A Bad Week for the Republic?

12 Jun
Dirty Wars by Jeremy Scahill

Dirty Wars by Jeremy Scahill

Apparently this week some Americans are fulminating over the, uh, revelations that their government,securing the cooperation of those large “do good” tech monopolies, has been “spying on,uh, you and me.

Really.

Which brings to mind the inimitable Captain Louis Renault (Claude Raines/Casablanca)who upon being told there was gambling at Rick’s American Cafe offers, “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” He is then handed his winnings for the evening. Any and all levity aside, it’s as if Americans had forgotten there is such a thing as the Patriot Act, rendition, Guantánamo, water-boarding, Abu Ghraib and all the other nasty national security state goodies that the last pack of war criminals bestowed upon a trusting and dare-I-say, naive citizenry.

If you really want to work up a righteous anger pay attention to Jeremy Scahill’s( Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army ) Dirty Wars:The World is Battlefield (Nation Books) his account of the CIA’s Special Activities Division, and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), who are reportedly operating in over 70 countries around the world. And most shocking of all, have license to kill American citizens, with apparently no judicial process.

In Dirty Wars, the award winning documentary Scahill spends quite a bit of time presenting the story of Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical imam who was born in the US and killed by a drone strike in Yemen in 2011 (as was his teenage son, Abdulrahman). He also travels to Afghanistan, Yemen, Sudan and testifies and testifies before a blind, deaf and dumb congressional committee in recounting a world infested by dirty wars and he reminds us that this information is hidden in plain sight. Scahill does Izzy Stone proud.

Currently reading Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s Descent into Darkness by Alfredo Corchado (Penguin Press)

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