Photo 25 Nov 49 notes Jeremy Scahill: From pursuing Washington over its secret war on terror to becoming a rebel fighter in the global war against journalism 
He is no friend of the White House. Sarah Morrison meets Jeremy Scahill.
Nov. 24 2013

Jeremy Scahill has been dubbed a “one-man truth squad”. The American journalist has spent more than a decade reporting on what he describes as the “so-called war on terror,” from countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia. Attentive readers will have already worked out he is no friend of the White House.

He has received death threats, and his computer has been hacked. Chilling warnings have even come from high up in President Barack Obama’s administration. Why? He has never minced his words. “We are making more new enemies across the world than we are killing actual terrorists,” he tells me. “I think there will be blowback.”
But the 39-year-old is moving out of the shadows and on to British cinema screens this week, as his new award-winning film Dirty Wars, an adaptation of his second book, is released. The documentary-style thriller follows the journalist as he meets the victims of those swept up in the USA’s covert military operations. If Scahill were not there, centre stage, you might be mistaken for thinking you had come across an episode of Homeland. Here are the wall of clues, the drones, the assassinations. But this time, it’s not fiction. It’s real.
Glenn Greenwald, the Brazil-based journalist who broke news of the data leaked by US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, has called it “one of the most important political films of the past 20 years”. He is a close friend of Scahill’s, and now his colleague; early next year the pair, along with film-maker Laura Poitras and others, will launch a new global media organisation funded by billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.
It’s easy to see why they get on. Greenwald has uncovered the murky world of state surveillance; Scahill uncovers the murky world of war. In Dirty Wars, directed by Richard Rowley, Scahill begins his quest for answers in Afghanistan after finding that a lethal night raid by the US has been covered up. The film charts his almost obsessive need to understand Washington’s expanding wars. As he tracks the rise of one of the US military’s most elite and secretive units, operating in countries where war has not even been declared, he concludes the “war on terror” is “spinning out of control”.
Now, he is back in New York to collaborate with Greenwald on an investigation into the NSA which, he says, is “much more involved on a tactical level, with covert and overt military operations, than is publicly known”.
And Greenwald? “Glenn is one of the most fiercely brave people I’ve ever met… I have this vision of Glenn that I love, because I have seen it first hand: Glenn is taking on the most powerful institution in the world in a house with 10 dogs, who are barking around the clock. [Greenwald and his partner, David Miranda] have 10 dogs, a cat that thinks it’s a dog, and monkeys running over the yard. And thousands of top-secret documents, that Glenn is going through every day.”
If Scahill sounds earnest, that’s because he is. Ever since he cut his teeth, aged 21, at the American independent news programme Democracy Now!, he has believed journalists have “an obligation to hold those in power accountable, regardless of their political affiliation”. He later became national security correspondent for The Nation magazine and published Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, about the controversial private security firm. 
Scahill does not believe in “objective” journalism. He calls it “bullshit” and adds: “We aren’t robots. ‘Objective’ is generally defined, by those who attack people like me, as someone who has a default position that the State is telling the truth and those in power are to be believed.”
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Jeremy Scahill: From pursuing Washington over its secret war on terror to becoming a rebel fighter in the global war against journalism

He is no friend of the White House. Sarah Morrison meets Jeremy Scahill.

Nov. 24 2013

Jeremy Scahill has been dubbed a “one-man truth squad”. The American journalist has spent more than a decade reporting on what he describes as the “so-called war on terror,” from countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia. Attentive readers will have already worked out he is no friend of the White House.

He has received death threats, and his computer has been hacked. Chilling warnings have even come from high up in President Barack Obama’s administration. Why? He has never minced his words. “We are making more new enemies across the world than we are killing actual terrorists,” he tells me. “I think there will be blowback.”

But the 39-year-old is moving out of the shadows and on to British cinema screens this week, as his new award-winning film Dirty Wars, an adaptation of his second book, is released. The documentary-style thriller follows the journalist as he meets the victims of those swept up in the USA’s covert military operations. If Scahill were not there, centre stage, you might be mistaken for thinking you had come across an episode of Homeland. Here are the wall of clues, the drones, the assassinations. But this time, it’s not fiction. It’s real.

Glenn Greenwald, the Brazil-based journalist who broke news of the data leaked by US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, has called it “one of the most important political films of the past 20 years”. He is a close friend of Scahill’s, and now his colleague; early next year the pair, along with film-maker Laura Poitras and others, will launch a new global media organisation funded by billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

It’s easy to see why they get on. Greenwald has uncovered the murky world of state surveillance; Scahill uncovers the murky world of war. In Dirty Wars, directed by Richard Rowley, Scahill begins his quest for answers in Afghanistan after finding that a lethal night raid by the US has been covered up. The film charts his almost obsessive need to understand Washington’s expanding wars. As he tracks the rise of one of the US military’s most elite and secretive units, operating in countries where war has not even been declared, he concludes the “war on terror” is “spinning out of control”.

Now, he is back in New York to collaborate with Greenwald on an investigation into the NSA which, he says, is “much more involved on a tactical level, with covert and overt military operations, than is publicly known”.

And Greenwald? “Glenn is one of the most fiercely brave people I’ve ever met… I have this vision of Glenn that I love, because I have seen it first hand: Glenn is taking on the most powerful institution in the world in a house with 10 dogs, who are barking around the clock. [Greenwald and his partner, David Miranda] have 10 dogs, a cat that thinks it’s a dog, and monkeys running over the yard. And thousands of top-secret documents, that Glenn is going through every day.”

If Scahill sounds earnest, that’s because he is. Ever since he cut his teeth, aged 21, at the American independent news programme Democracy Now!, he has believed journalists have “an obligation to hold those in power accountable, regardless of their political affiliation”. He later became national security correspondent for The Nation magazine and published Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, about the controversial private security firm. 

Scahill does not believe in “objective” journalism. He calls it “bullshit” and adds: “We aren’t robots. ‘Objective’ is generally defined, by those who attack people like me, as someone who has a default position that the State is telling the truth and those in power are to be believed.”

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    Gonna watch that documentary.
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