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  • This will be as big as The Pentagon Papers,

    This story hasn't received much traction in the US yet, But there is no stopping it and soon it will expose another cluster $$$$ by the CIA
    Late last year, Donald Trump announced that he wanted to completely withdraw troops from Syria. Then, the usual policy experts - the few left serving his administration - talked him down or ignored him and suddenly "the White House" announced it had reversed that decision. Then, this year, Trump moved between 40 and 100 troops out of one spot in Syria, and political and foreign-policy experts lost their minds. Kurdish allies were betrayed by the move, they said. ISIS prisoners were released. American influence was squandered and surrendered. What would potential allies think of us for having turned tail?

    At Foreign Policy, Peter Feaver and Ill Inboden wrote to criticize the handful of realist and "restrainer" voices praising Trump's Syria pullout:

    Trump and the realists both tend to present the debate as a false choice between endless wars and total withdrawal. And both offer the false comfort that immediate withdrawal will not impose high costs to U.S. interests.

    Even those with qualified praise for Trump's decision complained about the haphazardness of his policy-making and its implementation, and of his departure from the "norms" of American foreign policy.

    What, you might ask, were those norms producing for us? Forever war or isolation is a false choice, they say. But cast your eyes over to Afghanistan, where it really does seem like the alternative to leaving is staying endlessly. At least that's how policymakers in three administrations have thought about the Afghan conflict, to judge from the Washington Post's latest scoop, a huge tranche of documents<https://www.washingtonpost.com/graph...tion-building/> recording the candid, occasionally emotional assessments of the U.S. War in Afghanistan made by White House officials, generals, and policymakers.
    My personal favorite is the early and perspicacious note from then-secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld: "We are never going to get the U.S. military out of Afghanistan unless we take care to see that there is something going on that will provide the stability that will be necessary for us to leave." He was right. The United States had almost immediate success in routing the Taliban from Kabul and denying safe havens to al-Qaeda, but met with almost immediate failure in its efforts to create a stable state that would prevent the return of the Taliban and the safe havens for terrorists that it provided absent a continual American presence. We've remained in this state of half-success, half-failure ever since.
    The more troubling revelation in the Post's story was that multiple presidents and generals had lied elaborately to the public about the war, pretending it was going well even though they'd privately concluded that our objectives were contradictory and our strategy was a mess. Worse yet was the lying they did to themselves, creating endless color-coded metrics and then manipulating the data that was measured by them.
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opini...tan/ar-AAK3gqW

    Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
    Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

  • #2
    "Dark Money" AKA our money, and the blood of US military and Afghan civilians,

    Dark money sloshed all around. Afghanistan's largest bank liquefied into a cesspool of fraud. Travelers lugged suitcases loaded with $1 million, or more, on flights leaving Kabul. Mansions known as "poppy palaces" rose from the rubble to house opium kingpins.

    President Hamid Karzai won reelection after cronies stuffed thousands of ballot boxes. He later admitted the CIA had delivered bags of cash to his office for years, calling it "nothing unusual."

    In public, as President Barack Obama escalated the war and Congress approved billions of additional dollars in support, the commander in chief and lawmakers promised to crack down on corruption and hold crooked Afghans accountable. In reality, U.S. officials backed off, looked away and let the thievery become more entrenched than ever, according to a trove of confidential government interviews obtained by The Washington Post.
    In the interviews, key figures in the war said Washington tolerated the worst offenders - warlords, drug traffickers, defense contractors - because they were allies of the United States.
    But they said the U.S. government failed to confront a more distressing reality - that it was responsible for fueling the corruption, by doling out vast sums of money with limited foresight or regard for the consequences.
    U.S. officials were "so desperate to have the alcoholics to the table, we kept pouring drinks, not knowing [or] considering we were killing them,"<http://wapo.st/2pSqA52?document=back...ter-corruption> an unnamed State Department official told government interviewers.
    The scale of the corruption was the unintended result of swamping the war zone with far more aid and defense contracts than impoverished Afghanistan could absorb. There was so much excess, financed by American taxpayers, that opportunities for bribery and fraud became almost limitless, according to the interviews, the CIA, the U.S. military, the State Department and other agencies used cash and lucrative contracts to win the allegiance of Afghan warlords in the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Intended as a short-term tactic, the practice ended up binding the United States to some of the country's most notorious figures for years.
    Among them was Mohammed Qasim Fahim Khan, a Tajik militia commander. As leader of the Northern Alliance, Fahim Khan played a critical role in helping the United States topple the Taliban in 2001. He served as Afghanistan's defense minister from 2001 to 2004 and later as the country's first vice president - despite a reputation for brutality and graft.
    In a Lessons Learned interview, Ryan Crocker, who twice served as the top U.S. diplomat in Kabul, said he held no illusions about Fahim Khan. He recalled a bloodcurdling encounter with the defense minister in early 2002 when Fahim Khan nonchalantly informed him that another Afghan government minister had been murdered.
    "He giggled while he related this,"<http://wapo.st/2pSqA52?document=croc...ter-corruption> Crocker said. "Later, much later, it emerged, I don't know if it was ever verified or not, it emerged that Khan himself had the minister killed. But I certainly came out of those opening months with the feeling that even by Afghan standards, I was in the presence of a totally evil person."<http://wapo.st/2pSqA52?document=croc...ter-corruption>
    Fahim Khan died of natural causes in 2014. But the ambassador said he was still haunted by memories of the warlord.
    "I check just about every other day, and as far as I know, he is still dead,"<http://wapo.st/2pSqA52?document=croc...ter-corruption> Crocker told interviewers.
    Even so, the Bush administration treated Fahim Khan as a VIP and once welcomed him to the Pentagon with an honor cordon.
    Details of exactly how much money he and other warlords pocketed from the United States remain secret. But confidential documents show the payouts were discussed at the highest levels of government.
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...eye/ar-BBXYeRa




    Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
    Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

    Comment


    • #3
      The war in Afghanistan seems like a real mess. I don't think the United States will ever turn Afghanistan around, no matter how long we stay there. Is it time to dust off Richard Nixon and use Vietnamization in Afghanistan so we can get out of there?
      "Advances in technology tend to overwhelm me."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Slug View Post
        The war in Afghanistan seems like a real mess. I don't think the United States will ever turn Afghanistan around, no matter how long we stay there. Is it time to dust off Richard Nixon and use Vietnamization in Afghanistan so we can get out of there?
        I agree, but the story is how the war began, how much money was wasted and the fact that. just like in Vietnam, it was known by those in command for years, that we could not win.
        Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
        Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
          In a Lessons Learned interview,
          What a preposterous claim.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Herman Hum View Post
            What a preposterous claim.
            Details please oh wise one
            Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
            Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

            Comment


            • #7
              Nothing was learned or done after the release of the Pentagon papers.
              Why should anything be learnt from this latest release?

              The Chelsea Manning and Snowden affairs only taught the government to hide their secrets better.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Herman Hum View Post
                Nothing was learned or done after the release of the Pentagon papers.
                Why should anything be learnt from this latest release?
                Study the Church Hearings, yes a lot was learned and done, but we have grown complacent, and have dropped our guard
                you can't trust the NSA or the CIA, they are in the business of doctoring data to get just the reaction they want, it is the heavily edited and redacted data laced with out right lies th at lead Colin Powell's support of our two longest wars, and he has openly denounced and regretted that he was manipulated,
                Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
                Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

                Comment


                • #9
                  And no one went to jail for it.
                  So, I'll say it again: nothing was done. (Pooh-poohing something and promising 'not to do it again' does not count.)

                  I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, even with its bias towards Binney:
                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Good_American

                  Supposedly, ThinThread was capable of the same level of surveillance, without the intrusiveness.

                  NSA continues to act as a law unto itself.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Slug View Post
                    The war in Afghanistan seems like a real mess. I don't think the United States will ever turn Afghanistan around, no matter how long we stay there. Is it time to dust off Richard Nixon and use Vietnamization in Afghanistan so we can get out of there?
                    In the history of the world, no one as ever conquered and controlled Afghanistan, not even the British or the Soviets, with their much more liberal rules of engagement.

                    We were foolish to even try with our PC rules that tie the hands of the troops at every turn.
                    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Herman Hum View Post
                      And no one went to jail for it.
                      So, I'll say it again: nothing was done. (Pooh-poohing something and promising 'not to do it again' does not count.)

                      I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, even with its bias towards Binney:
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Good_American

                      Supposedly, ThinThread was capable of the same level of surveillance, without the intrusiveness.

                      NSA continues to act as a law unto itself.
                      Nobody ever goes to jail, they go to the bank, retire to the Hamptons, or get a gravy job working as a lobbyist for a defense contractor.
                      But, after the Church hearing the CIA was supposedly held to a higher standard by over sight committees. Maybe the oversight committee needs better oversight.
                      Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
                      Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
                        But, after the Church hearing the CIA was supposedly held to a higher standard by over sight committees. Maybe the oversight committee needs better oversight.
                        Yet 'extraordinary rendition' still happened.
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                        • #13


                          Former defense secretary Jim Mattis defended American efforts to rebuild Afghanistan as part of the 18-year-old U.S. war there, saying Friday that “we had to try to do something in nation-building, as much as some people condemn it, and we probably weren’t that good at it.”


