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Excerpt: "Rolling Stone has now obtained a full copy of the 84-page unclassified version, which has been making the rounds within the US government, including the White House. We've decided to publish it in full; it's well worth reading for yourself. It is, in my estimation, one of the most significant documents published by an active-duty officer in the past ten years."

A US soldier in Jeluwar, Afghanistan. (photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A US soldier in Jeluwar, Afghanistan. (photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)



The Afghanistan Report the Pentagon Doesn't Want You to Read

By Michael Hastings, Rolling Stone

13 February 12

 

arlier this week, the New York Times’ Scott Shane published a bombshell piece about Lt. Colonel Daniel Davis, a 17-year Army veteran recently returned from a second tour in Afghanistan. According to the Times, the 48-year-old Davis had written an 84-page unclassified report, as well as a classified report, offering his assessment of the decade-long war. That assessment is essentially that the war has been a disaster and the military's top brass has not leveled with the American public about just how badly it’s been going. "How many more men must die in support of a mission that is not succeeding?" Davis boldly asks in an article summarizing his views in The Armed Forces Journal.

Davis last month submitted the unclassified report - titled "Dereliction of Duty II: Senior Military Leader’s Loss of Integrity Wounds Afghan War Effort" - for an internal Army review. Such a report could then be released to the public. However, according to U.S. military officials familiar with the situation, the Pentagon is refusing to do so. Rolling Stone has now obtained a full copy of the 84-page unclassified version, which has been making the rounds within the U.S. government, including the White House. We've decided to publish it in full; it's well worth reading for yourself. It is, in my estimation, one of the most significant documents published by an active-duty officer in the past ten years.

Here is the report's damning opening lines: "Senior ranking U.S. military leaders have so distorted the truth when communicating with the U.S. Congress and American people in regards to conditions on the ground in Afghanistan that the truth has become unrecognizable. This deception has damaged America’s credibility among both our allies and enemies, severely limiting our ability to reach a political solution to the war in Afghanistan." Davis goes on to explain that everything in the report is "open source" - i.e., unclassified - information. According to Davis, the classified report, which he legally submitted to Congress, is even more devastating. "If the public had access to these classified reports they would see the dramatic gulf between what is often said in public by our senior leaders and what is actually true behind the scenes," Davis writes. "It would be illegal for me to discuss, use, or cite classified material in an open venue and thus I will not do so; I am no WikiLeaks guy Part II."

According to the Times story, Davis briefed four members of Congress and a dozen staff members and sent his reports to the Defense Department’s inspector general, and of course spoke to a New York Times reporter; only after all that did he inform his chain of command what he'd been up to. Evidently Davis's truth-telling campaign has rattled the Pentagon brass, prompting unnamed officials to retaliate by threatening a bogus investigation for "possible security violations," according to NBC News.

Although Davis's critics have tried to brush off his claims as merely the opinions of a "reservist," - as Max Boot put it - his report is full of insight, analysis, and hard data that back up each one of his claims. He details the gross failure of training the Afghan Army, the military's blurring of the lines between public affairs and "information operations" (meaning, essentially, propaganda), and the Pentagon's manipulation of the U.S. media. (He expertly contrasts senior military officials public statements with the actual reality on the ground.) Davis concludes: "It is my recommendation that the United States Congress - the House and Senate Armed Services Committees in particular - should conduct a bi-partisan investigation into the various charges of deception or dishonesty in this report and hold broad hearings as well," he writes. "These hearings need to include the very senior generals and former generals whom I refer to in this report so they can be given every chance to publicly give their version of events." In other words, put the generals under oath, and then see what story they tell.


Michael Hastings is a contributing editor to Rolling Stone and author of The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan.

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+112 # papabob 2012-02-13 18:47
Heck – here we go again.

Are you trying to tell me that the guys running the war in Afghanistan aren’t telling us the whole truth? I thought you could take as Gospel anything you hear about all the wars that America is/was involved in. And from the media that clearly lets you have the whole picture. Doesn't it?

Remember how we “knew” we were winning in Vietnam? (Until it all went to hell, that is.)

And don’t forget the WMD’s. It’s pretty clear that it was America’s responsibility to invade Iraq to rid the world of the dangers that existed. (Remind me again – did we “win” that war? The one that lasted longer than any other has, and cost so many lives?)

