Dirty Wars zeroes in on Obama's assassins | Movie Review | Chicago Reader

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Dirty Wars zeroes in on Obama's assassins

Muckraking journalist Jeremy Scahill exposes the president's Joint Special Operations Command.

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The flood of theatrical documentaries about the war on terror—Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004), Why We Fight (2005), The Ground Truth (2006), No End in Sight (2007), Taxi to the Dark Side (2007), Standard Operating Procedure (2008)—has slowed to a trickle since President Obama took office, which makes this uncompromising exposé from reporter Jeremy Scahill even more important. Best known for his book about Blackwater, Scahill turns his attention here to the little-known Joint Special Operations Command, which answers directly to the president and, the film asserts, is licensed to kill anyone, anytime. Traveling from Afghanistan to Yemen, Scahill collects evidence of JSOC raids that claimed innocent women and children but were sanitized in the press; his ominous first-person narration often recalls Michael Herr's dark musings in Apocalypse Now, which might seem a little silly if Scahill weren't doing some of the most dangerous and thankless work in journalism. Rick Rowley directed.

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