For Immediate Release


Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Afghan Elections

WASHINGTON - The presidential election in Afghanistan is scheduled for August 20.

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.

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."



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