Scahill at Sacramento City College May 3, 2007
|Born||Jeremy M. Scahill
October 18, 1974 (age 38)
Chicago, Illinois U.S.
Jeremy Scahill (born October 18, 1974) is the National Security Correspondent for The Nation magazine and author of the international bestseller Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, which won the George Polk Book Award. His newest book is Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield, published by Nation Books on April 23, 2013. On January 8, 2013, the documentary film of the same name was released.
Scahill is a Fellow at The Nation Institute. He is also a producer and writer of the film Dirty Wars, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Scahill learned the journalism trade and got his start as a journalist on the independently syndicated daily news show Democracy Now!. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Early life 
Scahill was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by “social activist” parents, and graduated from Wauwatosa East High School in 1992. He attended a few University of Wisconsin regional campuses and a local technical college before deciding that his “time would be better spent by entering the struggle for justice in this country.” After dropping out of college, Scahill spent several years on the East Coast working in homeless shelters. He started his career as an unpaid intern at the nonprofit news program Democracy Now! of the Pacifica Radio network. While at Democracy Now!, Scahill learned the technical side of radio, and learned "journalism as a trade, rather than an academic study."
Scahill discusses the roots of his activism: “I think we all have to remember something that Dan Berrigan, the radical Catholic priest, said about Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker movement. He said she lived as though the truth were true.” And: “Victory is relative when you listen to the powerful. But we have a victory in our midst, because the entire world is on our side. So I say that we call for an end to the death penalty in this country, and we call for an end to the collective death penalty being meted out on the rest of the world by this criminal government.”
Scahill became a senior producer and correspondent for Democracy Now! and remains a frequent contributor to the program. Scahill and his Democracy Now! colleague Amy Goodman were co-recipients of the 1998 George Polk Award for their radio documentary "Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship", which investigated the Chevron Corporation's role in the killing of two Nigerian environmental activists.
In 1998, Scahill traveled to Iraq for Democracy Now! and Pacifica Radio, where he reported on the impact of the economic sanctions on Iraq and the "No-Fly Zone" bombings in Northern and Southern Iraq. In 1999, he covered the 78-day NATO bombing of Serbia, reporting live from Belgrade and Kosovo. In 2000, Scahill reported from the Serbian parliament as the government of Slobodan Milosevic was brought down and was outside Milosevic's home the night the former president was arrested. Between 2001-2003, Scahill reported frequently from Baghdad for Democracy Now! and other media outlets. As the Iraq invasion began, Scahill appeared frequently on Democracy Now!, often co-hosting with Amy Goodman.
Scahill has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, the former Yugoslavia, post-Katrina Louisiana, and elsewhere across the globe. Scahill is a frequent guest on a wide array of programs, appearing regularly on The Rachel Maddow Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, and Democracy Now! He has also appeared on ABC World News, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, The Daily Show, CNN, The NewsHour, MSNBC, "Bill Moyers Journal," and NPR. In addition, Scahill has written for The Times, the Sunday Telegraph, the BBC, The Indypendent, The Los Angeles Times, Z Magazine, Socialist Worker, International Socialist Review, The Progressive, "In These Times, and The Guardian. In addition, Scahill has posted material to the websites Alternet and CounterPunch.
He has been a vocal critic of private military contractors, particularly Blackwater Worldwide, which is the subject of his book, Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. The book received numerous accolades, including the Alternet Best Book of the Year Award, a spot on both the Barnes & Noble and Amazon lists of the Best Nonfiction Books of 2007, and notable mention in the New York Times.
Scahill’s work has sparked several Congressional investigations. In 2010, Scahill testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on the US's shadow wars in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere, in which he stated:
As the war rages on in Afghanistan and--despite spin to the contrary--in Iraq as well, US Special Operations Forces and the Central Intelligence Agency are engaged in parallel, covert, shadow wars that are waged in near total darkness and largely away from effective or meaningful Congressional oversight or journalistic scrutiny. The actions and consequences of these wars is seldom discussed in public or investigated by the Congress. The current US strategy can be summed up as follows: We are trying to kill our way to peace. And the killing fields are growing in number.
