The Most Significant Afghanistan Papers Revelation Is How Difficult They Were to Make Public

It took a lawyer army which the pro-war, government-coddling WaPo would never had activated were it not looking to nail Trump

The Washington Post has published clearundeniable evidence that US government officials have been lying to the public about the war in Afghanistan, a shocking revelation for anyone who has done no research whatsoever into the history of US interventionism.

In all seriousness it was a very good and newsworthy publication, and those who did the heavy lifting bringing the Afghanistan Papers into public awareness deserve full credit. The frank comments of US military officials plainly stating that from the very beginning this was an unwinnable conflict, initiated in a region nobody understood, without anyone being able to so much as articulate what victory would even look like, make up an extremely important piece of information that is in conflict with everything the public has been told about this war by their government.

But the most significant revelation to come out of this story is not in the Afghanistan Papers themselves.

The most significant Afghanistan Papers revelation comes from The Washington Post‘s account of the extremely difficult time they had extricating these important documents from the talons of government secrecy, as detailed in a separate article titled “How The Post unearthed The Afghanistan Papers“. WaPo explains how the papers were ultimately obtained via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests which, after they were initially rejected by the US government, needed to be supplemented over three years with two lawsuits.

“The Post’s efforts to obtain the Afghanistan documents also illustrate how difficult it can be for journalists — or any citizen — to pry public information from the government,” WaPo reports. “The purpose of FOIA is to open up federal agencies to public scrutiny. But officials determined to thwart the spirit of the law can drag out requests for years, hoping requesters will eventually give up.”

“In October 2017, The Post sued the inspector general in U.S. District Court in Washington — a step that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees — to obtain the Flynn interview materials,” WaPo adds.

Now, The Washington Post is a giant, for-profit corporate media outlet which is solely owned by Jeff Bezos, who is currently listed as the wealthiest person on earth. Does anyone reading this have hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of their life to spend battling the US government into complying with its own transparency laws? Are any of the alternative media outlets which consistently oppose US imperialism able to afford many such expenditures? I would guess not.

Is it not disturbing that the American taxpayer has to depend on outlets like The Washington Post, a neocon-packed outlet with an extensive history of promoting US interventionism at every opportunity, to extract these documents from behind the wall of government opacity?

After all, by WaPo’s own admission it both sought and published the Afghanistan Papers in order to take a swing at Donald Trump. According to the Post it went down this path in 2016 initially seeking documents on Michael Flynn, who was then part of the Trump campaign, after receiving a tip that he’d made some juicy statements about the war in Afghanistan to the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). WaPo then made the decision to publish the papers now rather than waiting for its legal battle for more information to complete because Trump is currently in the midst of negotiating with the Taliban over a potential troop withdrawal.

“The Post is publishing the documents now, instead of waiting for a final ruling, to inform the public while the Trump administration is negotiating with the Taliban and considering whether to withdraw the 13,000 U.S. troops who remain in Afghanistan,” WaPo reports.

It is obviously an inherently good thing that WaPo poured its immense wealth and resources into pursuing and publishing these documents. But would it have done so if those documents hadn’t presented an opportunity to embarrass the Trump administration? What kinds of information does the notoriously war-happy WaPo not spend its wealth and resources pursuing and publishing? Probably a whole lot.

It is a very safe assumption that, because of the immense walls of government opacity that have been built up around the unconscionable things America’s elected and unelected leadership is doing, there are far, far more evil things that are far, far worse than anything revealed in the Afghanistan Papers that we don’t know about, and that we don’t even know we don’t know about.

Is it not deeply disturbing that we have to pray that some war-loving, establishment-supporting billionaire media outlet will have a partisan agenda to advance if we want to know about even a tiny sliver of this information?

I mean, it’s not like the Afghanistan Papers revealed anything we didn’t already know. It’s been public knowledge for many years that there was a preexisting agenda to invade Afghanistan well before September 11, it’s been public knowledge that many lies were put in place after the invasion, and it’s been public knowledge for a long time that we’re being lied to about how well the war is going. All these new revelations did was reify and draw attention to what anyone with an ear to the ground already knew: like all other US-led military interventions, we were lied to about Afghanistan. It’s not like the US government was staving off some massive unknown bombshell revelation with its resistance to WaPo’s FOIA requests. Yet it resisted them anyway, just because it was more convenient.

