War on Terror

"Dirty Wars" Receives Oscar Nomination

Author and filmmaker Jeremy Scahill on America's covert wars


Earlier this morning the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their nominations for the 86th Academy Awards. Jeremy Scahill's film, "Dirty Wars" is among the honorees for best documentary. Reason TV sat down with Scahill last summer to discuss the film and America's global war on terror.

Here is the original text from the in-depth interview, which ran on June 13, 2013:

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 journalistAbdulelah 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.


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  1. Tough competition for Scahill:

    In the wake of the deaths of nearly a million opponents of Indonesia’s political regime, the heads of the country’s death squads are celebrated as heroes. Challenged to examine their actions by creating films about the killings, the men produce elaborately staged movies that reenact the mass slayings.

    And this documentary…

    The events that have shaken Egypt since 2011 have taken the country from a revolution aimed at ending political oppression to the overthrow of the new president, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. At the center of the story is Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the gathering place for protesters and the site of many of the period’s most dramatic moments.

  2. After watching this documentary, I actually thought long and hard about separating from active duty. Then I realized that there are only about 50 or 60 of us left who actually fucking believe in the oath of office. That worries me more than the Obama-McRaven Dirty Wars.

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