Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
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
“[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.” —Teju Cole, The New Yorker, Best Books of 2013
In Dirty Wars, Jeremy Scahill, author of the New York Times best-seller 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.
cloud cover ultimately compelled McRaven to delay the raid until the next night. Obama called McRaven for a final check-in. It was late in the evening in Jalalabad when McRaven picked up the phone. He told the president his men were ready to go. “I couldn’t have any more confidence in you than the confidence I have in you and your force,” the president said. “Godspeed to you and your forces. Please pass on to them my personal thanks for their service and the message that I personally will be
and maybe 10,000 Somalis.” Fazul criticized the al Shabab leadership for failing to recruit young Somalis—ideally between the ages of thirteen and sixteen—and train them for a long-term struggle. Fazul alleged that al Shabab was recruiting young people, but then “in a few months they’re just sending them as suicide bombers. And he thought that that was such a bad idea, and that in the long run would just erode fighters out of al Shabab.” The source added: “I mean this guy’s looking way ahead, and
the author’s interview. 322 another round of meetings: US diplomatic cable 10SANAA4, from Ambassador Stephen Seche, US Embassy Sana’a, “General Petraeus’ Meeting with Saleh on Security Assistance, AQAP strikes,” January 4, 2010, released by WikiLeaks, http://wikileaks.org/cable/2010/01/10SANAA4.html. Details of the meetings between Saleh and Petraeus come from this cable. 323 “100 percent Yemeni forces”: Haley Sweetland Edwards, “US Lends Firepower to Yemen Fight,” Global Post, January 24,
Yemen, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Sudan. As Sattler spoke, in December 2002, his ship was decorated with paper Santas and other Christmas decorations, as well as a portrait of Osama bin Laden riddled with bullet holes. He described his mission as hunting terrorist leaders fleeing Afghanistan and heading to Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere in the region. “If they stumble, we’ll bring them to justice. Even if they don’t stumble, if they sleep a little too early one night or a little too
Camp NAMA, and the only people permitted to enter without it were prisoners, shackled and hooded. Ironically, even though NAMA personnel didn’t want General Miller in their camp, the general seemed to be on their side. During that trip to Iraq, while touring other facilities including Abu Ghraib, Miller reportedly chastised US military prison administrators for “running a country club,” charging they were being too lenient on detainees. Miller suggested they “GTMO-ize” their detention facilities