US Government Destroyed 500,000 American Lives for Israel
By Matthew Nasuti, former Air Force captain
American Military Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan Now Exceed 500,000
PENTAGON FUDGES THE NUMBERS TO PLACATE AMERICAN PUBLIC
Since 2001, the Pentagon has sought to downplay overall U.S. military losses by artfully redefining what is a combat-related “casualty.” It has published and then changed the rules several times regarding the reporting of casualties. Currently the Pentagon uses DoD Instruction 1300.18 to arbitrarily separate out “wounded in action” from non-battle injuries. Wounded in action is narrowly defined to essentially be an injury directly caused by an adversary. So called “friendly fire” injuries and deaths would apparently not be counted. The emphasis is on acute injuries caused by enemy munitions which pierce or penetrate.
Under this scheme, chronic injuries and many acute internal injuries such as hearing impairment, back injuries, mild traumatic brain injuries, mental health problems and a host of diseases suffered by personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan are usually not counted as being war-related regardless of how debilitating they are. They are either generally lumped into the category of “non-hostile wounded” or simply not counted at all.
Officially, the Pentagon admits that approximately 5,500 troops have been killed and only 38,000 wounded, amounting to 43,500 total casualties. What is left out (according to such sources as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the New England Journal of Medicine and the U.S. Navy) are:
- 170,000+ cases of hearing damage;
- 130,000+ cases of mild traumatic brain injuries; and
- 200,000+ cases of serious mental health problems.
If these data are included, the total well exceeds 500,000. Even that total would not include:
- over 30,000 serious disease cases, including a disfiguring, parasitic disease called leishmaniasis, which results from bites of sand flies;
- hundreds of thousands of minor disease cases which can be generally characterized as gastrointestinal (i.e., resulting in diarrhea, headaches, stomach cramps etc.). They are all the result of bacterial, viral or parasitic infections which usually have limited, short-term consequences, but not always;
- hundreds of accident injuries. For example, roadway accident injuries suffered by members of a quick reaction force heading to an ambush location are apparently not counted as combat-related;
- thousands of cases of respiratory disease linked to exposure to toxic burn pit smoke;
- hundreds of suicides;
- thousands of cases of back, spinal and foot injuries due to the wearing of cheap and unnecessarily heavy body armor (when lighter titanium layered Kevlar is available).
In a March 25, 2009, report by Hannah Fischer of the U.S. Congressional Research Service on American military casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, she included the following initial statement:
“This report presents difficult-to-find statistics regarding U.S. military casualties in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF, Afghanistan), including those concerning medical evacuations, amputations, and the demographics of casualties. Some of these statistics are publicly available at the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) website, whereas others have been obtained through contact with experts at DOD.”
Casualty data should not be “difficult-to-find” for the U.S. Congress and especially for the American public. There is unquestionably a serious transparency problem within the Pentagon on this issue which problem should not exist in a democracy.
If the Pentagon told the truth to the American people about military casualties, the public would learn that the Taliban and al-Qaeda have been stunningly effective adversaries and that both wars seem more akin to defeats than victories. Such revelations might prompt a public discussion over the value of preemptive (and unnecessary wars) and even worse, raise the issue of the competence of Pentagon generals and admirals to wage such wars. To forestall such a public review, the Pentagon has opted to endorse the maxim that truth must remain the first casualty of war.
This two-part series examines the Pentagon’s policy towards and treatment of hearing injuries, brain injuries and mental health problems. This article begins the series and focuses on hearing injuries suffered by American troops.
Battlefield noise can be divided into two parts: continuous noise, and blast or impulse noise. Continuous noise can cause hearing damage over time is the levels are above 85 decibels. The American way of war seems to be inherently noisy. Its addiction to heavy armored vehicles and helicopters guarantees that troops are assaulted by a steady stream of noise. Under the Pentagon’s own studies, riding in a Bradley combat vehicle, at 15 miles per hour, will produce continuous noise of 115 decibels, which presents very serious health concerns to all personnel within the vehicle. While personnel are encouraged to wear hearing protection, such protection, even if worn, is not protective. The reason is that noise does not simply enter the body through the ear canal, but also enters the body cavity. There is extensive evidence that such exposures can lead to a variety of diseases, including vibroacoustic disease (VAB). VAB is a general category of organ and cardiovascular illnesses that can result from exposure to excessive noise.
