Deadly Betrayal

The Truth About Why the United States Invaded Iraq



“Written by a respected military leader and Pentagon insider, Deadly Betrayal is a gutsy tell-all story about the bald-faced lies that led us to the disastrous invasion of Iraq.” — Ben Cohen, Co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

“This book is an actual act of service. It will help many people, including veterans, connect the dots to explain this century's American wars and give them further permission to ask tough and uncomfortable questions.” —Matthew Hoh, former Marine Corps officer and Iraq War veteran who resigned his State Department position in Afghanistan over that war's 2009 escalation.

“I have known Dennis Fritz for three decades and served with him for many of those years. As my senior enlisted advisor in several commands, I benefited from his sound counsel. While I do not agree with some of his conclusions in this book ... I respect Dennis and was always proud to serve alongside him.” —General Richard Myers, Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

“Sooner rather than later, in my view, historians will write the complete and accurate history of these disastrous wars from start to finish, and sordid will it be. Alas, however, as with most history that is as accurate as humans can make it, those guilty of the crimes and ravages it inevitably encompasses, will have escaped all but a divine providence's justice. This book at least will perhaps disturb their present comfort. It does mine.”
—From the Foreword by Larry Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell

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About the Book

Based on dramatic first-hand evidence, Deadly Betrayal uncovers why and how a cabal of Pentagon Advisors in the George W. Bush Administration created a fabricated justification to attack Iraq.

The book provides a detailed insider account of how a Pentagon cabal strategized to manipulate intelligence, pressure the United Nations, force a Congressional authorization for the use of force through political threats, and scare the American people after 9/11 into supporting an attack on Iraq.

Authored by a Pentagon insider and senior enlisted leader of nearly three decades standing, Command Chief Master Sergeant, Retired, Dennis Fritz worked directly for and advised some of the most senior General Officers in the Department of Defense. They included General Richard B. Myers, who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the height of the Iraq War. After military retirement, Fritz found himself inside Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon working for Douglas Feith, the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and key architect of the case for war. He was detailed to the Pentagon as a contracted Research Fellow and Analyst on a special project to gather and review all Iraqi Pre-War Planning Documents for declassification. His access to thousands of personal handwritten notes, documents, and Pentagon’s internal conversations, has allowed him to tell the real story of why America invaded Iraq.

200 pages • Paperback ISBN 978-1-68219-437-9 • E-book ISBN 978-1-68219-438-6

About the Author

dennis fritz author photo

Dennis Fritz is a former Air Force Command Chief Master Sergeant who retired from active duty in August 2003 after 28 years of honorable active-duty service. He held two of the Department of Defense’s highest enlisted positions. During his active-duty service, he had two assignments at the Pentagon which included serving as an Executive Officer to General Buster Glosson, the Director of Legislative Affairs, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force. Glosson was the architect of the air campaign during the first military hostilities against Saddam Hussein, under President George H.W. Bush. In July 2005, Fritz returned to the Pentagon as a contract employee, first as an Administrative Officer to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction and Negations Policy, later as a member of the Declassification Review Team for Pre-Iraq War Policy Planning Documents, and finally, as a member of the Policy Planning Office in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He is currently the Director of the Eisenhower Media Network.

Read an Excerpt

Introduction: My Personal Odyssey

“If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” —Toni Morrison

I served in the United States Air Force for nearly thirty years, the last ten as a senior leader. I held two of the highest enlisted positions in the Air Force, Senior Advisor to the Commander of Pacific Air Forces and Command Chief Master Sergeant of Air Force Space Command, and represented a cumulative total of more than 100,000 service men and women during the latter part of my career. I led with integrity, and advocated tirelessly for the enlisted personnel, speaking out on the issues that affected their health and well-being. I was also a senior advisor to four-star generals at three major military commands, analyzing our national security strategy and foreign policy as I worked alongside some of the most significant military leaders of our time: Gen. Richard Myers, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Gen. John Lorber, former Pacific Air Forces commander; Gen. Michael P.C. Carns, former vice chief of staff of the Air Force and a Clinton nominee for CIA director; and Lt. Gen. Buster Glosson, war hero and architect of the Desert Storm air campaign, the first military operations against Saddam Hussein, under President George H. W. Bush.

