the lost american
tapes & Transcripts

Washington

NARRATOR: Cuny's success in Operation Provide Comfort would transform thinking about humanitarian emergencies.

MARK MALLOCH BROWN, V.P. World Bank: He booted this thing up from something that, as I say, AID or U.N. officials thought about to something secretaries of state and joint chiefs of staff and national security advisers talked about because he suddenly cast humanitarian emergencies in their language.

MORT ABRAMOWITZ, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1991-97): Northern Iraq established and gave him a wider range of contacts, people who knew his work.

NARRATOR: He had long ago sworn to himself that he would go places- swim all the rivers of Russia, climb and name Mt. Cuny. And in the handwritten list that charted his life, he also promised that he would be somebody. His major goals were to "gain respect as a man of the people" and "be selected for a high political or decision-making office." Now he would begin to imagine himself in the ideal job, perhaps in the Pentagon, responsible for humanitarian affairs.

Somalia 1992

GARRICK UTLEY, NBC Nightly News: Good evening. Before we get to politics or the Republican convention, let's turn for a moment from our domestic preoccupations and look at what's happening in Somalia on the east coast of Africa. It is a land of war.

NARRATOR: The cold war was over and the crises would grow increasingly complicated. In Somalia the scorched-earth tactics of warring clans had led to famine.

Pres. GEORGE BUSH: The security situation has grown worse in Somalia. In many cases, food from relief flights is being looted upon landing. Food convoys have been hijacked, aid workers assaulted. Law and order have broken down.

NARRATOR: Cuny had proposed months earlier that, as in Iraq, a small military force should intervene to protect relief operations and create "zones of tranquillity" away from the capital of Mogadishu.

READER: [Fred Cuny's writing] I warned the military to stay out of Mogadishu. I wanted to avoid the political mess, focus on stamping out the famine, pull people out of the city, out of the warlords' grasp.

NARRATOR: The Pentagon ignored the Cuny plan.

GEN. COLIN POWELL: The operation will begin with United States Marine Corps personnel going ashore in Mogadishu. It's sort of like the cavalry coming to the rescue, straightening things out for a while and then letting the marshals come back in to take things under control.

MARK MALLOCH BROWN: He'd lay out a single strategic political point, which is if you run your operation through Mogadishu, you will suck people into Mogadishu and it will be unmanageable. That's the only insight that a Colin Powell or a national security adviser needed to hear. They chose not to hear it. But it would have transformed that operation and made it much more manageable.

TED KOPPEL, ABC News: Okay, you want to see me first and then just zoom past me?

CAMERA OPERATOR: Oh, boy.

TED KOPPEL: Let's go to the video.

U.S. SOLDIER: Get out of the way! Get out of the way!

NARRATOR: By the time the American-led military task force intervened, the Pentagon had insisted on 30,000 troops instead of Cuny's 3,500. And they landed on the beaches of Mogadishu.

READER: [Fred Cuny's writing] Powell didn't welcome my comments on his plan. I had been hoping to be put in charge of the humanitarian side of the operation, but suddenly found it was taking on a life of its own.

1st U.S. SOLDIER: We're moving!

2nd U.S. SOLDIER: We are doing that throughout the city! We are cleaning up this city! Ask your people to turn in their guns to us! Turn them in! We will protect you! We are taking care of this city!

VIC TANNER: People who planned the operation did not have the understanding that Fred and many others had of what is a famine and how a famine works and what you do to fight famine. They thought, "We know people are hungry. Bring them food- food, logistics. Secure the port, secure the airport, secure the road, secure the relief hubs." Well, that was disastrous.

NARRATOR: The Pentagon had violated what Cuny called "the first rule of peacekeeping."

READER: [Fred Cuny's writing] Stay out of the cities. If you are attacked, the only way you can strike back is to destroy the buildings where the snipers are. And that doesn't win you any friends.

22nd U.S. SOLDIER: Shit!

NARRATOR: Somalis were killed.

1st U.S. SOLDIER: Viper, Viper, Viper! This is Viper Three, over!

