Devastating account of waste, mismangement, and lies concerning the war in Iraq
AlterNet published an article by Peter Van Buren, I Had to Tell the Truth About Iraq–Even Though it Cost Me My Career.
The author, who worked for the State Department at a forward operating base in Iraq, says, “the space between what we were doing (the eye-watering waste and mismanagement), and what we were saying (the endless claims of success and progress), was filled with numb soldiers and devastated Iraqis….. the United States wasted more than $44 billion in the reconstruction/deconstruction of Iraq.”
The US Military prepared for a summit held in Iraq.
If you deploy enough police and soldiers — for the summit, Baghdad was shut down for a week, the cell phone network turned off, and a “public holiday” proclaimed to keep the streets free of humanity — you can temporarily tame any place, at least within camera view. More than $500 million was spent, in part planting flowers along the route dignitaries took in and out of the heavily fortified International Zone at the heart of the capital (known in my day as the Green Zone).
In response to his candor, Van Buren was harassed by his employers, tracked by security agents, and is about to be terminated. He met with other whistleblowers. “What we really have in common is that, in the course of just doing our jobs, we stumbled into colossal government wrongdoing (systematized torture, warrantless wiretapping, fraud, and waste), stood up for what is right in the American spirit, and found ourselves paying surprising personal prices for acts that seemed obvious and necessary. ”
The injustice of all this is compounded by the fact that the massive costs will be born not by the 1% who profited from the wars but by the rest of us, in the form of slashing of education and social programs.