The Pentagon cannot be pleased with the Washington Post. That’s because the Post has just disclosed a mountain of previously secret documentary evidence within the military showing that the Pentagon has been intentionally lying for years about the “progress” that it was making with its forever war in Afghanistan. While the Pentagon has been publicly assuring the American people that its war has been going swimmingly well, the truth is that it’s been the exact opposite.
The documents consist of brutally candid interviews with military insiders, who believed that their statements would forever remain secret. After three years of refusing to comply with the Freedom of Information Act, the Pentagon finally decided to comply with an order of a U.S. district judge to turn over the documents to the Post.
While the Pentagon is still refusing to divulge the identities of most of the people who were interviewed, one of the interviewees, Dougas Lute, a three-star army general who served in Afghanistan, is quoted as saying:
We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan — we didn’t know what we were doing. What are we doing here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.
Another interviewee, Col. Bob Crowley, stated,
Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible. Surveys, for instance, were totally unreliable but reinforced that everything we were doing was right and we became a self-licking ice cream cone.
According to the Post,
John Sopko, the head of the federal agency that conducted the interviews, acknowledged to The Post that the documents show “the American people have constantly been lied to.” The interviews are the byproduct of a project led by Sopko’s agency, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. Known as SIGAR, the agency was created by Congress in 2008 to investigate waste and fraud in the war zone.
So, there you have it. A one-trillion-dollar war built on intentional, deliberate, and knowing lies, just like the Vietnam War was. More than 2,300 American soldiers killed for nothing. Thousands more injured, mentally, spiritually, or physically. Tens of thousands of Afghans killed, maimed, incarcerated, or tortured. The entire country destroyed.
And for what? For nothing! Those U.S. soldiers killed and died for nothing, just as we at The Future of Freedom Foundation were maintaining would happen even before the invasion of Afghanistan started, when interventionists were accusing of us “hating America.”
Moreover, just think about how they have destroyed our freedom and privacy here at home, in the name of protecting us from the “terrorists” who they have been generating with their “war on terrorism” in both Afghanistan and the Middle East. Americans have ended up with the loss of both freedom and security, with a massive toll in terms of death and suffering, with a mountain of federal debt, and with one great big pack of lies.
Most of the troops know the truth, just as most Americans know it. According to the Pew Research Center, “Nearly 18 years since the start of the war in Afghanistan and 16 years since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, majorities of U.S. military veterans say those wars were not worth fighting, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of veterans. A parallel survey of American adults finds that the public shares those sentiments.”
Will any Pentagon official go to jail for lying to the American people on something so critically important as war? Are you kidding? Did former Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Jr., go to jail for lying to Congress about the secret surveillance that the NSA was carrying out as part of its much-vaunted “war on terrorism”? Of course not. it’s only private citizens who lie to federal officials who get sent to jail for lying. Since national-security state officials are lying to protect “national security,” they get a pass whenever they are caught lying to the American people.
I think it’s also worth mentioning that the Pentagon waged its war on Afghanistan without the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war. That makes the Afghan war, and all of the death and destruction that have come with it, illegal under our form of government.
Despite eight years of having a free hand to turn Afghanistan into a paradise, as those previously secret records show, the Pentagon has succeeded in turning the country into one gigantic hellhole of violence, official corruption, and opium production.
How could it be otherwise? After conquering the country, U.S. officials installed their ideal government, one consisting of a national security state, a strong central government with omnipotent powers, no civil liberties, no due process of law, no trial by jury, no protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, no bar against cruel and unusual punishments, massive public works and other socialist programs, and a centrally managed economy. What better prescription for disaster than that?
President Trump obviously didn’t fall for the Pentagon’s lies. When he recently visited the troops during Thanksgiving, he sneaked into the country in the dead of night and stayed only three hours before quickly returning to Washington. Too bad he didn’t bring the troops home with him and instead left them there to continue killing and dying for nothing or, to be more precise, killing and dying to sustain the Pentagon’s hellhole “paradise” of violence, corruption, drug dealing, and lies.
This article first appeared on the Future of Freedom website.