NARRATOR: Anti-American anger erupted. The fighting in the back alleys of Mogadishu escalated.

1st SOLDIER: Where the fuck?

2nd SOLDIER: What the fuck, man?

1st SOLDIER: Viper, Viper! This is Viper Three, over!

NARRATOR: The U.S. ordered in its elite Delta Force, with specific orders to capture one of the warlords. The humanitarian relief effort had become a combat mission. On Sunday, October 3, 1993, U.S. troops raided the warlords' stronghold. A helicopter gunship was downed. By the end of the firefight, 18 Americans were dead. The corpse of one would be dragged through the streets by a jeering mob of the very people the soldiers had come to rescue.

The searing defeat in Somalia became the warning cry for those arguing against U.S. intervention in the growing crisis in the world's next trouble spot. But Fred Cuny had already moved on.

VIC TANNER: You know, he wanted to be where the spotlight was. The position of being the senior adviser, the person whose vast experience will avoid U.S. foreign policy major disasters, and that's, I think, the way Fred saw himself. And when he was in that position, which was true to a certain extent in Northern Iraq and perhaps in other places, or on his way to being in that position, he was a very happy man. When he was- when it was clear to him that he wasn't in that position and wasn't inching any closer to that particular position, he was a very unhappy man- frustrated man, angry man.

Rockwall, Texas

NARRATOR: In their last conversation, Cuny told his younger brother, Chris, that he envied the life Chris had chosen.

CHRIS CUNY: I had taken a different path with my family, in having young children, that I could never commit full-time to doing the work that he did. And that was a sacrifice that he made early on with his son. I mean, the fact is, he was gone nine months out of the year. And the sad thing about Fred's life, or one of the sad things about Fred's life, is that nobody even in our- in the Dallas metroplex really knew who he was. They'd had no appreciation for this tremendous humanitarian hero and what he had done. People in Washington and Geneva and Sarajevo and Africa, you know, he's a tremendous figure and tremendous, you know, hero and a statesman. But in Texas, nobody really knew him.

Sarajevo 1993

NARRATOR: The unending siege of Sarajevo was appalling in its viciousness.

KURT SCHORK: When Fred arrived, he arrived in a city that was cold. And it wasn't defeated in the sense that it was not ready to surrender, but it had no real reason to hope.

NARRATOR: Three hundred thousand civilians were the targets of the Serbian guns.

KURT SCHORK, Reuters News Agency: Sarajevo is a relatively small city. It's maybe six miles from one end to the other and it's surrounded on two sides by mountains, which rise very steeply from the Miliachka river, which is the real spine of the city. And the Serbs held all the high ground around the city, so they literally could look down with their rifles and their anti-aircraft machine guns, their mortars, their tanks, and pick their targets. And if you go today on the hills above the city and look at their old positions, you can identify individual people. You know, you can see people with your bare eyes. Forget about telescopic sights. So I mean, it- it did not require a lot of skill or finesse. It just required a pretty strong stomach, I would say, to sit up there and pick off civilians during the war.

NARRATOR: Rising above a cemetery filled with acres of fresh graves is a house that during the war afforded a panoramic view of the battlefield. Here Cuny established what he called "Sarajevo's unofficial American embassy."

KURT SCHORK: You know, he got hooked into all the committees that decided this and that about the humanitarian aid operation. He established an office. He got a house. He began to figure out a way to get his Mexican food in, and some beer, which we were more than happy to, you know, take advantage of. I mean, he became Fred Cuny. He was a big man in a small city.

FRED CUNY: To the three prettiest women in Sarajevo!

NARRATOR: It was a war with no strategic interest to the West and so no real interest in trying to break the siege.

KURT SCHORK: In order to get water, you had to go to one of the taps. You had to fetch firewood by cutting down a tree in your neighborhood or in one of the cemeteries or in the park. It was a daily struggle for survival for the ordinary families of Sarajevo. And the heads of most of those households, the men, were at the front, so you had women trying to figure out whether it was better to take their children with them to get the water, or should they leave them at home. What happens then if they, the mother, are killed on the way? These terrible choices that ordinary families were facing.

