Scribes working on new NSA revelations

Written by Associated Press | Rio de Janeiro | Updated: Sep 30 2013, 07:43am hrs
Two American journalists known for their investigations of the United States' government said on Saturday they've teamed up to report on the National Security Agency's role in what they described as a US assassination programme.

Glenn Greenwald, the Rio-based journalist who has written stories about US surveillance programmes based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, is now working with Jeremy Scahill, a contributor to The Nation magazine and the New York Times best-selling author of "Dirty Wars", about the programme, Scahill said.

"The connections between war and surveillance are clear. I don't want to give too much away but Glenn and I are working on a project right now that has at its centre how the National Security Agency plays a significant, central role on the US assassination programme,'' said Scahill, speaking to moviegoers in Rio de Janeiro, where the documentary based on his book made its Latin American debut at the Rio Film Festival.

"There are so many stories that are yet to be published that we hope will produce 'actionable intelligence,' or information that ordinary citizens across the world can use to try to fight for change, to try to confront those in power,'' he said.

"Dirty Wars'' the film, directed by Richard Rowley, traces Scahill's investigations into the long-shadowy Joint Special Operations Command, or JSOC. The movie, which won a prize for cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival, follows Scahill as he hopscotches around the globe, from Afghanistan to Yemen to Somalia, talking to the families of people killed in the US strikes.

Neither Scahill nor Greenwald, who also appeared at the film festival's question and answer panel, provided many details about their joint project.

But in an earlier interview with The Associated Press, Scahill said he'd recently spent several weeks at Greenwald's Rio home working on the project. He didn't say when it would be finished.Scahill insisted the Obama administration has launched an "unprecedented war on journalists'' but insisted that neither he nor Greenwald were intimidated.

"Every time Glenn gets attacked, and when David was snatched in the airport, he just gets more bold,'' Scahill said in the interview, referring to the August detention of Greenwald's Brazilian domestic partner, David Miranda, who British officials held for around nine hours in Heathrow airport under anti-terror legislation.

Greenwald has been making waves since the first in a series of stories on the NSA spying programme appeared in Britain's Guardian newspaper in June. Last week, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff postponed a scheduled state dinner with Obama after television reports to which Greenwald had contributed revealed that American spy programmes had aggressively targeted the Brazilian government and private citizens.

Rousseff railed against the US surveillance during her address to the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week and has pledged to try to find alternatives to help protect the Brazilian people from further spying.Although both Scahill and Greenwald applauded Rousseff's reactions to the revelations.

"The really important thing to realize is the desire for surveillance is not a uniquely American attribute,'' said Greenwald. "