Last week two Army whistleblowers have gone public with their personal observations and experience as research professors at the US Army War College boldly announcing to the world that the US Army is full of liars. Drs. Leonard Wong and Stephen J. Gerras, both fellow West Point graduates and career Army officers who at one time taught leadership at their alma mater, have written a 52-page monograph entitled “Lying to Ourselves: Dishonesty in the Army Profession.” It criticizes US military leadership for its grossly rampant failure to be honest. In order to improve the corruption they have encountered, from inside the Army’s research center and military graduate school on leadership, they write:
Untruthfulness is surprisingly common in the U.S. military even though members of the
profession are loath to admit it. Further, much of the deception and dishonesty that occurs in the
profession of arms is actually encouraged and sanctioned by the military institution.
Wong and Gerras cite the undue pressures placed on military officers of lower ranks ensuring that their troops, duties and/or workloads are maintaining the high standards of performance required. systematically causes them to project overly-inflated, false renditions. In such a rigid, hierarchically structured chain of command as found in the US Army, subordinates will tend to resort to great lengths to deceptively cover up the truth for purposes of appearance sake. Wong and Gerras add:
Until a candid exchange begins within the Army that includes recognition of the rampant
duplicity, the current culture will not improve… The end result is a profession whose members
often hold and propagate a false sense of integrity that prevents the profession from addressing -
or even acknowledging - the duplicity and deceit throughout the formation.
No sooner was the unflattering War College report released, Veterans Today stated that its efforts to run the public document were initially hacked by the government’s cyber-warfare brigade. Even The Daily Mail got attacked by viruses. Without a virus, it’s available in pdf here.
David Swanson in his powerful article “US Army Claims to be Full of Liars” takes the two Army critics to task by confronting the circumspect, narrow domain of deception perpetrated by the Army to just hiding less than stellar performance records. He asks what about the constant lying to Congress and the nation about wars being winnable, about the depraved war crime cover-ups, about the sinister truth of Empire wars themselves? This overt avoidance of honestly taking on the bigger lack of moral truth that Wong and Gerras have selectively omitted from their report, their refusal to be honest in Swanson’s words about “the mission of mass murder - makes them ‘ethically numb.’” His point is well taken as Swanson calls them out, “You’re lying to yourselves.”
State Department whistleblower Matthew Hoh spells out the truth in more detail:
The culture of lying that is endemic and systemic in the Army, as found by researchers with the
Army War College, finds its expression in America’s pointless wars, a one trillion dollar-a-year,
pork-filled and inauditable national security budget, chronic veteran suicides, an expanded and
more globally robust international terrorist movement, and untold suffering of millions of people
and political chaos throughout the Greater Middle East perpetuated by our war policies.
Ask any veterans and even active duty personnel anonymously about truth in the military and the majority will overwhelmingly report that honesty is a foreign word in their leaders’ vocabulary as well as their behavior, particularly the military’s top leadership. The professors’ timely paper underscores the current vacuum of honesty and integrity that’s at the heart of today’s crisis in leadership in this nation. From our military leaders to political leaders to our corporate leaders to our courts, academia, medicine, virtually across the boards – leaders all lie because it’s a mandatory requirement in order to function in the morally polluted environment and thoroughly broken system in which they have so cunningly navigated to the very top echelons of power. To reach the pinnacle point in this power pyramid operating in both America and throughout the globe, one must be a psychopathic, power-craving, power-lusting liar. Every successful player in this closed, insulated system if they were honest for once would admit this truth that virtually everyone else outside the system has plainly come to see for many decades. But then it’s the nature of the beast for psychopaths to habitually lie to the point they don’t even realize it.
