Something doesn't add up for seasoned reporter Jeremy Scahill, when the scene of a supposed Taliban honour killing in the village of Khatabeh in Afghanistan starts to sound more like a botched (and covered up) US military night raid. As Scahill delves deeper, it becomes clear that this is just the tip of the iceberg on a list of astonishing acts committed by the most secret fighting force in the US.
Tracing the rise of the Joint Special Operation Command (JSOC), Scahill finds evidence of drone strikes carried out on the barest of suspicions; government–condoned torture; and the brutal deaths of countless innocent civilians chalked up to 'collateral damage'. Working through a 'find, fix and finish' kill-list, this unit acts under the radar and with complete impunity, all in the name of the 'War on Terror'.
By taking us on Scahill's personal journey through this web of complex and wide ranging information, director Richard Rowley skilfully presents an urgent exposé on the dirtiest of government secrets; one that is riveting, accessible and incendiary.
This DocHouse preview was followed by a post-screening Panel Discussion with:
Tom Watson - MP and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones.
Kristinn Hrafnsson - Icelandic investigative journalist and spokesperson for Wikileaks
Cori Crider - Head of Reprieve's Abuses in Counter-Terrorism team
Mustafa Qadri - Pakistan researcher at Amnesty International
Jennifer Robinson (chair) - A human rights lawyer and Director of Legal Advocacy at Bertha Foundation.
"A vital, gripping film." - The Hollywood Reporter
"This jaw-dropping, persuasively researched pic has the power to pry open government lockboxes" - Variety
Cinematography Award (US Documentary) - Sundance Film Festival 2013
Best Documentary - Boston Independent Film Festival 2013
Cinematography Award - Mountainfilm 2013
Best Documentary - Little Rock Film Festival 2013
Nominee, Grand Jury Prize (US Documentary) - Sundance Film Festival 2013