I can’t be the only person who’s noticed it.
On his second yearlong deployment to Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis traveled 9,000 miles, patrolled with American troops in eight provinces and returned in October of last year with a fervent conviction that the war was going disastrously and that senior military leaders had not leveled with the American public.
And then, late last month, Colonel Davis, 48, began an unusual one-man campaign of military truth-telling. He wrote two reports, one unclassified and the other classified, summarizing his observations on the candor gap with respect to Afghanistan.
In Afghan War, Officer Becomes a Whistle-Blower
The New York Times
Oh, so the white house is starting to get the idea that we should pull out of Afghanistan, and all of a sudden a whistleblower shows up. The white house wants to cut our losses (finally), and that means all of us citizens need to believe that the withdrawal is a good idea. I bet some pundits will be calling it “brave” and “heroic”, just because it would fit the funhouse mirror aesthetic.
The funniest part is that the military wants to make it seem like he’s facing opposition.
Mr. Cook said it was rare for an officer of Colonel Davis’s modest rank to “decide that he knows better” and to go to Congress and the news media.
“It may be an act of moral courage,” he said. “But he’s gone outside channels, and he’s taking his chances on what happens to him.”
Of course, nothing will happen to him. This is propaganda. Of course, a good propagandist would invoke the Streisand effect, but c’mon. This is the military we’re talking about (probably my favorite Fred Reed column, by the way).
“I’m going to get nuked,” he said in an interview last month.
But his bosses’ initial response has been restrained. They told him that while they disagreed with him, he would not face “adverse action,” he said.
Col. James E. Hutton, chief of media relations for the Army, declined to comment specifically about Colonel Davis, but he rejected the idea that military leaders had been anything but truthful about Afghanistan.
If the official reaction to Colonel Davis’s campaign has been subdued, it may be partly because he has recruited a few supporters among the war skeptics on Capitol Hill.
This isn’t even a difficult prediction. After all, we know what happens to actual whistleblowers:
A top official at the private research service Stratfor told colleagues via e-mail last year that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was the subject of a sealed indictment by the U.S. Government, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
The claim that Assange faces charges in the United States came in e-mails apparently stolen from Stratfor by the hackers’ group Anonymous and relayed to news organizations by Assange’s pro-transparency organization WikiLeaks.
Report: WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange indicted in U.S.