Additional reporting by Jesse Hicks and Joshua Kopstein


In the 1960s there was a saying: "Suppose they gave a war, and nobody came?" We'll probably never know the answer to that particular American koan, but a recent book and documentary film sets out to answer a more important question: "What if they fought a war, but didn't tell anyone?"

Dirty Wars by Jeremy Scahill is a boots-on-the-ground document of the war on terror, as it's being waged everywhere on the planet, including Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. The most telling aspect of this war is how it's fought in secret, by a White House seemingly taken by its own intelligence and awesome war-making abilities. Of course, this means that we have to really be able to trust the government. As the events chronicled in the book make clear, it's high time we stopped taking the government at its word and started pressing for some real answers.