Peter Van Buren

Peter Van Buren spent a year in Iraq as a State Department Foreign Service Officer serving as Team Leader for two Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs). Now in Washington, he writes about Iraq and the Middle East at his blog, We Meant Well. His new book is We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People (The American Empire Project, Metropolitan Books).

Articles by this author

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Monday, February 17, 2014 - 6:49am
The Divine Right of President Obama?
Terrorism (ter-ror-ism; see also terror) n. 1. When a foreign organization kills an American for political reasons.
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Monday, January 13, 2014 - 6:42am
'No, You Cannot Opt Out': 10 NSA Myths Debunked
The debate Edward Snowden envisioned when he revealed the extent of National Security Agency (NSA) spying on Americans has taken a bad turn.
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 12:57pm
Welcome to the Memory Hole: Disappearing Edward Snowden
What if Edward Snowden was made to disappear? No, I’m not suggesting some future CIA rendition effort or a who-killed-Snowden conspiracy theory of a disappearance, but a more ominous kind.
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Monday, November 4, 2013 - 7:32am
Ramblin' Man: John Kerry is a Figure of His Times (and That's Not a Good Thing)
In the 1960s, John Kerry was distinctly a man of his times. Kennedy-esque, he went from Yale to Vietnam to fight in a lost war. When popular sentiments on that war shifted, he became one of the more poignant voices raised in protest by antiwar veterans.
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Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 10:05am
Giving New Meaning to the Day After 9/11
Once again, we find ourselves at the day after 9/11, and this time America stands alone. Alone not only in our abandonment even by our closest ally, Great Britain, but in facing a crossroads no less significant than the one we woke up to on September 12, 2001.
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Monday, August 5, 2013 - 11:12am
Welcome to Post-Constitution America
On July 30, 1778, the Continental Congress created the first whistleblower protection law, stating “that it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States to give the earliest information to Congress or other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds, or misdemeanors committed by any officers or persons in the service of these states.”
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Monday, July 1, 2013 - 7:25am
The Mindset of a Whistleblower and Snowden’s Long Flight
As a State Department whistleblower , I think a lot about Edward Snowden. I can’t help myself.
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Thursday, May 9, 2013 - 12:00pm
Homeland Insecurity: Seven Years, Untold Dollars to Silence One Man
What do words mean in a post-9/11 world? Apart from the now clichéd Orwellian twists that turn brutal torture into mere enhanced interrogation, the devil is in the details.
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Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 12:52pm
Mission Unaccomplished: Why the Invasion of Iraq Was the Single Worst Foreign Policy Decision in American History
I was there. And “there” was nowhere. And nowhere was the place to be if you wanted to see the signs of end times for the American Empire up close. It was the place to be if you wanted to see the madness -- and oh yes, it was madness -- not filtered through a complacent and sleepy media that made Washington’s war policy seem, if not sensible, at least sane and serious enough.
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Monday, February 25, 2013 - 11:56am
We are All Bradley Manning: 1000 Days in Jail without a Conviction
Bradley Manning, the young army private who allegedly disclosed the Wikileaks files, must be given a fair, open and speedy trial. He has been held over three years, often in solitary and inhumane conditions. He has been convicted of no crime. This is simply and self-evidently wrong.
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