'Dirty Wars,' Sundance Documentary, Investigates Joint Special Operations Command (VIDEO)

WATCH: 'Dirty Wars' Documentarians: U.S. 'Trying To Kill Its Way To Victory'

The filmmakers behind a documentary that investigates the source of U.S. kill lists and drone strikes say it seems as if the United States "is trying to kill its way to victory."

"Dirty Wars," which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this week and was quickly acquired by Sundance Selects, follows journalist Jeremy Scahill as he investigates America’s covert wars and the role of the Joint Special Operations Command.

Scahill and director Richard Rowley joined HuffPost Live Wednesday. Rowley said what they found was that the force seems to have never-ending kill lists. He spoke of one former JSOC member, Andrew Exum, who in the film explains that he would start out with one kill list, but that when the force had worked its way through it, more names would get added.

"For every one of these strikes, there's blowback, and there's enemies that are produced," Rowley told HuffPost Live. "On September 11, there were only a handful of Al Qaeda in the world, and they controlled no territory, they were hiding. Today, after 10 years ... there are thousands of members of Al Qaeda, and Al Qaeda controls swaths of territory in places like Somalia, other parts of Africa and parts of Yemen. Even if there were no moral questions about an unaccountable force that doesn't have any effective congressional oversite, about wars that are hidden from the American people ... it's been phenomenally ineffective."

Scahill said that JSOC is largely empowered by a bipartisan consensus that extends beyond the executive branch. The Bush administration, he told HuffPost Live, established JSOC as a unilateral force around the world, and the Obama administration then expanded those operations further. In Congressional hearings, he argued, the metrics for success seem to be body counts.

"I don't see this war having an end unless we radically change the way we think of our national security policy and what policies would actually make us safe as a country," Scahill said.

Go To Homepage

Popular in the Community