And what about the war in Afghanistan? All these reports about spreading democracy to the rest of the world is precisely what we’re doing - isn’t it?

So, if you read stuff like this it looks like we’re at it again. Being fooled again by the guys in charge so that no one is embarrassed by having to tell the truth.

Oh well - I guess there isn’t any better way to keep people voting as they’re told.
 
 
+45 # tokyoernie 2012-02-14 00:58
Come on,these people are just Afghanis;
they're nothing but Pashtun Towel-Heads!!

I say, piss on them (of course, AFTER you've killed them - that's much safer.)

"Hey, if you want to make an omlet, "
"Hey, war is not a child's game."
"Hey, shit happens". (A new USMC motto?)

Quiz: What country is responsible for MOST of the world's WAR CRIMES??? Hint:
the one country that has a greater military budget than the military budgets of ALL OTHER COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD COMBINED. OK,that makes sense. QED.

And you ask: "Why do they hate us so?"

Yeah, well, that IS hard to figure out!
Probably they just envy our life style.
 
 
-9 # Cambridgemac 2012-02-14 09:58
They also envy our big d*cks. (and our viagra)
We TEH Awesome!
Amuhrikka! Yeah!
 
 
+34 # bluepilgrim 2012-02-14 01:16
Let's not forget Lybia. Up next, Syria and Iran.

At least half of any of these wars is the domestic propaganda programs -- "manufacturing consent" (Google that if you don't know who talked about that).

Actually, maybe 90% of government is about lying and propaganda now: that's been the major tool of fascism for many years in a 'democracy'.
 
 
+28 # RLF 2012-02-14 06:25
There must be a private first class somewhere that they can blame all of this on...right?
 
 
+102 # BobHG 2012-02-13 20:40
Now watch Lt. Col. Davis be vilified and hounded by the corporatocracy.
 
 
+102 # Tippitc 2012-02-13 22:36
Thank you Lt. Col. Davis for your bravery and honesty. I ask "whatever gods may be" that you do not pay too high a price for your honesty.
The military brass lying to the public - same old story. How many more must die to perpetuate this sham?!
 
 
+25 # Majikman 2012-02-14 00:22
This comes as a shock? Of course the brass lies. Gotta keep the military industrial complex thriving or where else will they go when the retire? Need those big bucks consulting and lobbying jobs.
 
 
+39 # X Dane 2012-02-14 00:30
Unfortunately, a bipartisan investigation is not going to make a difference, because the military and the factories making all the hardware for death, is spread over the whole country so both republicans and democrats are in the claws of the military.

It is something most Americans would protest wildly. but the truth is, we are ruled by the military, and if the president goes against it, as I think Kennedy intended to do. He will not live long.

Our economy is based on death. I am sure our biggest export is weapons. It is very sad, for I don't know what we can do to change it.

I worry for Col. Davis. He has seriously rocked the boat, and that is very dangerous.
I love this country, so it makes me very sad to see what we have become. I think , if Eisenhower came to life and saw where we are today, he would be deeply shocked and lament: You didn't listen to my warning. We sure didn't
 
 
+14 # Doubter 2012-02-14 00:42
Any war you can afford to lose is a war you should never start - whether you are pro or anti war.
 
 
+26 # angelfish 2012-02-14 01:00
Duh?...and we're supposed to be surprised by this "stunning revelation"? To NOT know that this exersize in futility was going badly, you'd have to be deaf, dumb and BLIND! While it's TRUE that dubya and his War-Mongering Couch Potatos beat the drum long and loud for these Wars, I had hoped they would have been resolved more quickly when the Administration changed. President Obama needs to CEASE ALL Military operations in the Middle East and Bring the Troops Home NOW, ALL of them. They need to come home out of harm's way and help the REST of us get our OWN Country up and running again. Pouring more and more of our hard earned Tax Dollars into the Middle East is Futile and we might as well have flushed it down the Toilet for all the good it has done. Bin Ladin was a tactical Genius in draining our Treasury the way he did! Lt. Colonel Davis will probably be vilified by the Industrial Military Complex that LOVES War and all it's attendant money making operations. They have enough fire power to destroy the ENTIRE Planet, let alone, the Middle East but like their Mega-Wealthy Promoters all they EVER want is More, More More! ENOUGH! LEAVE the Middle East! Bring the Troops Home NOW!
 