NARRATOR: As the deaths mounted, Western governments continued to stall. In the face of official apathy, Cuny came up with his own plan.

FRED CUNY: Almost 90 percent of the casualties have occurred in this particular region.

OFF-CAMERA VOICE: And in search of?

FRED CUNY: In search of water and fuel.

NARRATOR: He would smuggle in a system to pump water to half the city and shelter it in a highway tunnel. It would be paid for by the billionaire philanthropist George Soros, who hired Cuny to help save Sarajevo.

DON KRUMM: This being private money, and a lot of it - I mean, this was more money than the U.S. government was putting into Bosnia, $50 million - gosh, I mean, he had this ability to do things that would not pass muster with the U.N. system.

NARRATOR: Working for Soros, Cuny could finally bypass the bureaucrats.

DON KRUMM, Department of State (1982-96): You know, we're so conditioned by the rules of sovereignty, the rules of the game, if you will, but also by past habit, by past approaches. You know, and none of us are very experienced and we can't- we're not on the ground and we know what our superiors think and we know we don't want to spend much money. And so we essentially freeze when it comes to government approaches to these kinds of problems. But with George Soros saying, "Here's 50 million bucks," the only person he had to convince was George Soros.

NARRATOR: The filters for the water system had to be flown in from Texas, where they were being built. And although the United Nations was technically in charge of the airport, in reality the Serbs not only controlled what was allowed in, but had negotiated the right to skim off a third of all relief supplies as their cut. When the first shipment of Cuny's water filters arrived aboard military planes he had requisitioned through his friends, the Serb guns were silent. His logistics man had secured Serb approval for the box-car sized filters without describing their size or their real purpose.

BRIAN STEERS, Logistics Officer, IRC: "Well, what's that, Brian?" "That's my water filter."

NARRATOR: Brian Steers had not paid bribes to the Serbs who controlled the flow of humanitarian goods into the airport, but he had paid.

BRIAN STEERS: I dealt with the Serbs as I deal with everybody else. I sit 'em down, drink beer. It cost me a lot of beers. It cost me a few hangovers, as well. And he bulldozed it through. He pushed it through. He didn't care who he walked over. It was something he wanted to get done.

NARRATOR: The filtration system in the highway tunnel was twice the size of a Texas football field, a monumental achievement for the one-time engineer. And it was classic Cuny, a relief effort devised not only to save lives, but to force the world to pay attention to Sarajevo.

MARK MALLOCH BROWN: No journalist could go and see this lunatic Texan, you know, bending pipes in odd directions and hiding water systems, you know, in freeway motor passes- nobody could see this going on and not ask, "Where the hell is the U.S. government?"

NARRATOR: After more than a year of fighting, 150,000 Bosnians were dead or missing, most of them civilians. But only Western aid workers, not soldiers, had been dispatched to the front lines.

READER: [Fred Cuny's writing] The U.N.'s presence has certainly helped keep access open for humanitarian goods. Have we had success? In a limited way. Nobody's dying of lack of food. They are dying because of bullets.

NARRATOR: U.N. peacekeeping troops were deployed with a mandate that gave them no power. They themselves became targets.

U.N. PEACEKEEPER: Okay, let's get into a shelter. Shelter, shelter!

NARRATOR: Trying to save civilians often meant moving them out of areas of conflict and that played into the hands of the Serbs and their strategy of ethnic cleansing. Cuny grew less and less tolerant of the fallacy that humanitarian assistance alone was enough.

KURT SCHORK: If it had just been a humanitarian problem or just a military problem, then somebody probably would have figured it out. But it was so complicated that it required a much more rounded approach and Fred was an expert at that. He really worked the seam where all of these things came together. And he would send papers back and forth on this to the Pentagon. He knew who to call in Washington to get an idea raised. He had contacts at the NSC. He had contacts in that sort of Beltway community of opinion leaders around Washington. Unfortunately, I think, the leaders in the West had just decided they weren't going to do anything. So he, like so many other people, just ended up beating his head against a wall.

