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article imageMany US veterans angered by report of lies about Afghan war

By Ken Hanly     Dec 10, 2019 in World
The Washington Post released numerous documents created by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). The documents show that presidents, politicians and Pentagon officials misled and also lied to the US public about the war.
The Washington Post sued SIGAR twice to get the documents
The Post used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the documents. The Post suits in Federal Courts eventually compelled SIGAR to release the documents. SIGAR had argued that the records were privileged and the public had no right to see them. Newsweek contacted American Resolute Support --the name of the Afghan mission-- but received no reply.
John Sopko, the head of the federal agency that conducted the interviews, acknowledged to The Post that the documents show “the American people have constantly been lied to.”
The documents
The documents contained over 2,000 pages with more than 400 previously unpublished interviews of various people from generals, to career diplomats, aid workers, and Afghan officials. The interviews showed that the US had been unable to deliver on the US policies in spite of the conflict lasting 18 years and costing billions of dollars. The conflict also left tens of thousands of both US and Afghan families shattered.
Some responses
Jose Leal was the father of Army Corporal Joseph Maciel who was killed just months away from his 21st birthday by an insider attack by an Afghan ally in July of 2018. Leal said to Newsweek: "The deaths of our loved ones...they don't care because it's not the family of a Washington bureaucrat, They see death as normal because they never had to serve this blessed country. Billions of dollars of waste with our loved ones blood for the gaining of what? Nobody knows."
Andrea Lasher the widow of Marine Lance Corporal Jermey Lasher killed in the southern Afghan province of Helmand some ten years ago said that government officials did not stand up for what was morally right. She added that the truth will always be revealed even if it is ugly and people did not want to look at it would always be revealed.
Across social media there were many condemnations of military commanders past and present that covered the regimes of Bush, Obama, and Trump. A former Marine infantryman who served in Afghanistan said: "They lied. For years, they lied. Even as more and more of us died. They lied. And lied. And lied."
Jeffrey Eggers
a retired Navy Seal told government interviewers: “What did we get for this $1 trillion effort? Was it worth $1 trillion?. 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.”
Former officials were no less caustic. Former Army Lieutenant General Douglas Lute, who was the war czar for Afghanistan during the Bush and Obama administration said: "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,"
Some statistics on Afghanistan
Since the year 2001 when the conflict began more than 775,000 US troops have been deployed to Afghanistan many several times. 2,300 were killed and over 20,589 were wounded in action according to US Dept, of Defense figures.
The monetary cost of the war has been huge: "Since 2001, the Defense Department, State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development have spent or appropriated between $934 billion and $978 billion, according to an inflation-adjusted estimate calculated by Neta Crawford, a political science professor and co-director of the Costs of War Project at Brown University. Those figures do not include money spent by other agencies such as the CIA and the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is responsible for medical care for wounded veterans. "
More about Afghan war, SIGAR, Washington post
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