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November 16, 2012
I did not hear the train at all. I did not hear the horn as it was approaching the intersection. I only heard it right about three seconds before it slammed into the back of the tractor-trailer.
Midland, Tx. resident Joe Cobarobio • Discussing the train accident during the parade he was filming on Thursday — a Show of Support parade for veterans of war. Four people died in the accident on Thursday. A dozen of the victims in the accident — whether killed or injured — were veterans of the Iraq or Afghan Wars.
20:42 // 1 year ago
June 13, 2012

US making final push in Afghanistan’s “lost province”

  • 2,500 fighters estimated to be in Nuristan province source

» With plans to leave the region in October, United States and NATO forces are making a final push against the Taliban in Afghanistan’s mountainous Nuristan region. After being expelled from the region, then officially abandoning it altogether, U.S. forces are offering a final round of training and aid for Afghan forces in the area. “There are a lot of Taliban around,” said Mohammad Ghazi, an Afghan militia member being treated at the NATO post in Nuristan. “If the (U.S.) supports the Afghan government it will be very good in future. If not, it will be worse.”

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14:11 // 2 years ago
May 31, 2012
reuters:

In 2003, it transpired that US intelligence services had tortured detainees at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib with music from Sesame Street.
Human rights researcher Thomas Keenan explains: “Prisoners were forced to put on headphones. They were attached to chairs, headphones were attached to their heads, and they were left alone just with the music for very long periods of time. Sometimes hours, even days on end, listening to repeated loud music.”
“The music was so loud,” says Moazzam Begg, a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay and Bagram. “And it was probably some of the worst torture that they faced.”
Stunned by this abuse of his work, Christopher Cerf was motivated to find out more about how it could happen.
AL JAZEERA: Sesame Street music used at Guantanamo
[Photo: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton]

A low point for humanity.

reuters:

In 2003, it transpired that US intelligence services had tortured detainees at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib with music from Sesame Street.

Human rights researcher Thomas Keenan explains: “Prisoners were forced to put on headphones. They were attached to chairs, headphones were attached to their heads, and they were left alone just with the music for very long periods of time. Sometimes hours, even days on end, listening to repeated loud music.”

“The music was so loud,” says Moazzam Begg, a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay and Bagram. “And it was probably some of the worst torture that they faced.”

Stunned by this abuse of his work, Christopher Cerf was motivated to find out more about how it could happen.

AL JAZEERA: Sesame Street music used at Guantanamo

[Photo: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton]

A low point for humanity.

9:51 // 2 years ago
May 28, 2012
For the first time in nine years Americans are not fighting and dying in Iraq. We are winding down the war in Afghanistan…after a decade under the dark cloud of war, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon.
President Barack Obama • During a speech given at Arlington National Cemetery this morning, honoring America’s current, former, and fallen soldiers on Memorial Day. While noting that the end of the wars meant an end to this chapter of many citizens’ lives, he also noted that the families of those who lost loved ones will long be affected. “As long as I am president we will make sure you and your loved ones will receive the benefits you have earned and the respect you deserve,” said the President, adding, “America will be there for you.” source (viafollow)
14:06 // 2 years ago
May 4, 2012
Defense Secretary Panetta to misbehaving soldiers: Knock it off, guys
“These days, it takes only seconds for one picture to suddenly become an international headline.” That’s what our boy Leon Panetta has to say about the recent spate of videos, photos and incidents that have come out of the Afghan War lately. Panetta’s ship certainly isn’t a clean one — between videos showing soldiers urinating on bodies, soldiers inadvertently burning copies of the Koran, and a series of graphic photos the Los Angeles Times got a hold of, the Defense Department is feeling a lot of pressure to prevent more incidents like these — and has issued a crackdown to that effect. “Those headlines can impact the mission we’re engaged in, they can put your fellow service members at risk, they can hurt morale, and they can damage our standing in the world,” Panetta says. (photo by Jim Greenhill) source
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“These days, it takes only seconds for one picture to suddenly become an international headline.” That’s what our boy Leon Panetta has to say about the recent spate of videos, photos and incidents that have come out of the Afghan War lately. Panetta’s ship certainly isn’t a clean one — between videos showing soldiers urinating on bodies, soldiers inadvertently burning copies of the Koran, and a series of graphic photos the Los Angeles Times got a hold of, the Defense Department is feeling a lot of pressure to prevent more incidents like these — and has issued a crackdown to that effect. “Those headlines can impact the mission we’re engaged in, they can put your fellow service members at risk, they can hurt morale, and they can damage our standing in the world,” Panetta says. (photo by Jim Greenhillsource

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16:53 // 2 years ago
April 14, 2012
Here’s a window into a tragedy within the American military: For every soldier killed on the battlefield this year, about 25 veterans are dying by their own hands.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof • In an opinion piece on the death of soldiers after they return home. A few other key stats — more former soldiers have committed suicide after returning home than died in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq combined, being a veteran doubles the risk of suicide, and being a veteran between ages 17 and 24 quadruples the risk. Yikes. Read up on this disturbing trend.
21:44 // 2 years ago
March 11, 2012

Mass shooting in Kandahar could further hurt U.S.-Afghan relations

  • 16 killed in Afghan shooting spree; one U.S. soldier is in custody source

» Another blow to U.S.-Afghan relations: With the killing of civilians allegedly at the hands of a U.S. soldier in Kandahar Province, tensions in the region are further rising, just weeks after a Koran-burning incident brought relations between the two countries to an all-time low. Afghan President Hamid Karzai says that 9 children and 3 women were among those killed. “This is a deeply regrettable incident and we extend our thoughts and concerns to the families involved,” the U.S. said in a statement, promising an investigation would follow. The U.S. Embassy also urged calm.

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10:30 // 2 years ago
September 1, 2011

War casualties: Iraq War hits historic low, Afghan War hits historic high

  • 4,464 number of U.S. troops that have died in the Iraq War since fighting began in mid-2003; combat operations ended last year, but training and support staff remain
  • zero number of U.S. troops that died in the country in August; the shocking part is that this is literally the first month without a casualty since the start of the war source

» Afghan War in sharp contrast: Part of the reason for the lack of troop deaths in Iraq is that the war in Afghanistan has picked up. There, it was a record month where 66 Americans died — a total which was much higher than it would’ve been due to the deadly Chinook helicopter crash that killed 30 highly-specialized troops.

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10:40 // 3 years ago
June 21, 2011

Obama’s plans for the day: Outline Afghan War troop withdrawals

  • 10,000 U.S. troops headed home soon? source

» That’s a little high for David Petraeus’ liking: Obama is putting the finishing touches on a speech where he plans to outline the plan for what the country will do about getting troops out of Afghanistan — roughly 100,000 are there now, and Obama could remove roughly 30,000 by late 2012 or early 2013 — the first 10,000 or so this year. Which means, of course, that we’ll still be there a long while no matter what our boy Obama decides.

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11:24 // 3 years ago