In July 2011, Scahill revealed the existence of a CIA-run counterterrorism center at the airport in Mogadishu, Somalia, and reports on a previously unknown secret prison buried in the basement of the US-funded Somali National Security Agency. A US official confirmed to Scahill that US agents interrogate prisoners in the facility.
An article in Alternet has described Jeremy Scahill as a "progressive journalist."
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Scahill's first book Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, thoroughly revised and updated to include the Nisour Square massacre, was released in paperback edition in 2008. Blackwater was on the New York Times bestseller list.
Blackwater is the unauthorized story of the epic rise of one of the most powerful and secretive forces to emerge from the U.S. military-industrial complex, hailed by the Bush administration as a revolution in military affairs, but considered by others as a dire threat to American democracy. “Jeremy Scahill’s exposé of the Blackwater mercenary firm forcefully demonstrates the grave dangers of outsourcing the government’s monopoly on the use of force.”- Joseph Wilson, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq
Traveling around the hurricane zone in the wake of Katrina, Scahill exposed the presence of Blackwater mercenaries in New Orleans and his reporting sparked a Congressional inquiry and an internal Department of Homeland Security investigation.
Dirty Wars book 
Dirty Wars film 
Scahill is a producer and co-writer of the film Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield. Dirty Wars follows Scahill into the heart of America’s covert wars, from Afghanistan to Yemen, Somalia and beyond. According to the website of the film:
What begins as an investigation into a US night raid gone terribly wrong in a remote corner of Afghanistan quickly transforms into a high-stakes global investigation into one of the most secretive and powerful military units in American history... As Scahill digs deeper into the activities of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), he is forced to confront painful truths about the consequences of a war without end that extends through Republican and Democratic administrations. Pulled deeper into the stories he investigates and the lives of the people he meets along the way, Scahill realizes that the investigation has transformed him... Tracing the rise of JSOC, the most secret and elite fighting force in U.S. history, Dirty Wars reveals cover 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. Dirty Wars takes viewers to remote corners of the globe to see first-hand wars fought in their name and offers a behind-the-scenes look at a high-stakes investigation. We are left with haunting questions about freedom and democracy, war and justice.
Dirty Wars had its world premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and received rave reviews by the industry press, including this one by Variety, “This jaw-dropping, persuasively researched pic has the power to pry open government lockboxes.” Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Its ugly truths may have seen plenty of sunshine (and even admiration) since the killing of Osama bin Laden, but the film's narrative drive offers a compelling package for viewers numbed by one news report after another about civilian deaths and secret hit lists. Its tough investigative tone and surprisingly stylish photography enhance cinematic appeal for a doc that merits theatrical exposure."
David Courier, Senior Programmer of the Sundance Film Festival, says,
It’s the dirty little secret of the War on Terror: all bets are off, and almost anything goes. We have fundamentally changed the rules of the game and the rules of engagement. Prior to 9/11, it was customary for America to sound a formal declaration of war on a given country before attacking. Today drone strikes, night raids, and U.S. government–condoned torture occur in hidden corners across the globe, generating unprecedented civilian casualties. Investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill traces the rise of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the most secret and elite fighting force in U.S. history, exposing covert operations carried out by men who do not exist on paper and will never appear before Congress. No target is off-limits for the JSOC “kill list,” even if the person is a U.S. citizen. Director Richard Rowley takes us on a chilling ride with fearless whistle-blower Scahill. Dirty Wars is a battle cry for the soul and conscience of an America few of us know exists.
Awards and recognition 
Scahill has won numerous awards, including the prestigious George Polk Award (twice), numerous Project Censored Awards, and the Izzy Award, named after the muckraking journalist I.F. Stone. He was among the few Western reporters to gain access to the Abu Ghraib prison when Saddam Hussein was in power and his story on the emptying of that prison won a 2003 Golden Reel Award from The National Federation of Community Broadcasters. In 2013, he was awarded the Windham–Campbell Literature Prize, one of the richest literary awards in the world.
Abdulelah Haider Shaye 
Scahill has been an advocate for imprisoned Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye. Scahill's March 13, 2012, article in The Nation states that President Obama leaned on Yemen to keep Shaye in jail because of his reporting on the 2009 Al Ma`jalah bombings—Shaye described remnants of US Tomahawk missiles, although the US initially denied involvement. Subsequent English-language reports on the issue have relied on Scahill.
