A willingness to speak truth to power is an essential civic virtue for the well-being of a democratic-republic. Equally virtuous and essential, however, are those rare citizens willing to risk their personal well-being by standing up to speak truth about power.
Meet Lt. Col. Danny Davis, a 48-year-old career Army man who fought in both the first and second Iraq wars and has had two year-long deployments in the Afghanistan war. Over the years, this soldier had often seen top commanders try to put a positive light on a negative military situation, but in our ongoing quagmire in Afghanistan, Davis saw that the candor gap had become a chasm, with the brass going from spin to outright lies.
So, this time, he wasn’t going to be quiet about it. Davis became a whistleblower, daring even to call out Gen. David Petraeus, the former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, who now heads the CIA. Last year, Petraeus had told Congress that the Afghan Taliban’s momentum had been “arrested,” that our progress there was “significant,” and that the mission was “on the right azimuth,” to succeed.