After the Afghanistan Papers were released by the Washington Post last week, anti-war activists hoped that the revelations would cause the military-industrial complex to re-evaluate their failed policies.
The Pentagon has effectively shot down those hopes, making it abundantly clear that they will not be changing their policies because of their immense, systemic failure. The military-industrial complex will continue on unabated.
“I haven’t read all the stories frankly… but the stories spanned multiple administrations, multiple uniformed and civilian officials and I think it’s good to look back. I think at this point where I’m looking is forward,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper told the House Armed Services Committee hearing last week.
Top Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman denied the facts, and claimed last week that his agency has always told the truth to the public. He said he would “quibble with the idea that we weren’t providing it in the past.”
“I think what we see from the report from The Washington Post is, looking at individuals giving retrospectives years later on what they may have believed at the time,” Hoffman said.
Similiar to Hoffman, deposed Secretary of Defense James Mattis ignored the new revelations completely. He continues to urge for a permanent occupation of Afghanistan, and claims against all evidence that progress is being made.
“The Taliban’s goal is to take over this country and they’ve been stopped in that at great cost to the Afghan people, at great cost to the Afghan army. If you read [the articles], you’d almost think it’s a total disaster, and it’s not that at all. It’s been hard as hell but it’s not just one undistinguished defeat after another. They are the ones on the back foot,” he said.
James Carafano, a defense expert for the neoconservative Heritage Foundation, noted that the public is too dumbed down and distracted to even really care all that much that they have been lied to.
“With the Pentagon Papers, there was an antiwar movement. … Whether you thought the substance of The Washington Post pieces were true or not, it’s not uncovering a raw nerve the way the Pentagon Papers did,” Carafano said – comparing the revelations to the Pentagon Papers leaked in 1971 that exposed corruption related to U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
“Whereas the Pentagon Papers was like throwing a match on a gasoline car, the Washington Post piece is like throwing a match on wet grass,” he added.
Liberty Conservative News reported last week about the bombshell that will change nothing:
“Journalists perused 2,000 pages of interviews obtained due to a Freedom of Information Act request. In those documents, they discovered that influential U.S. officials have known that the war was a losing effort for years. These perspectives were largely suppressed to the public so the agenda preferred by the military-industrial complex could continue.
“If the American people knew the magnitude of this dysfunction … 2,400 lives lost. Who will say this was in vain?” said retired Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, who advised former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama on Afghanistan policy, in a Feb. 2015 interview.
Bob Crowley, a former counterinsurgency adviser in Afghanistan from 2013 to 2014, noted that the “truth was rarely welcome” within a military bureaucracy that “just wanted to hear good news, so bad news was often stifled.”
“Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible,” Crowley said. “Surveys, for instance, were totally unreliable but reinforced that everything we were doing was right, and we became a self-licking ice cream cone.”
Lt. Col. Daniel Davis confirmed that Pentagon brass and other interventionist officials knew the war was unwinnable, but knowingly perpetrated lies and allowed troops to die needlessly for a lost cause.
“This stuff has been known,” Davis said.
“It was known at all levels,” he added. “They have known from the beginning that the war was unwinnable, but they continued to say the exact opposite.”
“How many more men still have to die before we finally do the right thing?” he asked.”
Endless war will never be coming to an end, regardless of what revelations come out in the press. The empire has won, and the troops will never be coming home.