On April 30, PBS will be re-airing an episode of its news program Frontline called “Top Secret America — 9/11 to the Boston Bombings.” This episode originally aired in September 2011 (without the Boston reference) and is a look at the question of whether the hundreds of billions of dollars spent since 9/11 on counterterrorism efforts in America have made us safer.
This question has come to the forefront again in the wake of the Boston bombings on April 15, with Americans wondering why the nation’s intelligence agencies failed to prevent the devastating attack. Reports indicate that even though the CIA and FBI had been warned about one of the bombing suspects, he still managed to elude America’s security net.
In “Top Secret America — 9/11 to the Boston Bombings,” Pulitizer Prize-winning reporter Dana Priest traces the journey from 9/11 to the Boston Marathon bombings, examines efforts to improve information sharing among federal agencies tasked with keeping us safe, and investigates the secret history of the 12-year battle against terrorism, raising troubling questions about how we reached a point where we have a maze of clandestine government and private agencies working to keep us safe.
“As questions arise about whether the Boston Marathon bombings could have been prevented, Frontline wanted to bring our viewers an inside look at the government’s covert war on terrorism over the past 12 years,” says Frontline executive producer David Fanning.
“Top Secret America — 9/11 to the Boston Bombings” is updated with a new prologue that incorporates the Boston bombings, and PBS says that the body of the film includes reporting on three major domestic terrorist attacks since 9/11, including the Boston bombings.
(Programming note: Frontline: “Top Secret America — 9/11 to the Boston Bombings” replaces the previously scheduled Frontline film “Never Forget to Lie,” which will now air May 14.)
Frontline: “Top Secret America — 9/11 to the Boston Bombings” airs April 30 at 10pm ET, and May 2 at 9pm ET, on PBS (check local listings).
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