 
+27 # Jorge 2012-02-14 01:22
We need more insiders like Lt. Col. Davis to speak up now, before the next MIC War (Iran). The Repugs and Dems both are beholden to the MIC (campaign money, future employment, "defense" jobs in one's district). Even conservative Buchanan yesterday described the "War Party" in Washington that is hooked on war, like a heroin addict. Obama is part of the MIC now, listen to his SOU speech glorifying the military....30, 000 drones approved to fly over U.S. cities (to head off Occupy efforts?). What's next? Time to dust off Eisenhower's warning and play it again.
 
 
+20 # Patriot 2012-02-14 13:06
It wouldn't hurt, either, if Americans who think "we" ought to go overseas and and settle someone else's hash would take our sons and husbands and brothers by the hand and drag them to the nearest recriuting station. While all the things Col. Davis wrote almost certainly are both accurate and true, lots of people in this country ought to be looking in the mirror and asking, where were you when everyone was stampeding to make a "pre-emptive strike" against a tiny country in which a bombastic egotist was shooting of his mouth, and not the weapons of mass destruction everyone but the United States apparently knew he didn't have?
The vast number of American people who spoke up at all thought that invading Iraq -- when we were just about to close in on Bin Laden and his coherts -- was a dandy idea, but they'd have gone into orbit if Congess had reinstituted the draft. So, instead of all the American people bearing the burden of Bush's ego-trip in Iraq and what has been an absolute in Afghanistan since he jerked our troops our of that very just campaign to fight our illegal invasion of a sovereign nation that presented no threat to us whatsoever, the same few people have serve four or more 18-month or longer tours in the most vicious combat since Korea.
Bush and his criminal administration were wrong, and Congress was was -- and so were all the war-happy American people who supported what is beginning t look like endless, useless warfare.
 
 
+14 # Douglas Jack 2012-02-14 01:30
All war can be avoided through the bravery of dialogue. We have a situation of moral cowards unwilling to face their adversaries equally in equal time recorded published dialogue. It is no mistake that in the Republican and Democratic parties, Chicken-Hawks want war while real soldiers and veterans want peace. The following article Both-Sides-Now is an easy dialogue process for any two people to explore similarities & difference. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/structure/1-both-sides-now-article
 
 
+30 # MainStreetMentor 2012-02-14 04:17
Lt. Col. Davis's report is EXACTLY why the United States Congress must act to protect "whistle blowers". Without brave persons such as Lt. Col. Davis, the truth is otherwise supressed and denied the open exposure it MUST have if our democratic way of life is to be honored and preserved.
 
 
+27 # animas 2012-02-14 06:05
War mongering all over the planet is what the corporate owned US government is doing. Largely, it's a grab for the last bit of resources. As our world burns they still talk of growth and profits! The corporations know no limits. Collectively, we've gone insane — shutting down the life systems of the planet. ~~When this place looks like a moonscape don't say I didn't warn you! ~~ ~~That's the way its always been...men love war. That's what HIS story is for.~~ —Joni Mitchell
 
 
+15 # 666 2012-02-14 06:51
guess we'll be looking to invade some caribbean island so we can kick some ass and redeem america's honor. "smile for the camera and hold the flag higher"
 
 
+7 # Cambridgemac 2012-02-14 10:04
Or Canada. Why not Canada? It's closer. They (mostly) speak and understand English. There are reliable maps. The food is familiar, so we won't have to spend $50 billion a year shipping meatloaf and mashed potatos by Air Express. And most Americans would agree that it's not "really" another country, so it's not "really" an invasion!
Plus, Canadians are used to being pushed around by us. How about when LBJ picked up the Canadian Prime Minister, Lear Pearson, by his lapels, shook him and shouted at him for opposing the War in Vietnam.
Face it, it's going to be a lot easier to kill the right people there without incurring too many costs.
 
 
-8 # Patriot 2012-02-14 12:54
Guess you never heard of C-rations or MREs, huh? It's a sure thing you never had to eat them day after day!
 
 
+11 # Ken Hall 2012-02-14 07:08
Maybe nothing will happen to him while the MIC is focused, using lies and bogus incitements such as were used to get us into Iraq, on starting a "preemptive" war with Iran.
 
 
+18 # lcarrier 2012-02-14 07:14
Why is it that so much time and money are spent on elections, when the their results don't seem to matter? Could it be that our democracy is just a shell game that's being played on us by the military-indust rial-political complex? Sounds about right.
 