The other type of noise is impact noise or sudden spikes in noise levels. These are caused by gunshots, explosions or even the sound of a hammer slamming into a nail. There is some disagreement regarding the danger levels for impulse noise. While experts within the U.S. Public Health Service and the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Diseases agree that any exposure to impulse noise at or above 140 decibels (even for a second) will cause some permanent hearing damage, many experts believe that the danger level is in fact 130 decibels and still others believe it to be as low as 120 decibels.
Some examples of impulse noise are:
- An American M-4 rifle will produce 157 decibels to the shooter;
- An American SAW rifle will produce 160 decibels;
- An American Javelin anti-tank weapon will produce 172 decibels;
- An American TOW missile will produce 180 decibels;
- An American light anti-tank weapon will produce 182 decibels; and
- An American 60 mm mortar will produce 185 decibels.
In order to protect one’s hearing while firing a 60 mm mortar, the operators must wear hearing protection that reduces (attenuates) the impulse noise by 46 decibels (if one believes the American Government) or up to 66 decibels if one wants to be completely safe. The problem for American troops is that the Pentagon does not provide hearing protection that will permit the safe operation of the 60 mm mortar, even though such protection is available.
In order to achieve a satisfactory level of hearing protection, soldiers must be outfitted with multiple layers of hearing protection, including hearing inserts which are custom-made for their ears (as every ear is slightly different). Companies, such as Westone, have experts who will create impressions of each soldier’s ears and will then custom manufacture devices for each of them but this author has found no evidence that the Pentagon has ever purchased these services or products. The U.S. Army’s inventory consists of CAE (combat arms earplugs) which are cheap and inadequate, and some better, but still inadequate, musicians’ earplugs, along with a variety of headset ear protection. Even if one combined the CAEs with a headset, it still would not provide adequate protection. This author has confirmed that American retailer Home Depot carries better hearing protection than most American troops are issued.
The Pentagon seems to be “nickel and dimming” (to use an American expression) its troops by purchasing cheap hearing protection. A package of 24 ear plugs costs the Pentagon $15.55, while musician’s ear pieces can cost $102.60 (according to the General Services Administration). Custom ear pieces can cost hundreds of dollars a pair and computerized headsets with built-in communications gear can cost over $1,000 a pair.
The January/February 2010, issue of “Hearing Loss Magazine” carried a story entitled “Hearing Loss --- The Price of War.” That caption is misleading. While some hearing loss is inevitable during war (such as that suffered in a sudden ambush or due to a rocket attack on a Forward Operating Base or due to traumatic brain injury resulting from an IED strike), other hearing losses (such as resulting from firing at the range, operating heavy equipment, riding in a Bradley fighting vehicle or operating a mortar) are preventable. The attitude that hearing loss is natural and inevitable helps to explain why the Pentagon does not consider hearing damage resulting in a combat zone to be an injury or a casualty.
Hearing Loss Magazine reported on a survey that revealed that 28% of American soldiers returning from Iraq had diminished hearing. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has certified that over 90,000 veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have service-connected tinnitus (permanent ringing in the ears), with another 80,000 suffer actual hearing damage. This does not include those who have completely lost their hearing due to an IED explosion. VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Magazine’s July 2006 issue reported on a U.S. Army study that found that 16% of soldiers surveyed had hearing loss so severe that it “would likely affect their performance in combat.” The test the Army used was one where a soldier with normal hearing could detect a weapon being cocked from 1,000 meters, while a soldier with degraded hearing could only hear such a sound from 46 meters.
These injuries, in many cases, were probably preventable, but these types of injuries are likely to continue because the Pentagon refuses to recognize that there is a problem. An Associated Press story from March 7, 2008, entitled: “Hearing Loss is Silent Epidemic in U.S. Troops” found the military hearing injury rate to be “staggering.”
The Pentagon’s refusal to acknowledge all the consequences of the decision to go to war (because of fear of repercussions), will not make these casualties go away. These casualties are real and are a direct result of fighting two wars. The soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who have suffered these combat injuries deserve to be recognized and the American people deserve a proper accounting of the mounting costs of their two seemingly endless wars. That accounting begins with an honest casualty count.