                          Mattis described the progress that has been made in Afghanistan since the U.S. military invaded after the September 2001 terrorist attacks. Speaking to journalists at The Washington Post, he cited an increase in the number of Afghan women who are educated, the development of Afghan diplomats and the inoculation of civilians against disease. Mattis, who oversaw the war as the four-star commander of U.S. Central Command from 2010 to 2013, said that violence in Afghanistan is “so heartbreaking that it can blind you to the progress,” and he acknowledged that the United States made a strategic mistake by not paying enough attention to the country as the administration of George W. Bush launched the war in Iraq in 2003.

                          “That we didn’t do things right, I mean, I’m an example of it,” Mattis said, recalling that as a one-star general, he was pulled out of Afghanistan in the spring of 2002, promoted and told to prepare for war in Iraq.
                          “I was dumbfounded,” he said. “But we took our eye off of there.”
                          The comments came in response to questions about investigative reporting by The Washington Post that outlines mistakes made in the war. The series, called “The Afghanistan Papers,” includes previously unpublished interviews and memos in which senior officials privately expressed misgivings about the campaign, even as they publicly touted its progress.
                          As a general, Mattis was among those who frequently spoke about the progress<http://saw.in/> he saw in Afghanistan.
                          In 2010, Mattis testified before Congress that the military component of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan was sound, and that by “steadfastly executing our strategy we will win in Afghanistan.”
                          In March 2013, he testified that it was “obviously a combination of progress and violence” on the ground, but that the Afghan forces were “proving themselves capable.”
                          “I think we may have to look at how we’re measuring them since they’re measuring themselves against the enemy and they’re proving themselves there,” Mattis said.
                          By 2015, the United States was dispatching its own Special Operations troops to stave off security disasters in the south and had stopped a planned withdrawal as scores of Afghan soldiers were killed each month.
                          Mattis said the reports in The Post have prompted the families of fallen service members and some veterans to reach out to him.
                          “You can imagine what it’s like for the families, and I have heard from them,” he said. “The emails are coming in.”
                          Mattis said he assured them that U.S. officials, including former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Ryan Crocker, a former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, “were not papering over any of this.”
                          “That it was hard, harder than hell, and that it was understood by all of us,” he said. “It is hard to explain that you can build on nothing. You had to literally build the ground, and that takes years to kind of build people who can be diplomats in a country that had known nothing.”
                          “I salute” the investigative reporting, he said, but that it is “not really news” because mistakes made in the Afghanistan war have been reported on by journalists for years.
                          “I don’t know why it’s such a revelation,” he said.
                          The new reports by The Post draw on interviews with scores of senior U.S. officials. They were carried out by the Afghanistan Special Inspector for Afghanistan Reconstruction, and withheld from the public until The Post won a three-year court battle through the Freedom of Information Act.
                          Mattis said there are “lots of lessons to be learned, and that’s why those documents were pulled together.” But he espoused misgivings that they were publicized in the media, saying the comments will “be used now as a club.”
                          “Don’t get me wrong,” Mattis said. “I know why you did it, and I salute why you did it. But one of the unfortunate aspects is it could be a governor on those who want to go forward and collect self-critical information. Because that’s what it was, by an IG.”
                          At a Washington Post Live event later in the day, Mattis said the difficulties in Afghanistan were well-known before the series was published.
                          “I have walked the ground in Afghanistan with your reporters beside me, who were embedded in the units, who were watching this close-up," he said. “The reporting, I thought, was pretty accurate. The idea that there was any kind of an effort to hide this perplexes me.”

                          https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...ing/ar-AAK6mtg


                          Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
                          Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The fact that should grab our attention is that the special investigation has been going on for over a decade and has been sending these reports to the congressional oversight committee quarterly.
                            So in fact, the investigation was not covered up by the special investigator or his staff, not by the commanders who were interviewed, but by Congress.
                            And here is why, Feinstein who was the chair of the committee for much of the duration of the war was funneling military contracts to two companies that her husband is a board member. James Biden likewise owned 40% of a company that received contracts and I'm sure they are not the only ones, Cheney's connection to Halliburton is well known, and there are no doubt many lobbyists who grease the wheels who also received sweetheart deals, all legal, and how many retired Congress members get hired by those companies ?
                            War is a gravy train for the swamp rats.
                            Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
                            Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
                              The fact that should grab our attention is that the special investigation has been going on for over a decade and has been sending these reports to the congressional oversight committee quarterly.
                              So in fact, the investigation was not covered up by the special investigator or his staff, not by the commanders who were interviewed, but by Congress.
                              And here is why, Feinstein who was the chair of the committee for much of the duration of the war was funneling military contracts to two companies that her husband is a board member. James Biden likewise owned 40% of a company that received contracts and I'm sure they are not the only ones, Cheney's connection to Halliburton is well known, and there are no doubt many lobbyists who grease the wheels who also received sweetheart deals, all legal, and how many retired Congress members get hired by those companies ?
                              War is a gravy train for the swamp rats.
                              Which is why we are c0nstantly at war.
                              Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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