Jeremy Scahill is a frequent contributor to The Nation magazine and a correspondent for the national radio and TV program Democracy Now! He is currently a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute. Scahill has won numerous awards for his reporting, including the prestigious George Polk Award, which he won twice. While a correspondent for Democracy Now!, Scahill reported extensively from Iraq through both the Clinton and Bush administrations. Traveling around the hurricane zone in the wake of Katrina, Scahill exposed the presence of Blackwater forces in New Orleans and his reporting sparked a Congressional inquiry and an internal Department of Homeland Security investigation. He has appeared on ABC World News, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, CNN, MSNBC, PBS's The NewsHour, Bill Moyers Journal and is a frequent guest on other radio and TV programs nationwide. Scahill also serves as an election correspondent for HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Scahill, a regular contributor to the Nation, offers a hard-left perspective on Blackwater USA, the self-described private military contractor and security firm. It owes its existence, he shows, to the post-Cold War drawdown of U.S. armed forces, its prosperity to the post-9/11 overextension of those forces and its notoriety to a growing reputation as a mercenary outfit, willing to break the constraints on military systems responsible to state authority. Scahill describes Blackwater's expansion, from an early emphasis on administrative and training functions to what amounts to a combat role as an internal security force in Iraq. He cites company representatives who say Blackwater's capacities can readily be expanded to supplying brigade-sized forces for humanitarian purposes, peacekeeping and low-level conflict. While emphasizing the possibility of an adventurous President employing Blackwater's mercenaries covertly, Scahill underestimates the effect of publicity on the deniability he sees as central to such scenarios. Arguably, he also dismisses too lightly Blackwater's growing self-image as the respectable heir to a long and honorable tradition of contract soldiering. Ultimately, Blackwater and its less familiar counterparts thrive not because of a neoconservative conspiracy against democracy, as Scahill claims, but because they provide relatively low-cost alternatives in high-budget environments and flexibility at a time when war is increasingly protean. (Apr. 10) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"At Blackwater USA, Jeremy Scahill's is the face they love to hate... [He is] perhaps the private military company's most dogged critic."
Bill Maher, host of HBO's "Real Time"
"[Scahill's] book is so scary and so illuminating.""The Guardian" (London)
"Blackwater being rarely out of the news lately, this is a very useful survey of modern mercenaries - or, as they prefer to be called, 'private security contractors' in the 'peace and stability industry'...Scahill is a sharp investigative writer."Scarlett Johansson, actor
"It should be mandatory reading. It's very interesting - and scary."
"[Scahill] is a one-man truth squad."--Bill Moyers"[An] utterly gripping and explosive story."--Naomi Klein, "The Guardian""The biggest book of the year...an amazingly researched and well-told story."--Matthew Rothschild, "The Progressive""Scahill's page-turning collection of intrigue and insight into the underworld of privatized warfare is well researched, thoroughly documented, and as a result extremely frightening."--"The Globe and Mail"
"[T]his is no uninformed partisan screed...Meticulously documented and encyclopedic in scope...it's a comprehensive and authoritative guide...this book serves as a provocative primer for advancing the debate."--Bill Sizemore, Pulitzer-prize nominated journalist, "Virginian-Pilot""Andy McNab couldn't have invented this prescient tale of the private army of mercenaries run by a Christian conservative millionaire who, in turn, bankrolls the president. A chilling expose of the ultimate military outsource."--Christopher Fowler, "The New Review"'s "Best Books of 2007""Fascinating and magnificently documented...Jeremy Scahill's new book is a brilliant expose and belongs on the reading list of any conscientious citizen."--Scott Horton, International and Military Law Expert, Columbia University Law School