Massive Document Release Proves Government Has Been Lying to Americans About War in Afghanistan
By Jake Morphonios
December 9, 2019
A massive trove of 2,000 damning documents has been obtained by the Washington Post which provides proof that the US government has been lying to the American people for 18 years about our war in Afghanistan. The documents, which are being called “The Afghanistan Papers”, are brimming with evidence of a systematic, concerted effort by the government to lie to our citizens in order to keep the war going.
Over the last 3 years, the Washington Post has been involved in 2 federal Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against the US government to try to pry the documents loose from and make them public. Say what you will about political leanings of the Post, the fact is that in this matter they have provided an invaluable service to the American people by forcing the government to release thousands of pages of material that expose the secret machinations of the deep state and its military industrial complex.
The Afghanistan Papers include interviews with more than 600 insiders who had intimate knowledge of various aspects of the war. In the interviews, the insiders offer highly critical complaints, shocking confessions and very explicit explanations about their frustrations with the war effort. In addition to the interviews, numerous government memos shed light on the plot to keep the United States mired in an unwinnable war in Afghanistan.
Back in 2014, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), an agency created by Congress to investigate waste and fraud, conducted a fact-finding project entitled “Lessons Learned”. It was an $11 million project, ostensibly to figure out how the US government had wasted money during the Afghanistan war to avoid repeating the same mistakes in later wars.
SIGAR interviewed over 600 individuals who had firsthand experience with the US war activities and expenditures, as well as interviews with Afghan and NATO officials. These individuals included several former US ambassadors, White House and Pentagon officials, military generals and other government insiders.
While several of the people interviewed did so on the record, SIGAR offered the interviewees anonymity to encourage open and honest statements without the people having to fear retribution. With this option on the table, approximately 90% of those who came forward chose to keep their names anonymous.
When the Washington Post sued for full access to the SIGAR reports, they argued that the American public has the right to know the names of the government employees who made statements. As of this writing, the court has not yet ruled on whether SIGAR must release the names of the government officials. Rather than wait for that ruling, the Post has opted to publish the papers they have obtained without the full names’ disclosures.
The Afghanistan Papers show that US officials knew, without any doubt, that the USA was not making any progress, whatsoever, in winning the war in Afghanistan. For example, a three-star Army general named Douglas Lute, who served as the Afghan war czar during both the Bush and Obama administrations, complained,
“What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.”
General Lute suggested in a 2015 interview that if the American people knew that thousands of US troops were dying in Afghanistan due to the ineptitude of the politicians in Congress, the bureaucratic stupidity of pencil pushers in the White House and State Department and the war hawks in the Defense Department, our citizens would know that these troops were dying in vain and would likely express their opposition.
Others interviewees make the same points – that the various bureaucracies within the US government have consistently lied to the public, confidently stating that the USA was winning the war and simply needed more time to complete the victory. And, in the process, out of the 775,000 US troops deployed to Afghanistan since 2001, more than 20,000 of them have needlessly become casualties of a war that the government has known all along that it could not win.
The Afghanistan Papers show that this corruption has remained endemic. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both promoted very different plans to win the war, however both plans were so flawed that neither stood a chance of producing a military victory in Afghanistan – which is exactly what the military industrial complex wanted.
I well-remember the presidential campaign of candidate George W. Bush between 1999-2000. At the time, I was still a loyal paleoconservative Republican. I recognized that, despite Bush’s claims that he was adamantly opposed to nation-building, the fact was that Bush was completely surrounded by neoconservatives who clearly had nation-building agendas.
Despite the seeming inevitability of a Bush victory in the Republican primaries, I chose to do my part to stop his victory. Knowing that Bush’s main opponent, John McCain, was as bad (or worse) than Bush, I got a job as the regional campaign manager in North Carolina for the 3rd strongest candidate in the large Republican field: libertarian-leaning billionaire, Steve Forbes.
