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Afghanistan Topics

Democracy Now! has regularly covered the Afghanistan War since it was launched Oct. 7, 2001. Over the years, we have interviewed dozens of independent journalists, civilians living in the conflict zones, scholars, veterans, and antiwar activists.

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    We speak with reporter Michael Hastings about the "disastrous past year" in Afghanistan and the mentality a decade of war has bred there. The U.S. has "funneled billions of dollars in weapons and training into a chaotic place like Afghanistan, training these young guys to kill people, and then are shocked when they see the results," Hastings says of the outcry that followed last week’s appearance of a video showing...
    January 18, 2012 | Story
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    Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings was with WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange when the pretrial military hearing for accused Army whistleblower Private Bradley Manning was taking place in Fort Meade, Maryland, last month. Hastings says the military’s case against Manning, coupled with President Obama’s recent authorization of a measure expanding indefinite detention anywhere in the world in the National...
    January 18, 2012 | Story
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    Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges has filed suit against President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes controversial provisions authorizing the military to jail anyone it considers a terrorism suspect anywhere in the world, without charge or trial. Sections of the bill are written so broadly that critics say they could encompass journalists...
    January 17, 2012 | Story
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    Detainees at the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay launched a hunger strike today marking the prison’s 10th anniversary, inspired in part by U.S. activists who have called for a national day of action. "They will be staging a series of peaceful protests that will involve sit-ins with signs and banners in the part of the prison that has communal areas, as well as hunger strikes," says Ramzi Kassem, counsel to a number of...
    January 10, 2012 | Story
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    On the 10th anniversary of when the United States began detaining terror suspects at its Guantánamo Bay military base in Cuba, we speak with a former prisoner and the ex-chief U.S. prosecutor, who both call for the Obama administration to close the base. "People are locked up in isolation camps... People lost their hands, lost their eyes, lost their limbs," says Omar Deghayes, who was arrested in Pakistan as a terror suspect and held...
    January 10, 2012 | Story
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    It has been 10 years since the United States began detaining people at its military base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. We speak with someone who has worked to defend the rights of those prisoners for the last decade: Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights. While dozens continue to face an unknown future at Guantánamo, we ask Ratner to comment on President Obama’s recent approval of the National Defense...
    January 10, 2012 | Story
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    U.S. Army investigators have released explosive new details about the death of Private Danny Chen, who allegedly took his own life just weeks after he was deployed to Afghanistan last October. The family of the 19-year-old Chinese-American soldier says the Army told them Chen had been abused by comrades on an almost daily basis, including racist hazing, with soldiers throwing rocks at him, calling him ethnic slurs and forcing him to do...
    January 09, 2012 | Story
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    During the Republican presidential debates this weekend, candidates took aim at the military strategy President Obama unveiled late last week, which vows cuts in military spending and a stepped-up focus on the Asia-Pacific region, as well as increased use of drone strikes that have targeted militants in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and throughout Horn of Africa. We speak with William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the...
    January 09, 2012 | Story
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    The family of 19-year-old Danny Chen has demanded an investigation after the Army private was found dead in Afghanistan of what military authorities say was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Chen’s family says, before his death, he reported being subjected to racist hazing, with soldiers throwing rocks at him and calling him ethnic slurs. Now the Army has charged eight soldiers involved in his death with crimes ranging from...
    December 23, 2011 | Story
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    The House is expected to vote today on a massive $662 billion defense bill that could usher in a radical expansion of indefinite detention under the U.S. government. A provision in the National Defense Authorization Act would authorize the military to jail anyone it considers a terrorism suspect anywhere in the world without charge or trial. The measure would effectively extend the definition of what is considered the U.S. military’s...
    December 14, 2011 | Story