GOP Senators Push To Designate Taliban A Terrorist Organization As White House Mulls Sending Aid
Republican Senators have launched an initiative to get the Taliban officially designated by the US government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, weeks after the botched Biden-ordered evacuation of Kabul airport which resulted in 13 American troop deaths and many more Afghan civilians.
A Wednesday letter authored by four Republican senators, including Rick Scott, Dan Sullivan, Tommy Tuberville and Joni Ernst, was sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging an immediate designation, citing that the Taliban presents “a significant threat to the United States.”
In the letter the senators take issue with the recent emerging consensus among Biden administration officials that somehow the Taliban has “moderated” since being overthrown in the 2001 US invasion of Afghanistan.
“Since re-establishing control of Afghanistan [in August], the Taliban resumed the same murderous and oppressive habits that characterized their leadership tenure prior to the arrival of US forces in 2001,” they wrote.
“Most concerning to us is that among those beaten and chased by Taliban forces were American citizens and their families still living in Afghanistan,” it adds. The Biden administration has this week admitted there are American citizens still trapped in Afghanistan. GOP leaders have since the last US military plane left Kabul airport on Aug.30 charged Biden with essentially abandoning Americans and leaving them behind.
Here is Jake Sullivan talking about giving aid directly to the Taliban
This is ransom money pic.twitter.com/n0340uidAC
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) September 1, 2021
The White House has since left open the question of whether the Taliban could receive US humanitarian and foreign aid, saying it depends on the Taliban’s behavior. The Republican move to get the group listed as an official terrorist organization would preclude this possibility altogether.
In contrast to claims of a more “moderate” Taliban leadership now governing, the senators’ letter cites beatings and oppression of women, public attacks on opposition protestors, and persecution of those who formerly helped Western allied forces.
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) September 16, 2021
The letter also highlights Sirajuddin Haqqani’s role in the new government as Interior Minister. Haqqani has long been known to have plotted and carried out attacks against Americans (and allies), and is still on the FBI’s “most wanted” list.
“The Taliban display the will and the means to attack Americans and American interests,” the letter concludes while asserting the group means the convention criteria for Washington to designate it.
Thu, 09/16/2021 – 15:40