The Report podcast dives into the real life events depicted in Scott Z. Burns’ film, The Report. Former Senate Intelligence Committee Chief Investigator Daniel J. Jones and his cohost NPR’s Kelly McEvers introduce us to the real people - reporters, lawmakers, interrogators, and others - who were instrumental in the effort to expose the CIA and its actions after 9/11.
In episode one of The Report Podcast, host Kelly McEvers introduces Daniel J. Jones. the lead investigator of the Senate Intelligence Committee's Report on Enhanced Interrogation Techniques. He tells Kelly the story of how he came to write the largest report in the history of the US Senate. Kelly and Daniel also talk with Scott Z. Burns, writer, producer, and director of the film, The Report, about how this movie came to be and why it is a story worth telling now.
In the days and weeks following the September 11th attacks, America was gripped with fear and uncertainty. New Yorker journalist Jane Mayer joins host Kelly McEvers to talk about that fear and the CIA's sense of blame for the attacks laid the foundation for the CIA's torture program. Kelly also talks with Daniel J. Jones about Abu Zubaydah, the first person tortured by the CIA.
In episode 3 of The Report podcast, Mark Mazzetti joins hosts Kelly McEvers and Daniel J. Jones. Mazzetti tells the story of how James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, the architects of the CIAs torture program, convinced the CIA leadership to hire them as contractors to torture and interrogate detainees — despite having never run in a single interrogation themselves.
Torture is illegal, not just under US law but also according to the Geneva Conventions, the internationally agreed upon rules for how we treat prisoners of war. So when the CIA decided to engage in torture, it needed a legal defense that would protect interrogators form being prosecuted. And for that they turned to a team of White House attorneys.
Guests: Katherine Hawkins of the Project on Government Oversight, Mark Mazzetti of The New York Times
After Daniel Jones completed the torture report, the CIA drafted a response. They pushed back against many of the report's fundings. And they went one step further. They hacked into Senate computers and then accused Daniel Jones of being a criminal which sparked a constitutional crisis.
Guests: Former US Senator Mark Udall, Buzzfeed's Jason Leopold and The Daily Beast's Spencer Ackerman
The release of the torture report was not always a given. The leadership at the CIA hoped it would stay classified and never be released to the public. But Senators Dianne Feinstein, John McCain and Mark Udall risked political fallout to ensure its release to the public.
Guests: Former US Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Buzzfeed's Jason Leopold and Stephen Rickard from the Open Society Foundations.
After the torture report was released, the CIA launched a campaign to discredit its findings. Then the agency went further — first, accusing Daniel J. Jones of criminal activity, and then, breaking into Senate computers to spy on members of the Intelligence Committee. It was a move that sparked a full-on constitutional crisis.
Guests: The New Yorker's Jane Mayer and Buzzfeed's Jason Leopold
In the final episode of The Report, we explore the impact The Report had on America and its standing in the world.
Why was no one held accountable for torture? And, what does that mean for the future of America’s war on terror?
We also bring back Scott Z. Burns, the writer, producer and director of The Report to talk about the impact he hopes his film will have.
Guest: filmmaker Scott Z. Burns