In Afghanistan, the light at the end of the tunnel is an exploding Taliban IED. The Pentagon has been given nine years to win its war and it has failed to do so. Last week the American public was given a status report by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who told Time Magazine that he is “pretty confident” that in six months the U.S. military will have made “sufficient progress” in the war.
This vague and hardly inspiring characterization (in which the Secretary commits to nothing) sets the stage for December 2010, at which time the military will cherry-pick positive news, as it minimalizes the bad news. The resulting concoction will be trumpeted as “progress.”
In order to continue to prosecute its lackluster war efforts and to deflect criticism regarding the competence of the military’s general officer corps, the Pentagon long ago realized that casualty rates had to be kept low. As they did not remain low, the statistics were adjusted. The procedure is simple. The Pentagon does not count 95% of the injured soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen as casualties. “Fudging the numbers” was adopted as the solution. All that matters is that Congress continues to fund the Pentagon’s wars.
Two categories of casualties that the Pentagon does not count are traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases and cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
TBI is defined any head injury, concussion or impact resulting in a loss of consciousness. The June 11, 2010, edition of the Huffington Post reported on an unpublished U.S. Army study of 18,305 First Infantry Division soldiers at Fort Carson, Colorado. The study, conducted by Colonel Heidi Terrio, found that 40% of returning soldiers had experienced at least mild TBI. Assuming that 1.5 million personnel have served in Iraq or Afghanistan; that percentage would equate to as many as 600,000 casualties.
PTSD is defined vaguely by the National Institute of Mental Health as an anxiety disorder triggered by one or more traumatic events. Symptoms include fear, flashbacks, numbness, memory loss and sudden anger outbursts. The June 2010, edition of “Archives of General Psychiatry” included a study entitled: “Rates of PTSD or Depression with Serious Functional Impairment” It found PTSD (with serious functional impairment) rates among veterans ranging from 8.5% to 14%. Assuming that 1.5 million personnel have served in Iraq or Afghanistan; that would equate to as many as 200,000 troops being seriously impaired. This does not include cases of PTSD that generate only mild functional impairment, which would add hundreds of thousands of additional victims to the equation.
On January 31, 2008, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study entitled: “Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in U.S. Soldiers Returning from Iraq.” As background, the research paper quotes a U.S. Army study that found that 18% of troops were suffering from mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) or had experienced a concussion. Those injured reported “persistent post-percussive symptoms” including irritability, loss of memory, headaches and difficulty concentrating. The study found a link between cases of PTSD and instances of TBI.
The numbers in these reports are staggering and the data is heartbreaking. They raise the question: Are these injuries, at least in part, preventable? The Kabul Press has been researching concussion-prevention technology. The results are startling.
What we found is that technology exists to significantly reduce combat-related concussions, but the Pentagon has not adopted them.
The area of most promise is helmet technology. Helmets need to be designed with the goal of reducing both the acute effects of a single trauma incident (such as a bullet ricochet or explosion) along with the chronic effects of repeated and more minor head trauma. The latter can also cause a neurological disorder called chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Years ago, the sports world moved away from foam padding and gel filled padding and adopted inflatable padding to line the inside of safety helmets. Specifically, manufacturers created helmets that are internally lined with rings of air-filled shock absorbers.
The sports world also consulted medical experts and anthropologists who confirmed that there are numerous human cranial sizes and shapes, therefore one helmet will not fit all. Human cranial capacity ranges from 1200 to 1850 cc’s and there is sexual dimorphism, which means that men and women have different skull ridges, lines, palates, orbits and sinuses. As a result, athletes have turned to custom manufactured helmets configured to meet the individual contours of the wearer. The Pentagon and the U.S. Department of State have, to-date, refused to recognize any of this research. They have instead opted to purchase cheap and outdated helmets in bulk in a few standard sizes. These helmets do not fit appropriately, have no shock absorbers and, therefore, the protection they offer is compromised, potentially severely.
