defense spending bill Wednesday that explicitly banned the Pentagon from using any of the funds to reimburse the Taliban unless the government meets certain conditions. For example, the Taliban has refused to hold talks with U.S. negotiators unless Afghan government officials are excluded and members of Congress have expressed concern about the exclusion of women.

“None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to pay the expenses of any member of the Taliban to participate in any meeting that does not include the participation of members of the Government of Afghanistan or that restricts the participation of women,” the committee’s provision says.

Critics of the move also noted that the Taliban, which still controls roughly half of Afghanistan’s territory and remains closely linked to al-Qaida, is not struggling financially despite years of endless war. The group is estimated to earn $800 million per year from Afghanistan’s opium trade and U.S. officials have said drug money funds most of the group’s activities, Roll Call reported.

ADVERTISEMENT

Steve Ellis, executive vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, told the outlet the Trump administration’s request is like “life imitating The Onion.”

“Even if you leave aside that [the Taliban] are still conducting operations against our interests and allies, having to pay for someone to be at the table undercuts our bargaining position and demonstrates their lack of enthusiasm for a deal,” he said. “I’m sure the Taliban would like whatever cash we’re willing to give them, but it’s not like they aren’t able to continue funding their fighting. How about using some of that cash instead of American taxpayer dollars.”

The Trump administration has held six rounds of peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar since last fall, all of which have excluded Afghan government officials. Foreign policy experts have said that the exclusion of the Afghan government, along with early reports emerging from the peace talks, suggest that the Trump administration “seems poised to give away everything America has fought for in Afghanistan since 9/11.”

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Ex-GOPer Amash under consideration by Democrats as Trump impeachment leader: report

Published

on

According to a report from the Washington Post, a low-key campaign is being waged by some Democrats in the House to make former GOP lawmaker Justin Amash (L-MI) one of the leads in the impeachment of Donald Trump.

The report states, "A group of 30 freshman Democrats, led by Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN), has asked House leaders to consider the libertarian, who left the Republican Party earlier this year, for the small group tasked with arguing its case for removing Trump in the upper chamber, according to several Democratic officials."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump launches furious attack on Obama, Comey and IG Horowitz — then demands an apology

Published

on

Grabbing onto any straw he can, Donald Trump launched a multi-tweet attack on Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz and former FBI Director James Comey, while insisting that everything he has done has been on the up-and-up -- and snapped at former President Barack Obama while he was at it.

According to the president, "As bad as the I.G. Report is for the FBI and others, and it is really bad, remember that I.G. Horowitz was appointed by Obama. There was tremendous bias and guilt exposed, so obvious, but Horowitz couldn’t get himself to say it. Big credibility loss. Obama knew everything!"

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Jim Jordan’s lies about the Steele report completely demolished by Fusion GPS founders

Published

on

Appearing on MSNBC's "AM Joy" the founders of Fusion GPS,  which was behind the Steele report which led to an investigation into Donald Trump's relationship with Russia, slapped down claims made by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) made during the House Judiciary Committee hearings this past week.

Host Joy Reid began by sharing a clip of the Ohio Republican's rant during the Trump impeachment hearings, where he claimed, "The guy who write the dossier was, quote, 'desperate to stop Trump.' The dossier they are using to get a warrant to further spy on the Trump campaign didn't tell the court the guy who wrote the dossier was working for the Clinton campaign."

Continue Reading