Jeremy Scahill on Dirty Wars

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jeremy Scahill, National Security Correspondent for The Nation magazine, gives an inside view of America’s new covert wars. He looks at the CIA’s Special Activities Division and the Joint Special Operations Command, which conduct missions in denied areas, engage in targeted killings, and direct drone, AC-130, and cruise missile strikes. Scahill’s new book Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield follows the consequences of the declaration that “the world is a battlefield,” as Scahill uncovers the most important foreign policy story of our time.

There's also a film of "Dirty Wars," which opens June 7 at IFC Center and Lincoln Plaza.


Jeremy Scahill

Comments [13]

Shaun Cahill from slac

o.k. mr. good looking President, enough with the I killed UBL ... good job, fine, we got it. Stop dragging us down to the level of Himmler und Eichman with the drones and assasination squads for the love of Abraham.

May. 06 2013 06:16 PM

Enjoyed the interview. Scahill was in typical good form: engaging and compelling.

"john from office", Apr. 25 2013 01:04 PM:

Kids these days. They don't even know how to choose the right parents.

May. 05 2013 01:27 PM

I'd like a clarification. At the end of the interview Leonard asked if "the counter-terrorism policies are eliminating more enemies than they are inspiring". Scahill responded "I don't think theres' any doubt that that's true in many Muslim countries where we've been bombing."

Did Scahill just endorse Obama's drone operations as effective, or did you forget the form in which the question was asked when he answered it?

Apr. 28 2013 10:29 AM

@ "john from office", Apr. 25 2013 02:57 PM:

That is so far from anything that I actually wrote, such an utter and complete distortion, that I have to wonder whether it wasn't deliberate on your part. (What would motivate you to do such a thing, I can only guess.)

Not only did I never so much as /suggest/ anything even remotely close to such a view, I was actually calling-out and criticizing that very type of double-standard and hypocrisy! This would be obvious to anyone who had actually read my posts, which can be found at:

"john from office", If you weren't trolling, then you must have gotten me confused with someone else. What else could account for such a complete distortion--ascribing to me what is essentially the complete opposite of what I actually wrote? I can't imagine, based on the posts of yours that I've seen, that your abilities in English reading and/or comprehension could be as abysmally low as they would have to in order to account for an error that egregious.

Apr. 26 2013 11:47 AM
John A from Downrange

I am equally amazed, positively and negatively, that someone can speak so freely in America, but then also that America can kill so freely, no trials, accountability, etc. Problem is, on the positive side, we have a pile of expositive data and books, all agreeing with each other but on the negative side it's death, and death that isn't stopping.. Amazement is replaced with need for action, or to relocate - 1938 style.

Apr. 25 2013 06:17 PM
john from office

Your response regarding the Bombing of the King David hotel, that Bombing being Heroic, while If the same is done by an Arab, it is terror.

Apr. 25 2013 02:57 PM

@ "john from office":

"Would you be so critical if Israel did the same, I doubt it."


I'm actually not even a Zionist or supporter of the State of Israel, much less a reflexive one or apologist. This is made quite clear in numerous comments I've posted, for which I've been called "self-hating" and labeled a "traitor" by some of our regulars. I'm sure they would be amused at your comment.

I can't expect you to be familiar with those past posts of mine, most of which were made before I had registered. But I absolutely /can/ expect you not to make the kind of /assumptions/ that you did.

On what basis did you make such assumptions?

Apr. 25 2013 02:30 PM
jersey jim from Brick, NJ

According to a New Yorker article, the independent contractors cost the military a lot of good will. The Marine Colonel whose forces had "taken" Faluja knew enough not to drive triumphantly around in a jeep, but rather to drink tea with the town elders and let them not feel their honor was lost. The contractors drove around and were assaulted, killed and their burnt bodies hung up on the bridge and the town was subsequently laid waste.

Apr. 25 2013 01:43 PM
john from office

I read the Nation, there is good writing in it. But, like this guest, the USA can do no good in the world. The USA is the source of all evil in the world, as opposed to the USA responding to evil in the world.

Apr. 25 2013 01:29 PM
john from office

Independent_Noach's Home, wow you shed a tear for the child of a traitor??
We sent a message with the killing of that "child", it was not a mistake. Traitors and their families will not be safe.

Would you be so critical if Israel did the same, I doubt it.

Apr. 25 2013 01:04 PM
Peter Talbot from Harrison, NJ

Covert operations are the popularly cited face of American foreign policy overseas, not CSPAN nor Hollywood. As such they engender in all (allies, sworn enemies and the vast majority of neutrals) a conviction that the people and state of the USA will never be held accountable for any extralegal activity done in the name of its amorphous sense of national security. This has been true since Kissinger pushed the button on Allende to benefit the copper barons certainly, though the process began with the filibustering of Burr and other giants of America's youth. The stated ideals of the USA (rule of law, republican legislative authority, the nominal freedoms of the Constitution) are now become canards for the domestic news and education markets according to most of the sentient population of the world. And it has no finer emblem than the memorial wall of stars at Langley. We are so proud of those heroic efforts of our covert warriors that we can't even tell their relatives what they've accomplished for fear of endangering some other team hard at work protecting us in the twilight. Ethical behavior means espousing and doing righteously. Self defense is not ethical per se, and when we act covertly or preemptively in self defense we are definitively evil, if not quite the evil empire that propagandists condemn. This does not mean wars are "unjust", nor that our forces are essentially evil. It means that we as a people do not believe that democracy can triumph without skullduggery, and we vote and serve our flag in the spirit of desperation and fear. We are destroying our strategic advantage as a culture in favor of fighting undeclared wars "on the cheap" because our government realizes that they can only afford such operations if the people of the US don't know they're paying for them. We have met the real enemy and he is us. Since Vietnam we have been working overtime to deny that self realization even as we increase our dependence on mercs, robots and press controls.

No one respects the simple truth: since 1948 have exported so much war, munitions and mayhem in the name of freedom that we have had to enslave ourselves to keep safe from the children that benefited from our largesse. I've got a better, more Christian idea. Lets stop it and take up cabinet making or metalworking instead. We'll get to handle sharp tools, sweat a lot, have rowdy shop talk and even punch one another but nobody has to die so we can go home to our families at days end.

Apr. 25 2013 12:06 PM

Also, please be sure to address former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' comment that Anwar Awlaki's sixteen-year-old son, killed by a U.S. drone strike, "should have [had] a far more responsible father."

Apr. 25 2013 06:55 AM

It's about time Scahill appeared on WNYC again.

I hope you will discuss:
a)Tuesday's Senate hearings on the drone program and the White House's snubbing of them (and defiance on the whole issue and related ones)

b) The seeming near-blackout in the media on the hearings (including WNYC and NPR, where I have yet to hear a single mention)

Apr. 25 2013 06:33 AM

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