STREAMING LIVE: General Anthony Zinni on Sorting Out America’s “Honor Problem”


Former CENTCOM Commander General Anthony Zinni is one of those leaders who really “gets” the complexities and nuances of statecraft – an understanding that led him to bravely oppose the Iraq war when it was very unpopular in Washington to do so.
He is also the author of a new book, Leading the Charge: Lessons from the Battlefield to the Boardroom, that provides a no-holds barred condemnation of our nation’s leaders with regard to the Iraq episode and asks what it is that we must do to restore American honor and success.
I will be moderating an event with General Zinni at the New America Foundation today from 12:15 pm – 1:45 pm. The event will stream live here at The Washington Note.
— Steve Clemons


2 comments on “STREAMING LIVE: General Anthony Zinni on Sorting Out America’s “Honor Problem”

  1. samuelburke says:

    empire and exceptionalism.
    Army contracting officer Major Gloria Davis and Air Force procurement officer Charles Riechers both committed suicide over contracting fraud while Colonel Ted Westhusing shot himself after sending an accusatory letter to General David Petraeus concluding “I cannot support a mission that leads to corruption, human rights abuse and liars.” Some believe that Westhusing was murdered because he was about to turn whistle blower.
    Robert Stein, the former US Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) controller for South Central Iraq, was one of the first successful prosecutions for corruption. Stein diverted $8.6 million through a business run by Californian Philip Bloom. Bloom admitted paying more than $2 million in bribes to US officials including four Army Colonels—Curtis Whiteford, Bruce Hopfengardner, Debra Harrison, and Michael Wheeler. Army Major John Cockerham accepted nearly $10 million in bribes while in Kuwait and his successor Army Major James Momon received $5.8 million. Army Major Christopher Murray, Army Lt. Col. Levonda Selph, Army Major John Rivard, Captain Michael Dung Nguyen, and Captain Bryant Williams have all been imprisoned for taking bribes. In Iraq’s Anbar province, local Iraqis report that US officers routinely demand 15% of all reconstruction project funds.
    One corruption whistleblower might even have been killed. American businessman Dale Stoffel went to the US authorities in Baghdad to complain that US military officers had been taking bribes in pizza boxes stuffed with hundred dollar bills at the contracting offices to conceal the payments. The use of dead drop points for leaving cash in paper bags was common throughout the green zone. Stoffel was threatened and was murdered in December 2004. Two US military officers, Army Colonel Anthony Bell and Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Hirtle, were identified by Stoffel before his death and are currently reported to be under investigation.
    Particularly disturbing is the growing evidence of widespread involvement of senior US military officers and civil servants in the corruption, which was driven by windfall profits on contracts requiring little or no work. Apart from the Army and Air Force officers who have gone to prison, reports from Kuwait suggest that at least sixteen American flag officers, generals and admirals, are currently under investigation by the Justice Department, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (Sigir), or by the Department of Defense. Sigir alone has carried out 300 investigations and more than 250 audits. Government sources report that 154 criminal investigations are still open.


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