Friday, March 26, 2010

Jeremy Scahill: an example of what journalism should be about

The American reporter and journalist Jeremy Scahill has almost single handedly been responsible for uncovering the shocking history of Blackwater, the world's leading corporate mercenary army.Scahill has shown that Blackwater acts a covert and secret arm of the US military and intelligence agencies.

Blackwater (now known as Xe services LLC) is a private US corporation that essentially operates as a "corporate"arm of the US military, defense and intelligence establishment. Blackwater has become the "go to man" for covert and illegal activities where the US government is unwilling or unable to use its own forces.

Scahill, whose work can be read on his site Rebel Reports, has recently been awarded the "Izzy Award" for outstanding achievement in independent journalism in the USA.

Scahill's brilliant and revealing book "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's most Powerful Mercenary army" and his subsequent reporting on Blackwater has shown the corporation's immense power and profitability and its role as an private military extension of the US Government. In recent articles Scahill has documented Blackwater's secret role and presence in Pakistan, its conduct of targeted assassinations for the US Government, its conduct of illegal covert activity on behalf of the US Government in sovereign countries and its involvement in massacres, assassinations and murder of civilians, including children.

There is an excellent interview with Scahill on the US site Alternet. Some extracts from that interview:
" You have this nexus of the iron fist of US militarism that is backing up the so called "hidden hand" of the free market. And so what we see is that the United States will economically target countries, then have that targeting of them with economic neo-liberalism backed up by brute military force- by supporting military dictatorships, by interfering in elections"......

" One of the unfortunate but predictable realities of the political moment that we're living now is that the Obama administration has continued some of the most atrocious policies of the Bush administration- and unfortunately has implemented policies that, in some cases, are worse than those of the Bush administration. If you look at the Obama administration's position on prisoner rights issues, on civil liberties issues, on domestic spying issues, on issues of war and peace, the Obama administration in some ways is worse than the Bush administration".
I have written earlier pieces about Jeremy Scahill's work here.

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