A rare insight into Pentagon thinking on these issues was provided in an e-mail that was leaked to National Public Radio. It was written in April 2010, by Dr. Charles Hoge. From 2002 to 2009, Hoge was the U.S. Army’s senior Army mental health researcher at Walter Reed and he currently is an advisor to Army Surgeon General, Lt. General Eric Schoomaker. He wrote (according to T. Christian Miller of NPR):
“What’s the harm in missing the diagnosis of mild TBI?”
Dr. Hoge was quoted in the Huffington Post on June 16, 2010, as belittling the idea that PTSD is a trauma or an injury. He described it as simply a normal reaction to combat. Hoge, in the same report, dismissed the idea that there might be lingering effects from mild traumatic brain injury. Science has taken a back seat to politics.
While the Pentagon’s bureaucracy pays public lip service to the problems of TBI and PTSD, it is not supportive of any substantive efforts to recognize or reduce these combat injuries.
American soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen face the worst of two worlds.
First, they continue to be supplied with cheap and substandard equipment (which has become a Pentagon tradition), while military contractors and war profiteers linked to Administration officials become rich. Second, when they are injured, their courage and actions are not recognized. Their injuries are many times not treated or acknowledged, and they are abandoned by the country they risked everything to protect. It is a shameful spectacle.
|Illicit sex and boozing by civilian U.S. contractors and officials in Afghanistan undermining mission|
U.S. Embassy silent on sex trafficking, brothels and other abuses; U.S. troops would be jailed for similar activities
by: Matthew J. Nasuti, former U.S. Air Force Captain with the First Special Operations Wing and Senior City Management Advisor with the U.S. State Department (2008)
America’s 2001 invasion of Afghanistan has done little to improve the lives of ordinary Afghans, but the arrival of American, NATO and UN officials and contractors has generated a growing demand for prostitutes, created a flourishing sex trade industry in Kabul and helped to spur the trafficking in prostitutes, some of them children. Afghan women have heard speeches and have been asked to participate in photo opportunities by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (i.e., they have received the equivalent of trinkets and baubles) but otherwise they have been ignored. Abuses against women during wartime always seem to be considered inevitable and therefore somehow acceptable.
With a high profile woman as U.S. Secretary of State, this war should be different. This article reviews the direct and indirect culpability of the U.S. Embassy in the abuse of Afghan women and it offers concrete solutions. One solution is to have the U.S. Marines immediately replace the scandal-ridden private security companies that currently guard the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
“After the fall of the Taliban in 2001 women were promised new freedoms. But now many are being forced into prostitution as a result of worsening poverty.” Lifting the Veil on the Afghan Sex Trade, by Rajeshree Sisodia (April 9, 2006) published by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)
Lisa Tang of the Associated Press, in a June 15, 2008, story carried by USA Today entitled: Sex Trade Thrives in Afghanistan interviewed a 13 year old Afghan girl who had been a prostitute for the past two years. Her story, sadly, is not unique. Ann Jones, in her excellent book “Kabul in Winter,” recounts the misery of the Kabul prostitutes who cater to foreign officials and contractors.
The brothels in Kabul are euphemistically referred to as “Chinese restaurants.”
They acquired this name because Chinese government operatives helped to create some of them, in the shadow of legitimate Chinese restaurants, as part of their intelligence-gathering network. Many of these non-Afghan prostitutes have been trafficked into the country. A June 23, 2008, report from a prominent UK feminist web site (theFword.org) entitled: Women trafficked to Afghanistan to meet demand from Westerners by Jess McCabe, details how Chinese women are tricked into moving to Afghanistan under the belief that they will be working in a legitimate restaurant.
In Kabul Cat Houses Are No Secret (September 17, 2009), Bill Roggio in longwarjournal.org reported that: A U.S. Embassy subcontractor named RA International was actually running one of the Kabul brothels.
Mr. Roggio discovered that RA was a subcontractor to the U.S. Embassy’s prime security contractor - ArmorGroup. Wayne Madsen, writing for Online Journal on September 15, 2009, reported that a senior RA official was actually living at one of the Chinese brothels, called the “Light House.” Mr. Madsen reported on objections lodged by the Afghan government about RA; objections which were ignored by the U.S. Embassy. Richard Lardner, reporting for the Huffington Post on November 10, 2009, recounted the testimony of James Gordon, former director of operations for ArmorGroup. Gordon stated that Congress had been misled about whether ArmorGroup employees frequented brothels known to house trafficked women. He detailed his briefings to State Department officials regarding security risks created by his company, but was ignored. In response to these events, there is silence and inaction from Hillary Clinton and her Embassy in Kabul. This silence and inaction are not limited to sex trafficking, but extends to other Western vices that have reappeared in Kabul, including alcohol abuse at the U.S. Embassy. To this reporter’s knowledge, no State Department officials have been disciplined for any of these matters.
