Read the Papers

There’s only one article worth talking about this week: the Afghanistan Papers recently published by the Washington Post.

Granted, there have been a few other interesting events this week, but the Afghanistan Papers are essential reading for their sourcing, their synthesis of almost two decades of breathtakingly bad policy-making and execution, and their demonstration of the value of a free and unfearful press.

The papers also beg some uncomfortable questions about our society. Though they put a little finer point on the scale of the disaster, it’s pretty hard to conceive of even portions of a trillion dollars’ worth of mismanagement. And it should have been obvious to most thinking people that the on-the-ground reality didn’t match the official rhetoric.

Why, then, are we still tolerating this level of mess after five terms, three presidents, and counting?