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The Next Victim in the US Government’s War on Whistleblowing

(photo: Markus Schweiss/Wikimedia)

The Pentagon is now “investigating” and going after Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, who submitted an 86-page report with classified information to Congress on the war in Afghanistan. He also wrote an unclassified version of the report that he is waiting for Army Public Affairs to review so that he can release it to the public.

Some aspects of the report were shared in an article published by the Armed Forces Journal. He criticized the “credibility gap,” how official statements do not match what is actually happening on the ground. He shared some anecdotes on how the Afghanistan war has gone from “bad to abysmal.” For example:

On Sept. 11, the 10th anniversary of the infamous attack on the U.S., I visited another unit in Kunar province, this one near the town of Asmar. I talked with the local official who served as the cultural adviser to the U.S. commander. Here’s how the conversation went:

Davis: “Here you have many units of the Afghan National Security Forces [ANSF]. Will they be able to hold out against the Taliban when U.S. troops leave this area?”

Adviser: “No. They are definitely not capable. Already all across this region [many elements of] the security forces have made deals with the Taliban. [The ANSF] won’t shoot at the Taliban, and the Taliban won’t shoot them.

“Also, when a Taliban member is arrested, he is soon released with no action taken against him. So when the Taliban returns [when the Americans leave after 2014], so too go the jobs, especially for everyone like me who has worked with the coalition.

The report has forced the Pentagon to make official statements downplaying it. The lackey they have trotted out to minimize the contents of Davis’ report to Congress, Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparotti, the “No. 2 US Commander in Afghanistan,” has tried to reassure the public that there truly has been “significant” and “steady progress,” despite what Davis might be saying.

After a couple days of Scaparotti fielding press interest in Davis’ report, the Pentagon is moving to the next phase, which involves having unnamed officials make anonymous statements to the press about Davis and his report. NBC News chief Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski has chosen to enable the sleazy officials tasked with launching a smear campaign. Miklaszewski writes: [cont’d.]

(*Note: Michael Hastings will be doing a Book Salon here at Firedoglake on his book The Operators at 5 pm EST on Sunday, February 12. Hastings will likely discuss recent developments related to Lt. Col. Davis’ report.)

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."