Selected writings 
- "Blood Is Thicker Than Blackwater" | This article appeared in the May 8, 2006 edition of The Nation.
- "Blackwater's Private Spies," this article appeared in the June 23, 2008 edition of The Nation.
- "Mercenary Jackpot" | This article appeared in the August 28, 2006 edition of The Nation.
- "Washington’s War in Yemen Backfires" | This article appeared in the March 5–12, 2012 edition of The Nation.
- "Blowback in Somalia" | This article appeared in the September 26, 2011 edition of The Nation.
- "The CIA's Secret Sites in Somalia" | This article appeared in the August 1–8, 2011 edition of The Nation.
- "Osama’s Assassins" | This article appeared in the May 23, 2011 edition of The Nation.
- "Author Bios: Jeremy Scahill". The Nation. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "George Polk Awards". Brooklyn.liu.edu. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "Fellows: Jeremy Scahill". The Nation Institute. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "2013 Sundance Film Festival Announces Films in U.S. and World Competitions". Sundance Film Festival. 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- "Dirty Wars: Sundance Review". Hollywood Reporter. 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
- "Real Time Episode 249". HBO: Real Time With Bill Maher. 2012-05-18. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "C-SPAN Video Player - Journalist Jeremy Scahill Speech n the Iraq War, Blackwater & WikiLeaks". Cspan.org. 2010-08-13. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
- "Confronting Empire: Jeremy Scahill". Socialist Worker. 2007-06-22. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- "Previous Award Winners". Long Island University. 1998. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "Jeremy Scahill Reports from [[Belgrade]]". Democracy Now!. 1999-05-18. Retrieved 2013-01-03. Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)
- "Milosevic Arrested As U.S. Deadline Expires: An Eyewitness Report By Jeremy Scahill". Democracy Now!. 2001-04-02. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- "Inside Baghdad: Democracy Now! Correspondent Jeremy Scahill Reports On What Iraqis Fear". Democracy Now!. 2003-03-21. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- "Jeremy Scahill". Selvesandothers.org. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- "The Militarization of New Orleans: Jeremy Scahill Reports from Louisiana". Democracynow.org. 2005-09-16. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- "Jeremy Scahill on The Rachel Maddow Show". MSNBC: The Rachel Maddow Show. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "Real Time Episode 249". HBO: Real Time With Bill Maher. 2012-05-18. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "SHOWS FEATURING JEREMY SCAHILL". Democracy Now!. 1997 to 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "Jeremy Scahill's book Blackwater exposes America's outsourcing of mercenaries in Iraq". The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. 2007-04-19. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- "Jeremy Scahill: CNN Playing Ball With C.I.A. For Spin On Secret Prisons". MSNBC: Countdown with Keith Olbermann. 2009-08-04. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- "Jeremy Scahill on Blackwater". PBS: Bill Moyers Journal. 2007-10-19. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- "Why The U.S. Is Aggressively Targeting Yemen". Fresh Air from WHYY. 2012-05-16. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- "Journalist Scahill Charts the Rise of Blackwater USA". Fresh Air from WHYY. 2007-03-19. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- "Blackwater: Private Army In The News Again". Fresh Air from WHYY. 2009-12-16. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- "Profile: Jeremy Scahill". The Indypendent. 2008 to 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- "Blackwater's bright future". The Los Angeles Times. 2008-06-16. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- "The Miami Model". Z Magazine. 2004-01. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- "Barack Obama's kettle of hawks". The Guardian (UK). 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- New York: Nation Books, 2007. ISBN 1-56025-979-5 (hardcover); revised and updated edition, 2008. ISBN 1-56858-394-X
- "Jeremy Scahill Testifies Before Congress on America's Secret Wars". TheNation.com. 2010-12-09. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will". New York Times. 2012-05-29. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- "The "Kill List"". MSNBC: UP With Chris Hayes. 2012-06-01. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- Hazen, Don. "Bold Face Progressives: Jeremy Scahill's Blackwater Book Big Hit at Giant Book Expo in L.A.". Alternet.
