Bush's War

reporters' dispatches

Behind the story with FRONTLINE producers

Baghdad From a Bulletproof Window
"This was my third trip to Iraq, and the first time I felt I was never really there."
[From Private Warriors, June 2005]
Showdown With Iran
"We were facing the prospect of making a film on U.S.-Iran relations since 9/11 without a single Iranian voice ... this was a producer's nightmare." [From Showdown With Iran, October 2008]
What Happens In Vegas ...
"It was one of those delicious ironies that you can't pass up. A massive government data sweep in the city that sells itself as a playground of naughty anonymity. The Las Vegas story looked very good." [From Spying on the Home Front, May 2007]
A Visit to an Iraqi Police Station
"Sgt. Faircloth gets a radio call from the brigade HQ. He's told some kind of car bomb has gone off in nearby Shi'ite Sadr City. We pull off the highway and enter the police station through a baffle of 20-foot-high cement sectional barriers. ... Two or three policemen step outside. They look like they've just been roused from mid-afternoon naps." [From Gangs of Iraq, April 2007]
The Fixers
"Every fixer I've ever had in Iraq has been a victim of the violence -- random or targeted." [From Gangs of Iraq, April 2007]
Pakistan: "There's No Simple Solution"
"Many people of high rank within the Pakistani military that I talked to are quite anti-American, quite fervently believe that Osama bin Laden did not send planes into the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon. They think that America and Israel have conspired against Muslims. They share the same sense of victimhood that the tribals do. And so, they're very sympathetic to the Taliban. And the depth of that surprised me; the fact that some Taliban will have a brother in the army or an uncle." [From Return of the Taliban, October 2006]
A Reporter's Journey
"What Jeff Lucey told his family about his time in Iraq as a Marine reservist made the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib pale in comparison." [From The Soldier's Heart, March 2005]
A Long Road: Dispatches From Postwar Iraq
"On Nov. 12, 2003 we set off on a five-week journey across Iraq. We set off not knowing what we would find, whom we would meet, or where we would spend the night. The only plan was to skip Baghdad." [From Beyond Baghdad, February 2004]
In Search of Al Qaeda: Dispatches From the Field
FRONTLINE producers Martin Smith and Marcela Gaviria's fascinating e-mail dispatches from their two-month journey through Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere describe the places they visited, people they met and, sometimes, the frustrations they faced on the road in sometimes unfriendly territory. [From In Search of Al Qaeda, November 2002]
The Karzai Interview
"One Saturday afternoon in February, I was having lunch with a fellow filmmaker in Washington. 'So, what are you working on now?' came the inevitable question. When I explained the broad scope of our two-hour special -- the military, political and diplomatic response to 9/11 -- a smile came over her face. 'Oh, you might like to talk to my insurance agent,' she said. It seemed like an odd response, until she told me the agent's name: Pat Karzai, the Baltimore-based sister-in-law of Afghanistan's new interim chairman." [From Campaign Against Terror, October 2002]
Producer's Notes
"The catastrophe that turned the bottom of Manhattan into a gaping wound was an explosive encounter with our mortality. The visual impact of the planes hitting the towers and all the subsequent scenes only heightened our fevered sense of reckoning. The last words of the victims saying goodbye on their cell phones and in e-mail fused with these images of destruction -- and were seared into our psyches. They compelled us to imagine our own deaths. What would we say? What do we believe?" [From Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero, September 2002]
Reporter's Notebook
"I think that if you follow the track of Mohamed Atta, you see the personification of a growing anger and rage among educated people in these modern Arab countries against their own leaders and against us. And you watch Atta's personal evolution, from a belief in the modernization that the Western world represents -- he's an urban planner, a developer, an architect -- into a disgust at other facets of modernization." [From Inside the Terror Network, January 2002]

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posted march 24, 2008

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