Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "special forces" ...

  • Guantanamo’s Child – Omar Khadr

    Guantanamo has always been – and remains today – a story told through rhetoric and partisan politics. There is rarely a human face. There is rarely talk of the civil right violations in times of fear. Omar Khadr’s story is a dark chapter in both U.S. and Canadian history, and Guantanamo’s Child shines the light on these abuses for the first time. It is the story of a 15-year-old Canadian who grew up behind bars. It is his first – and only interview, where he talks about his recollections of the firefight, which kept him detained for 12 years. U.S. Special Forces soldiers also give their accounts of the firefight for the first time in exclusive interviews. The testimonies of former interrogators, detainees and military prosecutors reveal what Khadr endured while jailed. https://ajam.boxcn.net/s/zxe5pqfhioxyztdgyh6s4lmhhh08hy56
  • Dirty Brigades: No Clean Hands in Iraq’s ISIS Fight

    Torture, beheadings, the cold blooded shooting of unarmed civilians, and all of it caught on camera in war-ravaged Iraq by the perpetrators acting with impunity. But the horror show was not by ISIS this time. An ABC News investigation, "Dirty Brigades: No Clean Hands in Iraq's ISIS Fight," found ample evidence of terrorist-like atrocities routinely committed over the past year by U.S.-trained Iraqi Security Forces, who Washington has been arming as the key to defeating ISIS. Incredibly, elite Iraqi Special Forces, special police and counterterrorism units were documenting their own horrific acts, filling the dark underbelly of Iraqi social media with gruesome snapshots and videos of their own war crimes in an apparent effort to stir up sectarian bloodlust. In the first in-depth exposé and analysis of these atrocities, the ABC News Brian Ross Investigative Unit, led by Producer James Gordon Meek, spent six months collecting and researching a photo and video gallery of horrors, interviewing human rights investigators, U.S. Special Forces veterans and diplomats who served in Iraq, as well as confronting both the American and Iraqi governments with their findings. The team presented the investigation to millions over three consecutive nights on ABC World News Tonight With David Muir, accompanied by in-depth digital reports, both print and broadcast, on ABCNews.com and ABC/Apple TV.
  • SPECIAL FORCES AIRSTRIKES

    Freelance War Reporter Alex Quade exclusively embedded with Special Forces “A-Teams” in Iraq, as they went after high value terrorist targets & called in airstrikes with A-10s & F-16s during combat missions. Quade spent years tracking down those same aircraft, to bring the audience on ride-alongs to explain their close air support role. Quade battled military PAOs to allow her to release her video now, as it explains how airstrikes are conducted with Special Forces today in Iraq & Syria. This is the very first soup-to-nuts explainer of close air support from all angles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUlvs3nK_YI
  • Alex Quade's Taliban-5/Spec Ops Capture & Release

    In her exclusive, war reporter Alex Quade, reveals the original story behind the Special Operations Forces’ capture of one of the Taliban-5. Alex Quade persuaded the elite Operators to go on the record, assess the “high risk” detainee’s exchange for POW, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl; and whether the released Taliban leader will attack U.S. interests again. One highly decorated Green Beret who originally helped capture him, is now a National Security Council counterterrorism head, who worked behind the scenes on the recent exchange. The senior Special Forces officer tells Alex of detainee Mullah Muhammad Fazl’s release from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and assesses the government of Qatar’s ability to hold Fazl under the one year travel ban. Former Special Operations “Horse Soldiers” share details with Alex, you’ve never heard before. In Alex Quade’s exclusive, you’ll discover Mullah Fazl’s connection to: convicted “American Taliban” Johnny Walker Lindh; and CIA Agent Mike Spann, the first American killed in action in the war in Afghanistan. You’ll also learn of the released Taliban leader’s ties to former warlord, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum – now the Vice President of Afghanistan.
  • SPECIAL FORCES COMBAT OUTPOST PIRELLI

