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Coleen Rowley

Former FBI agent Coleen Rowley was one of three whistleblowers chosen as persons of the year by TIME magazine in 2002

February 4th, 2010 10:01 PM

End the Fog of War! Read the Eikenberry Memos!

This new video from Robert Greenwald “Rethink Afghanistan War: The Eikenberry Cables” is a must-view for those who remember the Vietnam War and the difficulty of ending a quagmire that dragged on long after military officials and Presidential Administrations knew it was “unwinnable” and wrong. The actual conversations of despair that were taped between Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamara in the 1960’s were found afterwards to contrast sharply with the rosy statements they were making to the American public.

After years of bloodshed in Vietnam, a military analyst had the guts to reveal the truth in the form of “The Pentagon Papers” and several American newspapers had the guts to publish that truth despite the Department of Justice seeking court order after court order to block publication. (As an aside, this story has just been made into a fascinating film “The Most Dangerous Man” which has just been nominated for an Academy Award as best documentary!)

It turns out a similar situation as the Vietnam “fog of war” was just exposed by the NY Times’ publication of leaked secret cables sent to Obama by his own Ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry. It’s been discovered that Eikenberry warned the President in 2009 about the prospects of a military “surge” but Obama ignored Eikenberry’s advice and went ahead to order the deployment of 30,000 more troops. Even more significant is the fact that before becoming Ambassador, Eikenberry was a General who led efforts in Afghanistan!

Inasmuch as House Armed Services Committee (HASC) members are meeting to begin writing a 2011 budget for the Af-Pak War, it’s absolutely essential that they read the Eikenberry memos. Before they authorize more troops and funds for a war that will cost the U.S. a fortune when we can least afford it and that is not making us safer, it would behoove them to know the truth, wouldn’t it?

Therefore, please call and ask Minnesota Representatives and Senators if they’ve read the Eikenberry cables. Ask how they can simply acquiesce in allowing presidential politics to trump their responsibilities to the American citizenry by allowing another tragic Vietnam quagmire to drag on that is killing civilians and troops alike. At the very least ask Congress for an amendment to the military budget bill that would enforce Obama’s promise of beginning withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2011 as he promised in his speech (but subsequently admitted is not a firm deadline). Sign the Act.ly petition urging House Armed Services Committee Members to read the Eikenberry cables.

The author was a member of a group of Minnesotans for Peace who did their best to lobby the White House and legislators at the President’s State of the Union Speech (which was especially difficult due to the thousands of armed security and police patrolling the wide perimeter around the deserted streets so we couldn’t get very close).

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