Friday, October 22

Conscientious Objector

Karen Kwaitowski Lt. Col Karen Kwiatkowski is a Pentagon Insider.

As an aide in the Office of Special Plans she had direct involvment with the planning process, or lack thereof, leading up to the invasion of Iraq. She spoke recently on NPR and discussed how skeptical those in the military were of extravagant claims of WMD's in Iraq. Contrary to many in Congress it seems, members of the military at the upper echelons of the Pentagon had direct access to un-redacted intelligence information and could see that the evidence of Iraqi WMD's was quite thin, and unsubstantial, just as the recently released Comprehensive CIA Report on IRAQ by the ISG (Iraq Survey Group) lead by Charles Duelfer, has described.

Kwiatkoski describes an environment leading up to War where the military experts on what should be done and how were either ignored or like accused of being traitors by political appointees of the Bush Administration. Long before the actual War began it was clear that facts, truth and experience were far less important to these people that propogating their grand plan to remake Iraq into a "free-market paradise".
    "About that same time, my education on the history and generation of the neoconservative movement had completed its first stage. I now understood that neoconservatism was both unhistorical and based on the organizing construct of “permanent revolution.” I had studied the role played by hawkish former Sen. Scoop Jackson (D-Wash.) and the neoconservative drift of formerly traditional magazines like National Review and think tanks like the Heritage Foundation. I had observed that many of the neoconservatives in the Pentagon not only had limited military experience, if any at all, but they also advocated theories of war that struck me as rejections of classical liberalism, natural law, and constitutional strictures. More than that, the pressure of the intelligence community to conform, the rejection of it when it failed to produce intelligence suitable for supporting the “Iraq is an imminent threat to the United States” agenda, and the amazing things I was hearing in both Bush and Cheney speeches told me that not only do neoconservatives hold a theory based on ideas not embraced by the American mainstream, but they also have a collective contempt for fact.

    By August, I was morally and intellectually frustrated by my powerlessness against what increasingly appeared to be a philosophical hijacking of the Pentagon. Indeed, I had sworn an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, but perhaps we were never really expected to take it all that seriously …"
On the day that the Iraq War began, Kwiatkoski left her post at the Pentagon and has been writing for the American Conservative. What she has to say about the inner workings of the Bush Administration in relation to the military and intelligence used to justify the War on Iraq is chilling.

A profile of Lt. Col Karen Kwiatkoski and more articles are available on Military


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