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Political Editors / August 30, 2021

In Brief: Pallets of Cash for the Taliban?

Creating a hostage situation is a great pretext for funding Islamic terrorists.

What’s worse than arming the Taliban with our own abandoned equipment? Sending them pallets of cash on top of it. Yet columnist Daniel Greenfield says that’s exactly what Joe Biden tried but failed to do.

On August 14, Secretary of State Blinken spoke with Afghanistan’s former president and promised that the Biden administration would provide a bulk shipment of dollars.

The next day Kabul fell.

On that same call, Afghanistan’s former leader had agreed to surrender power to the Taliban.

The Biden administration had effectively agreed to provide a massive infusion of cash to the Taliban. But the final deal fell through, the Afghan government fled, and the Taliban took Kabul.

The bulk shipment of dollars never did arrive.

Now, 13 American military personnel are dead after Biden’s unconscionable dereliction of duty. What next?

The Taliban were hoping to get their hands on Afghanistan’s money, but much of it is in the United States. The most tangible part of Afghanistan’s assets, $1.3 billion in gold, is sitting in downtown Manhattan, a little bit south of Ground Zero, in the vaults of the Federal Reserve.

If there were any justice, that money would be used to compensate the police officers, firefighters, and workers who died on that day or later on from ailments related to 9/11.

The Taliban is finding it hard to make money at the moment, Greenfield says.

A week after Kabul fell, the International Monetary Fund was supposed to disburse $460 million in Special Drawing Rights to Afghanistan, but that, like all the other international funding mechanisms that the Taliban wanted to lay claim to, was blocked. While the Biden administration’s diplomats and national security people had made a complete hash of the withdrawal, the treasury people proved to be surprisingly on top of cutting off Taliban cash.

The Taliban still control border crossings and they’ll be able to take advantage of Chinese money, but that’s a long way from the cash they need to run any kind of functional country.

Paradoxically, we were the single biggest revenue source for the Taliban’s money machine.

One expert estimated that at the peak of Obama and Biden’s Afghanistan surge, “the Taliban’s ‘taxes’ on truckers supplying NATO likely even surpassed the Taliban’s income from drugs, being tens of millions of dollars at least, maybe up to $100 million annually.”

Greenfield explains all the trouble the Taliban can cause, all while trying to prop up some semblance of financing.

But what the Taliban really want is all that money sitting in the Federal Reserve.

There have been precedents for terror states toppling legitimate governments and leaving their wealth in the hands of the United States. From the Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union to the Shiite Islamists of Iran, Democrats eventually turned over the money to the red-green terrorists.

There’s little doubt that the Taliban will get their hands on much of the money.

After all, says Greenfield: “The day before Kabul fell, Biden nearly allowed a massive bundle of pallets of dollars to be shipped to Afghanistan. He did so knowing that the money was destined for a Taliban regime. His cash shipment to the Taliban only fell apart because the Afghan government did.”

“How long will it be until Biden is shipping money to the Taliban?” Greenfield asks. “He may already be doing it.”

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