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Saturday Night Viewing: Dirty Wars

By Martie Hevia | Blue Beach Song™

As you probably know from reading my Sunday Morning Reading blog posts, one of my great pleasures is waking up early on a Sunday morning, sitting in my favorite big comfy chair, with a hot cappuccino and reading an eclectic collection of articles from all kinds of magazines and newspapers. But I must confess that I have another guilty pleasure, I love cuddling up in bed, late on a Saturday night, watching a great video, film or documentary in the dark, lost in the storytelling, swept up by powerful images and sounds. Whatever your guilty pleasures, here is my Saturday night viewing suggestion. Enjoy! -Martie

Documentary: Dirty Wars

Last night I watched the Oscar-nominated documentary Dirty Wars that won the Cinematography Sundance Film Festival Award. Although beautifully filmed, it is really all about the story an investigative journalist, Jeremy Scahill, uncovers and pursues in the face of great danger revealing a disturbing truth.

We learn through his investigation that the United States has an army within an army that reports directly to the White House, eliminating ‘targets’ on endless lists of enemies. We learn that American citizens have been assassinated by their own government and personally approved by President Obama. We learn that there are hundreds of mini-wars or operations around the world directed by our President and carried out by a cloak and dagger group of soldiers, the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), with no accountability to Congress, the branch in our government that is supposed to declare war.

Dirty Wars’ website describes the documentary as part political thriller and part detective story. “What begins as a report into a U.S. night raid gone terribly wrong in a remote corner of Afghanistan quickly turns into a global investigation of the secretive and powerful Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). As Scahill digs deeper into the activities of JSOC, he is pulled into a world of covert operations unknown to the public and carried out across the globe by men who do not exist on paper and will never appear before Congress. In military jargon, JSOC teams “find, fix, and finish” their targets, who are selected through a secret process. No target is off limits for the “kill list,” including U.S. citizens.”

As the documentary was rolling through its closing credits, I sat up in bed, staring at the screen, shocked, stunned, surprised. Aren’t we supposed to be the good guys in white hats who ride in on our horses and save the day? I don’t know anymore… but I hope we find our way back.

Finally, kudos to Jeremy Scahill, the investigative journalist who put his life on the line to tell this important story and is truly worthy of being a member of the Fourth Estate. This is exactly the kind of journalism our Constitutional forefathers had in mind to hold our government accountable by keeping its citizens informed.

Happy viewing and I hope you enjoy the documentary. -Martie

The documentary is available on Netflix, that’s where I saw it, but look around the Internet, your local theaters, or the Dirty Wars website for availability. It is a must-see. -M.

Martie Hevia (c) 2014 | All Rights Reserved

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