 
+12 # walt 2012-02-14 07:21
Regarding this war, we Americans have been careful to say that we are angry at the war and not our military who follow orders. Much of that thinking comes from the Vietnam era where we blamed the military.

This information, however, shows that our own military leaders are willing to lie to the Congress and the public. That is an outrage, although no surprise to many of us.

Americans need to demand answers and that includes the unjust invasion of Iraq as well. We still spend $2 billion per week for Afghanistan!
 
 
+11 # Cambridgemac 2012-02-14 10:14
Quoting walt:
Regarding this war, we Americans have been careful to say that we are angry at the war and not our military who follow orders. Much of that thinking comes from the Vietnam era where we blamed the military.


Well, I was around during the Vietnam War and I don't remember "us" blaning the military.

Remember the phrase, "The Establishment?" That was the banks, the CEOs, the university presidents, the lawyers. Not the grunts.

Half of all antiwar activists WERE IN THE MILITARY. The myth that atniwar Americans blamed the military is a diversion technique to coverup the massive and very active opposition to the war in the military itself, culminating in tens of thousands of desertions and thousands of deaths of officers (fragging). Read up on it.
http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2006/1/18/16213/1634/21#21
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fragging
 
 
+1 # Patriot 2012-02-14 12:51
I beg to differ. Our men were spat upon and reviled after they returned from Vietnam. The latterday expressions of pride in our Armed Forces have made 50- and 60- and 70-year old veterans cry. In all these years, only once, and recently, has anyone ever thanked my husband for his service. Last year, for the first time in my life, I stood up with other veterans--darne d few of us, too--to receive the applause of an audience during a concert that I was unaware beforehand always is dedicated to the present and former members of our Armed Forces. Those were genuine, and involuntary, tears that rolled down my cheeks.
I don't have to read up on the inventions that have tried to cover up what thousands of men remember with agony: That their fellow countrymen told them they had been fools and dupes to serve, and were not worthy of honor or pride.
Obviously, you never served, or you would not be so eagerly displaying your utter lack of knowledge.
 
 
+3 # Firehawk70 2012-02-14 23:58
I think you misunderstood his comment. I don't think he's denying the mistreatment of veterans at all, but pointing out that a good deal of anti-war protests featured veterans themselves, even Vietnam veterans. He was specifically arguing against the previous commenter saying that "we" blamed the military. "We blamed the military" implies that only civilians blamed the military and soldiers took no part in blaming the military (or govt).
I see both of their points. There was a visible and purposeful shift in attitude in the last decade to honor soldiers as much as possible. That in itself is not a bad thing, but at times I have doubted the sincerity of some of the attempts I have seen. Sometimes it seems like patronizing overcompensatio n or even shameful self-promotions (military discounts to make stores sound like they care -- and some might, but just as many only want to make a buck).
I sang in a choral concert last year where we had the military folks all stand up while we sang an insipidly patriotic song and I'm just not sure that the chorus or audience really grasped the gravity of what it truly means to honor the soldiers who fight wars. Singing a song by Barry Manilow just isn't it. It just didn't feel like humans were connecting on such a serious issue of war. I visited Walter Reed last summer and that was shocking. Honoring veterans is more about recognizing injuries to bodies, minds, and families than it is about waving a plastic flag made in China.
 
 
+6 # Patriot 2012-02-15 16:12
Firehawk, I wryly agree with you about the shift in attitude. While it's very touching to have someone say thank you for your service, I think some of the business involvement IS only for their profit. At the risk of being shot down, I also wish our servicemen and servicewomen weren't routinely referred to as heroes -- mostly by the press, and perhaps more for their credit than the military's. (Even those who truely are, squirm with embarrasment when they're called heroes.)
EVERY person who puts on a uniform isn't a hero. EVERY veteran, even of combat, isn't a hero. I hope I'm putting this clearly, but, IMHO, labelling ALL servicemen as heroes rather trivializes the word, and the incredible selflessness of those who have acted "above and beyond the call of duty", which is the official criteria for recognizing an act as having been heroic.
BIG however: The folks who've served in Iraq and Afghanistan have been asked to do more than any of our people since Korea, which even the WWII vets said was rougher than their war. Our men and women are spending too much time without relief, without time in a relatively safe rear area, and are being sent back way too many times. We've NEVER done this to our Armed Forces before, and it's a disgrace that I blame on Congress, because they don't have the guts to re-institue the draft for a pair of wars we wouldn't be fighting if there were a draft.
 
