PBS NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown talks to Edward Girardet about his new book, Killing the Cranes, which details his personal experiences in Afghanistan — including a debate with Osama bin Laden — and the history of a country at war for nearly 30 years. Girardet began reporting from Afghanistan in 1979, shortly before the Soviet invasion. From the transcript:
JEFFREY BROWN: Now, as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, we look back with a veteran foreign correspondent at the long years of war in Afghanistan, where American troops have fought ever since the attacks on the U.S. …
Along the way, he’s trekked hundreds of miles through rugged mountains and had innumerable adventures, including a 1989 encounter with Osama bin Laden and his Arab fighters.
In early September 2001, Girardet was waiting to interview Ahmad Shah Massoud, a key resistance leader, when he met a pair of North African men who said they were television journalists also there to interview Massoud. In fact, the two were suicide bombers dispatched by al-Qaida. And their assassination of the popular Afghan fighter foreshadowed the 9/11 attack on the United States just two days later.
Girardet’s new book, Killing the Cranes, is filled with such details, mixing personal experience with the history of a country at war for nearly 30 years.
Watch the video below, or on NewsHour’s site.
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UPDATE: Ed Girardet will also be appearing on the Kojo Nnamdi show Thursday September 8 at noon Eastern time: http://thekojonnamdishow.org/
And on NPR’s Morning Edition Friday September 9 at 8:30am: http://www.npr.org/programs/morning-edition/