    “SPECIAL FORCES COMBAT OUTPOST PIRELLI” (by Alex Quade) --- When the U.S. military officially departed Iraq due to the Status of Forces Agreement deadline, a little known part of the handover included leaving behind secret Special Forces’ “Team houses” — or “safe houses” — hidden around the country. One was built by Green Beret Staff Sergeant Rob Pirelli and his Operational Detachment Alpha -072, or “A-Team.” Pirelli, of the Army’s 10th Special Forces Group, built the combat outpost in a remote part of Diyala Province, near the Iranian border, in 2007. As a lone reporter, I was there at the combat outpost’s beginning stages, then spent 2-years covering these same, secretive Special Forces “A-Teams” on multiple deployments. During one combat mission, Green Beret Staff Sgt. Pirelli was killed in action during an ambush. His heroism saved his 12-Special Forces teammates, and the Iraqis his unit was advising. As a reporter, I made the commitment to follow Pirelli’s “A-Team” and his “Gold Star Family” for 5-years after he was killed; I also went back to Combat Outpost Pirelli repeatedly over the years. My 40-page, two-part, special online article (with photos and video), covered two different investigative, journalistic themes. First: over time, how Pirelli’s family and teammates found ways (both successful and unsuccessful) to deal with the loss; as well as an inside look at how Special Forces command/headquarters handle a soldier killed in action. Second: using the Combat Outpost as a metaphorical barometer, I documented the change in the Special Forces’ mission in that part of Iraq, as well as the U.S. military’s role, and the progress or regress into violence, over 5-years.
  • Chinook Down

    In May 2007 - an American Chinook helicopter was shot down by insurgents in southern Afghanistan. The crash killed 7-soldiers. NATO officials suggested the helicopter was brought down by small-arms fire. But classified documents released by WikiLeaks reported the helicopter had been "engaged and struck with a missile," suggesting the Taliban had effectively used a heat-seeking surface-to-air missile - a significant development not publicly disclosed before. Alex Quade, a freelance television reporter, was supposed to be on that helicopter, covering a battalion-size air assault mission involving Special Forces, 1/508th Parachute Infantry Regiment and the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade. But at the last minute, Quade lost her seat to 2-public affairs officers. She survived to report firsthand on the recovery, including a fierce firefight, and interviewed pilots who reported seeing a missile streaking into the sky and striking the Chinook. Over the years, Quade continued to gather material about the attack on the helicopter, interviewing pilots who provided air support to rescue teams on the ground, obtaining previously unreleased Pentagon documents, via FOIA appeals, and collecting video from soldiers and pilots on the scene. The result of her investigation is a 10-minute video for NYT.com. It is Ms. Quade's Memorial Day tribute to the soldiers she was embedded with, and nearly died with, and a look at the effects of PTSD.
  • Libya: Dying for Security

    CBS News was first to interview the key witness in the denied security requests leading up to the attack on the US Mission at Benghazi: the Commander of a Special Forces Unit Lt. Col. Andrew Wood. In a series of exclusive reports, Col. Wood told his compelling story: how those on the ground, including Amb. Christopher Stevens, documented a drastically deteriorating security situation in Libya and made repeated requests for continued or enhanced security only to have them all denied.
  • Blackwater: Inside America's Private Army

    This series focuses on Blackwater USA, one of the most visible players in the private military industry. Tens of thousands of private military soldiers are on the ground in Iraq, armed and engaging in combat, but they are not subject to military justice or chain of command. This situation raises questions about oversight, standards, coordination and accountability. Blackwater's presence in Iraq escalated the war in 2004, when four of its contractors were killed and strung up from a bridge in Fallujah. Now, Blackwater is seeking out new markets, offering itself as an army for hire to police the world's trouble spots.
  • Firebase Gardez

    In March 2003, two Afghan detainees died in separate incidents while in the custody of the same Special Forces A-Team, ODA 2021, which was based in the town of Gardez in Paktia province. Neither death was reported to higher authorities or otherwise disclosed until revealed by the L.A. Times. The series tells the story of the team's seven-month tour as a narrative, ending with the tales of two deaths.
  • G.I. Jerk

    This investigation explores the way one man, Phil Haberman, scammed the U.S. Army. Though in reality he was only an assistant cook, he forged paperwork and lied pathologically to convince many people that he was a sniper with the Army Special Forces. This investigation de-constructs his lies and talks to the people he took advantage of.