NARRATOR: Night after night, in the cold and dark basement of his unofficial embassy on the ridge, Cuny sent back-channel messages to Washington. If the U.S. took military action, he lobbied, the Serb guns would fall silent. His letters to friends were more direct:

READER: [Fred Cuny's writing] Dear Marin, The work has been very frustrating, not in small part due to the ambivalent and somewhat cynical policy of all the Western governments. Is Warren Christopher effective? No. Would someone be better? Yes. Me.

NARRATOR: Along with U.S. indifference, he would be forced to confront another dark truth in Sarajevo. Even as they watched their own citizens targeted in the deadly excursions for water, Bosnian officials refused to allow Cuny's water system to operate.

READER: [Fred Cuny's writing] When we were pleading with them to turn the water on so people wouldn't have to go out in the shelling to fetch water, one of them asked why we were more concerned about the lives of Sarajevans than the government. Good question.

NARRATOR: After one massacre, Cuny himself ordered the water spigots opened, but the authorities intervened and turned them off again.

ERIC SHUTLER, Project Director, Intertect: It's important to understand that politics and economics are one and the same thing here, so being a politician also meant that you were also a very wealthy man. And that's literally what water was during the war, was the economics of the city. So he was creating- Fred was creating a lot of problems for a lot of people that were making a lot of money.

ROY WILLIAMS V.P., International Rescue Committee: There were threats all around as to, "Well, if you proceed, we'll- such and so will happen and one thing or the other," and in that environment one never knew how to take threats.

TIM KNIGHT, US/AID: I know that he was pretty vocal about some of the problems. And again, that was also part of Fred's character, to be vocal about things. You can be successful in this kind of work and you can be vocal in this kind of work. And Fred, as ultimately happened in Chechnya, I believe, became too vocal.

NARRATOR: After seven months and countless thousands more deaths, the water was finally allowed to flow. It would be another year before massive NATO air strikes were ordered against the Serbs. That, as he'd predicted, finally brought them to the bargaining table. By then Fred Cuny had disappeared.

While he watched lives wasted in Bosnia, Cuny had been passed over for the job he wanted in the Clinton Administration. He was preoccupied with the world's tragedies and why governments kept repeating their fatal mistakes. And that mood perhaps took him one night to the Vietnam Memorial with the now-grown daughter of his best friend, who had been killed in Vietnam.

READER: [Fred Cuny's writing] We went to the Memorial and found his name and talked about what it means to feel real patriotism, a patriotism that transcends the horrors of Vietnam

NARRATOR: Cuny's name was not on this wall. His fate had taken a different turn, He had come up against a wall of his own: the limits of what he himself could do if Washington would not listen.

DALENA WRIGHT, FRIEND: You have to stay in the public eye. You have to stay desirable. You have to stay glamorous. You have to stay the original thinker. And you have to be the first one in so you can articulate it before anybody else can and get people galvanized. And that's what motivated him and it motivated him long after the simple delivery of food could because he'd done that for so many years. There had to be more. There had to be something that drove him and part of it was this towering ego and being the one who sized up the situation and was in demand by all concerned - military, governments, everybody - to tell the tale. And so he had to invent himself and reinvent himself. And he wanted to be loved and he wanted to be admired and he had an insatiable need for that.

VIC TANNER: There'd come a time when he was after something that was just a bit too difficult or a bit too far or where the cards were stacked just a bit too steeply against him and that that would cost him dear and I think he knew that. I mean, I don't remember him saying so in so many words, but he was quite fatalistic about, you know, not dying in his bed.

Chechnya
1995

NARRATOR: It may have been inevitable that Fred Cuny would be drawn even deeper into the rubble of the cold war, into the murderous conflict in the breakaway Russian republic of Chechnya. The U.S. government called the war an internal Russian affair, but human rights activists in the United States and Moscow were horrified and turned once again to the billionaire philanthropist George Soros.

ARYEH NEIER, Pres., Soros Open Society Institute: I went to Moscow with George Soros. We talked to some people there about assistance. And so I called Fred and asked if he would be willing to do an assessment for us and that's essentially how it got under way.

