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U.S. Armed Forces

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You call this winning?

Afghanistan complications multiply. Plus, Congress is heading for a weak wrap-up.
President Barack Obama scored.
By EDITORIAL  |  June 30, 2010
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Interview: Sebastian Junger

Getting up close and personal with Restrepo
Not even being held captive by armed militants in Nigeria satisfied The Perfect Storm author Sebastian Junger's need for dangerous assignments.
By PETER KEOUGH  |  June 30, 2010
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Harper's Magazine, 1850-1980

The legacy of Willie Morris and Lewis H. Lapham
It seems but a moment ago that the sound of Dylan and Baez, the Beatles and the Stones reverberated through a world bent on catastrophe. Has it been almost 20 years?
By MARCO TRBOVICH  |  June 26, 2010

Open service

Repeal of military's gay ban moves forward
A deal between the Obama administration, congressional Democrats, and the Pentagon that will repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law banning homosexuals from serving openly in the US military was approved last week by the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee, though action by the full Senate may not come for months.
By KEGAN ZEMA  |  June 02, 2010
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Are doctors complicit in prison torture?

The Maine medical community looks at solitary confinement
In the past few years an outcry has arisen over the involvement of military and CIA medical professionals and psychologists in torture. Some critics have even suggested criminal prosecution of the medical staff involved or, at least, revocation of their professional licenses.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  April 21, 2010
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In the land of the stoner cops

On the front lines of Obama's campaign in Afghanistan
Major Jim Contreras was awaiting his marching orders. Literally.
By NIR ROSEN  |  March 01, 2010
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Romney's new character: Macho man

In his new book, Mitt makes himself over as a muscular defender of America
Few things are more predictable than a GOP presidential candidate posturing as a he-man protector of America, and depicting his Democratic counterpart as an effete, appeasing girlie-man on the dangerous world stage.
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  February 10, 2010
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Rocky Mountain low

A little frayed, the Sundance brand endures
Ever since Steven Soderbergh put what was a grade-Z resort town on the film-business map with sex, lies, and videotape in 1989, the Indies and foreigners essentially hijacked the Oscars.
By HARLAN JACOBSON  |  February 10, 2010
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Ransom Notes

Was the NY Times being hypocritical when it suppressed coverage of its journalist who was kidnapped by the Taliban?
While reporting from Afghanistan two years ago, David Rohde became, for the second time in his career, an unwilling participant rather than an observer. On October 29, 1995, Rohde had been arrested by Bosnian Serbs. And then in November 2008, Rohde and two Afghan colleagues were en route to an interview with a Taliban commander when they were kidnapped.
By ADAM REILLY  |  February 12, 2010
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Review: The Most Dangerous Man in America

Hail to Daniel Ellsberg
At age 79, Daniel Ellsberg is getting the last guffaw.
By GERALD PEARY  |  February 16, 2010

Department of conjecture

Letters to the Portland Editor, January 29, 2010
The Haiti disaster will not serve to turn a state from toss-up to safely Republican as the George W. Bush Administration's calculated response to Hurricane Katrina did in Louisiana.
By PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS  |  January 27, 2010

Idiot wind

Airship of fools
Last spring, after the state Legislature rejected a bill that could have resulted in a wind farm being constructed on two undeveloped mountains in Redington Township, a lot of people in western Maine, figuring the controversial project was finally dead, expressed their joy by doing the chicken dance in the streets.
By AL DIAMON  |  December 02, 2009
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Holy terror?

Cutting through the muddled thinking about Nidal Malik Hasan's faith and its role in the Fort Hood shootings
On the afternoon of November 5, Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan walked into a building at Fort Hood, the sprawling military base in central Texas; sat briefly in solitary silence; and then opened fire with a semi-automatic pistol, shooting roughly a hundred rounds and killing 12 soldiers and one civilian.
By ADAM REILLY  |  November 16, 2009
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Narrative truth

Krzysztof Wodiczko’s war story at the ICA
For the majority of us Americans, Iraq and Afghanistan are a series of news-data points — number of Americans killed today, number of car bombs, spending tallies, estimates of civilian deaths.
By GREG COOK  |  November 11, 2009

