Saagar calls for Congress to investigate origins of the Afghanistan War

Opinion by: Saagar Enjeti 

Yesterday, all three cable networks went live for more than 10 hours to bring you the riveting rival testimony of the house intelligence committee counsels from the Republican and Democrat side.

As you can imagine, they disagreed with each other. The Democrats asked questions to get soundbites for twitter to the Republican one, the Republicans did the same to the Democrat.

When the pundit class was done salivating over this elite drama over whether it's ok to temporarily endanger Ukrainian military aide, they picked up a story of equal importance, whether the FBI investigation into President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE was properly initiated and whether these officials conducted themselves above board. As predicted MSNBC and the New York times spun the newly-released IG report as vindicating for the FBI, conservatives pointed out the many documented instances of power.

Both of these stories perfectly tell you the obsessions of the political elite bad faith blame games masked as a real struggle over who gets to pull the levers of our American oligarchy. They utterly pale in comparison to one we briefly touched on this show yesterday when

The Washington Post revealed a secret government report which detailed American officials admitting, on the record, that for nearly 2 decades we were systematically lied to about the war in Afghanistan, that statistics were manipulated at the request of the White House and the Pentagon to paint a rosier picture, and that to this day we have absolutely no idea what we're doing in the country.

How much time do you think this got on cable news? I'll tell you the answer, barely any because this story broke in the morning before all these shenanigans started. If there is to be a long congressional inquiry shouldn't it be on this? Shouldn't every single U.S. official who secretly told government investigators that they lied to us come and be forced to admit it to our faces?

If we are to have a long report on the conduct of government officials finds failures and recommends fixes like the IG report, shouldn't we have that about the war that cost us 2 trillion dollars! Impeachment is a 46-46 issue, but I can bet you that this would have 100% support.

Sadly I like all of you know this will never happen because it implicates everybody. The report released by the Washington Post demonstrates perfectly the bipartisan boondoggle that is the war in Afghanistan. The Obama White House lied to us just as much as the bush white, and probably just as much as the Trump White House. There are no cheap political points to be scored and besides everybody is making too much damn money.

The report really shows in its totality how people of immense power can be cowed by the military-industrial complex anytime they had misgivings about what was going on in Afghanistan. As former 3-star general and Afghan policy head for Obama and the Bush White House Douglas Lute put it to investigators quote "we were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan -- we didn't know what we were doing. What are we trying to do here? We didn't have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking."

Furthermore, a 2017 study even found that the swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin would have gone for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton offers congratulations over Elliot Page announcement Biden brushes off criticism of budget nominee Mellman: Mired in Partisanship MORE if the number of war casualties were lower. Higher military casualties can literally swing elections as they should.

All of this is to say is that we're going to have a national debate over something, let it be this. Let it be about how to spend billions of dollars a day in a godforsaken part of the world that doesn't want us there and let all of you who are voting in the Democratic primary think long and hard about who you decide to support. Because if you're not ready on day 1 to totally commit yourself to a different direction, you'll just get steamrolled like all the rest