NARRATOR: The assault by Boris Yeltsin's troops launched on New Year's Eve transformed the Chechen capital of Grozny into a slaughterhouse. Cuny arrived five weeks later.

OLIVIA WARD, "Toronto Star": Mountains of glass and of concrete, unexploded bombs, pieces of shell casings, sometimes pieces of bodies. The charred bodies of the Russian servicemen were hanging around for days and days. It was a scene right out of Dante's Inferno. It was hell.

KURT SCHORK: Just driving down the roads was worth your life. I mean, Russian fighter planes would come- you'd see them coming at you. They'd be a hundred feet off the road, coming right down the road at you, or helicopters, attack helicopters. And you could be gone in an instant. So to see Fred there was a little bit surprising because there was no aid operation in Chechnya, period. You know, I mean, it was just out of the question. Out of the question.

ANDREI BABITSKY, Russian Journalist: [through interpreter] People had been living in basements for two months. If a bomb didn't target the house directly, you could sit it out in the basement. But there was no water, nothing. No food. It's hard for me to describe. The war was very cruel.

NARRATOR: Tens of thousands of Chechens had fled Grozny to stay with families in their villages. The madness was killing those left behind, elderly Russians with no place to go. Cuny believed he could evacuate them. He would set out to sell his plan to both sides. He slipped behind rebel lines. There he convinced a Chechen commander to take him along on a raid.

READER: [Fred Cuny's writing] Dear Veronica: The trip into Grozny was scary as hell. The shelling was far worse than anything I'd experienced in Sarajevo.

NARRATOR: Behind Russian lines he saw ill-prepared draftees who had also been thrown into the inferno. He drank vodka with a Russian general who had defied Moscow's orders.

READER: [Fred Cuny's writing] When I asked him what the Army would do when they got out of Grozny, he told me, "We'll never get out of Grozny."

ALEX GOLDFARB, Soros International Science Fund: He was very encouraged by the fact that he found that the military in the field didn't want this war, didn't understand- Russian military didn't understand what this was about, and he thought that he has the formula to resolve the crisis.

NARRATOR: He convinced himself he could use the evacuation of civilians as an excuse to broker a cease-fire.

OLEG ORLOV, Human Rights Activist: [through interpreter] Being military men, Fred Cuny said, they would keep their word. At least the ones he'd talked to, they could be trusted. Those were his words. I thought it was a little naive. The behavior of our military in this war showed that the safety of civilians was the least of their worries.

THOMAS PICKERING, U.S. Ambassador to Russia (1993-96): But I do remember very well that Fred came back after the first visit and briefed me on the situation and described it in very stark terms and made it very clear he had met with members of the Chechen leadership.

NARRATOR: Russia had made it clear it would not tolerate official U.S. contact with the Chechens, but Cuny was trying to get to the Chechen President, Dudayev.

THOMAS PICKERING: He was quite attracted to the sense of independence of the Chechens in a seemingly "David and Goliath" conflict, where they were fighting people armed with heavy weapons.

Gen. ASLAN MASKHADOV, Chechen Commander-in-Chief: [through interpreter] The whole world thinks that a Chechen is some kind of evil bandit, an animal, a terrorist, a mafioso. The Russians have manipulated public opinion so they can tell the world, "We are killing bandits."

ALEX GOLDFARB: Fred didn't make any secret that he has very high-level connections to the National Security and their people. He told me and everybody else in Moscow that he has a rank in the army and that he closely worked with the army, that he knows personally John Shalikashvili. And Fred invented-- invented himself, in that sense. He kind of liked to present himself that way and that was very dangerous. Russians generally are paranoid about spies.

NARRATOR: Cuny had seen a humanitarian nightmare. He feared the consequence of U.S. inaction.

READER: [Fred Cuny's writing] Undoubtedly, the Russians can inflict major damage on the Chechens. The question for Yeltsin is how much misery he is prepared to inflict on civilians in order to win.

NARRATOR: In the United States, he went public and denounced Russia's brutal campaign.

