Econintersect: Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis spent a year of combat duty in Afghanistan in 2011(his second tour there) and says the official reports from that country by the military brass there and in the Pentagon are just plain lies. The reports of progress that are publicly disseminated are “rosy statements” about the “absence of success on virtually every level.” Col. Davis had an article published Sunday in Armed Forces Journal (link in Sources, end of article) entitled “Truth, lies and Afghanistan: How military leaders have let us down.” He reports that there is not only lack of success in U.S. military operations but that Afghan military and police forces are unable to handle basic security in many parts of the country. Davis has said he expects his speaking out will be “career limiting.” “I’m going to get nuked,” he said in a New York Times interview in January.
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Fabius Maximus has been right on top of this story and has today (February 7) posted a letter from Col. Davis:
My Dearest Friends,
I haven’t talked to many of you in a while, but so the rest of this makes sense, I was deployed to Afghanistan for a year between November 2010 and October 2011. I saw many things during that deployment — the fourth combat deployment of my career — that I found disturbing. Eventually I felt morally obligated to do something about what I saw to such an extent that I was incapable of not acting. Here’s what I’ve done and things that are being done as a result.
Scott Shane from the New York Times will publish a story on the actions I’ve taken, and the Armed Forces Journal will simultaneously publish an article I’ve written explaining why I submitted a Department of Defense Inspector General complaint against select senior leaders of the Armed Forces for so being so deceptive to the US Congress and American people that the truth is no longer recognizable — and the biggest bill-payer for this deception has been the lives and bodies of America’s service men and women.
Additionally I have briefed three members of the House (Jones, Garamendi, and McGovern), four Senators (Merkley, Bennet, Tom Udall, and Manchen) as well as 18 other Senate staffers representing numerous other offices. This briefing included a classified and unclassified portion (and the DoDIG complaint also included a classified and unclassified component), and was also submitted in the form of a request for Congress to investigate my allegations.
Supposedly, the three House members are planning on going to the House floor on Tuesday with up to 10 other Members to speak on the matter and demand an investigation and hearings (or whatever they do on the floor!); the Senators suggested they are considering similar action.
Part of my AFJ article includes a link to a web site I set up for the purpose of hanging the unclassified report for everyone to see (the AFJ article is only 2,400 words, while the unclassified report is 86 pages; the classified report is 58 pages). However, there is a battle within the Army Public Affairs on releasing the document, which I submitted for review on 20 January – the same day I disclosed to the Army’s senior leaders and my chain of command what was coming. Officers from the Army Media Relations department tried to pry it loose on Friday because they believe it is the right thing to do, but someone – they didn’t tell me who – overruled them and said it would take longer still…
In case you’d like to read the Armed Forces Journal article I wrote to see what exactly I witnessed, the article has just been posted on their web site at: “Truth, lies and Afghanistan – How military leaders have let us down“, Armed Forces Journal, February 2012.
The New York Times will publish the story on my actions in their Monday paper edition, but an online version has also just been published at “Important news about our war in Afghanistan“, 6 February 2012.
Once I became aware of the truth on the ground, I could no longer rationalize inaction on my part. Essentially, I would have had to keep my mouth shut and thus not risk running afoul of the Army’s senior leaders – but turned a blind eye to the thousands of combat troops who continue risking their lives each and every day they go outside the wire while I lived comfortably in the safety and security of America. Once I looked at it in those terms, I was compelled to act…
Anyway, thought you’d like a little heads up!
For more background and thorough reference background follow the source links to Fabius Maximus below.
- US officer breaks ranks on Afghanistan (ABC News (Australia), 7 February 2012)
- Reports on Afghanistan war too rosy? Army officer, others say yes (Anne Mulrine, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 February 2012)
- Truth, lies and Afghanistan (Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis, Armed Forces Journal, February 2012)
- In Afghan War, Officer Becomes Whistle-Blower (Scott Shane, The New York Times, 5 February 2912)
- A letter from Lt Col Daniel L. Davis, who is a fulcrum that can move a nation – should we chose to help him (Fabius Maximus, 7 February 2012)
- Important news about our war in Afghanistan (Fabius Maximus, 6 February 2012)