Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), a Democratic presidential candidate and combat veteran, is calling for a congressional inquiry following a report saying U.S. officials misled the public about their progress throughout the 18-year-old war in Afghanistan.
“First of all I’m putting legislation in to call for a congressional inquiry,” Gabbard, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told Hill.TV on Tuesday. “There has to be accountability for the lying and the wasting of American taxpayer dollars.”
“The cost of this war and regime change wars and the nation-building that follows is immeasurable in many ways but it’s measurable in the ways that have been detailed in that Washington Post report,” she added.
The Washington Post on Monday released a cache of documents based largely on interviews with the U.S. officials who played a direct role in the Afghanistan war. The interviews were conducted by a government watchdog and obtained by the Post through a Freedom of Information Act request.
John Sopko, head of the federal agency that conducted the interviews, told the newspaper that documents show “the American people have constantly been lied to” on Afghanistan.
The interviews also revealed a lack of understanding, strategy and progress in a war that was regularly described publicly as being on the brink of success.
“We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan — we didn’t know what we were doing,” Ret. Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, who served as a top adviser on the war during the Bush and Obama administrations, told government interviewers in 2015. “What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.”