Dirty Wars

Richard Rowley

A terrifying, revealing journey through the world of covert operations, which are lurking behind more than 10 years of the War on Terror. A depressing elegy that shows how this never-ending war continues to create its own enemies with hit lists that just get longer and longer.

Our guide is investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill, who previously uncovered the Blackwater scandal in Baghdad. Beginning with a night raid in Afghanistan by a secret American unit that left an entire family dead, Scahill travels to Yemen, the United States and Mali in search of answers and justice. Interviews with the victims of war, journalists, politicians, soldiers and local officials lead to Washington and the role of President Obama, who has direct authority over the secret Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and the extrajudicial hunt for American citizens. With his personal quest, sober camerawork, night shoots and piles of evidence, Scahill constructs a critical work in the tradition of Michael Moore that wows us with suspense and nuance instead of comedy and superlatives. The never-ending War on Terror continues to create its own enemies with hit lists that just get longer and longer. In the words of an anonymous member of the JSOC, "We’ve created a hell of a hammer, that will continue searching for a nail."
Dirty Wars
is shortlisted for the Oscars 2014.


Richard Rowley
Anthony Arnove, Brenda Coughlin
Country of production
United States
86 minutes
Spoken language
Dari, English, Pashto, Somali
Production company
Civic Bakery
World Sales
Hanway Films