August 31st, 2012

Get more on this story - The geographic inequity of VA wait times is fully detailed for the first time in our analysis. Simply put: Veterans in sparsely populated states often encounter quick resolution of their compensation claims for problems ranging from back injuries to post-traumatic stress disorder while those in metropolitan areas languish.

Read our full story and find out how long vets in your area are waiting.

May 4th, 2012

Explainer: How Guantanamo’s ‘war court’ differs from federal system

Tomorrow, five men accused of planning the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people on 9/11 will be arraigned in a military courtroom at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. The high-profile case will shine an international spotlight on a “war court” system that, despite legal reforms, is derided as inherently unjust by critics and lauded by proponents as the most secure, efficient forum to try detainees suspected of terrorism. A trial could offer an intimate look at the events leading up to the 2001 terrorist attacks and also could raise the issues of torture and inmate abuse that became synonymous with the infamous prison.

We break down how the Guantanamo ‘war court’ will differ from the federal system. Check out our Explainer for more.

Image: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is shown in this file photograph during his arrest March 1, 2003. The accused 9/11 mastermind and four suspected co-conspirators are facing trial in a Guantanamo war crimes tribunal on charges that could carry the death penalty. Credit: Courtesy of U.S. News & World Report/Reuters

May 1st, 2012

In the combined wars of Afghanistan and Iraq, all 50 states and the territories have lost service members. More than 6,300 people have died and more than 44,000 have been wounded in action, many of whom were saved by modern medicine not available during previous wars. Click through to see our map of casualties by state.

April 30th, 2012
Reblogged from California Watch
April 20th, 2012

According to the new documentary "The Invisible War”, military women are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. This new film, premiering at the San Francisco Film Festival this week, looks at the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. We’ll be interviewing the director Kirby Dick about the production of his film for our series Behind the Story. What questions would you ask him?

March 30th, 2012
Reblogged from California Watch
March 30th, 2012

Our new investigation looks at a Department of Defense program that allows local police departments around the country to receive free new and used military surplus gear. The equipment bazaar is another sign of how aggressively some police departments increasingly resemble small armies. Civilian law enforcement have equipped themselves with assault-style weapons and even tanks, first as part of the war on drugs and later in the name of fighting terrorism.

Police nationwide sought $498 million worth of equipment, including 60 aircraft and thousands more weapons than in 2010. For example, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department took control of this $4 million patrol boat in 2005.

March 20th, 2012

"I mean, war is killing – intentional, organized, systematic killing. Telling this in a truthful way, but not putting so much in that you overload them or turn them off – this was a real challenge for me as a filmmaker. Literally and figuratively, my job with this film was to bring people out of that helicopter and down to the blood and the sand where people die." - Oscar nominee James Spione discussing his documentary "Incident in New Baghdad" in our new Behind the Story segment.

February 14th, 2012

A new series called “Notes from the Field” on our (redesigned!) website, features reporter diaries and interviews capturing first impressions and raw experiences from the front lines. Senior correspondent Mark Schapiro talks by Skype with journalist Mimi Wells on assignment for CIR in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. In this first video, Wells discusses how female Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C., before leaving on their mission, learn about Afghan culture and language. On the eve of their departure, they say goodbye to their families.

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At The Center for Investigative Reporting, we believe journalism that moves citizens to action is an essential pillar of democracy. Since 1977, CIR has relentlessly pursued and uncovered injustices that otherwise would be hidden from the public eye. Today, we are upholding this legacy and looking forward, working at the forefront of journalistic innovation to produce important stories that make a difference and engage our audiences across the aisle, coast to coast, and worldwide. What drives our work isn't profit – it's impact. Learn more at