The Pentagon’s Smear Campaign on Lt. Col. Davis

According to journalist Michael Hastings (author of the brilliant book on the war in Afghanistan The Operators), there is a coordinated smear campaign by the Pentagon aimed at whistleblower Lieutenant Colonel Daniel L. Davis. Davis, who was deployed to Afghanistan numerous times, has in recent days written and spoken out against the “rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground,” which he claims bear “no resemblance” to the truth.

Hastings drew attention to this on his twitter account today:

Folks, just heard from sources regarding LTC Daniel Davis.Pentagon smear campaign at work; beware of claims made by unnamed officials.
2/9/12 2:36 PM


The smear campaign is apparently well underway, as Pentagon officials announced an investigation of Davis is underway to determine whether “possible security violations” have taken place. They have also already made false statements to the press:

Specifically, I’ve been told the last paragraph of this story is almost completely wrong:
2/9/12 2:23 PM


The link Hastings provides leads to an article at entitled “Pentagon investigates colonel over critical report on US progress in Afghanistan.” The last paragraph he refers to is as follows:

Additionally, Pentagon and military officials claim that two years ago while he was stationed in Germany, Davis wrote a letter to Petraeus, advising Petraeus on how to fight and win a war against Iran. The officials say Davis also asked Petraeus to help him skip a rank and get promoted to brigadier general so he could help shape the strategy for a war against Iran.

As Hastings warns, we should skeptical of any statements about Davis made by unnamed officials. This is of course indicative of the extraordinary culture of deference and conformity embedded in the military and political spheres in this country. People on the inside must have a sense that such attacks will occur if they dissent.

Also, I find it terribly unlikely that the Pentagon is going forward with this unwarranted investigation and smear campaign against someone who actually told the truth about the Afghan war without the President’s knowing about it. Obama’s war on whistleblowers has been unprecedented, and apparently continues unabated.

5 thoughts on “The Pentagon’s Smear Campaign on Lt. Col. Davis”

  1. When I first read this story , I knew the Army would try to fry this officer. They don't want anyone , especially a high ranking officer, speaking against the established message. What is so despicable is that Generals such as William Caldwell and Petreous were willing to lie through their teeth about shaped charge explosive devices from Iran on behalf of Dick Cheney. Cheney attempted to precipitate an attack against Iran based on those lies and was stopped by high level Generals. Those two were never held to account, but were promoted.

  2. A lot of people apparently are hearing and believing Col. Davis's account of things. After reading "The Operators," I would not doubt any deception or set-up the Army would concoct against him. Hastings's book about the Afghan War should be required reading. People like Petraeus won't like it; it tells the truth about him. Very dark little man.

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