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The Classic Military Runaround

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Posted on Jul 9, 2013
The National Guard (CC BY 2.0)

By Nick Turse, TomDispatch

(Page 4)

Agent Mott seemed satisfied enough.  He finished his questions and sent me on my way. 

The next morning, I checked my email, and found a message waiting for me.  It was from the Media Embed Chief in Afghanistan.  “You are receiving this email because in the past you have been an embed with ISAF [International Security Force in Afghanistan] or requested an embed,” it read.  “Your opinion and satisfaction are important to us.” 

“You can’t make this shit up,” an old editor of mine was fond of saying when truth—as it so often does—proves stranger than fiction.  This sequence of events certainly qualified.  I could hardly believe my eyes, but there it was: a link to a questionnaire about how well served I was by my (nonexistent) 2012 embed in Afghanistan.  Question number six asked: “During your embed(s) did you get the information and stories you require? If no please state why.”

Let me count the ways.

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Nick Turse is the managing editor of TomDispatch.com and a fellow at the Nation Institute.  An award-winning journalist, his work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Nation, and regularly at TomDispatch. He is the author most recently of the New York Times bestseller Kill Anything that Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam.  You can catch his conversation with Bill Moyers about that book by clicking here.  His website is NickTurse.com.  You can follow him on Tumblr and on Facebook.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook or Tumblr. Check out the newest Dispatch book, Nick Turse’s The Changing Face of Empire: Special Ops, Drones, Proxy Fighters, Secret Bases, and Cyberwarfare.

Copyright 2013 Nick Turse


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