Bombshell Washington Post Report on Lies U.S. Told to Continue Afghanistan War Lauded as ‘Pentagon Papers of Our Times’
An explosive Washington Post report on the Afghanistan war is being likened to a modern-day version of the Pentagon Papers for showing how the U.S. government habitually lied about the 18-year-old, nearly $1 trillion conflict to ensure that it continued.
The Post obtained the roughly 2000 pages of documents for the report, which are primarily made up of 400 candid interviews with military leaders, diplomatic experts, and aid workers involved in the war, via the Freedom of Information Act after a three-year-long legal battle with the federal government.
The interviews were carried out by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction for their “Lessons Learned” intuitive; the head of SIGAR concluded that “the American people” were “constantly lied to” about the conflict to make it seem like America was making real progress in fixing the country. The Post report noted that Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump all conveyed these lies to ensure that the public perception of the Afghanistan war remained as positive as possible.
While many officials who spoke to SIGAR believed that their confessions would never be made public, one top military leader, Gen. Douglas Lute who was the main point man for Afghanistan under both Bush and Obama, admitted in 2015, “We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan—we didn’t know what we were doing. What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.”
“If the American people knew the magnitude of this dysfunction … 2,400 lives lost,” he continued, before casting some of the blame in the conflict’s failures on “bureaucratic” issues in Washington.
Army Col. Bob Crowley told SIGAR that “every data point was altered to present the best picture possible,” adding, “Surveys, for instance, were totally unreliable but reinforced that everything we were doing was right and we became a self-licking ice cream cone.”
NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell referred to the report, which the Post broke down into individual interviews, as “reminiscent of the Pentagon Papers and Vietnam” and NPR media writer David Folkenflik called it the “the Pentagon Papers of our times.”
Watch NBC’s coverage of the report above and read the full report here.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org