'Dirty Wars' questions the war on terror

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'Dirty Wars' questions the war on terror

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“Dirty Wars” follows investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill into the hidden world of America’s covert wars.

What begins as a report on a deadly US night raid in Afghanistan turns into a global investigation of the secretive and powerful Joint Special Operations Command.

“We ended our film on a series of questions that we felt should have been asked long ago. Especially now that we are 12 years removed from 9/11. How far are we willing to go in terms of giving up basic liberties or freedoms in the name of our security? What is the relationship between keeping our societies safe and keeping our societies free?,” Scahill says.

“I think we have hit a crisis point particularly because someone like Obama is the president of the United States, who won the Nobel Prize, is a constitutional lawyer by training and he is legitimising some of the worst aspects of the Bush-Cheney counter-terrorism regime,” he continues.

The movie, which won a prize for cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival, follows Scahill as he travels around the globe talking to the families of people killed in the US strikes. It is a journey which the 39-year-old filmmaker says has left a lasting impression on him.

“I don’t think there is such a thing as objectivity. I think it’s a fake concept that is forced down our throats as journalists, and so I tried to embrace the idea that I wanted to let people into the process of doing this kind of work and to know the kind of toll that it takes on people who do it,” says Scahill.

Not since the film “All the President’s Men”, which exposed the Watergate scandal, has there been a film as effective as “Dirty Wars” in depicting criminality at the heart of the American system, according to one critic. Others deplore unnecessary Bourne-style thriller graphics, but recognise that the movie has an important story to tell.

“Dirty Wars” is on worldwide release now.