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CONTACT: Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA)
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
Erlich, who has reported from Afghanistan and the region more than a dozen times, was among the first to report in major media that the heroin trade finances not only the Taliban but also top officials in the Afghan government. He said today: "Warlords now under criticism during the election finance their private militias with drug money and many of them support President Karzai. Regardless of the outcome of the election on Thursday, the war will intensify so long as the U.S. continues to occupy the country." (Erlich is available for a limited number of interviews with large media.)
Kolhatkar is co-author of Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence. She is also co-director of the Afghan Women's Mission, a U.S.-based nonprofit that supports women's rights activists in Afghanistan.
ELIZABETH GOULD and PAUL FITZGERALD
Gould and Fitzgerald recently wrote the book Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story. They began covering Afghanistan in 1981 for CBS and produced the documentary "Afghanistan Between Three Worlds" for PBS. They said today: "The dark star of America’s 'gift' of democracy to Afghanistan sits at Bagram Air Base where the Obama administration continues to operate a Bush-era prison holding over 15,000 detainees from various nations without internationally recognized standards of legal protection. Any nation operating a prison for its own citizens under these circumstances would be judged harshly. An occupying force operating a prison on foreign soil undercuts any illusion that the United States is supporting the free and open expression of the Afghan people in this presidential election."