The State Department is not alone in its tolerance regarding the victimization of Afghan women. The British newspaper The Sun ran a story on April 7, 2008 entitled: “NATO Men Romp in Afghan Brothels”
Sun Defense Editor Tom Newton Dunn detailed how NATO troops were observed drinking contraband alcohol and heading off to rooms with prostitutes. It quoted a NATO official as stating that one out of every five NATO civilians in Afghanistan frequent these brothels. The official feared that such conduct and the public reaction to it would eventually derail the NATO security mission. The report quoted Afghan Member of Parliament Shukria Barakzai as stating that if this conduct continues: “They will undermine their reason for being here.”
Secretary Clinton’s silence and the silence of her regional Ambassador Richard Holbrooke to the sexual abuse of women is not new.
Secretary Clinton’s silence and the silence of her regional Ambassador Richard Holbrooke to the sexual abuse of women is not new.
As detailed in a chilling book: Rape Warfare - The Hidden Genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia by Beverly Allen, there were numerous sightings during the 1980’s of U.N. personnel and UNPROFOR troops at Serbian rape locations, including Sonja’s Kin Tiki restaurant/rape camp in Vogosca and the Park Hotel also in Vogosca.
“Visitors” to these locations allegedly included the U.N. Protection Force Commander in Sarajevo, Canadian Major General Lewis MacKenzie, along with senior military observer Richard Grey. Witnesses observed New Zealand, French, Ukrainian and African peacekeepers at these locations. These criminal acts have apparently not ceased. On May 6, 2004, the BBC headline was Kosovo UN Troops ‘fuel sex’ trade.
It recited a just-released report from Amnesty International which concluded that UN and NATO troops in Kosovo were helping to promote the forced sexual exploitation of women and of girls as young as 11 years old. The number of locations in Kosovo where such victimization of women and girls took place rose from 18 in 1999 to 200 in 2003. The report stated that the U.N. had quietly reassigned ten police officers, and NATO approximately twenty-seven soldiers, but apparently there were no prosecutions of these men. This was followed on October 19, 2005, by The New York Times headline:
“Report Finds U.N. Isn’t Moving to End Sex Abuse by Peacekeepers.”
The Report revealed that the United Nations remains unimpressed and unconcerned regarding the crimes of sexual assault and rape. Likewise, the UN’s war crimes tribunal at The Hague, for political reasons, declined to prosecute any of the victors for these offenses. Only the losers get prosecuted. First Lady (and now Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Administration’s Special Ambassador to Yugoslavia Richard Holbrooke were then, and remain today, conspicuously silent regarding what occurred to women in Bosnia and Kosovo, just as they remain so today about Afghanistan.
This silence and inaction is not limited to sex trafficking.
Secretary Clinton also remains unwilling to clamp down on alcohol abuse at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
What most readers don’t know is that American military facilities in Afghanistan are dry (no alcohol is permitted), but the U.S. Embassy is exempt from those prohibitions. Diplomats, who live in relative comfort in Kabul, are free to party while our troops fight and die. It is shameful. This author has been circulating on Capitol Hill an Amendment to the State Department’s FY2010 budget. This amendment would legislate that the U.S. Embassies in Iraq and Afghanistan comply with the same alcohol ban as American troops are subject to.
Where is the U.S. State Department in all of this? A press conference was held on September 11, 2009, in Washington, D.C., by Assistant Secretary of State Philip J. Crowley. He was asked about newly disclosed allegations that the U.S. Embassy in Kabul was apprised in 2007 that one if its security contractors was involved in sex trafficking in Afghanistan and did nothing. Secretary Crowley refused to comment. The excuse is always that the matter is in litigation or the Inspector General is reviewing the matter. Such pretexts for silence create the appearance of guilt and project a negative image of the United States.
