John F. Kennedy was very fond of the old saw that victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan. What we watched unfold in Afghanistan over the weekend, as the Afghan army dissolved, the Afghan government collapsed, and the president of Afghanistan ran for the hills, turned that mossbacked shibboleth on its head. For 20 years, we propped up an army that was an illusion and a government that was a mirage. For 20 years, as the Washington Post illustrated in a criminally unremarked-upon series of brilliant reports in 2019, our government lied to us and it lied to itself. This defeat had a thousand fathers, of both political parties, in uniform and out. They were in the business of war, the business of politics, and the business of informing the citizens of this country about both. All of them failed at their jobs, miserably, and the awful images from Kabul this weekend were precise measures of their failures—and, regrettably, ours.