Gold Star Families Sue US Contractors for Paying Protection Money to Taliban
A lawsuit was filed on Friday by Gold Star families of 143 US service members who lost their lives in Afghanistan, alleging that US contractors paid protection money to the Taliban. The lawsuit stated that in so doing, they indirectly supported terrorism.
The Epoch Times reported,
In a lawsuit filed in federal court on Friday, the plaintiffs alleged that the contractors working on various reconstruction projects across the war-torn country often greased the palms of the Taliban through local sub-contractors, reported the Wall Street Journal.
The lawsuit alleges that the subcontractors hired and paid Taliban guards directly in order to save on security costs and that the Taliban used that money to fuel terrorist attacks on U.S. troops and companies that didn’t engage in the practices.
The Gold Star Families lawsuit was filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act. Everyone familiar with a “protection” racket knows that ultimately, paying money to make the bad guys leave them alone does not accomplish what they think it does. Giving protection money to the Taliban places American- and coalition partners -lives in danger. Centerra Group, DAI Global, Louis Berger Group and Janus Global Operations are just some of the firms listed in the lawsuit.
“The Anti-Terrorism Act complaint alleges that eight large multinational corporations, most of which are American, regularly paid ‘protection payments’ to the Taliban (including the Haqqani Network), which were designed to boost the companies’ profits by redirecting violence away from their own business interests. We believe Plaintiffs bore the consequences.” Ryan Sparacino to CNBC
The companies involved were not military contractors, but construction companies operating under SIGAR (Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction).
“Stemming from a growing body of evidence that corrupt networks were channeling support to the Taliban, a consensus began to emerge among DOD (Department of Defense), State, and USAID that corruption was undermining core U.S. goals by materially fueling the insurgency and turning the population against the Afghan government… In short, corruption posed a strategic threat to the mission.” Tolo News, Afghanistan
Aiding and funding (material support) of terrorism is a felony. Yet these companies have been doing it to the tune of billions of dollars. Their adherence to a “protection racket” may have cost American lives. Hence, the lawsuit by Gold Star families that have lost loved ones.
So ask yourself – how likely is the Taliban to be receptive to a “ceasefire” or permanent solution to the conflicts in Afghanistan when US money is keeping the insurgency alive?
Featured photo: A Marine fires a tracer round from an M240L machine gun during a night live-fire range at Camp Shorabak, Afghanistan, in 2017. (Sgt. Lucas Hopkins/Marine Corps)