- "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army". Perseus Books. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "Blackwater: From the Nisoor Square Massacre to the Future of the Mercenary Industry". Democracy Now!. June 2, 2008. Retrieved 2013-04-24.
- "Hardcover Nonfiction". New York Times. 2007-04-08. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- "Advance Praise for Blackwater by Jeremy Scahill". http://blackwaterbook.typepad.com/. 2007-01-01. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- "In the Black(water)". The Nation. 2006-05-29. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- "Nation Books". Nation Books. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- "Jeremy Scahill: The Secret Story Behind Obama’s Assassination of Two Americans in Yemen". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
- "Dirty Wars". Dirty Wars. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "Dirty Wars: About". Dirty Wars. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "Dirty Wars". Variety. 2013-01-26. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
- "U.S. Documentary: Dirty Wars". Sundance Film Festival. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- "Sundance Selects nabs 'Dirty Wars'". Variety. 2013-01-20. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
- "Sundance 2013: Festival Awards Announced". Hollywood Reporter. 2013-01-26. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
- "Previous Award Winners". Long Island University. 2008. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "Investigative Journalist Jeremy Scahill Wins Izzy Award for Independent Media". Ithaca College. 2010-03-24. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "NFCB Announces 2003 Golden Reel Award Winners". The National Federation of Community Broadcasters. 2003-03-21. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- Dorie Baker (March 4, 2013). "Yale awards $1.35 million to nine writers". YaleNews. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
- "Jeremy Scahill Wins $150,000 Windham Campbell Award for Writing". Democracy Now!. March 06,2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
- Scahill, Jeremey (13 March 2012). "Why Is President Obama Keeping a Journalist in Prison in Yemen?". The Nation. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
- Scahill, Jeremey; Joyce Hackel (6 April 2012). "Prominent Yemeni Journalist Lands in Jail; US Wants him to Stay There". The World. Retrieved 19 July 2012. More than one of
- "Jeremy Scahill: Why is President Obama Keeping Yemeni Journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye in Prison?". democracynow.org. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- White House Stands By Obama Push for Yemeni Journalist to Remain Behind Bars, ABC News, Retrieved 2012-05-04.
- The Nation Institute 
- Dirty Wars 
- Roam Agency 
- Roam Agency 
- Jeremy Scahill's reports at The Guardian
- Jeremy Scahill's reports at The Huffington Post
- Jeremy Scahill's reports at AlterNet.org
- Jeremy Scahill's reports at The Nation
- Interview about Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, online at CBC Words at Large (audio)
- Jeremy Scahill, "Bush's Shadow Army"—from The Nation: March 15, 2007
- Metaphoria. "Cuba". August 1997, 4:12, 48
- Scahill on The Hour
- Jeremy Scahill at the Internet Movie Database
Audio and video 
- Why is President Obama Keeping Yemeni Journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye in Prison? audio/video report by Democracy Now!, 15 March 2012
- Militant Blowback in Yemen The Nation
- August 2010 C-SPAN lecture
- April 18 2010 radio interview of Scahill about his perspectives on professional journalism issues, by Robert (Bob) McChesney.
- Blackwater's Dark Side Exposed- video news report by MSNBC
- Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, video of book tour for the revised second edition, June 2008.
- Radio Interview: Journalist Scahill Charts the Rise of Blackwater USA—from NPR.org: March 19, 2007
- Jeremy Scahill on Blackwater Owner Erik Prince’s Rumored Move to UAE - audio/video report by Democracy Now!, June 17, 2010
- Dirty Wars: Jeremy Scahill and Rick Rowley’s New Film Exposes Hidden Truths of Covert U.S. Warfare - audio/video report at the Sundance Film Festival by Democracy Now!, 22 January 2013.
- Jeremy Scahill: Assassinations of U.S. Citizens Largely Ignored at Brennan CIA Hearing audio/video report by Democracy Now!, 8 February 2013.
- Jeremy Scahill: The Secret Story Behind Obama’s Assassination of Two Americans in Yemen Part 1/2 audio/video report by Democracy Now!, 23 April 2013.
- The World Is a Battlefield: Jeremy Scahill on "Dirty Wars" and Obama’s Expanding Drone Attacks Part 2/2 audio/video report by Democracy Now!, 24 April 2013.