 
+20 # stonecutter 2012-02-14 07:35
There ought to be a huge bronze plaque at the main entrance to the Pentagon with George Santayana's famous quotation in high relief, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". The operative word being "condemned", because that's what we are, as long as we continue interminable, pointless wars that use up our young troops and their families, and so much of our national treasure, for clearly senseless goals, impossible to achieve, unless you put war-profiteerin g at the head of the list.

What we learned from the strategic catastrophe that befell the Soviet Union as a direct consequence of their 9-year fool's errand in Afghanistan between 1979-88, to prop up their puppet communist regime, wouldn't fill a small thimble. We ended up financing and training the very same bastards that attacked us on 9/11, and we've impeccably re-created the Soviet debacle there, right down to propping up a so-called "ally" that has played us like a fiddle while supplying the world with opium, exerting far less influence in the region than either Al Qaeda or the Taliban.

After Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, you can make a solid case for perpetual war being much less about "protecting our freedoms" (a load of propaganda bullshit nonpareil) than the military-indust rial-congressio nal complex's MO for perpetuating the transfer of taxpayer wealth into private hands. The public is left holding a massive bag of debt to China...what pathetic suckers we are!
 
 
+23 # Patriot 2012-02-14 07:40
As a lifelong member of the U. S. military family, words cannot express my pride in Col. Davis' thorough, anguished report to the Congress and the people he serves. Sadly, the lack of honesty and integrity he describes among senior military officers has grown visibly during my lifetime. Remember the Tailgate scandal? It was a typical farce and a pitiful exposure of senior brass morality. I've always been deeply proud of our Armed Forces, and I've raged in fury and squirmed in mortification every time Pentagon brass have gone into their by-now predictable softshoe of denial of something I know they'll eventually have to admit, and their subsequent placement of blame as far down the scale of rank and privilege as they can: onto a junior officer or, even more disgusting, an enlisted person.
The last senior officers in whom I had impicit trust were the Marines' gallant Lt. General Chesty Puller; the Navy's magnificent Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz; Army's beloved General Mark Clark; and the Army Air Corps' selfless Brig. General Billy Mitchell.
Col. Davis has sacrified his career on the altar of integrity and service to our nation. Thank you, Colonel. Well done. Fair winds and following seas, sir.
Readers, please join me in sending a copy of Col. Davis' report to your Representatives and Senators and insisting that they investigate these allegations, most of which cannot possibly be a surprise to them, then TAKE PROMPT CORRECTIVE ACTION.
 
 
0 # Robt Eagle 2012-02-14 14:05
Patriot, thank you for your service. My son is in Afghanistanrigh t now with his SEAL Team, and my daughter is about to transfer to her next assignment from a destroyer out of Norfolk to a cruiser out of Pearl Harbor. Both are graduates of the Naval Academy in Annapolis and went into the Navy because we lost 48 people from my town on 9/11/2001. Each of my three children had three dear close friends who lost a parent on that day. My youngest is training to get a contract to BUDs. I truly appreciate the sacrifice of all our military. I taught SCUBA diving and ran trips with a friend who was a SEAL commander in Vietnam and he to this day can pump out 50 perfect pushups and run like a deer. We would make 60 foot surface dives, back in the day, and stay down for 3 minutes hunting fish with hand spears in Newport, RI and all along the south shore of Long Island, NY. Tom's service during Vietnam was quite intense, but he only had good memories of all those he served with. Many of my son and duaghter's classmates from USNA are serving all over the world as Naval and Marine Corps officers and they are the finest young men and women with very high morals and ethics.
 
 
0 # Patriot 2012-02-14 23:56
Robt Eagle, you undoubtedly share my feeling of being a member of "the military family". Every single loss of one of our people, every family waiting at home, every idiotic thing the brass does, all are personal to us. I am grateful to our fellow Americans who now praise and offer their support to all of the extended Armed Forces family, but it saddens me that so few Americans have any comprehension of what it is like to serve or to wait at home. Life in the Armed Forces is difficult, whether you wear a uniform or live with someone who does, but it also is enriched by a cameradery that spans the several branches the service, the generations of those who have served and waited, the greenest recruit and the oldest, now feeble, veteran, and those who have and have not been in combat. I've been a member of the military community since August, 1950, and am prouder today than ever of our people. They are not heroes, just ordinary Americans who live extraordinary lives and do the best they can even in the most difficult circumstances. I count myself as among the most fortunate of people, to have grown up in, served in, and remained a member of this wonderful community for 62 years.
 
