“Dirty Wars”: Turns Out the U.S. Government Really Doesn't Play Fair

Dirty Wars The truth will out, but the problem is that even when it does, there's no guarantee that people will care. This is explored to some degree in Rick Rowley's documentary Dirty Wars, which examines and occasionally re-creates investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill's probes into America's covert and not-so-covert wars in the Middle East over the past several years. Using both archival and new footage, Dirty Wars retells Scahill's investigation of a night raid against an Afghan family (among the many signs that Afghanistan is still in the Third World is the fact that to watch videos of the raid's aftermath on their smartphones, they have to use RealPlayer), and his subsequent media tour of the cable yak shows, in which doughy Republicans call him a liar to his face. The covert wars suddenly get a lot less covert after the assassination of Bin Laden, and the formerly secretive Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) — responsible for so many of the atrocities he's reported — become not only front-page news, but national heroes, to Scahill's chagrin. Dirty Wars is also an examination of the kind of personality who would put himself in harm's way, as Scahill admits that ordinary life is too mundane for him, and however dangerous it is to investigate America's misdeeds abroad, it's never boring.

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