“Dirty Wars” (2013) directed by Rick Rowley, is a controversial documentary that shows Jeremy Scahill, a well-recognized war reporter, investigating the truth behind the homicides in a village during the War on Terror.
Scahill is very passionate journalist who is known to dig deep to get his stories, wherever it may take him. As a journalist, he strives to bring the facts objectively and without bias to audiences as well as showing his transparency in his methods of retrieving such information.
Scahill’s first investigation was in Gardez, Afghanistan, where he was probing the reason behind the killings of three women and one civilian. He pursued to obtain the underlying cause of this crime from first hand sources; the victims’ family and friends. He became emotionally involved after spending the whole day listening to their stories, looking at family pictures and videos before and after the shooting occurred.
“I believed the family, but that wasn’t enough. For me or anyone else,” Scahill said. Although, he had interviewed the people from the village, he needed to get a comment from the other side of the story, the U.S. government.
At the time, U.S. officials and congress weren’t interested in investigating the case of Gardez’s victims who died in a raid, supposedly conducted by American forces. Scahill reached out for comments from the C.I.A., State Department, former military officials and nobody was willing to talk, until he came across General Hugh Shelton.
Shelton stated that there should not be an investigation, and Gardez’s example is one of the “damn acts of war.”
While he was struggling to get any official to interview, he connected with anonymous sources that were able to tell him more about the Joint Special Operations Command, one of the elite military divisions for handling special tasks in direct authority from the White House.
In the film, the anonymous source states that under President Barack Obama’s authority, the target killings became faster, harder and with backing from the White House.
Also, there are more examples and references where Scahill suggests that during President Obama’s administration there is much more cover up of crimes than under former President George Bush.
Scahill asks questions directly to draw comparison between these presidencies, for example, during interviews with Al Awlaki’s father and his lawyer present, he mentions that President Obama didn’t want to release Abdulelah Haider Shaye from prison.
Scahill is professional in his investigations, like the one in Gardez, later al Majalah, Yemen. He spends a lot of time researching documents and photos, striving to get interviews with the main sources, taking detailed notes, reporting the findings in The Nation articles, and yet pursues to find out who is behind the story and the killings.
Despite speculation from the opposition that he may have a slight bias toward a political party and this may suede his reporting, Scahill follows the main principles of journalism, informing the audiences with facts and evidence while keeping a transparency in his methods.
For more information about the Dirty Wars film go to : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2532528/