Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, discusses his article “Washington’s War in Yemen Backfires;” how Yemeni President Saleh convinced the Bush administration to send aid, supposedly to fight Al Qaeda, but instead used the money to eliminate his rivals; how Obama’s frequent airstrikes, killing scores of civilians, have turned rural tribesmen into anti-American militants; video evidence that missile strikes were indeed from American forces, bolstering the WikiLeaks story that Gen. Petraeus and Saleh conspired to hide US involvement; continuing a US foreign policy that assumes a finite number of “terrorists” who can be killed off with airstrikes, and whose numbers won’t be replenished or increased in response; why Yemen’s tribesmen are willing to take bribes to be Iraq-style “Awakening Councils” to put down Al Qaeda in Yemen; and why Yemen is an imaginary nation, ready to fracture into several autonomous regions.
Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, discusses his article “The CIA’s Secret Sites in Somalia” at The Nation; why Somalia’s very weak central government would quickly fall to Al Shabab without support from the US and African Union; the latest discovered secret CIA prison/training facility “black site” in Mogadishu; a reminder that US intervention didn’t start yesterday, and that previous efforts have led to the disaster unfolding today; why drone strikes should be considered “terrorist attacks” just like suicide bombs are; and the fickle nature of supposedly pro-government Somali forces (who could well be enemies of the US at a later time).
Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, discusses his article “The Dangerous US Game in Yemen;“ the in-country CIA and JSOC covert agents who might have to relocate for a while; how President Saleh’s alliance with Saudi Arabia against his Shiite minority could prompt Iran to take protective action of their coreligionists; Yemen’s impoverishment and many long-term economic problems; the post-9/11 ultimatum (similar to Musharraf’s) that convinced Saleh to cooperate with the US war on terror; the big bucks given to Saleh by Saudi Arabia and the US, supposedly for fighting Al Qaeda, that instead is used to kill his political rivals; Obama’s continuation of the Bush administration’s worst offenses; Jeremy taking Ed Schultz to task on MSNBC (to skip the sanctimonious monologue, go to the 10:00 mark); and the New Yorker’s account of the Libyan rebels – essentially 1000 trained soldiers fighting against a real army.
This recording is excerpted from the KPFK Beneath the Surface program of July 23rd. Scott Horton interviews Jeremy Scahill and is himself interviewed by KPFK producer Alan Minsky. The complete recording can be heard here.
Independent journalist Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the Worldâ€™s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, discusses the too little too late Washington Post exposĂ© on â€śTop Secret America,â€ť how private contractors do the dirty (and illegal) work of state terrorism while providing the U.S. government plausible deniability, the â€śpreparing the battlefieldâ€ť exception to Congressional oversight and how the U.S. has created a big brother surveillance state in the British model.
Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the Worldâ€™s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, discusses the few voices of dissent against Israeli apologists for the flotilla attack in US mainstream media, fast and furious IDF press releases that shift the discussion to Hamas and away from the collective punishment of Gaza civilians, the US governmentâ€™s choice to defend Israel instead of US citizens and the removal of any doubt that Israel has become a pariah state.
Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the Worldâ€™s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, discusses the dwindling ranks of antiwar Democrats in Congress, the â€ścruise missileâ€ť liberals that support war in Darfur without questioning the aims of U.S. imperialism, the mercenary surge accompanying the troop surge in Afghanistan, the history of bipartisan executive assassination programs and the â€śbirtherâ€ť conspiracy theories that completely miss the point.
Independent journalist Jeremy Scahill discusses the continuous 18 year history of the U.S. bombing of Iraq, the Guantanamo Immediate Reaction Force (IRF) that brutalizes prisoners and even a U.S. soldier, Obamaâ€™s failure to improve detention facilities and how the Spanish Guantanamo torture investigation is proceeding apace while the U.S. dawdles.