The Interrogator is the story of a former FBI Agent who has decided to blow the whistle on “the war on terror.” Ali Soufan interrogated some of the most high-ranking Al Qaeda operatives around the world. He gives FRONTLINE an insider’s view of why the attacks on the World Trade Center could have been prevented and how the use of coercive interrogations failed to produce actionable intelligence. Also in this hour: Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Dana Priest investigates the terrorism-industrial complex that grew up in the wake of 9/11. Against a backdrop of recent mail bomb threats from Al Qaeda in Yemen and growing concerns about homegrown terrorists, Priest explores the growing reach of homeland security, fusion centers, battlefield technologies, and data-collecting into the lives of ordinary Americans.
All posts in Films
Educating Sgt. Pantzke
As troops return from Iraq and Afghanistan, spending on veterans’ education will more than double to $9.5 billion this year. In a follow-up to College, Inc., correspondent Martin Smith investigates how for-profit schools are recruiting the largest number of our newest veterans and making big money in the process.
In the spring of 2010, Army intelligence analyst Private First Class Bradley E. Manning purportedly handed over the largest cache ever of classified documents to the internet activist and hacker, Julian Assange. Private Manning allegedly leaked the trove hoping to incite “worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms.” In WikiSecrets, FRONTLINE follows the trail of both Manning and Assange to uncover the truth behind the leaks. Veteran Correspondent Martin Smith also talks to the major players in the case and explores the issues at stake–from free speech to cyber security, and reports on the U.S. government’s struggle to protect national security information and the dilemma posed by the need to increase information-sharing in a post 9-11 world.
Private Life of Bradley Manning, The
A profile of the early years of the young soldier now accused of leaking more than half a million classified U.S. government documents.
Spy Who Quit, The
There are a lot of closely guarded secrets in Afghanistan. Amrullah Saleh knows most of them. Until six months ago he was Afghanistan’s chief of intelligence. Then suddenly he was out. In the debut of FRONTLINE’s new magazine series, Martin Smith travels to Afghanistan to talk with Saleh about his defection.
In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf, FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith joins with the investigative non-profit ProPublica to examine BP’s track record over the past twenty years.
The Spill (working title) takes viewers from BP’s vast oil fields in Alaska to its refineries in Texas and to BP’s trading rooms in New York and London, to investigate what’s wrong with the troubled oil giant.
FRONTLINE follows the money to uncover how Wall Street and a new breed of for-profit universities are transforming the way we think about college in America.
” Aside from the prominence it gives the flamboyant Mr. [Michael] Clifford, the 52-minute Frontline report, ‘College Inc.,’ largely eschews sensationalism and rightly focuses on the costs of attending those colleges, compared with public alternatives, the disproportionately heavy debt load many of their students end up with, and the aggressive recruiting tactics some of the companies employ…”
– Goldie Blumenstyk, The Chronicle of Higher Education
“Let’s hear it for ‘Frontline,’ which continues to take on topics for no earthly reason save they’re important. … [Martin] Smith faces down an unwieldy topic and creates a vivid portrait of a startling new kind of American education. One that has grown up along our highways, in our urban centers and on the Internet with weed-like speed and tenacity, and seemingly while no one was looking.”
– Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times
“For close readers of Inside Higher Ed, the documentary won’t bring much new to the table. … The storyline is more balanced than many major-media examinations of for-profit colleges, but it’s still a less-than-favorable depiction of the sector.”
– “Quick Takes,” Inside Higher Ed
“Correspondent Martin Smith adeptly probes the booming for-profit higher-education industry. … [He] covers many angles in this provocative and fascinating Frontline, interviewing school executives, who say they are providing a convenient degree path for non-traditional students, and industry watchdogs, who wonder if the schools are churning out debt-saddled, unqualified graduates who are unable to land jobs.”
– Michele Archer, USA Today
A powerful report on Haiti’s tragedy. What can be done now, and who will do it?
“… an intelligent, conscientious, elegantly produced throwing up of the hands. That isn’t meant as a criticism. Where an American commercial broadcaster’s report on the quake and its aftermath–if there were such a thing at this point–would seek out the heroic story and the silver lining, The Quake presents despair and intractable problems while doing its part to keep the news alive. …”
– Mike Hale, The New York Times
“… while ‘Frontline’s’ ‘The Quake’ doesn’t have all the answers, it at least manages to explain the questions.”
– Ellen Gray, Philadelphia Inquirer
“… a searing, perplexing look at Haiti. … this is an instance of a TV report bearing witness, requiring us to look at death and horror. And it doesns’t flinch, as most TV reporting from Haiti obviously did.”
– John Doyle, The Globe and Mail (Canada)
“There’s no program quite like ‘Frontline’ to put a complex issue in the news into a succinct and often devastating package …”
– Roger Catlin, Hartford Courant
Correspondent Martin Smith travels across Afghanistan and Pakistan to see first-hand how the president’s new strategy is taking shape.
“… Obama’s War gives viewers a glimpse of what trying to defeat the Taliban — again — really entails. … A focused look at a dismally complex and intractable conflict. …”
– Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times
“… It is a frank and even fatalistic primer. … You’ll be exactly up to speed on the issues when Obama’s War is over, and thoroughly filled with dread about what happens now …
– Hank Stuever , The Washington Post
“… With this clear-eyed and unsentimental view, Frontline invites respect for the risks and demands of foreign reporting. … More importantly, it gives us admiration — and a great degree of sympathy — for the Marines under fire.”
– Joanna Weiss, The Boston Globe
“Obama’s War, a top-notch report with ace correspondent Martin Smith, tries to give both sides in the debate a fair shake.”
– Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
“A strong season premiere places the viewer in the midst of the seemingly impossible task of counterinsurgency. … Some of the most jaw-dropping war footage on record.”
– Joanne Ostrow, The Denver Post
“This is a sprawling documentary that explores many issues. … [A] spectacular piece of explanatory reporting.”
– Verne Gay, Newsday
Madoff Affair, The
Martin Smith: Was this easy money?
Michael Bienes: Easy-peasy. Like a money machine. I always said I never lifted any heavy weights.
Excerpt from an interview with Michael Bienes, a longtime associate of Bernard L. Madoff, conducted in Fort Lauderdale, FL on Feb. 5, 2009.