Author of Dirty Wars, Blackwater, and The Assassination Complex
An investigative reporter and war correspondent, Jeremy Scahill is one of the three founding editors of The Intercept. His latest book, featuring a foreword by Edward Snowden and written with the staff of The Intercept, is The Assassination Complex: Inside the Government’s Secret Drone Warfare Program. He is also the international bestselling author of Blackwater and Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield. The film adaptation of Dirty Wars, which he wrote, produced, and narrates, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Teju Cole calls the book “[A] courageous and exhaustive examination of the way a number of clandestine campaigns—full of crimes, cover-ups, and assassinations—became the United States’ main strategy for combating terrorism.”
Scahill has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere. He has served as the national security correspondent for The Nation and Democracy Now!. His work has sparked several congressional investigations and has twice won the George Polk Book Award, one of journalism’s highest honors.
Covert Wars: The Hidden Story of Americaâ€™s Assassination Policy
For nearly two decades, Jeremy Scahill has traveled the world reporting on America’s ongoing War on Terror. Now, in this vital keynote, drawing from his bestselling books Dirty Wars, Blackwater, and the new The Assassination Complex, Scahill presents a chilling portrait of America’s now normalized assassination strategy: a combination of drone strikes, covert raids, private security forces, secret prisons, and unimaginable civilian casualties.
This talk reveals a number of key components of US foreign policy. It shows how thousands of secret soldiers, drawn from Blackwater Worldwide, the Navy and CIA, Delta Force, and other special operations are deployed to carry out America’s kill/capture raids across hundreds of countries. It describes how, from Afghanistan to Iraq, Yemen to Somalia to Syria, the American government has sentenced individuals to death without arrest, trial or appeal. It explains how this practice endures (and will endure) regardless of Republican or Democratic presidencies, and how it has been deliberately concealed from public debate by both Obama and Bush. And it asks hard questions: how do these strikes and raids contribute to, rather than abate, the instability and growing extremism in afflicted nations? Are we comfortable with an American president with the unchecked power to arrest and kill both American and non-American citizens designated as ‘threats’ in foreign countries? And what does this mean for us as voters, as engaged citizens of a democracy? This is a must-hear talk on what’s really going on in the White House, the Pentagon, and in the unlucky theaters of war across the world.
Telling the Truth in an Era of Surveillance and Control
In this talk, Jeremy Scahill sketches the current state of news media in the United States, and offers valuable advice for anyone concerned with security and privacy in our increasingly interconnected world. According to Scahill, today’s corporate media is fixated on domestic politics and the ‘reality show’ antics of the election cycle. Cable news is in a meltdown: with an ever-shrinking monopoly of who controls the airwaves—and with ad revenue and traffic driving what makes the news—foreign policy has been largely erased from television. There’s very little comment on war crimes, casualties, and other effects of the US military industry. Meanwhile, alternative journalists have become the targets of NSA and CIA surveillance programs, with Google, Facebook, and Twitter joining the war to become undeclared intelligence agencies gathering information on dissenters.
However, there are alternatives. Scahill outlines how independent and nonprofit media groups, including The Intercept, have found ways to disrupt the corporate and state agenda. These organizations can decide what to publish without reliance upon ad revenue. They can take positions that have a genuine impact on legislation and public debates. And their journalists can turn to confidential sources as information is leaked—even as they have to think more like spies than members of the fifth estate. For anyone in journalism, media broadcasting, or public policy, this is an essential, clear-eyed talk on surveillance and truth-telling in the news.
The Assassination Complex: Inside the Governmentâ€™s Secret Drone Warfare Program
Major revelations about the US government’s drone program—bestselling author Jeremy Scahill and his colleagues at the investigative website The Intercept expose stunning new details about America’s secret assassination policy.
When the US government discusses drone strikes publicly, it offers assurances that such operations are a more precise alternative to troops on the ground and are authorized only when an “imminent” threat is present and there is “near certainty” that the intended target will be killed. The implicit message on drone strikes from the Obama administration has been trust, but don’t verify.
The online magazine The Intercept exploded this secrecy when it obtained a cache of secret slides that provide a window into the inner workings of the US military’s kill/capture operations in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Whether through the use of drones, night raids, or new platforms yet to be employed, these documents show assassination to be central to US counterterrorism policy.
The classified documents reveal that Washington’s fourteen-year targeted killing campaign suffers from an overreliance on flawed signals intelligence, an apparently incalculable civilian toll, and an inability to extract potentially valuable intelligence from terror suspects. This campaign, carried out by two presidents through four presidential terms, has been deliberately obscured from the public and insulated from democratic debate. The Assassination Complex allows us to understand at last the circumstances under which the US government grants itself the right to sentence individuals to death without the established checks and balances of arrest, trial, and appeal.
The book includes original contributions from Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden.
Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield
A New York Times bestseller
A Washington Post bestseller
Named the top investigative journalism book of 2013 by Nieman Reports
Selected as one of Publishers Weekly’s Top 10 Books of 2013
In Dirty Wars, Jeremy Scahill, author of The New York Times bestseller Blackwater, takes us inside America’s new covert wars. The foot soldiers in these battles operate globally and inside the United States with orders from the White House to do whatever is necessary to hunt down, capture or kill individuals designated by the president as enemies.
Drawn from the ranks of the Navy SEALs, Delta Force, former Blackwater and other private security contractors, the CIA’s Special Activities Division and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), these elite soldiers operate worldwide, with thousands of secret commandos working in more than one hundred countries. Funded through “black budgets,” Special Operations Forces conduct missions in denied areas, engage in targeted killings, snatch and grab individuals and direct drone, AC-130 and cruise missile strikes. While the Bush administration deployed these ghost militias, President Barack Obama has expanded their operations and given them new scope and legitimacy.
Dirty Wars follows the consequences of the declaration that “the world is a battlefield,” as Scahill uncovers the most important foreign policy story of our time. From Afghanistan to Yemen, Somalia and beyond, Scahill reports from the frontlines in this high-stakes investigation and explores the depths of America’s global killing machine. He goes beneath the surface of these covert wars, conducted in the shadows, outside the range of the press, without effective congressional oversight or public debate. And, based on unprecedented access, Scahill tells the chilling story of an American citizen marked for assassination by his own government.
As US leaders draw the country deeper into conflicts across the globe, setting the world stage for enormous destabilization and blowback, Americans are not only at greater risk—we are changing as a nation. Scahill unmasks the shadow warriors who prosecute these secret wars and puts a human face on the casualties of unaccountable violence that is now official policy: victims of night raids, secret prisons, cruise missile attacks and drone strikes, and whole classes of people branded as “suspected militants.” Through his brave reporting, Scahill exposes the true nature of the dirty wars the United States government struggles to keep hidden.
Blackwater: The Rise of the Worldâ€™s Most Powerful Mercenary Army
Winner of the George Polk Book Award
On September 16, 2007, machine gun fire erupted in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, leaving seventeen Iraqi civilians dead, among them women and children. The shooting spree, labeled “Baghdad’s Bloody Sunday,” was neither the work of Iraqi insurgents nor U.S. soldiers. The shooters were private forces working for the secretive mercenary company, Blackwater Worldwide.
This is the explosive story of a company that rose a decade ago from Moyock, North Carolina, to become one of the most powerful players in the “War on Terror.” In his gripping bestseller, award-winning journalist Jeremy Scahill takes us from the bloodied streets of Iraq to hurricane-ravaged New Orleans to the chambers of power in Washington, to expose Blackwater as the frightening new face of the U.S. war machine.
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