Peter Van Buren

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

(AP Photo/Mary Schwalm) Views
Monday, April 07, 2014
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 04, 2014
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
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
'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 03, 2013
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 04, 2013
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
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 05, 2013
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 01, 2013
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 09, 2013
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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