I traveled throughout North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee warning my fellow Republicans of the dangers that a Bush presidency would pose, including a guarantee of new wars in the Middle East for the benefit of the cabal that surrounded the Bush family – financial elites who were heavily invested in military industry corporations such as the Carlyle Group and Halliburton.
Immediately after the September 11th attacks, President Bush rejected every reasonable offer by the Taliban-controlled government in Afghanistan to cooperate with the United States. Bush was determined to go to war and no amount of cooperation from the Taliban was going to change that.
After the psychologically traumatizing false flag attacks of 9/11, which were orchestrated by the Israeli Mossad and the CIA (with funding and support from Saudi Arabia and the Pakistani ISI) it wasn’t hard to persuade the American people to fall in line behind the president. After all, he wasn’t calling for a big war against Afghanistan itself. He was simply asking for support for a limited campaign to root out Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda operatives.
In fact, reflecting on the futile quagmire of the relatively recent Soviet war in Afghanistan, President Bush told Americans that he would not repeat the mistakes of the past. In a speech at the Virginia Military Institute, he said:
“The history of military conflict in Afghanistan [has] been one of initial success, followed by long years of floundering and ultimate failure. We’re not going to repeat that mistake.”
Unfortunately, the citizens of nations are quick to cede God-given rights over to their governments, ignoring the glaring risks and historical precedents, in times of panic. We trusted our government to get in and get out of Afghanistan rapidly. But the fact is that just weeks after the September 11th attacks and the rapid US invasion of Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden had fled into Pakistan. We knew he wasn’t in Afghanistan anymore.
Rather than withdraw our troops, the political puppets of the war industry expanded the goal of the United States from simply going after bin Laden to one of total regime change and massive nation-building. But before Halliburton and other US corporations could go in and rebuild Afghanistan on the taxpayer’s dime, the country’s infrastructure first had to be destroyed. So, America proceeded to bomb anything of value and turn it to rubble to necessitate western corporations to come in and rebuild everything.
Western corporations profiting off the destruction by rebuilding the country’s infrastructure and installing a puppet regime to grant western corporations the rights to Afghanistan’s natural resources supplanted the original goal of combatting terrorism. Though, truth be told, combatting terrorism was never the true goal of the neocons to begin with.
President George W. Bush had lied to the American people, contradicting all the promises he had made as a candidate to abstain from foreign intervention and nation-building. And, we know that he expanded these nation-building activities into other countries as well.
Sick of the constant wars, voters turned to Barack Obama who promised to end the war in Afghanistan. Once in office, he continued the wars – ironically being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in the process.
And since assuming office in early 2017, President Donald Trump has taken action after action to keep the bloody conflict going, just as his predecessors. Like Bush and Obama before him, Trump has utterly betrayed the American people on behalf of the military industrial complex and their money-grubbing investors. He has increased fighting forces in Afghanistan – an unequivocal violation of his frequent campaign promises to extricate America from this unwinnable nightmare.
This is not a matter of personal opinion. We need only consult publicly available statistics published by the Pentagon’s Defense Manpower Data Center. In the final days of the Obama administration, the United States had 198,000 US military personnel deployed in foreign countries.
Today, the Trump administration claims a figure of only 174,000 personnel deployments. On its face, it appears that President Trump has reduced deployments by 26,000 personnel. That, however, is false. What has changed is not a reduction in deployments, but in accounting practices. Claiming a need to “protect our forces”, the Trump administration no longer provides public data on the number of troops deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and certain other war theaters. In other words, the Trump administration is hiding from the American people the number of military personnel that the president has placed around the world – in the name of “protecting our troops”.
But taking the available data on known military personnel deployments into account in the countries where deployments are now secret, the estimated troop levels are no less than the number of deployments at the beginning of the Trump presidency. Donald Trump is not reducing troop levels. In fact, troops deployments are on the rise. Just last week, multiple reports were released indicating that Trump is preparing to deploy between 7,000-14,000 more troops to Saudi Arabia.