 
+12 # R-stacey 2012-02-14 08:57
You would think that after all the other attempts to concur this country has failed, that our great moral leaders would know better than to try it again! Just like Vietnam,the French got ran out and we were too. Does the corperate run military not study world hiistory?
 
 
+13 # bugbuster 2012-02-14 11:18
The war has been outsourced. Soon the opinions of military officers won't matter.

As many private contractors died in combat in 2011 as military. Those numbers are probably low because the private firms are not required to report anything.

When those firms run out of work overseas, watch for one near you.
 
 
+7 # karenvista 2012-02-14 18:02
Quoting bugbuster:
The war has been outsourced.


And the reason that the "training" of Afghan Police and Military never gets done correctly is that the training has been done by contractors for the last ten years.

If they actually finished the job, as any normal officer would have, they would be out of work. SO, they never complete the job and we continue to pay them decade after decade.

Is there no oversight or are all the contractors cronies of the DOD?
 
 
+3 # Firehawk70 2012-02-15 00:09
It should be pretty clear that those "contractors" were not exactly non-military. Almost all private contractors were in the military before being drafted by the Corporation. The profit margins on pre-trained soldiers are much bigger. I doubt that those companies even hire 18 year old blank slates to train. Only a government could shoulder costs like that - ours does, and then Erik Prince profits off the backs of taxpayers, playing the most dangerous game.
 
 
+10 # myungbluth 2012-02-14 12:01
Why, oh why aren't these questions being put to the presidential contenders - including Obama. Get the cameras rolling while they try to weasle out of answering, or lying as they inevitable will. In the real world, you don't always succeed with every attempted venture. How many more lives will it take to cover up what we already know: like the Russians before us, there is no POSSIBLE success for the U.S. in Afghanistan!
 
 
+7 # Buddha 2012-02-14 12:10
"In 1964 he returned
from a tour of advisory command in Vietnam and things started to
slip. The report to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Lyndon Johnson
was restricted. Seems they didn't dig what he had to tell them." -Apocalypse Now
 
 
+10 # bracero 2012-02-14 12:12
Prior to the time President elect OBama took office, I wrote him a letter urging him to get out of Afghanistan.
I pointed out that Alexander the Great, The English Empire and Russia had all failed to conquer Afghanistan and so would we. I stated history showed Afghanistan to be a morass of separate fiefdoms that could not live in peace with each other and never has had a central government.
I got back a form letter that had no reference to the content of my letter. This entire fiasco may be summed up by history great Arnold Toynbee's statement, "Those who refuse to accept the teachings of history are doomed to repeat them."
 
 
+12 # Robt Eagle 2012-02-14 12:14
Maybe in the future all politicians should be required to have served in the military. If they are making decisions to go to war, then they should at least have served and learned what it is they are requiring others to go into battle to do.
 
 
+5 # Patriot 2012-02-14 12:39
Second your motion!!
 
 
+3 # mebemo 2012-02-15 16:58
The only problem with this idea is that it will bar from politics anyone who is opposed to militarism in the first place.

As a counterbalance, what about all politicians being required to enroll in non-violent conflict resolution courses?

I salute the courage of the Eagles and Patriots who risk their lives. I thank them for their service. The question is whether every cause promoted by the war establishment is worth that risk. It takes courage to stand against violence, too.

There are war memorial statues all over the place with soldiers holding their wounded and fallen comrades, all very heroic, but I've yet to see one with somebody actually missing an arm or leg. That aspect of war gets omitted somehow. But not in the lives of those who pay the price.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one..."
 
 
+8 # Pwarren 2012-02-14 13:47
Very good book:
Top Secret America
Dana Priest and William Arkin
Now this Lt. Colonel contributes to the acumulation - good on him.
But God - what a mess.
I have never seen so many people in charge of circumstances who I think have surely escaped from the criminaly insane mental hospital. Problem being - just how does one put them back before they totally ruin everything for everyone.
 
