From Rolling Stone’s Michael Hastings:
Under duress, Holmes and his team provided Caldwell with background assessments on the visiting senators, and helped prep the general for his high-profile encounters. But according to members of his unit, Holmes did his best to resist the orders. Holmes believed that using his team to target American civilians violated the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which was passed by Congress to prevent the State Department from using Soviet-style propaganda techniques on U.S. citizens. But when Holmes brought his concerns to Col. Gregory Breazile, the spokesperson for the Afghan training mission run by Caldwell, the discussion ended in a screaming match. “It’s not illegal if I say it isn’t!” Holmes recalls Breazile shouting.
If you want to cut the budget, start with Afghanistan.
It was worth it when Pres. Obama came into office, but since McChrystal’s implosion proved the strategy had failed, the latest news from Hastings renews the need for courage to stop our engagement there.
This comes as former Gov. Mike Huckabee becomes the latest Republican to doubt the end game in Afghanistan.
That’s because we don’t have one.
Since I was a strong supporter of Pres. Obama’s Afghanistan policy from the start, but especially what Sect. Clinton is doing there, if McChrystal’s implosion didn’t do it, which was my own personal tipping point, and if Hastings’ latest revealing the desperation of the policy’s continued failure isn’t enough, I have to ask what is it going to take for others to see the futility of our policy at this point and do something about it?
If the Right could ever agree that conservatism means austerity on foolishly long foreign engagements they actually might find themselves in the majority. Because with all the Blue Dogs on the Left, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to come from Democrats.
Oh, and just so we’re clear on what Michael Hastings has reported. What Caldwell is doing is not just wrong, it’s illegal.