Julian Assange once said “The overwhelming majority of information is classified to protect political security, not national security,” and we see this tacitly confirmed by the US government in its massive backlogs of unanswered FOIA requests, illegitimate refusals, unjustifiable redactions and exploitation of loopholes to retain as much security as possible. As one Twitter follower recently put it, “The FOIA was enacted in 1966 to make legally compulsory the opening of government activities to ‘sunlight’. Fifty-three years later, the government has learned how to neutralize the law and once again hide their misconduct. Classifying everything is one way, requiring an expensive ‘lawsuit’ is another.”

It shouldn’t work this way. People shouldn’t have to count on immoral plutocratic media institutions to get their government to tell them the truth about what’s being done in their name using their tax dollars. A free nation would have privacy for its citizenry and transparency for its government; with the growing increase in surveillance and government secrecy across the entire US-centralized empire, what we’re getting is the exact opposite.

Source: CaitlinJohnstone.com

11 Comments
  1. CHUCKMAN says

    It just doesn’t get dumber than America’s history in Afghanistan.

    18 years of bombing peasants and achieving nothing.

    Spending enough money to have repaired the entire rotten infrastructure of the United States from sea to sea.

    No matter what the original motive for the invasion, something never clarified beyond mumbo-jumbo about terror.

    The experts in Washington surely knew the Taliban government was not responsible for 9/11 and that the Taliban were not terrorists.

    And of course, we’ve never been told who was responsible for 9/11.

    1. The Globalist says

      Afghanistan was more than 10 years of bombing and destruction just to open up a corridor to build a pipeline to extract oil from Central Asia. Then ultimately failing to do so. An unbelievably unwise move.

      9/11 was used as a cover to unleash Homeland Security and try to control the Middle East before the Chinese became too entrenched. Too bad it has not worked out well. China, Russia and Iran are getting a total lock on the Levant now.

    2. Jozo Magoc says

      Visit my article from 2013- Pravda.ru news& analysis: Bloody Masonic Fingerprints Left On 911 Crime Scene. And in this X-mass,2nd,final and definitive article will be published..All was done for Novus Ordo Seclorum in 2033!!!

  2. Mary E says

    My humble guess all along has been that the US (CIA) wanted all the millions of dollars worth of cocaine producing poppies from Afghanistan…why in the hell should the dumb
    Afghans have all that wealth when the US’s CIA needs it more….partially to fund their dark dark agenda. Don’t we all know that the CIA is the biggest drug dealer in the US?
    If you didn’t already, you will when you search them…those pieces aren’t hard to find…
    just use your favorite search engine – one that doesn’t ‘follow you’….

    1. ALTERNATE HISTORY says

      Please, Mary, correct millions to billions and cocaine products to opium products and you have the CIA’s motivation. Most of the drugs in the US are trafficked by the CIA with the blessing, knowledge and help of DHS and DEA>

    2. DarkEyes says

      You are forgetting the Brits Drug Industry in Afghanistan as well.

    3. Jozo Magoc says

      Dear Mary E: cocain is produced from coca leaves, and from poppies comes heroin! Only dark poppies,the white poppies cannot be used and extracted for heroin!

  3. JustPassingThrough says

    “evidence that US government officials have been lying to the public about the war in Afghanistan,”

    really? who would have thought…..
    this is amazing stuff. wow.
    file it along with the 911 revelations, yemen revelations, iraq revelations, jfk revelations, pearl harbor revelations, we won ww2 revelations, and “anti-semitic” revelations.

    never to be seen again.

    wash.dc is a s**thole

  4. Jizzmo Onyabhutti says

    War is the Joooos harvest. Wake the hell up America. Your enemy is within the gates.

  5. pinOKYO nOSE says

    without anyone being able to so much as articulate what victory would even look like (in afghanistan)

    right then. the taliban had almost eliminated opium production entirely from afghanistan but thanks to uncle samuel there is more opium now than ever before. so my guess is that as far as uncle samuel is concerned, the afghanistan conflict has been mission freakin accomplished. well done boys!

  6. ALTERNATE HISTORY says

    The 9/11 farce was executed to manufacture an excuse to start the takedown of the ‘Axis of Evil’. That the US bungled even that is not a big surprise. Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon. Libya, and Iran were on the original list. The political motives were for IsraHell; the economic motives of theft and pillaging of oil and minerals were for Amerikkkan ZIOs. Of course, they had to lie, lie and lie some more.

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