Inspector General: American Taxpayer Dollars, Aid Could Be Going to the Taliban
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko testified to Congress that American taxpayer money might be ending up with the Taliban.
The Afghanistan watchdog made the shocking claim speaking with lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee Wednesday.
Sopko was trying to convey that aid from the United States may be getting picked off by the Taliban instead of going to those in need.
“While I agree, and we all agree Afghanistan faces a dire humanitarian and economic situation, it is critical that our assistance not be diverted by the Taliban,” he said.
“Unfortunately, as I sit here today, I cannot assure this committee or the American taxpayer we are not currently funding the Taliban.”
“Nor can I assure you that the Taliban are not diverting the money we are sending from the intended recipients, which are the poor Afghan people,” added Sopko.
They already got billions in advanced weaponry from Uncle Sam, what’s a few more dollars?
“As I sit here today, I cannot assure this committee or the American taxpayer we are not currently funding the Taliban.”
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko gives alarming testimony regarding U.S. funding in Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/BfXl6F32Dq
— Oversight Committee (@GOPoversight) April 19, 2023
Taxpayers Funding the Taliban
The Special Inspector General proceeded to tell lawmakers that basic observations seem to indicate the Taliban is thieving taxpayer aid to Afghanistan.
“I would just say, I haven’t seen a starving Taliban fighter on TV, they all seem to be fat, dumb, and happy,” Sopko said.
“I see a lot of starving Afghan children on TV, so I’m wondering where all this funding is going.”
So are the American people. Or, at least they should be.
Unacceptable. There is NO reason that taxpayer dollars should EVER fund terrorism or oppressive regimes… Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan continues to be a national nightmare….! https://t.co/YEGbeLrFBn
— Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (@RepJenKiggans) April 19, 2023
Afghanistan: Biden’s Biggest Blunder
Sopko indicated to Congress that the United States has appropriated roughly $2 billion in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
Another $3.5 billion is expected to come in through an international fund as well.
Sopko also blasted the Biden State Department for a lack of cooperation in oversight efforts, saying the administration has not complied with SIGAR audits and various inquiries.
“The lack of cooperation by State … is unprecedented in the nearly 12 years that I have been the SIGAR, and I must add, in the two decades that I did congressional oversight both in the Senate and in the House,” Sopko testified.
The Biden Admin isn’t providing responses to Congress and the Inspector General about the Afghanistan withdrawal.
“I have not received a response to my letter to the President. Have you received responses from your letters?”- @RepMikeTurner
“Welcome to my world.”- IG John Sopko pic.twitter.com/pGnvmxM8n4
— Oversight Committee (@GOPoversight) April 19, 2023
The startling testimony comes following the release of a SIGAR report casting blame on the Biden administration for “bureaucratic dysfunction and understaffing” in trying to resettle Afghan allies.
The report spotlights a promise made by President Biden to Afghans just one month prior to the disastrous withdrawal in August of 2021.
“There is a home for you in the United States if you so choose, and we will stand with you, just as you stood with us,” said Biden.
Look back at this for some interesting context….
‘Our message to those women and men is clear: There is a home for you in the United States, if you so choose and we will stand with you, just as you stood with us,’ Biden said.
— Lara Logan (@laralogan) October 12, 2021
The report, however, states that “the United States has left most of its allies behind” and “it will take a year, on average, until each family reaches safety.”
The truth always comes out.
Joe Biden botched the Afghanistan withdrawal and 13 servicemembers were killed.https://t.co/Ue3BxhzUwQ
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) April 19, 2023
The Biden administration’s own analysis of the Afghanistan withdrawal contends that the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the President’s predecessor.
Biden accepts no blame or responsibility for his disastrous and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan which empowered the Taliban with billions of dollars of American military equipment. Americans know desperate lies when they see them! https://t.co/VBpypCJfj6
— Beth Van Duyne (@Bethvanduyne) April 10, 2023
A 2022 Army report revealed multiple commanders involved in the withdrawal operation gave sworn testimony indicating the administration failed to grasp the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, putting American troops in greater danger.
White House officials, the report stated, “failed to grasp the Taliban’s steady advance on Afghanistan’s capital.”
On NBC, Biden repeatedly dismisses the Army’s report about the disastrous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan —
Holt: “Are you rejecting the conclusions or the accounts…in this Army report?”
Biden: “Yes, I am.”
Holt: “So they’re not true?”
Biden: “I’m rejecting them.” pic.twitter.com/AInRMQbMw6
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) February 11, 2022
The Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan led to a suicide bombing that killed 13 service members, a ‘retaliatory’ drone strike by the United States that killed 10 civilians – including an aid worker and 7 children – and countless Americans being left behind in the Taliban-controlled country for an extensive period of time.
In addition to the 13 service members who died in the suicide bombing outside of Kabul airport, another 45 were wounded in the blast, some suffering brain injuries.
Additionally, reports began surfacing of the Taliban getting their hands on American military equipment quickly after the United States withdrew from Afghanistan.
— Nabih (@nabihbulos) August 30, 2021
The overall net worth of that equipment has been disputed, as figures for funding the Afghan army included not just weapons, but the cost of training and other items.
What isn’t disputed, however, is that equipment was left behind for the Taliban to acquire.
Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby admitted the Biden administration didn’t have “any policy solutions” to recoup or destroy the weapons.
The Taliban later held a parade with the equipment acquired following the withdrawal.
VIDEO: The Taliban hold a military parade in Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city and the militants’ spiritual heartland, using former Afghan and international forces vehicles and helicopters to inaugurate their new “Islamic Emirate Army” pic.twitter.com/IsH4z9tRL2
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) November 9, 2021
Oversight Chair James Comer (R-KY) blasted President Biden for the Taliban takeover.
“Today, the Taliban flag flies over Kabul,” Comer said. “This is Joe Biden’s legacy.”
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