Dirty Wars: The World Is A Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill, is based on years of reporting on U.S. secret operations in Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan. The book focuses upon the assassination of two U.S. citizens in 2011, Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman, condemned by the Obama administration without due process of law. The book and a soon to be released documentary film by the same name detail the hidden wars and erosion of the constitutional rights afforded initiated by the Bush administration and now escalated by President Barack Obama.
While the Obama administration has defended the killing of Anwar, it has never publicly explained why Abdulrahman was targeted in a separate drone strike two weeks later. Scahill reveals CIA Director John Brennan, Obama’s former senior adviser on counterterrorism and homeland security, suspected that the teenager had been killed “intentionally.” “The idea that you can simply have one branch of government unilaterally and in secret declare that an American citizen should be executed or assassinated without having to present any evidence whatsoever, to me, is a — we should view that with great sobriety about the implications for our country,” says Scahill
Interviewed on Democracy Now, Scahill who is also the author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army [Revised and Updated] tells Amy Goodman that Obama has been able to accomplish more because the democratic base continue to support him despite his failures to complete his campaign promises.
AMY GOODMAN: And he said he wanted to close secret prisons.
JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, he—in fact, there was an order to close the secret prisons. And I believe it was in April of 2009, Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, said that we’re out of the business of secret prisons. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but what I do know is true is that we’re using other people’s secret prisons, other countries’ secret prisons, to do the same kind of dirty deeds that liberals were so rightly outraged about when President Bush was doing it around the world. So, you know, I think that because—because it’s a popular Democratic president, I think people have been convinced that things have really radically shifted, and in reality, they haven’t. And I think a lot of the Bush people stand in awe of what President Obama has been able to do, because they know that they probably wouldn’t have been able to get it done themselves. So, you know, there are ways in which Obama pushed the Cheney agenda far beyond what a President McCain or a President Romney would have been able to do, because he had his base of supporters.
AMY GOODMAN: And to those who say you have to fight lawless terrorists without using the constraints of law?
JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, then we’re a different nation. I mean, if that’s true, then we have to—we have to step back. I mean, if the majority of Americans believe that, which I don’t believe they do, then we’re a different nation. Then we should go back and write a new constitution, and we should have a totally different concept of what it means to have a justice system or have a judiciary that’s supposed to give access to due process, where you’re allowed to face your accusers.
Take the time to watch this interview and take note that the Obama administration recently snubbed a Senate hearing to discuss the legality of these drone strikes. The administration is also refusing to discuss if drone warfare is not creating more enemies than it claims to remove.
Part two is available here