 
0 # Pwarren 2012-02-14 14:13
RSS
You acknowledge my comments but never print them - what gives?
PWarren
 
 
+3 # phredcat 2012-02-14 15:50
None of the following is to be taken to believe that I am excusing the military.
"Senior military have so distorted the truth . . ." Fascinating in the sense of "what's new?" The pols distort and lie, the military distorts and lies and the people listen to and believe distortions an lies purveyed by talking heads whose only objective is to make money from those prefer not to do their own thinking.
 
 
0 # freelyb 2012-02-15 21:29
But now we have credible, tangible truth of what you just said.
 
 
+5 # stonecutter 2012-02-15 00:06
I also served in Air Force Intel in West Berlin at the apex of the Cold War. I was spared the hell of combat, but we still risked our lives in slo-mo behind the Iron Curtain, a few hundred yards from no-man's land, doing critical and fascinating work that taught me how Intel is processed, and some hard truth about the gap between what our leaders know, and what they decide to tell the rest of us.

All these years later, what am I doing here?
I'm no lockstep lefty, although I pride myself in being progressive on issues that matter to the integrity of the Constitution I swore and oath as a young man to protect and defend, which are matters of free expression, fairness, social justice, due process and equal protection under the law. At the same time, I'm proud of my service, despite the ways the use of our military has been co-opted since 9/11 by pernicious nationalism and neoconservatism , and the insidious "1% doctrine" promulgated by Cheney and his ilk, as a blanket justification for pre-emptive war.

In ten short years, this country has morphed into something unrecognizable from the time in which I served, notwithstanding Vietnam and its byproducts of domestic turmoil and upheaval. Back then, with a civilian draft, right or wrong, we all had skin in the game, we all felt the issues intensely. The war was "everyone's business." Not any more. It takes a guy like Lt. Col. Davis to bring that home to everyone willing to listen. Col. Davis, I salute you.
 
 
+4 # RJB 2012-02-15 10:45
We are in fact a militarized nation. Our children are seduced and exploited into joining the military that serves corporate war profiteering. And then someone says that there are bad guys out there, and they want to harm us and our youngsters have to fight for our freedom. A must read is "Back to Our Future" by David Sirota. It begins to explain how we got this way. I almost want to say that we get the government that we deserve. Sirota points out that recruitment went up 400% when "Top Gun" was released and that it is played continually, 24/7, on one or another cable channel today. We are so concerned about the titillation of sexual pornography, but so tolerant of the porn of violence that we allow our children to indulge in it for hours and hours in countless settings. The children of the rich don't seem to be so seduced into becoming bullies of the empire. The message they get elsewhere must be that becoming a dog faced soldier is only for the 99%. Of course, when they inherit positions of power from their parents, they are so willing to use their power to exploit the masses. We're supposed to be paying attention.
 
 
0 # Michael Lee Bugg 2012-02-16 16:50
Amen!!! This country has glamorized and glorified war since our Revolution in the 1770's! Our first elective, shall we say preemptive war based on a false pretense was the War of 1812, so this kind of nonsense goes back nearly to our beginning. The last war that actually involved a remote threat to our freedom was WW2. No war since then involved a real threat to us HERE! My dad received the Bronze Star in Germany in WW2 for taking out three German machine guns on a hill like in the movie, Saving Private Ryan, but he did it with just one other man. He did not consider himself to be a hero! He just did something so someone else would not have to do it. Marine General Smedley Butler said it best, "War is just a racket!"
 
 
+2 # Skeeziks 2012-02-15 18:14
"It is my recommendation that the United States Congress - the House and Senate Armed Services Committees in particular - should conduct a bi-partisan investigation into the various charges of deception or dishonesty in this report and hold broad hearings as well,"

I doubt that we will ever see a full, bi-partisan investigation.
We have the most corrupt government ever. And I feel ever so sad about that.
 
 
+2 # freelyb 2012-02-15 21:27
May the force be with you, Daniel Davis....
 
 
+4 # Jill of York 2012-02-16 15:35
Same old crap. Different war. And so we find ourselves in a war like Vietnam all over again but our government and the military are too cowardly to admit it. The Generals comply with our government to protect their rank while our soldiers and civilians continue to die for a cause that never was and never will be. We just keep sending more troops and throwing billions of borrowed dollars, which we can never repay, down a rat hole. And for what? For the profits of the military industrial complex? Angry? You're damn straight I'm angry. Roger that.
 

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