MARK MALLOCH BROWN: He was very, very angry. I mean, he felt that this was just something terrible going on and that the desire of the U.S. to ensure that Yeltsin was not embarrassed in Chechnya, that Yeltsin's hold on Moscow was not weakened by, you know, an overly forthright and frontal criticism of what he was doing in Chechnya, that the U.S. was, in his view, not on the side of the angels in this one.

ALEX GOLDFARB, Soros International Science Fund: Fred was obviously carried away and he- there was no point talking to him. So I talked to people in New York and there was a couple of shouting matches on the phone. And then I went to New York to try to convince them to abort Fred's mission.

NARRATOR: In New York a bitter dispute erupted over whether Cuny should return to Chechnya.

ARYEH NEIER, Pres., Soros Open Society Institute: Even while the arguments were playing out, as I say, I'm not sure we were all together in some way, so I don't recall a specific conversation with George about Alex's letter or anything like that.

ALEX GOLDFARB: The argument against me is that Fred is doing nothing illegal by all the standards of international law, which is probably right, and that nobody will dare touch Fred because he's so important and so famous in the international humanitarian circles.

NARRATOR: The Soros Foundation arranged for official Washington to hear Fred Cuny's singular testimony. His briefings were passionate, his plans to broker a cease-fire that could stop the killing no secret. His sponsors knew, as did Cuny, that his information was the entree to power. And that may be one of the reasons no one stopped him.

ARYEH NEIER: I was hesitant, or more than hesitant, to tell Fred what he could do and what he could not do. If he had told me something specific, like seeing Dudayev, I would have said, "No way," but I restrained myself in dealing with someone who was much my better in terms of the capacity to deal with these kinds of situations.

NARRATOR: The war in Chechnya grew even more treacherous. Fred Cuny, traveling in an old Russian ambulance with two Russian paramedics and a female interpreter, was determined to head back.

KURT SCHORK: You had no idea who these people were, whether they were Russians, whether they were Chechens, whether they were legitimate or just freelance bandits. You just didn't know whether it was a routine stop or whether the guy was making you stand next to the road because he was going to shoot you. And the notion that you would sort of pitch up there with some Russian doctors just seems really strange to me- really, really strange.

NARRATOR: It raised the suspicion that he was pushing himself because someone in the government had asked him to report back on what he saw.

THOMAS PICKERING, U.S. Ambassador to Russia (1993-96): The information was not that valuable. You know, I could only conjecture that somebody in a fit of zealousness asked about it was lunatic because, in fact, we knew most of what was happening. And things that were happening in Chechnya were not of vital interest to the United States government, never have been. And there were very few, if any, American interests involved until poor Fred got lost and another journalist was killed and then we were obviously interested in trying to either find them and get them recovered. But there were never any interests of national importance.

NARRATOR: He would spend the last night alone, reading about the fictional spy who shared his dismay at the failure of the West to fulfill its cold war promises.

READER: [from "Our Game" by John le Carre] "West's compassioned out. Running on empty. Fuck us. This is where I go the distance, this is where I stick."

NARRATOR: On the 31st of March, 1995, Fred Cuny headed off in a hurry toward the most deadly region of Chechnya, ground zero of the war. Four days later, a hand-scrawled note would reach his colleagues in a neighboring republic. In the note, Cuny betrayed little anxiety.

READER: [Fred Cuny's writing] Everything that has happened has, of course, knocked us off schedule. It's most likely that we will be held up for two or three days. Please change the meeting with the American ambassador and all the others.

NARRATOR: But his interpreter added her own postscript:

GALINA OLEINIK: Everything above I wrote under Fred's direction. And now something for myself. We, as always, are in deep shit. The situation does not depend on us. If we're not back in three days, shake everyone up.

NARRATOR: Fred Cuny would never be heard from again.

DALENA WRIGHT: Whether he misjudged or he was tired and now going to make his mark that- for history and he saw time running out, I don't know. The world was crowding in on him and he was getting older. He wanted to be significant and it got harder to be significant delivering humanitarian aid. And I think the need to be significant weighed heavier and heavier.

NARRATOR: It has been a little more than two years since Cuny's son, Craig, his brother, Chris, and several friends called off their search for him in Chechnya when they were convinced they had finally been told the truth.