Setting aside the traditional troop deployments, back in 2017, President Trump adopted a proposal that would further mask US war activity in Afghanistan by vastly increasing American “private contractors”, otherwise known as mercenaries-for-hire. The proposal to privatize the war in Afghanistan originated from Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater and the brother of Trump’s Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.
At the time that the president accepted the proposal, the United States already had 26,000 mercenaries on its payroll in Afghanistan and had paid out over $100 billion to them over the previous 16 years. With the addition of at least 5,500 more private mercenaries to Afghanistan, the US presence in the war-torn country has dramatically increased since Trump took office.
Voters who chose Donald Trump based on his ardent promises to reduce imperialist interventionism have been betrayed. Voters who chose Donald Trump based on his promises to fight the deep state have been betrayed. Under President Trump, the spigots of blood money have been burst open, showering Wall Street bankers and war industry investors.
It can be argued that our elected presidents don’t withdraw from wars because they aren’t actually the ones in charge. It can be argued that the vast deep state bureaucracy, which is run by an unelected shadow government, is chiefly responsible for the ongoing conflicts.
But it cannot be argued that President Trump and his predecessors have had no other choice but to support these wars. Trump supporters believe him to be a foe of the deep state – an independent strong man who has the power to drain the swamp. If that is true, then the fact that Trump has personally ordered actions to ramp up the bloody conflicts in Afghanistan and other theaters is especially convicting.
Still, it is true that a network of central and investment bankers, intelligence agencies, military operatives, State Department bureaucrats and an intricate cadre of corporations that profit from war constitute what we call the “deep state”. Despite the conspiratorial connotations of the phrase, a deep state does exist.
Previous generations have referred to it by different names, but its goal has always been the same: the immoral use of high-level political access and government powers to produce maximum financial windfalls for the various conspirators at the cost of the blood and misery of the innocent.
A big part of the deep state’s war plans in Afghanistan included fleecing the American tax payer out of billions and billions of our hard-earned dollars, and sending the money into Afghanistan to engage in fruitless nation-building. In the process, the vast majority of the money was utterly wasted – ending up in the pockets of corrupt bureaucrats and fueling rampant fraud and graft.
Many US officials complained that ongoing transfers of US dollars into nation-building projects were worthless, that the money was not achieving the stated purposes for which it was earmarked.
The Post cited one contractor who told SAGAR that his specific job was to figure out how to give away $3 million every single day in a particular district in Afghanistan that was no larger than an average-sized county in the United States. When a US congressman visited the Afghan district, the contractor complained to him about the absolute wasting of the money on a rural Afghan community that couldn’t possibly absorb that much money. The contractor pointed asked the congressman to consider if those US tax dollars could be better spent back home in American communities.
According to government sources, taxpayers have been made to spend around $980 billion – that’s almost a trillion dollars – on these failed nation-building projects. But rather than reassess the value of these wasteful military industrial complex projects, the US government has continued dumping money into Afghanistan like kindling on a fire.
Given the recent suggestions by President Trump that his attempt to withhold millions in aid from Ukraine was due to his concerns that Ukraine wasn’t spending US tax dollars efficiently, one has to wonder how Trump can so willfully look the other way while US tax dollars are gushing into Afghanistan like a busted fire hydrant – money that has been going into the pockets of corrupt kleptocrats for the last 18 years.
Considering that Osama bin Laden’s stated goal in his fatwa manifesto included manipulating the USA into a war to bleed our economy dry, the words of retired Navy SEAL, Jeffrey Eggers, are especially poignant. The former White House official stated:
“After the killing of Osama bin Laden, I said that Osama was probably laughing in his watery grave considering how much we have spent on Afghanistan.”
Among the intended purposes of the flood of US tax dollars into Afghanistan was the alleged goal of building up the country’s own security forces to enable them to take over the fight against the Taliban so that US forces could be withdrawn. The Papers show that there never was a sincere effort to develop the Afghan security forces into a competent replacement. The goal was to maintain US troops and American mercenary contractors in perpetuity – a process that would keep US dollars pouring into the coffers of the corporations that earn profits from the lucrative business of war and bloodshed.
