America’s air campaign against terrorism in the Middle East was one of the most precise in history, according to military officials and media reports at the time. But award-winning investigative journalist Azmat Khan did not believe what she read in the papers. So, she decided to find the truth for herself. She put her body on the line and crisscrossed war zones to figure out how America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were actually going.
We discuss tricks of the trade: how Azmat shook off Iraqi officials who were on her tail, how she distinguished between ISIS fighters and civilians, and how she built relationships with her sources. We meet the most important source in her life, Basim Razzo, an Iraqi man who lost his family in a U.S. drone strike. He was labeled, incorrectly, as a member of ISIS.
We also go to a place Azmat does not like to visit (at least not in public): her inner life. Living between war and peace takes a real emotional toll.
- Ghost Students, Ghost Teachers, Ghost Schools, Azmat Khan (July 9, 2015)
- The Uncounted, Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal (Nov. 16, 2017)
- Hidden Pentagon Records Reveal Patterns of Failure in Deadly Airstrikes, Azmat Khan (Dec. 18, 2021)