Human rights watch

Acknowledging, and punishing, torture
Last week, on the heels of anti-torture panels and protests in Portland, Washington DC, and elsewhere, the Justice Department told the nation that it would have to wait a few more days before information about American torture policies and practices is made public.
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  June 24, 2009

Debating the Middle East muddle

Global Politics
US military aid to Pakistan and Afghanistan is being wasted and should be redirected to the police and moderate non-violent groups working for education and the rule of law, according to two Middle East experts who spoke Sunday at the Community Church of Providence.
By STEVEN STYCOS  |  June 17, 2009
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Review: Tokyo Sonata

An unexpectedly moving J-horror film
J-horror maestro Kiyoshi Kurosawa (no relation to Akira) begins his timely, if atypical, tale with the downsizing of Japanese patriarch Ryuhei Sasaki from his administrative post.
By BRETT MICHEL  |  May 06, 2009
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Culture wars

The Army's controversial anthropology program
American anthropologist Paula Loyd was in Afghanistan, discussing living costs with a local man when suddenly he doused her with fuel from a jug he was carrying and set her on fire.
By PETER PIATETSKY  |  March 16, 2009
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Soldiers committing suicide

US troops are killing themselves in record numbers
On July 22, 2004, unable to handle the intensity anymore — the daily vomiting, the feeling that he was a murderer — Lucey wrapped a garden hose around his neck and hanged himself.
By JASON NOTTE  |  March 17, 2009
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More sex, more Lincoln

A hefty reading season, from Jayne Anne Phillips and T.C. Boyle to Pablo Neruda
The subject of Lincoln is like catnip to publishers (and readers), but the only things missing from our winter list are actual cat books.
By BARBARA HOFFERT  |  December 30, 2008

Wallowing

Lockerbie overdoes the melodrama
Playwright Deborah Brevoort looked at the 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 bombing, shook her head, and reduced the tragedy to its effect on one family and one town in The Women of Lockerbie , being staged by Roger Williams University Theatre (through November 22).
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 19, 2008
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Two many Americas

Could an Obama administration mean an end to the red-state/blue-state divide?
It's worth reminding ourselves that when the Republicans are out of power, they go apeshit.
By MIKE MILIARD  |  November 14, 2008
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Scars & stripes

American vets discover that their military uniforms — like their service — look better on paper
“Dude, that shit right there? That’s Iraq.”
By JULIA RAPPAPORT  |  September 25, 2008

Critics say bill co-sponsored by Langevin and Kennedy heightens tensions

Iran
Rhode Island peace activists say a resolution co-sponsored by US Representatives James Langevin and Patrick Kennedy could lead to war with Iran.
By STEVEN STYCOS  |  August 13, 2008
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In harm's way

The tragedy of Rakan Hassan and the impossibility of a Hippocratic Oath for journalists
Most of the job-related fears that keep journalists up at night are relatively mundane, but on rare occasions, a more ominous scenario presents itself.
By ADAM REILLY  |  August 06, 2008

Trying out an anti-demonstration ‘sonic cannon’

Non-lethal weapons
The Maine Marine Patrol is considering purchasing a “sonic cannon” capable of broadcasting earsplitting, “disorienting” sounds, like those that have been used to break up peaceful demonstrations in public spaces in Iraq and the country of Georgia.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  July 16, 2008
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Torture for the hostage-taker?

Prison watch
Will Michael Chasse, the inmate who allegedly held two people hostage on June 30 at the Maine State Prison, now be tortured by Governor John Baldacci’s administration?
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  July 09, 2008
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Reality bites

Will Obama make good on his plan to exit Iraq by 2010? Don’t bet on it.
The war in Iraq has been on the back burner of the American political scene for some time.
By EDITORIAL  |  July 09, 2008
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A night in Guantánamo

Staying in a replica cell, with no waterboarding included
I’d volunteered to spend the night in the replica cell (which is modeled on the ones at Gitmo) because we’ve all heard stories about unlivable conditions at Gitmo but can’t come close to imagining what it must be like.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  June 18, 2008
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Hulk sulk

The new version keeps his pants on
After two hugely budgeted adaptations in five years, my biggest question about the Hulk remains: what’s with the pants?
By PETER KEOUGH  |  June 10, 2008

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