Those who participated in arming and training the Afghan security forces indicated that much of the money ended up in the pockets of corrupt Afghan commanders who fabricated tens of thousands of “ghost soldiers” – claiming the salaries allotted to those soldiers for themselves.
One US military trainer said that US Special Forces hate having to work with the Afghan police due to their corruption. Another claimed that one-third of the recruits were “drug addicts or Taliban” – the very people the security forces were being trained to fight against.
Many of these Afghan security forces are among the most corrupt of men of the nation. To continue to take money out of the pockets of fathers and mothers in America who are toiling long hours to provide for their children and giving their hard-earned money to pay the salaries of these crooked Afghan security forces is a moral crime against the American people.
Additionally, the supposed US war on Afghanistan’s opium trade was a complete farce. The chief masterminds of US activities in Afghanistan is the Central Intelligence Agency. The Taliban had put an abrupt end to the opium trade. But, once the Taliban had been driven from power by the western imperialists, the CIA set out to reconstitute and expand the drug trade. Today, with the CIA in charge of the opium trade, Afghanistan is now the source of 82% of global opium production.
A great deal of our money was placed into the hands of the CIA to redevelop Afghanistan’s poppy fields and place vicious drug warlords on the CIA payroll. The profits from the opium trade do not come back to the American taxpayer that is subsidizing it, nor to the government of Afghanistan. Rather, the money is diverted into the CIA’s black ops budget to carry out other illegal and unconstitutional clandestine operations around the world on behalf of the same bankers and vulture corporatists who use the CIA as their personal paramilitary.
All along these past 18 years, as hundreds of officials claimed in the Afghanistan Papers, the US government has been manipulating statistics and producing outright false reports to persuade the American people that the Afghanistan war was being won and that it would shortly come to close. This despicable dishonesty is exactly the same kind of tactic used to perpetuate the US war in Vietnam.
The body counts in Afghanistan are being hidden, in the name of protecting our troops. Photos of flag-draped coffins returning home to America are being suppressed, in the name of protecting our troops. Everything dirty and diabolical that the deep state and their puppets in the White House are doing in Afghanistan is being obscured from the public, in the name of protecting our troops.
It’s time that we stop believing the lies of these evil war pigs. It’s time to start protecting our troops, not by justifying keeping them in a god-forsaken war that has already taken the lives of over 150,000 civilians.
It’s time to reject the propaganda of war tools like Bush, Obama and Trump who hide troop levels and body counts from us. It’s time that we protect our troops by speaking out against these war mongers and their blood money agendas. It’s time that we demand that America get the hell out of Afghanistan once and for all – utterly and completely – and bring every last one of our people home to their families where they belong.
We’ve long understood that our government has been lying to us about Afghanistan. But, now that we have access to thousands of pages of testimony from hundreds of officials with firsthand knowledge of the nightmare in Afghanistan, it’s time that we do our parts. We – the American People – must stand up and do our duty. Speak out in social media. Contact your representatives in government. Organize or participate in protests against this and other immoral wars.
Now is the time to speak up and fight back against the evil of the elites who spill the blood of our children to slake their ravenous thirsts for more – more fine dining, more high end clothing, more luxury vacations and more money to buy control of our politicians to corrupt our systems of government.
There is a greater war than the one in Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Syria, or Yemen. There is a war right here in the United States – with battlefields in the UK, in Canada, in Australia and nearly every nation on earth. It is a war between the God of Heaven and his followers and the demonic god of this world and those who follow him. It is a war as old as mankind. A war between good and evil that must be fought with tenacity, conviction and perseverance.
I know which side of the war I’m on and I know what I stand for. I invite each of you to take up arms in what ways you can and join with me and others around the world in this epic fight against the rulers and authorities and powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms.
Join the Blackstone Army and together we will wage peace and make our world a safer and more just place in which to live today and to pass on to our children tomorrow.