The U.S. has been outsourcing its kill list to Islamist leaders in the African country of Somalia, which is only one site of Obama’s massive covert war that uses a combination of drone strikes, cruise missile attacks, and Joint Special Operations Command hit teams to assassinate suspected terrorists. The operation is run by Adm. William McRaven, the head of the JSOC, who is the most powerful figure in the U.S. military, according to Jeremy Scahill, the co-producer with Rick Rowley of Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield, a new film that was aired at the independent Sundance Film Festival on January 22, one day after the second inauguration of Barack Obama. On that same day, Scahill was interviewed at the Sundance location in Utah by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now who linked the importance of the film to Obama’s naming of John Brennan as the CIA Director nominee. Brennan is often known as “the assassination czar” Goodman said.
The date of the showing the day after the inauguration is important, because the film documents as much as it can about the victims of Obama’s kill list, chasing down news reports, and home-made videos from cell-phones transmitted to Scahill and Rowley from around the world. The film also supports the report in the form of a short book called Benghazi: The Definitive Report due out Feb. 12. Brandon Webb, a former Navy SEAL, and Jack Murphy, a former Green Beret, identify the CIA-nominee as a key person at the White House culpable in the Benghazi attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Brandon Webb is the best friend of Glen Doherty, one of the two former Navy SEALs who were killed at the CIA annex in Benghazi on Sept. 11.
In an interview with Amy Goodman, Scahill, who became well-known because his excellent expose of the private killers of Blackwater during the Iraq war, details how he and Rowley travelled to Afghanistan, to Yemen where an Obama missile strike killed 46 civilians including 20 women and children, and to Somalia to interview the victims of these attacks, government officials, and sometimes the killers hired by the United States in the covert wars.
A segment of the film was shown on Democracy Now, where the film interviews Somali warlord Indha Adhe, who had been a leader of the Islamic terrorists in Somalia, but then was flipped by the CIA to work for the US. The film shows Scahill talking to Adhe in Somalia as he follows him through towns and uninhabited areas inspecting graves.
So these are Shabaab fighters buried here? asks Scahill. He is told that if the Shabaab fighter is Somali, he will arrested and treated for wounds, etc. But, foreigners will be killed. Scahill: So, if you capture a foreigner alive, you execute them on the battlefield?
Indha Ande: Yes, the others should feel no mercy.
In two other major subjects of the film — a village in Yemen where 46 civilians were killed, and the incident in Gardez, Afghanistan, women and children were brutally murdered by JSOC according to Scahill. In both cases, Scahill and Rowley traveled to the location, took photos, interviewed survivers and collected other information. Scahill also says in the interview that former JSOC members provided interviews and information in the film, but their identities are being protected.
Feb. 12th is the anniversary of the Gardez massacre in Afghanistan carried out by JSOC in 2010. Scahill documents, with photos by a British team of journalists, that McRaven himself showed up after the massacre bearing the gift of a sacrificial sheep to make amends to the family of the people killed, including two pregnant women.
Link to the interview with short clip of the movie