Received this e-mail today from Teresa Tomlinson’s (D. GA) U.S. Senate campaign:
A groundbreaking Washington Post report on the War in Afghanistan details widespread political manipulation and strategic malpractice in our country’s longest war. After the report’s publication, Congress again abdicated its responsibility to provide oversight when it passed the latest defense appropriations bill.
Senior defense officials interviewed in the recently declassified documents known now as the “Afghanistan Papers” spoke frankly of how, “Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible” of the war’s progress. The head of the federal agency that conducted these interviews said, “The American people have constantly been lied to.”
The public deserves transparency and accurate information in these grave matters This is unacceptable. Our military men and women, our citizens and our allies deserve better.
As the Mayor of Columbus, I have seen the impact of this federal legislative cowardice first hand.
Just south of Columbus, the Army’s Fort Benning has held 120,000 soldier trainees, active duty service members, reserves, family members, veterans, and civilian employees during our years of war in Afghanistan. Many were deployed offering the ultimate sacrifice in support of the ideals and principles of this great nation. Many military families struggled and were ripped apart by the strain of multiple deployments. After those deployments, too many returned to find inadequate funding and support from the VA. Our thanks in support did not match their sacrifice in service.
Coming into the mayor’s office in 2011, I made it one of my administration’s top priorities to eliminate veterans’ homelessness in Columbus. Working with the community, we were able to reach “functional zero” in veteran homelessness, meaning we had a residential space for every homeless veteran who wanted one, yet, that did not address the root of our challenge. Our nation was spending untold amounts of money fighting a war abroad without investing in the military support services that war requires at home.
Congress has failed to exercise its constitutional duty, from the War Powers Act to the AUMF that allowed the president to go to war in Afghanistan unchecked. Nearly $1 trillion has been spent and many lives have been lost, including some 2,300 U.S. military personnel. These are serious matters and we need serious elected leaders to accept the responsibility they have been given to make the difficult decisions, including the awesome responsibility of sending this nation to war.
Congress failed to do its duty and conduct meaningful oversight in the nearly two decades this war has been fought. Sign my petition if you believe it is time to responsibly end this war and focus on providing for military families and the veterans who have served us so honorably.