Psychopaths pretend to have empathy but cannot actually genuinely feel how others feel, only mimic it in contrived moments and situations they sense will enhance their message, image or standing, always with the intended manipulation to gain favor, trust or power. The world of the psychopath shares elements and attributes in common with narcissists, merging their insatiable need for inflated self-importance and grandiosity with their need for control, manipulation and power over others. Anything to get ahead, playing the sycophantic game of ingratiation, means knowing how to grease up those in power so that their superiors smile favorably at their blind ambition in acknowledgement that they too are just like them, possessing all the right credentials from the same elitist schools (i.e., the Ivies, Stanford and/or West Point), all the right career assignments, punching their ticket straight up the ladder of success to the psychopathic senior club membership. This nation of ours – the United States of America – has been taken over and hijacked by this elitist group of psychopaths who lie with their every public breath they take.
As a graduate of the US Military Academy, I went to school with ex CIA Director General David Petraeus, Big Brother architect NSA Director General Keith Alexander and current top officer in the US, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey. While they were all members from the class of 1974 directly behind me, my two freshman roommates are both Council on Foreign Relations members, one the longest running commander of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars General John Abizaid and the other recent Ambassador to Afghanistan General Karl Eikenberry. Having underwent the same education and leadership training as this card carrying who’s who of elitists busily pushing us off the doomsday cliff, I saw firsthand how military leaders from the get-go are groomed, spawned and rewarded not for their honesty or integrity but for how well they play the psychopathic lying game to success. Though on our first day as cadets we all took oaths swearing to comply with both our Cadet Honor Code to never to lie, cheat or steal as well as defend and protect our nation’s Constitution, in practice particularly once officers in the US military, honesty and protecting our civil liberties all go right out the window.
Because as a cadet I quickly realized brainwashing our future leaders into unthinking, robotic killing machines is not the best way to teach and develop positive leadership, I became an outspoken target for a tradition that had thrived at the Academy since its 1802 founding. The colonel who headed my First Regiment’s Tactical Department, in charge of instilling “discipline” within the Corps of Cadets, called into his office the major who was my tactical officer and commanded that he railroad me out of the academy in the final two weeks of the term on a series of false charges. While cadets found lying are immediately thrown out, I realized then that a blatantly hypocritical double standard existed that allowed officers to lie through their teeth in commission of their crimes directly violating my due process as a US citizen. And so on the final day, they nailed me for a bogus offense that put me five demerits over the allowable limit of 102 for the six month term.
Because I was at the end of my third year, after committing command conspiracy and falsifying my demerits, the Army was about to commit double punishment by demoting me to private in the Army for the next four years when I had only one year left to graduation. I proceeded to charge West Point with failure to allow due process of law in their haste to rid itself of me without the opportunity to present my side of the story. In July 1972 the Honorable Judge Charles Brieant presiding in the New York City federal district court ruled in my favor and reinstated me pending the outcome of a “fair hearing” back at West Point where I would later exercise my due process right in challenging the false demerits including witnesses testifying on my behalf. I became the first cadet ever to beat the inhumane, unjust West Point system after 170 years of operating above constitutional law. Hundreds of former cadets over the last couple centuries had been victims of dishonest officers who misused their abusive power and authority by unfairly aborting their education and destroying their short-lived military careers. Early on from my military experience I learned the top leaders in the Army are grossly lacking in both integrity and honesty.
At the same time that officers at West Point systematically were violating the Honor Code that I swore an oath to uphold, high ranking officers in both the Pentagon and on the ground in Vietnam for years were lying to the American public and Congress claiming the US was winning the war when every government insider knew it was a lie having drawn the opposite foregone conclusion in what came to be called the Pentagon Papers that whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg eventually leaked to the New York Times in the summer of 1971.
Moreover, all the top US Army generals were committing crimes against humanity in Vietnam wiping out village after village of up to 50,000 innocent South Vietnamese civilians from December 1968 to June 1969 as part of US war policy per Operation Speedy Express. The generals then proceeded to covering up their atrocities by constantly suppressing the evidence and repeatedly lying in boldface denial, right up until investigative journalist-author Nick Turse painstakingly compiled mountains of documented eyewitness proof in his 2013 book Kill Anything that Moves. Incentives to indiscriminately murder innocent people down to their domestic oxen to then dishonestly pad fake numbers into their all-important body count to maintain the deceitful illusion that the US was winning the war was repeated as a constant virtually throughout the Vietnam War.
