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Afghan Reconstruction Watchdog Tells Congress of U.S. “Mendacity” and “Lies”

HeadlineJan 16, 2020

On Capitol Hill, the top government watchdog for Afghanistan reconstruction told lawmakers Wednesday that U.S. officials have routinely lied to the American public throughout the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, now in its 19th year. Special Inspector General John F. Sopko was testifying to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. 

John Sopko: “The problem is there is a disincentive, really, to tell the truth. And when we talk about mendacity, when we talk about lying, it’s not just by lying about a particular program. It’s lying by omissions, by saying, 'Oh, I can't tell you about the casualties,’ or 'I can't tell you about how good the Afghans [inaudible] weapons,’ or 'I can't tell you this and that.’ Turns out that everything that’s bad news has been classified over the last few years.”

Last month, The Washington Post published excerpts from a confidential trove of documents that revealed how senior U.S. officials have repeatedly lied about the war’s progress while hiding evidence the war had become unwinnable.

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