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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Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 9:45am
"Why Don’t the Unemployed Get Off Their Couches?" and Eight Other Critical Questions for Americans
Last year eight Americans -- the four Waltons of Walmart fame, the two Koch brothers, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett -- made more money than 3.6 million American minimum-wage workers combined. The median pay for CEOs at America's large corporations rose to $10 million per year, while a typical...
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US Secretary of State John Kerry. (Screenshot) Views
Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 12:00pm
Kerry Tells Snowden to “Man Up” and Come Home
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who at this point has all the credibility of a minor Kardashian just out of rehab, somehow was allowed on national television to say this : If Mr. Snowden wants to come back to the United States, we’ll have him on a flight today. [He] should stand up in the...
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Friday, May 2, 2014 - 6:15am
Regime Change in America: This Land Isn’t Your Land, This Land Is Their Land
As America's new economy starts to look more like the old economy of the Great Depression, the divide between rich and poor, those who have made it and those who never will, seems to grow ever starker. I know. I’ve seen it firsthand. Once upon a time, I worked as a State Department officer, helping...
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Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 9:15am
I'm a Whistleblower: Want Fries with That?
There are many sides to whistleblowing. The one that most people don't know about is the very personal cost, prison aside , including the high cost of lawyers and the strain on family relations, that follows the decision to risk it all in an act of conscience. Here's a part of my own story I've not...
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(AP Photo/Mary Schwalm) Views
Monday, April 7, 2014 - 12:30pm
No-Fly-List America
Rahinah Ibrahim is a slight Malaysian woman who attended Stanford University on a U.S. student visa, majoring in architecture. She was not a political person. Despite this, as part of a post-9/11 sweep directed against Muslims, she was investigated by the FBI. In 2004, while she was still in the U...
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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 4:20pm
Silencing Whistleblowers Obama-Style
The Obama administration has just opened a new front in its ongoing war on whistleblowers . It’s taking its case against one man, former Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Air Marshal Robert MacLean, all the way to the Supreme Court.
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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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