Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

The material I post on this blog represents my views and mine alone. The material you post on this blog represents your views and yours alone.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

An archive of classified military documents offers an unvarnished view of the war in Afghanistan

NYT July 25, 2010
In Disclosing Secret Documents, WikiLeaks Seeks ‘Transparency’
By ERIC SCHMITT, the online organization that posted tens of thousands of classified military field reports about the Afghan war on Sunday, says its goal in disclosing secret documents is to reveal “unethical behavior” by governments and corporations.

Since it was founded in December 2006, WikiLeaks has exposed internal memos about the dumping of toxic material off the African coast, the membership rolls of a racist British party, and the American military’s manual for operating its prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

“We believe that transparency in government activities leads to reduced corruption, better government and stronger democracies,” the organization’s Web site says. “All governments can benefit from increased scrutiny by the world community, as well as their own people. We believe this scrutiny requires information.”

The trove of war reports posted Sunday dwarfs the scope and volume of documents that the organization has made public in the past. . . .

Read these logs. 

Perhaps they will help you to feel like you’re more involved in this longest of American wars.  The Summer Movies, the NEW TV season, the latest version of a gadget that allows you to glue it to your ear and take turns telling acquaintances the cool stuff you just did, like eat a whole pizza or smile at someone you “OMG don’t even know,” all present “teasers” to bring you on board their diversion expresses.  Would you call the following excerpts from the War Logs  “teasers”?  Maybe not. 

November 28, 2006

Gardez Orphanage Ribbon Cutting

- The PRT Commander gave a speech about how honored we were to help the orphans and presented a leather jacket to the man who runs the orphanage. The jacket was donated by a friend of the commander in the United States with instructions to give it to someone special. The commander stated that she could think of no one more deserving then someone who cared for orphans. . .

December 20, 2006

- We expressed our concern that when we conducted a follow-up check of the orphanage that we opened [in Gardez] a couple weeks ago, we found very few orphans living there and could not find most of the HA we had given them. He stated he was also concerned about what was going on over there and has no idea what they did with the money that he gave during the ribbon cutting which was supposed to be divided among the orphans. He does not believe they got any benefit from the funds. He also stated that he had only seen about 30 orphans, not the 102 that the orphanage director said lived there. He said he would have the Director of Social Affairs follow-up. 

October 16, 2007

SOCIAL: The PRT visited the Gardez Orphanage to conduct an assessment and drop HA and toys to the center. There are currently no orphans at the facility due to the Holiday (note: orphans are defined has having no father, but may still have mother and a family structure that will have them home for holidays.) Governor ————  states that the Red Crescent fund raiser (donation tickets) for winter relief has begun in the Province and will be collecting funds to aid the unfortunate during severe winter weather.

Most Americans have paid little for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Without a draft,  the deaths and the wounds, the long stretch of emotional healing following multiple deployments, have and are being borne by relatively few.  Most who suffer are unknown to you and me.  Spouses and parents of those who serve are affected directly;  friends and neighbors of these warriors acknowledge and recognize their sacrifices; most at home, far from the wars, are untouched–most of the untouched act accordingly.   And in these days of debates over the economy, tax cuts and tax increases, budget deficits and rising national debt, need it be mentioned that we are not paying for these wars.  We are putting them on the tab, costs to be paid for by future generations.


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