Peter van Buren

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Peter van Buren
Born1960 (age 62–63)

Peter van Buren (born 1960) is a former United States Foreign Service employee, and the author of two novels and two non-fiction books about military affairs.

Early life[edit]

Peter van Buren was born in New York City.


Van Buren served in the U.S. Department of State for 24 years, including a year in Iraq as a team leader for two Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs).[1]

After his book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, was published in 2012 Van Buren claims to have experienced a series of escalating, adverse actions.[2][3] According to his former employer, the U. S. State Department, van Buren had not properly cleared his book for publication under Department rules, and the book contained unauthorized disclosures of classified material.[4] The Washington Post noted that "Van Buren has tested the First Amendment almost daily."[5] The Government Accountability Project and the ACLU helped defend van Buren, and the State Department eventually allowed him to retire with his standard pension and benefits.[6][5][7][8]

Van Buren was associate producer for the film Silenced (2014) by James Spione.[9][10]

In August 2018, Twitter banned Van Buren for life for writing that "harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence someone else's voice."[11]


  • Hooper's War: A Novel of WWII Japan. Luminis Books. May 15, 2017. ISBN 978-1941311127.
  • Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent. Luminis Books. April 25, 2014. ISBN 978-1935462910.
  • We Meant Well. Metropolitan Books. September 27, 2011. ISBN 9780805094367.
  • Why Peace (as a contributor). Marc Guttman. April 23, 2012. ASIN B007WTUR6E.


  1. ^ "Peter Van Buren". The Nation. May 16, 2011. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  2. ^ "The man the State Dept. wants silenced". Salon. 12 April 2012.
  3. ^ Seminara, Dave (July 31, 2012). "U.S. Foreign Service Officer Blacklisted for Scathing Exposé". The Washington Diplomat. Archived from the original on March 27, 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  4. ^ Davidson, Joe (October 27, 2011). "State's actions against Peter Van Buren offer a few lessons on use of classified info, power". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 24, 2018. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Rein, Lisa (March 14, 2012). "State Dept. moves to fire Peter Van Buren, author of book critical of Iraq reconstruction effort". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 24, 2018. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  6. ^ "".
  7. ^ "U.S. Envoy, Peter Van Buren, Takes Caustic Pen to Iraq War". The New York Times. 7 October 2011.
  8. ^ Van Buren, Peter (September 29, 2011). "How the State Department Came After Me (For telling the truth about what I saw in Iraq)". Foreign Policy. FP Group (Graham Holdings Company). Archived from the original on February 6, 2018. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  9. ^ "Silenced". Tribeca Film Festival.
  10. ^ Viviani, Mattia. "Silenced". Naked Edge Films.
  11. ^ Van Buren, Peter (August 9, 2018). "I Was Banned for Life From Twitter". The American Conservative. American Ideas Institute. Archived from the original on August 10, 2018. Retrieved August 10, 2018.

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