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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

  • Afghan Massacre: After Losing Homes in NATO Attacks, Victims Moved Near U.S. Base Hoping for Safety

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    As President Obama vowed to "spare no effort" to fully investigate the Afghan massacre, we go to Kabul to speak with Graham Bowley of the New York Times for the latest. On Tuesday, hundreds of students in eastern Afghanistan protested against the United States. Many called for an end to the U.S. occupation in their country. Bowley has reported on the surviving relatives of victims of the Afghan massacre, including Abdul Samad, who lost his wife, four daughters, four sons and two other relatives. "This is a very war-torn area and very poor," Bowley says. "During the surge in 2009, the coalition forces swept through this area and destroyed many of the villages... [Displaced residents] didn’t want to come back, but they were drawn back under the urging of the Afghan government... Abdul Samad and other people came back to this town... It was only just over a mile from the camp where the American soldier was stationed. And he thought it was going to be safe." We also speak with Nancy Youssef, McClatchy’s top Pentagon correspondent, who compares the massacre in Afghanistan with the U.S. killings of 24 Iraqi civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha in 2005. [includes rush transcript]

  • Behind the Afghan Massacre: Accused Soldier Suffered Brain Injury After Multiple Deployments in Iraq

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    U.S. lawmakers want the Pentagon to explain why the soldier accused in the massacre of 16 Afghan villagers was sent back into combat after suffering a traumatic brain injury in Iraq. We look at whether soldiers are receiving the mental health treatment they need with Kevin Baker, an Iraq War veteran struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder from the same base as the Afghan shooting suspect, Joint Base Lewis-McChord. "It’s not an isolated incident. It’s not unique to Fort Lewis. This is a military-wide epidemic," Baker says. "The military is incapable of helping its servicemembers. These are young men and women from working families that join the military and put their lives on the line. And when they come home, they’re not being treated properly." We also speak with ProPublica’s Joaquin Sapien, co-author of an investigative series called "Brain Wars: How the Military Is Failing Its Wounded." [includes rush transcript]

  • Brain Wars: How the Military Is Failing Its Wounded–ProPublica’s Joaquin Sapien

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    Official military statistics show that more than 115,000 soldiers have suffered mild traumatic brain injuries since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began. We speak to Joaquin Sapien, who has a done a series of articles on the issue for ProPublica. "The focus of my reporting was on how the military assesses soldiers for whether or not they have suffered a brain injury during their deployment," says Sapien. "And what we found was that there were significant problems with a computerized test that they give to all the soldiers to kind of get a baseline of their cognitive functioning." [includes rush transcript]

  • Michael Klare: GOP Promises of Lower Gas Costs Belied by Dwindling Supply of World’s Oil

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    We look at rising fuel costs, one of the major issues raised by the Republican contenders in the 2012 presidential campaign. Since the beginning of the year, the average of price of a gallon of regular gasoline has jumped 16 percent to more than $3.80. Earlier this week, President Obama partially blamed his Republican rivals, saying one reason for the increase is rumors of war with Iran. Meanwhile, Republican candidates have used the spike in gas prices to attack President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline and his stance on expanded domestic oil drilling. Our guest, Michael Klare, says oil prices are destined to remain high for a long time to come because most of the remaining oil on the planet is no longer easily accessible. Klare’s latest book is "The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources." [includes rush transcript]