As I pointed out elsewhere, I don’t believe any of us should take the government at its word on anything. The less we, the people, know about what our government’s doing, the less able we are to properly steer our government in the direction we want it to go. In theory, our elected representatives are supposed to be the ones who keep tabs on our intelligence agencies in order to make sure they’re doing what’s best for us, and for the country as a whole, but I don’t believe congress has been doing much, if anything, for us in a very long time, so there’s little reason to assume that they have our best interests at heart when dealing with our intelligence agencies.
The thing is, we now know that the CIA has lied us into at least two of the most costly wars in the history of our country. This is something many claimed for a long time, but it has been verified. Even former president George W Bush now admits that Iraq was not manufacturing any WMDs. The CIA’s intelligence assessment on Iraq is actually available for reading, in un-redacted form, here. The CIA was either wrong, or they lied. While either conclusion is possible, we actually have proof of them lying us into a war previously. In 2005, the Gulf of Tonkin incident (which led to the escalation of the war in Vietnam) was actually declassified, and it never happened. If you’re unaware of this, please read about it here from the US Naval Institute, or here directly from the NSA.
Until the War on Terror, the Vietnam War was the longest and most expensive war we as a nation had ever fought. We lost nearly 60,000 Americans in that fight. In the end, we got nothing out of it. All it did was make some people in the military industrial complex rich. And it was based on lies.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have turned nearly the entire region into a war zone, have been estimated to have cost the American taxpayer over $5 trillion now, while also costing us thousands of dead Americans, many more wounded, and who knows how many dead civilians in the region. And it also started based on a probable lie about Iraqi WMDs, using the tragedy of 9/11 as the excuse.
Here’s the thing: I was a Republican in 2001. As someone who believed in (and still does, in principle) keeping government as small as possible, and as much out of our lives as possible, I ended up leaving the Republican Party after a Republican majority in both houses of congress pushed the Iraq War through (and passed the highly unconstitutional USA PATRIOT Act) following the tragic events of 9/11.
I would’ve supported an immediate and sustained retaliation to kill Osama bin Laden and whoever else we needed to get rid of in the region, within reason, but that’s it. We obviously need to retaliate if attacked, but Iraq quite literally had nothing to do with 9/11.
In fact, according to other declassified US Intelligence documents, the people behind 9/11 were actually within the Saudi Arabian government. Yet, after that report was written, we still saw Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump all bowing to the Saudis.
The reason I’m pointing all of this out is that I want you, the voter, to know that I will not vote for our country’s participation in any wars that are not in direct defense of the USA, not only because our intelligence agencies have given us little reason to trust their conclusions, but also because a direct defense of the USA is the only reason that I believe is good enough to put our brave military men and women in harm’s way.