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 first book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, was published in 2011, and his second book, Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99Percent, was published in 2014. His newest book, Hooper’s War: A Novel of WWII Japan, has just been published.
A case being heard this month will likely define the free speech rights of federal employees and so determine the quality of people who will make up our government.
State Department employee Peter Van Buren was sent to Iraq to help rebuild it. The result was an exercise in Murphy's Law.
Peter Van Buren is a State Department employee—who might get fired for disseminating public information about WikiLeaks online.
Eight disastrous years after we invaded, it is sad but altogether true that Iraq does not matter much in the end.
What is it about being embedded with the military that turns normally thoughtful journalists into war boosters?