Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Say What? 1/18/2012

Wed. Jan 18, 2012

"The Operators": Michael Hastings on the Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan
Democracy Now! speaks 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 four uniformed U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of three Afghan men, which has been widely condemned by officials in the United States and in Afghanistan. His new book, "The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan," originated with his 2010 Rolling Stone article, "The Runaway General," about Gen. Stanley McChrystal, then commander of the war in Afghanistan, and his inner circle. McChrystal was fired after the article was published.

Expansion of Indefinite Detention in NDAA Compounds Extradition Fears of WikiLeaks' Assange
Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings was with WikiLeaks founder and Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange when the pre-trial 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 Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), has added further urgency to Assange's effort to avoid extradition from Britain. "Julian Assange's fear is that he will be extradited to Sweden ... then there will be some kind of media campaign where the U.S. government or the Swedish government starts leaking things about, 'Assange helped the Iranians,' or 'Assange helped the Taliban with this information,'" Hastings notes. "Then they will say, 'We need to try him as a spy.' And though that case might be very, very difficult to prove, it's the threat of it that, in my mind, is so damning."

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