CRAIG CUNY: They took him out to this wooded area and they lined up two of them and we just know that one of them was Fred and one of them was one of the doctors. And at that point they were- they were tied behind- they had their hands tied behind them and they were made to drop to their knees and they were shot execution-style in the back of the head.

NARRATOR: What the family did not know was who ordered the execution. But in August, 1996, the blood-stained passport of one of the doctors was found along with all the group's documents, including the passport of Fred Cuny. The papers were discovered in the ruins of Stary Atchkoi, a village under the control of the local Chechen intelligence chief, Rizvan Elbiev.

ANDREI BABITSKY: [through interpreter] He took Cuny and his group and then all of them were executed in the forest that same day, in the evening.

NARRATOR: Among the documents was a last desperate note from Cuny's interpreter addressed to the commander-in-chief of the Chechen military. It has never been seen before.

ANDREI BABITSKY: [through interpreter] This is perfect proof. This note was never sent on. It was kept in Stary Atchkoi.

GALINA OLEINIK: Fred Cuny is with me, the American whom you already know. I ask you to confirm that you are aware of us and our mission.

NARRATOR: The undelivered note is the final evidence that Fred Cuny's journey ended in Stary Atchkoi.

ANDREI BABITSKY: [through interpreter] Cuny or one of the group had a large sum of money, at least compared to the people who searched him. And they took it. In order to keep the money, Elbiev decided to execute them. There was an atmosphere of despair. There was a feeling that the war was lost. Lost. Everything could be blamed on the war. They would disappear without a trace.

NARRATOR: The bodies of Fred Cuny, his interpreter and the two doctors have never been found.

CRAIG CUNY: It didn't seem real. Here's a man who's just been so strong his whole life and he's been in so many hairy situations that you just can't imagine that- you know. I don't know- you know, I don't know who got him to that point, you know? I can't imagine, you know- you know, who- you know, to me he's my dad. You know, I don't know who had the strength to- you know, to get him to his knees for anything.

ANNOUNCER: At FRONTLINE's Web site, discover more about Fred Cuny, with maps of his world, an interactive look, Cuny's radio interviews about Sarajevo and Chechnya, from his computer laptop a selection of Fred Cuny's most interesting writings, special reports on Cuny and much more. Bookmark FRONTLINE On-Line at www.pbs.org.

Next time on FRONTLINE, behind the violence behind the politics-

IRA MEMBER: "We were 14 against the British government-"

ANNOUNCER: there's a secret history that is more brutal and heartbreaking than Hollywood could ever imagine. On the brink of peace, FRONTLINE looks behind the mask. "The IRA & Sinn Fein" next time on FRONTLINE.

Let us know what you thought about tonight's program by fax at (617) 254-0243, by e-mail - frontline@pbs.org - or by the U.S. mail [125 Western Avenue, Boston, MA 02134].

copyright;1997 WGBH Educational Foundation
All rights reserved

THE LOST AMERICAN

WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY
Sherry Jones

DIRECTED BY
Foster Wiley

NARRATED BY
Harrison Ford

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Foster Wiley

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Christopher Buchanan

FIELD PRODUCER, RUSSIA
Nick Sturdee

EDITOR
Foster Wiley

ASSISTANT EDITOR
David Ritsher

ORIGINAL MUSIC
Rick Baitz

LOCATION SOUND
Paul Rusnak

PRODUCTION MANAGER
Kirk Mangels

STOCK FOOTAGE RESEARCH
Miho Nasu
David Ritsher

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
Lori Shinseki

ONLINE EDITOR
Shady Hartshorne

SOUND EDITOR
Regina Mullen

RE-RECORDING MIXER
Rick Dior

VOICES
John Deyle
Patrick Godfrey
Walt MacPherson Jennifer Mendenhall

INTERNS
Matt Curtis
Bridget Dearborn
Matt Gordon
Jennifer Kelly
Keith Supko
_____

QUOTATION FROM
John le Carre ,OUR GAME, Knopf
_____

ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE
ABC News
BBC
Camerapix
CNN
Craig Cuny
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