'Dirty Wars': What are we willing to sacrifice? - Omaha.com
go logo


'Dirty Wars': What are we willing to sacrifice?
By Tirdad Derakhshani / The Philadelphia Inquirer


Does the Bill of Rights apply to all Americans, or only those the government deems worthy?

Should American citizens be assassinated for committing crimes without being charged, tried, or convicted?

These are some of the questions asked by Jeremy Scahill in his new film, “Dirty Wars,” a shocking piece of investigative journalism about the covert campaigns waged by U.S. Special Forces since the Sept. 11 attacks.

More disturbing still, the film contends that these mini-wars escape congressional oversight and media scrutiny because they justify themselves under the banner of the war on terror.

"Dirty Wars"

Director: Rick Rowley

Stars: Jeremy Scahill

Rating: Unrated

Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Theater: Film Streams

Scahill, 38, is author of the 2007 best-seller “Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army,” about the role of private military companies in war.

His latest investigation began as a follow-up story to a 2010 British report that U.S. troops had erroneously targeted a family in Gardez, in Afghanistan's Paktia Province, an area with heavy Taliban activity.

Special Forces troops showed up as part of a rapidly escalating series of night raids. The troops killed an American-trained police commander and three women, two of whom were pregnant.

Witnesses told Scahill the Americans dug out the bullets lodged in the victims' bodies, wiping out the only forensic clues. NATO's press office tried to cover up the attack by naming the Taliban as the killers. Scahill presented his findings to the House Judiciary Committee — and only one member showed up.

Eventually, the reporter found that the Gardez attack was one of hundreds of missions undertaken by a Special Forces group called the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which reports directly to the president.

Scahill follows some of JSOC's activities, which go back to the beginning of the war on terror, finding more evidence that the group caused the deaths of numerous terrorists and plenty of innocent victims.

Scahill's film takes an even darker turn when it looks into the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who was denied the right to trial guaranteed all Americans.

The White House said al-Awlaki was an active al-Qaida recruiter.

“Dirty Wars” is essential viewing for all Americans, conservatives and liberals alike. It's intense and depressing. It'll make you angry.

Above all, it'll make you wonder: What are we willing to sacrifice in the name of national security?


Contact the Omaha World-Herald newsroom


Copyright ©2014 Omaha World-Herald®. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, displayed or redistributed for any purpose without permission from the Omaha World-Herald.

Latest Stories

The 8 most untrustworthy artificial intelligences in film
The 8 most untrustworthy artificial intelligences in film

With the release of “Transcendence,” the story of a computer science genius whose mind is merged with a sentient system, Hollywood has once again probed the vagaries of artificial intelligence.


Record Store Day draws long lines, record collectors, good tunes
Record Store Day draws long lines, record collectors, good tunes

At Homer's Music in the Old Market, the first person in line arrived at 4:30 a.m. Saturday.


Coachella: Best of Day 1 includes The Replacements, Outkast
Coachella: Best of Day 1 includes The Replacements, Outkast

Rock Candy correspondents Joel Henriksen and Keith Finn check in from Indio to review Friday's top sets from the godfather of indie rock festivals.


Maha Music Festival announces lineup; might be its best yet
Maha Music Festival announces lineup; might be its best yet

August concert promises to pack Stinson Park with indie rock fans.


A saliva-inducing look at M's Pub's new happy hour
A saliva-inducing look at M's Pub's new happy hour

The downtown staple recently introduced a happy hour. And its menu's pretty amazing.


Dining review: If you're craving sushi, head to Benson's Taita
Dining review: If you're craving sushi, head to Benson's Taita

Chef Jose Dionicio has wisely refocused Taita on sushi, and the well-crafted small bites of fresh fish I tasted from his one-man sushi bar are delectable.


New Benson BBQ restaurant opens next week
New Benson BBQ restaurant opens next week

Fusion BBQ, at 7024 Maple St., focuses on American style barbecue cooking melded with international cuisines.


Nebraska's best burger determined by folks who know about this kind of thing
Nebraska's best burger determined by folks who know about this kind of thing

The Nebraska Beef Council announced the winner of its Nebraska's Best Burger contest.


Rockbrook Village restaurant Taste has a new chef
Rockbrook Village restaurant Taste has a new chef

Ryan Devitt will come to the restaurant as both a chef and partner to focus on farm-to-table style cuisine.


Over Easy will host a west Omaha block party
Over Easy will host a west Omaha block party

Over Easy is playing host to a west Omaha block party this summer.


 
Search
Movies Opening this week

Movie showtimes and theater listings






Read this!








VIDEOS

Tonight in Prime Time
© 2014 Omaha World-Herald. All rights reserved