At the Pentagon, ABC's Jonathan Karl (no link) covered the arrest of an alleged Afghan-based al-Qaeda leader named abdal-Hadi al-Iraqi. Karl reported that abdal-Hadi is now being held at Guantanamo Bay after "harsh interrogation" at a secret CIA prison. Anchor Charles Gibson telegraphed his own use of euphemism: "Do we know if the questioning has been productive?" Karl repeated Pentagon claims that abdal-Hadi coughed up lifesaving information but "there have been no specifics and no proof to back them up."
NBC had Jim Maceda report In Depth from Afghanistan itself where a bumper crop of opium poppies, perhaps worth $3bn is about to be harvested. Maceda showed us the "slow labor" of crop eradication as men walk through the fields in Nangarhar province whacking poppy bulbs with a stick, one at a time. He listed all those who benefit from Afghanistan turning into a narcoeconomy: the traffickers finance the resurgent Taliban guerrillas; government officials pocket bribes; peasant farmers earn $100 per pound for raw opium compared with $1 per pound for wheat.
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