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Reply #105: Soldier for the Truth (Karen Kwiatkowski re: OSP) | L.A. Weekly 2/20/04 [View All]

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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-04 09:17 PM
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105. Soldier for the Truth (Karen Kwiatkowski re: OSP) | L.A. Weekly 2/20/04
http://www.laweekly.com/ink/printme.php?eid=51202

FEBRUARY 20 - 26, 2004
Soldier for the Truth
Exposing Bushs talking-points war
by Marc Cooper

After two decades in the U.S. Air Force, Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, now 43, knew her career as a regional analyst was coming to an end when in the months leading up to the war in Iraq she felt she was being propagandized by her own bosses.

With masters degrees from Harvard in government and zoology and two books on Saharan Africa to her credit, she found herself transferred in the spring of 2002 to a post as a political/military desk officer at the Defense Departments office for Near East South Asia (NESA), a policy arm of the Pentagon.

Kwiatkowski got there just as war fever was spreading, or being spread as she would later argue, through the halls of Washington. Indeed, shortly after her arrival, a piece of NESA was broken off, expanded and re-dubbed with the Orwellian name of the Office of Special Plans. The OSPs task was, ostensibly, to help the Pentagon develop policy around the Iraq crisis.

She would soon conclude that the OSP a pet project of Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld was more akin to a nerve center for what she now calls a neoconservative coup, a hijacking of the Pentagon.

Though a lifelong conservative, Kwiatkowski 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.

<more - lengthy interview>
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