Major revelations about the US government’s drone program—bestselling author Jeremy Scahill and his colleagues at the investigative website The Intercept expose stunning new details about America’s secret assassination policy.
When the US government discusses drone strikes publicly, it offers assurances that such operations are a more precise alternative to troops on the ground and are authorized only when an “imminent” threat is present and there is “near certainty” that the intended target will be killed. The implicit message on drone strikes from the Obama administration has been trust, but don’t verify.
The online magazine The Intercept exploded this secrecy when it obtained a cache of secret slides that provide a window into the inner workings of the US military’s kill/capture operations in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Whether through the use of drones, night raids, or new platforms yet to be employed, these documents show assassination to be central to US counterterrorism policy.
The classified documents reveal that Washington’s fourteen-year targeted killing campaign suffers from an overreliance on flawed signals intelligence, an apparently incalculable civilian toll, and an inability to extract potentially valuable intelligence from terror suspects. This campaign, carried out by two presidents through four presidential terms, has been deliberately obscured from the public and insulated from democratic debate. The Assassination Complex allows us to understand at last the circumstances under which the US government grants itself the right to sentence individuals to death without the established checks and balances of arrest, trial, and appeal.
The book will include original contributions from Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden.
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In 2001 there were 16 names on the Known or Suspected Terrorist list. In 2013 there were 469,000 and there are now north of 680,000. These are people singled out for extra security at airports, like Senator Ted Kennedy who was prevented from boarding several flights, and a cub scout named Mikey Hicks, who got the treatment the first time when he was just two. It also includes the president of Bolivia and the Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament. Membership in a terrorist organization is not required. Once on the list, directives request every conceivable scrap of information, even biographical data on co-travelers. Mere death is not an acceptable reason for removal from the list, and neither is acquittal by a jury. To get off a list, all 19 American security agencies have to agree, and the subject will not be informed. And that’s just one list. So begins The Assassination Complex.
The book is really well constructed. Its prologue is a view from above by Edward Snowden,...
For those who have followed the work of Scahill, Greenwald and others through media outlets like Democracy Now, much that is reported in this book will be familiar. Nevertheless it is very helpful to have the entire case laid out clearly with supporting documents in one place. It is crucial reading for all Americans as we continue to wrestle with the legal principles which should govern the technology of modern warfare.
Jeremy Scahill is one of the best investigative journalist we have. He has been relentless exposing reality on the ground and the consequences of our misguided policy of assassinations by drones or other means. This book is a must read for anyone who cares to gain information behind the conventional media coverage or pentagon talking points. See his film Dirty Wars -It's heartbreaking- and read his book on Blackwater.
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