Documents show US officials constantly lied about Afghan war
A confidential trove of US government documents recently made public by a newspaper has revealed that American officials have “constantly lied to” the US public about what has been going on in the now 18-year war on Afghanistan.
According to reports, the documents, amounting to more than 2,000 pages, obtained and published by The Washington Post on Monday, were part of a federal project that sought to examine the US war strategy in Afghanistan and that was led by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
SIGAR interviewed more than 400 people with a direct role in the Afghan war, which cost one trillion dollars and killed over 2,300 US servicemen and women, and injured over 20,000.
John Sopko, the head of the SIGAR, told the Post that the documents clearly showed “the American people have constantly been lied to.”
Sopko stressed that the data obtained from the interviewees — including top military commanders and diplomats — had been altered and facts had been twisted by government officials to present a positive picture of the reality in Afghanistan.
In one assessment, Douglas Lute, a three-star US army general who served as the Afghan war czar under former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, told interviewers working on the SIGAR project in 2015 that American forces didn’t have the slightest idea about what they were doing in the war-ravaged country.
In another interview, Jeffrey Eggers, a retired Navy SEAL and White House staffer for Bush and Obama, said, “What did we get for this $1tn effort? Was it worth $1tn?”
Eggers added, “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.”
Bob Crowley, an army colonel who served as a senior counterinsurgency adviser to US military commanders in 2013 and 2014, told government interviewers that the information on the Afghan war had been falsified to offer a rosy picture to the US public.
The Washington Post obtained the documents after a three-year legal battle.
Its disclosure comes as US President Donald Trump has been attempting to strike a peace deal with the Taliban, the very group that the US invaded Afghanistan to eradicate.