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FROM THIS EPISODE

President Obama revealed today that CIA drones accidentally killed an American and an Italian being held hostage by al Qaeda in Pakistan. It's the first public acknowledgement of its kind, raising new questions about the drone program and US intelligence.

Also, two epidemics of drug addiction in Middle America have victimized people who suffer from pain. We hear how brilliant marketing campaigns have led to abuse of both legal prescription drugs and "black tar" heroin from Mexico.

Producers:
Jenny Hamel
Andrea Brody
Christine Detz

CIA Drone Strike Accidentally Kills American, Italian Hostages 22 MIN, 49 SEC

In a stunning announcement today President Obama revealed that CIA drone strike in January accidentally killed an American and an Italian being held hostage by al Qaeda in Pakistan. It's the first public acknowledgement of its kind, raising new questions about the drone program and US intelligence. 

Guests:
Mark Mazzetti, New York Times (@MarkMazzettiNYT)
Robert Baer, former CIA field officer and author
Jane Harman, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Christopher Woods, Investigative reporter and author (@chrisjwoods)

More:
Mazzetti's 'The Way of the Knife: The CIA, A Secret Army and a War at the Ends of the Earth'
Mazzetti on killing of Americans deepening debate over proper use of drone strikes
Baer's 'The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws for Assassins'
Press Play on 'the fog of war' in the age of drones
Press Play on al Qaeda operative Adam Gadahn

Sudden Justice

Chris Woods

Opioid and Heroin Addictions in America 27 MIN, 23 SEC

Two epidemics of drug addiction in Middle America have victimized people who suffer from pain. "Fatal heroin overdoses in America have almost tripled in three years. More than 8,250 people a year now die from heroin. At the same time, roughly double that number are dying from prescription opioid painkillers, which are molecularly similar." That's from a recent piece in the New York Times by Sam Quinones, based on his new book, Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic.

Portsmouth, Ohio is the unlikely "Ground Zero" for parallel epidemics of drug addiction that have spread nationwide. Expensive, but legal, painkillers have been over-hyped by Big Pharma, creating a market for a cheaper form of relief: "black tar Heroin" from Mexico. Congress is beginning to pay attention.

Photo: Elizabeth Roy

Guests:
Sam Quinones, journalist and independent producer (@samquinones7)
Lisa Roberts, Scioto County Drug Free Communities Support Program
Anna Lembke, Stanford University (@StanfordMed)

More:
House Comittee on Energy and Commerce hearing on combatting opiod abuse

Dreamland

Sam Quinones

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