President Biden on Friday took steps to take half of the $7 billion of Afghan funds held by the US Federal Reserve and give it to the relatives of victims of the September 11th, 2001, attacks as millions of Afghans are facing starvation.
Biden signed an executive order that will make $3.5 billion available for 9/11 families through lawsuits. The other half will be put into a trust with the intent of being used for humanitarian aid for Afghanistan.
The US seized the $7 billion as the Taliban took over Afghanistan, and another $2 billion in Afghan reserves held in other countries was frozen. In the wake of the US withdrawal, Afghans are facing a dire humanitarian crisis. The UN’s World Food Program estimates more than half of Afghanistan’s population, about 23 million people, are facing extreme hunger.
On top of the frozen funds, the US still maintains sanctions on Taliban leaders who are now part of the Afghan government. The sanctions discourage international companies and banks from doing business in Afghanistan, making it harder for Afghans to find relief.
History shows that sanctions and other economic pressure do little to change the target government and only hurt the civilian population. The Afghan people also had nothing to do with the September 11th attacks, Osama bin Laden just happened to be in Afghanistan when they happened, and the Taliban had offered to hand him over.
28 thoughts on “Biden Moves to Give Half of Afghanistan’s Frozen Funds to 9/11 Families”
Our perceived entitlement to do whatever we want with ‘Afghan govt’ money belies the fact that there never was an afghan govt under US occupation.
Washington is truely a rouge regime. This latest outrage is beyond the pale.
Yes, it’s criminal, …so what’s new, eh? Kabul needs to file in the World Court for full repayment with interest and penalty. And a second suit for reparations. Not that a win would get them justice, but in the faith that eventually the world-wide popular hatred for the Zionist imperial regime HQ’d in DC, Whitehall and Tel Aviv will reach critical mass.
There isn’t even the slightest pretense of following rule of law. It’s shocking how barbaric these people are.
Haven’t you heard? We are the greatest country in the history of the world, and international law is whatever we say it is.
US has a track record of seizing other nations assets. In this case the Afghan government should consider selling some of the 80B in weapons/equipment the US left behind. It would more than recoup the loss.
robbery while the innocent starve- how american…
US is the Thief of the Century…!
total illegal & highway robbery
the US is a international terrorist that first attacks and attempts to destroy other nations, then when they fight back calls them ‘terrorists’, and then robs them of their wealth and tries to sanction them to hell to make vast misery against their poor people
examples recently include Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Nicaragua and most especially Venezuela (via sanctions and stealing outright their national money, wealth, and resources). trying to wreck their societies.
US is an outright outlaw nation
Washington has to stick with, and back, the false story that kept the US in Afghanistan for twenty years , that Afghanistan was responsible for nine-eleven. In fact the US lacked any evidence even that al-Qaeda did the (probably rigged) assaults on New York City and Washington.
It’s not Biden’s money to give to whoever wants it. It’s Afghan’s money, and you can bet if they don’t get it back it’s going to set the stage for some nasty blow back.
The US government recognized “the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” — its puppet regime in that country — and Da Afghanistan Bank (the Afghan state’s central bank) as a subsidiary of that regime.
That regime was overthrown, and the US government doesn’t recognize the Taliban as its “legitimate” successor. So why would the US government consider itself obligated to hand the former regime’s assets over to the new regime?
Does the Taliban consider itself bound to the former regime’s debts as well as considering itself entitled to the former regime’s assets?
The whole thing is illegal and immoral…! It’s not about regimes or governments… It’s about people…! It is not US concern how that money is spent in Afghanistan, nor it is US business to hand over some of that money to 911 families just because Bin Laden happened to live there when 911 happened…!
Are you sure Bin Laden lived there on 9 eleven?1
Even if the Taliban isn’t considered by the US to be a ‘legitimate successor’ to the former US puppet regime in Afghan, it’s not our place- morally or legally- to dispose of the former regime’s assets to non-Afghans. The questions raised by this is what WILL constitute a ‘legitimate successor’? Does it have to be approved and rubber-stamped by the US and- once again- be run by our hand-picked puppets? If we’re just handing out other people’s cash, why not distribute the remainder to the US public at large? It may only be a few bucks per person, but hey, it’s free money. Right?
To be clear, I don’t support the policy of the US confiscating the money.
On the other hand, I’d be interested in why the Taliban would expect that they’re entitled to it.
If the Ku Klux Klan overthrew the US government tomorrow, I doubt that the UK would hand over any US deposits in its central bank to them, either.
I’m happy we’re of the same mind on the issue of confiscation; at best, I’d say work out some plan to aid the Afghan people directly through Red Crescent, Doctors Without Borders, etc. without having the money go into Taliban hands.
I see your point on any ‘entitlement’ the Taliban might feel regarding Afghan funds. While I agree with this and your third point (the K3 taking over); the alternative, though, is to hold the funds as frozen in perpetuity and that’s not right either. I’d ask again, though, what the criteria might be for the US to recognize a new Afghan government as ‘legitimate’ and if it involves elections and appointments and whatnot, how any other nation could see it as legitimate. I have no doubt our fingerprints would be all over the ‘legitimate’ results.
Another solution- though admittedly less than optimal- would be to transfer the Afghan funds to another body or nation’s oversight and let it be their tar baby to deal with.
One last item and I’ll be quit of this: I have a nagging suspicion that some well-connected people- and not the 9-11 families- are going to get the lion’s share of this $3.5b that’s being wrested from the Afghan people. I think we’re about to witness a heist of epic proportions. If this goes through, I hope someone is going to very carefully watch to whom this money goes and in what amount.
Looks to me like we agree on pretty much everything here.
The best thing, of course, would be for the US to have never invaded/occupied/puppet-governed Afghanistan in the first place.
The best — or at least easiest and most consistent with finally butting out — course now would be to hand the money over to the Taliban.
A much better idea than the aforementioned. Good result!!
Washington White Shoe law firms could reap billions. Crony capilalism at its worst.
If I was the Decider In Chief on stuff like this, I’d hand the money over to the UN for
1) Disbursement to the UN-recognized government of Afghanistan, if the UN’s credentials committee makes, and the General Assembly ratifies, a decision on that in a timely manner; or
2) Disbursement as direct aid to Afghanistan if the UN won’t make up its damn mind about what regime represents Afghanistan in the UN.
Ku Klux Klan talk is clutching at straws in a dying sophistry.
No, it’s recognizing the irrefutable fact of reality that the assets in question belonged to an overthrown regime, not to the new regime, and that the new regime isn’t just magically entitled to them because REASONS.
It is the money of the Afghan people, not that of any temporal administration. To steal that money is to deprive starving people life. Rationalizations which rob the starving are crimes against humanity, no matter how technically apt they are honed. Like shooting child protesters to maim and cripple. When regimes stoop this low, they forfeit all legitmacy. Any attempts to dress such acts up with some modicum of legal normalacy only compound the crimes.
The 9/11 hijackers trained in USA and nearly all came from Saudi Arabia. Israel had intelligence something was going down but kept silent.
I fail to see what Afghanistan had to do with 9/11.
We have become what we once hated.
This is just downright theft. someone needs to get criminal charges into the ICC against the US
The US and UK have become thieves on top of everything else. It’s sickening , what this country has become.
15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi , not one Afghan among them . Bin Laden was Saudi , Al Qaeda , not Taliban . The Afghan people had nothing to do with 9 /11.
Biden continues to shame this country. The Afghan people continue to suffer at our hands.
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