Calling All Leakers

Friday, September 18, 2009


This week, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Adm. Mike Mullen raised the possibility that even more U.S. troops would be needed for the war in Afghanistan. That news, as well as recent disheartening reports from Afghanistan, has many pundits making comparisons to the Vietnam quagmire. Dan Ellsberg, legendary leaker of the Pentagon Papers, says the analogy is a good one, and that the government is hiding information that could worsen our opinion of continued engagement in Afghanistan.

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Comments [4]

Chris Gray from New Haven

While time has gone by, it has become increasingly clear even to the Administration, that this is a fool's errand. With no popularly supported government (as opposed to another thug first installed and then supported by the Bush regime) to partner with, the counter insurgency tactic devised for Iraq is useless.

My cousin was largely responsible (judging from his story) for training the Afghan army and, while I disagree with his conclusion, I do not doubt his sincere belief that this struggle will require generations of our young people dying on Afghan and probably Pakistani soil to win it militarily. As a warrior, that is the way he has been trained to think.

I, on the other hand, remember when Liberals were assailed rhetorically by Conservatives for attempting to make the US "the policeman to the world" and, more recently, as "nation builders". The hysterical reaction to 9/11 (forgive me Opal) certainly changed their tune.

Frankly, I still prefer the real law enforcement approach. Hunt down Bin Laden (though I suspect he's dead, already) and al Zawahiri and prosecute them for crimes against humanity in court.

Mike H, I had lunch at the People's Temple, does that mean I was prescient enough to realize Jones would lead or force his followers off a cliff, too?

You go, Dan!

Sep. 25 2009 01:26 AM
Brian Whalen from White Plains, N Y

I was disapointed that Mr. Ellsberg ascertion that the War in Afganistan is "just like Vietnam" wasn't challanged in your program. The Vietnamese wanted to control their country (not the French or the US)
The threat today is from extremist's who are transnational; and won't go away when We stop attacking their sacntuary in Afganistan or wherever.
If we can't find a way to limit they're ability to attack us, then they will bomb, hijack, or kick us in the teeth again, and it'll be our fault for ignoring the threat or being unwilling to bear the cost of fighting real enemies. No other answer fits with the facts today.

Sep. 21 2009 10:46 PM
Opal S from New York City

As usual, the conversation is very intelligent. I find there is one flaw in Ellsberg's argument--his comparison between Vietnam and Afghanistan. The U.S. involvement in Vietnam was a hysterical reaction to the Communism in Notth Vietnam.
What has prompted our concern in Afghanistan has to do with 9/11--it was planned in this country where Osama bin Laden was directing al Qaeda to destroy the west. He may be there today still plotting.
I support Pres. Obama's caution and planning rather than just pouncing. Perhaps rather than more military, more intelligence should be sent. Plus more help for the indigent. Let's get aid to the needy instead of the Taliban/alQaeda.
Enjoy the show.

Sep. 20 2009 10:25 AM
Mike H from Naperville Il

Why doesn’t Ellsberg just find some sympathetic apocalyptic church led by a suicidal messianic leader to preach his new gospel of "US out of Afghanistan" like he did in the 70's when he was spewing his anti-American tripe at Jim Jones' People's Temple.

Som of us have long memories.

Sep. 18 2009 11:46 PM

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