Oct 09 2013
Two major military raids in Somalia and Libya this past weekend made headlines when American forces attempted to kill or capture individuals deemed to be linked with various Al Qaeda affiliates. The raid in Somalia was unsuccessful but in Libya, it resulted in the capture of Abu Anas Al-Libi, who unusually may be brought back to the US for trial in connection with the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
But who are the people conducting these raids and why are they acceptable to the American public given that there is no Congressional dialogue or debate about them?
Attempting to answer that question is a remarkable new film you may have heard about called Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield. Written by investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill, and filmed and directed by acclaimed independent filmmaker Richard Rowley, Dirty Wars explores the shadowy world of US military raids, bombs, kill-lists, and assassinations.
What started out as an investigation into a mysterious night raid in Gardez, Afghanistan where a number of innocent Afghan women and men were killed, ended up uncovering a covert force known as the Joint Special Operations Command or JSOC which operates in countries like Yemen and Somalia where there has been no declaration of war.
As Scahill and Rowley worked on the film, President Obama announced the killing of Osama bin Laden, suddenly making JSOC one of the most talked about military units in the media. What is most disturbing about the idea of a small unit of highly trained killers that answer directly to the president is that US citizens are being targeted, minors are being targeted, and some targets have actually committed no crime other than to exercise their right to free speech.
GUEST: Rick Rowley, long-time award winning film maker, filmed and directed Dirty Wars