Jeremy Scahill's "Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield"

Jeremy Scahill, National Security Correspondent for The Nation, is the author of the best-selling new book Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield and the writer, producer and subject of an award-winning documentary of the same name, which goes into wide theatrical release this week.

Scahill sat with Reason's Matt Welch for an extended conversation about the book and movie, which thoroughly investigate the way America conducts its covert wars in the post-9/11 world, and how Barack Obama's embrace of drone strikes, rendition, and targeted assassination have cemented the policies of the Bush Administration which declared the entire world "a battlefield."

Other subjects discussed include Scahill's skepticism of President Obama's recent foreign policy "rethink" speech (14:00); how any adult male in a drone strike area is posthumously labeled a "suspected militant," (16:15); the Department of Justice's absurdly broad definition of an "imminent threat," (20:15); the mysterious case of the American-born terror-advocating imam Anwar al-Alwaki, who was assassinated by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen (21:15); the "shameful" persecution of Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye, who was set to be pardoned and released by the government of Yemen until President Obama intervened (32:31); his disappointment in the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats for being "nowhere" on civil liberties (38:41); and his surprising credit to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) for his epic filibuster where he read into the Congressional record "for the first time ever...the names of U.S. citizens killed in operations authorized by President Obama." (40:22)

About 41 minutes.

Produced by Anthony L. Fisher. Camera by Jim Epstein and Fisher.

MUSIC: "Dramamine" by Podington Bear (

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  • ||

    "Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield"

    Did he mean love? I think he meant love.

  • Lord Humungus||

    you STOLE MY POST!

  • Almanian!||

    You BOTH stole my post!


  • ||

    It's funny that you've been reduced to posting Pat Benatar links. And I used to think you were coo...wait, no I didn't.

  • Almanian!||

    Yeah, but she's totally Metal, and that's right in Warty's wheelhouse.

    And by "Metal" I mean "Totally NOT Metal - Like, Pretty Much The Opposite of all That Is Metal - But Cuter" - ya see what I'm sayin'?

  • ||

    You're beggin' me to go, you're makin' me stay. Why do you hurt me so bad?

  • John Galt||

    Pat Benetard fans.

  • Lyle||

    Bed bugs... oh my god!

  • Lyle||

    Violent Islamists are being treated like pirates and native Americans. There's no real easy or nice way to deal with them.

  • Calidissident||

    Did you just compare Native Americans to pirates and violent Islamists? That's pretty fucked up

  • Irish||

    It's Lyle. He's the reddest Red Tony that ever Red Tonied.

  • Calidissident||

    That's true. But this is messed up even by his standards. Comparing an entire race of people to violent sea criminals and violent extremist religious terrorists?

  • Lyle||

    You haven't the faintest clue what I mean. Haha!

  • Lyle||

    No, I didn't compare native Americans to pirates. Are you not able to understand what that sentence means?

  • Calidissident||

    You took one group, a group of violent terrorists, and compared their treatment to two other groups, one of which was a racial group, and the other a group of criminals. You then followed that up with a sentence about how "there's no easy or nice way to deal with" the first group. Do you not see how that might also reflect negatively on the latter two groups? Especially when one of those groups is universally detested for being murderous thieves (not to mention the first group, as I said, is a bunch of violent terrorists)? And considering your history of posts regarding Native Americans, you don't get the benefit of the doubt in this situation

  • Let Me Ride||

    I'm glad to see that is now putting out a larger number of long (20 min.+) offerings. Those 5-minute joints are okay but sometimes I want to go deeper. It really helps out those of us who have chucked our TVs.

  • John Galt||

    TV is for TV watchers.

  • T||

    Scahill is, in my experience, a tendentious ass. I've never managed to finish his book on Blackwater because every other sentence he's reminding me Republicans & Christians are evil. If he'd stick to telling me the facts, maybe I could reach that conclusion on my own without being hit over the head.

  • gaijin||

    every other sentence he's reminding me Republicans & Christians are evil.

    He is, hopefully, growing up. It is interesting that he says how shameful it is that "it's someone like Rand Paul" who is raising the issue he just spent 40 passionate minutes on and not his democratic heroes...but he even acknowledges his heroes are lacking suggests progress in his journey beyond TEAM.

  • gaijin||

    *but that he even acknowledges...

  • Tex||

    All these postings of Reason TV say, "Watch above or click on the link below for video, full text, supporting links, downloadable versions and, and more Reason TV clips."

    What does "full text" mean to you? To me it means "a transcript." If that's not what you mean, then don't say, "full text."

  • H. Protagonist||

    MP3 link is only the intro audio.

  • MoMark||

    While watching I couldn’t help but thinking about our leviathan state, and this behemoth 900 billion enterprise we call defense, and how it’s run by these delusional and not nearly as smart as they think they are men, and how they are guiding this monstrous thing and not seeing that we are becoming the very thing we are fighting against? Secrecy, torture, star chambers?

    And its head honcho is a Nobel Peace Prize winner? And somewhere some kid is flipping burgers and some portion of his hard earned pay check has to pay for this insanity.

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