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?
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.
"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.
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.
Despite an overall decline in urban violence since the early 1990s, the past century has witnessed a series of dramatic and bloody events that have prompted law enforcement to examine their tactics and demand more sophisticated equipment to deal with perceived threats. Significant police reforms – from domestic surveillance to SWAT teams and special training on “urban warfare” – have been sought since these flashpoints of violence. Learn more about flashpoints in urban violence in our new timeline feature.
More than 14,000 people attended the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago this October. This 19,000-pound tactical protector vehicle, the Pit-Bull by Virginia-based Alpine Armoring, is nearly 8 feet tall, more than 7 feet wide, and comes standard with nine gun ports and a V-10 engine. Learn more about the militarization of local police departments in our new investigation.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan represent only a fraction of the billions spent to battle terrorists since Sept. 11, 2001. Lawmakers in Washington have shelled out some $34 billion over the last 10 years to state and local law enforcement. Our new map shows how much each state has raked in by grant program and fiscal year, based on data obtained from the Department of Homeland Security.