Verax: The True History of Whistleblowers, Mass Surveillance, and Drone Warfare

Pratap Chatterjee and Khalil. Metropolitan, $25 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-62779-355-1
Investigative journalist Chatterjee (The Earth Brokers) and graphic novelist Khalil (Zahra’s Paradise) collaborate on this pointed examination of the controversies and ethical quandaries of drone warfare and the surveillance state. The first half of the book is a tense recounting of the all-stars of government surveillance whistleblowing, with Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, journalist Glenn Greenwald, filmmaker Laura Poitras, and former CIA employee Edward Snowden all playing their parts. The second half follows Chatterjee’s own investigations into the drone warfare that relies on this surveillance, even when the vaunted, supposedly precise intel is known to be unreliable, resulting in the deaths of innocents. Khalil’s sketchy figures fall somewhere between caricature and realism, while the diagrams scattered throughout help clarify the tech-heavy narrative. Though Chatterjee lays most of the blame for drone killing at the feet of the Obama administration, he also devotes a chapter to the state of surveillance intel under Trump, including the disastrous January 2017 raid and drone strike in Yemen and the increase in strikes since Trump has taken office, ensuring the continued relevance of this troubling work. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/28/2017
Release date: 10/24/2017
Genre: Comics
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-62779-356-8
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-84-16131-39-6
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