Soldier of the Truth

| February 2004

Lieutenant Karen Kwiatkowski hasn't let two decades of serving in the U.S. Air Force blur her true colors. The lifelong conservative calls herself a 'Soldier of the Truth' after jumping ship from her position as an officer at the Defense Department's office for Near East/South Asia, a part of which was renamed 'the Office of Special Plans' in the buildup to the war in Iraq. Calling the Orwellian OSP a 'neoconservative coup, a hijacking of the Pentagon', Kwiatkowski went underground and wrote an anonymous column of internal dissent that decorated veteran and former colonel David Hackworth posted on the Internet. Based on an interview with Kwiatkowski, Marc Cooper of the LA Weekly concludes that she 'found herself appalled as the radical wing of the Bush administration, including her superiors in the Pentagon planning department, bulldozed internal dissent, overlooked its own intelligence and relentlessly pushed for confrontation with Iraq.'

Kwiatkowski left the military last March, the same week that the Bush administration invaded Iraq, and now pens her web reports herself as well as accepting speaking invitations. She has 'concluded the only way she could viably resist what she now terms the 'expansionist, imperialist' policies of the neoconservatives who dominated Iraq policy was by retiring and taking up a public fight against them.'

Here are a few snippets from the LA Weekly's interview with Kwiatkowski:

'To them, Saddam Hussein needed to go... So there was no debate over WMD, the possible relations Saddam Hussein may have had with terrorist groups and so on. They spent their energy gathering pieces of information and creating a propaganda storyline, which is the same storyline we heard the president and Vice President Cheney tell the American people in the fall of 2002.

'The very phrases they used are coming back to haunt them because they are blatantly false and not based on any intelligence. The OSP and the Vice President's Office were critical in this propaganda effort - to convince Americans that there was some just requirement for pre-emptive war.'

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