The division commander of the platoon and company directly involved in the one incident that was uncovered by then New York Times reporter Seymour Hersh a year and a half after My Lai massacre, happened to be the West Point Superintendent while I was a first year cadet. For his active role in the incident’s cover-up, General Stanley Koster was demoted a star and relieved of his West Point command. His final words to the Corps of 3,800 Cadets assembled for lunch in the mess hall in March 1970 were, “Don’t let the bastards getcha down.”
Then decades later in a déjà vu moment General Petraeus was following his lying West Point predecessors General William Westmoreland and Creighton Abrams by also lying to Congress and the nation in March 2011 that we were once again winning the Afghanistan War when in fact it had become all too obvious that another long drawn out, costly US war defeat not unlike Vietnam and Iraq was in the making. With repeated lies and cover-ups characterizing the Pentagon over the decades, it comes as no surprise or actual news even to most Americans to learn of the War College professors’ conclusion that the US Army is saturated and riddled with liars from top on down.
The system has long both bred and required a culture of deception as a requisite to surviving and operating in such a morally bankrupt and corrosive organization as the US military. With more war crimes perpetuated yet again by US military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, thanks to the heroic courage of Private Manning leaking evidence to Wikileaks, the world found out that the lies and cover-ups after committing countless wartime atrocities are simply what the US Empire does. In fact, it has come to be its trademark in addition to the utter destruction of the failed states it invariably leaves in its wake. Though it cost the Army whistleblower Manning 35 years of his life in prison, not one of the thousands of US military war criminals have spent even one day in jail.
Then more war crimes were exposed in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal that broke in 2005. General Petraeus was already knee deep in that debacle. In charge of training Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005 to take over the dozens of detainment centers strewn throughout Iraq, the war crime trio Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld sent to Iraq the same war criminal Colonel James Steele from the 1980’s Central American death squad commando-Iran Contra days (Reagan fondly referred to them as his “freedom fighters”) to help train yet more death squad commandos to wreak havoc in another war torn nation thirty years later. Directly under Petraeus’ command was a Colonel James H. Coffman who worked hand in hand with Steele to implement yet more brutal roundups, imprisonment, torture, and murder that the trained Shiite death squads committed against Sunnis that led directly to the out of control sectarian violence still raging in Iraq today.
Invading, occupying and warring against Third World nations that never posed any national security threat to the United States has been the American Empire’s imperialistic signature foreign policy for well over a century. Crimes against humanity have been maliciously repeated in every single war by United States armed forces. It reflects shamefully on the diabolical leaders in charge, from the commander-in-chief to his generals. So is it any wonder the US military and government are lying, murderous, treasonous psychopaths? Today this pervasive absence of morality and ethics flourishes at the top in all echelons of US government as well as the military. What Americans are facing in the fascist totalitarian oligarchy they currently find themselves living in is a militarized police state run by a rogue crime syndicate of traitorous thugs gone haywire in their ruthless tyranny who abide by no constitutional or international law. When American Empire systematically causes global destabilization, geopolitical polarization, massive impoverishment, increasing risk of nuclear war, accelerating its global agenda of implementing both slow and fast kill eugenics on the human population, lying permeates the Empire killing machine in vain effort to conceal its far greater sin of human genocide and mass murder of all planetary life on earth.
Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer. He has written a manuscript based on his unique military experience entitled “Don’t Let The Bastards Getcha Down.” It examines and focuses on US international relations, leadership and national security issues. After the military, Joachim earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and worked as a licensed therapist in the mental health field for more than a quarter century. He now concentrates on his writing and has a blog site at http://empireexposed. blogspot. com/. He is also a regular contributor to Global Research and a syndicated columnist at Veterans Today.