There is no substitute for honesty and transparency.
Danielle Brian, Executive Director of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), sent a detailed report to Secretary Clinton on September 1, 2009, urging her to implement reforms within the State Department and to discipline Embassy officials who have proven an embarrassment to the nation. That appeal and many others continue to be ignored. Secretary Clinton pays lip service to women’s rights issues and never misses a photo opportunity to appear with a women’s group, but her inaction in these matters suggests a different agenda.
An interesting side note regarding alcohol abuse at the U.S. Embassy is that, pursuant to American law, alcohol abuse may be a basis for denying a foreigner a visa to visit the United States. The same U.S. Embassy, which contends that such conduct is not acceptable for visitors to America, seems to have no problem with its employees and contractors exhibiting the same conduct overseas. Its motto appears to be: “Do as I say and not as I do.”
One of the unpublicized side effects of any new 30,000 or 40,000 person surge in U.S. military personnel to Afghanistan is that they will be accompanied by a similar number of supporting civilians.
That is the new structure for the U.S. military as it has outsourced many of its key logistics functions. This surge in civilian contractors will only exacerbate the problems discussed so far in this article. This is not a new problem. In the February 26, 1944, dispatch of legendary Foreign Service Officer John S. Service, he detailed problems regarding the surge of U.S. troops into the Chengtu area of China. The dispatch discussed the poor opinions many area residents had of Americans due to off-base “rowdiness” by American Volunteer Group civilians. For Afghanistan, one solution is to explore ways to reduce the need for (and therefore the presence of) civilian contractors in Kabul and other major Afghan cities.
Secretary Clinton should propose that a joint UN/NATO task force be established in Kabul to explore ways to consolidate operations, facilities and aid projects so as to reduce the private contractor footprint in Afghanistan. It should promote the hiring of Afghans and Afghan companies and the buying of more goods domestically in Afghanistan.
Another solution is to begin a competent program of aid relief that does not place 80+% of the aid into the pockets of foreign contractors, but actually funnels the aid through Afghan ministries and to ordinary Afghans (see last month’s article on “American’s Phantom Aid to Afghanistan” and the string of investigative reports prior to it).
Secretary Clinton should take the lead by terminating the U.S. Embassy’s foreign security forces. ArmorGroup and RA and others contractors have been a constant source of negative press stories, just as Blackwater was. These contractors are supposed to work under the close supervision of the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), but DS has proven time and again that it is not up to its oversight task. DS also gets low marks for its counter-intelligence operations as it permits its security contractors to frequent brothels run by Chinese intelligence operatives. The result of continuing DS lapses is a seemingly endless stream of embarrassing headlines such as:
“Scandalous US Kabul Embassy” (Sept. 4, 2009) IslamOnline.net
“Boozy Scandal at U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan” (Sept. 4, 2009) SF Chronicle
Similar negative press reports have plagued the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and they have now begun for the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad. In order to repair and restore America’s image and as a first step in trying to protect the women of Afghanistan, Secretary Clinton should fall back on a trusted and reliable method of protecting American diplomats and embassies: the U.S. Marines.
The U.S. Marines should immediately replace DS and its security contractors in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, before the next scandal occurs.
Unless action is taken to curb these abuses, the “hearts and minds” of the Afghan people may continue to move in the direction of the Taliban. In Afghanistan: Mirage of the Good War, appearing at PakPeace.net (July 19, 2009) Tariq Ali criticizes what he calls “the foreign mercenaries backing up the NATO forces.”
“Even sympathetic observers admit that their alcohol consumption and patronage of a growing number of brothels in Kabul is arousing public anger and resentment. Many who detest the Taliban are so angered by the failures of NATO and the behavior of its troops that they are pleased there is some opposition.”
America’s embassies are supposed to project a positive image of the American people. One of their purposes is to counter the propaganda of Usama bin Laden and others that America’s freedoms bring nothing but crime, abuse of women and moral decay. Instead of being part of the solution, the State Department is part of the problem. Secretary Clinton’s silence and her refusal to act to rein in the growing list of abuses are damaging the war effort.
Matthew J. Nasuti, former U.S. Air Force Captain with the First Special Operations Wing and Senior City Management Advisor with the U.S. State Department (2008)