My odyssey has taken me from the top of Earth in Thule, Greenland, to the bottom of the planet in Australia, and I’m blessed to have met numerous presidents and foreign leaders along the way. I’ve even had the honor of flying on Air Force One, the most famous plane in the world. I also went on a number of trips with members of Congress, including a fact-finding mission in the Middle East prior to the start of Desert Storm. One of my most memorable encounters was with the late Lloyd Bentsen, senator from Texas and the Democratic vice-presidential nominee in the 1988 election. Bentsen’s claim to fame is the legendary retort during a vice presidential debate he hurled at his rival, Senator Dan Quayle, after Quayle compared himself to President John F. Kennedy. “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy,” said Benton. “I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.” Senator Bentsen offered me a compliment I’ll never forget. He said he was very impressed with my “grasp of the issues,” and gave me some advice about a potential future he saw for me. He said when I thought the time was right, I needed to take advantage of my unique talents and run for political office. I think he saw me as a friend. My grasp of the issues comes from closely studying correspondence and attentively listening to the policymakers around me for more than forty years as I went back and forth between the Pentagon and Washington, D.C. and operational command headquarters. While working in Congressional Affairs for the Air Force in the Pentagon, I was introduced to the legislative process. When I was employed in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, I deepened my awareness of foreign and national security policy formulation. These experiences prepared me for one of my biggest tasks: joining a specially-selected team responsible for locating, retrieving, and declassifying Afghanistan and Iraq war planning documents. However, my proudest professional accomplishment was the time I spent at the Department of Defense’s Wounded Warrior Program.

* * *

On October 23, 2008, while sitting in my office at the Pentagon, I received an email from an old friend and boss, Jim Hawkins, a retired major general who hired me in 2000 to be his senior advisor on the welfare and readiness of the enlisted personnel assigned to Andrews Air Force Base, home to Air Force One. Chief, I need your help, he wrote. Hawkins explained that an associate of his was seeking someone with my type of leadership experience to manage the care of war-wounded Air Force personnel convalescing at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C., and later after a relocation to Maryland, The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda. This position was created by the President’s Commission on the Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors, also known as the Dole-Shalala Commission. The commission wanted to assign an advocate to each wounded warrior and their families in order to help them navigate the cumbersome bureaucracy.

I told Hawkins that sounded like a job for me.

I was offered and accepted the position and started work on November 10, 2008. I fought feverishly to ensure that our wounded warriors received the attention they truly deserved. In time, I would go on to become a recognized expert in Wounded Warrior case management and the face of the Air Force for wounded warrior and family support care at Walter Reed. In 2014, I became the deputy manager, then program manager for the Army’s Wounded Warrior Program, supervising more than 100 Wounded Warrior Advocates who provided support services at military treatment facilities, warrior transition units, and VA hospitals throughout the country. In May 2022, I concluded my service to the nation as the contracted program manager for the Department of Defense’s Wounded Warrior Recovery Care Program.

These different positions within Wounded Warriors gave me the chance to witness firsthand what our combat heroes and their families endured while fighting to recover from the devastating physical and emotional toll of the Iraq War-a conflict that wasn’t about protecting our national security, but was instead about serving a political agenda. Sadly, the courageous individuals who volunteered to defend our country were disregarded as “boots on the ground” by members of our government, and used as pawns by some of the very same politicians who had the audacity to send them off to risk their lives in an ill-advised war.

Many of the people responsible for this catastrophe -Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Douglas Feith, George Tenet, Paul Brenner-have penned memoirs to defend their reputations or blame others for their mistakes. This book is different. What you are about to read is an honest account of why we went to war, authored by a career military man, not a politician or a Bush administration mouthpiece, who followed the Pentagon’s paper trail to uncover the truth about why we invaded Iraq. Deadly Betrayal will help people understand how a select group of government officials formulated and executed the strategy to invade Iraq. We can’t allow any self-serving war hawks to manipulate us ever again. We must hold them accountable.

Many friends and associates have urged me to share my story. However, I didn’t take them up on it until I came to the conclusion that it could help our troops understand why they were sent to Iraq. Knowing what I know, I realized that I had to write this book. I talked to my minister, my immediate family, and a few close friends, and got their blessings and encouragement. Then I prayed, and off I went. I wrote this book for all audiences, in particular those who aren’t versed in American foreign policy and military strategy, although those who are will also get a lot out of reading this account. Within these pages, many questions about the motive behind the Iraq War will finally be answered.

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