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FROM THIS EPISODE

When a double agent turned into a suicide bomber, seven US intelligence agents were killed. How much expertise did the CIA lose? What does the incident say about the abilities of al-Qaeda — and the quality of US intelligence? Also, the Environmental Protection Agency promotes new regulations to improve the quality of the air Americans breathe. 

White House Photo:Pete Souza; January 5, 2010

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Gary Scott
Christian Bordal

Reporter's Notebook The EPA Proposes Tighter Smog Rules 8 MIN, 30 SEC

Ozone is one of the most dangerous pollutants in emissions from power plants and motor vehicles, one of the elements that cause health effects, up to and including death. The Obama Environmental Protection Agency has proposed much tougher rules against smog than those set by the Bush Administration. If the EPA's new regulations are implemented, state and local officials will have tough decisions to make. Juliet Eilperin reports on the environment for the Washington Post.

Guests:
Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post (@eilperin)

Making News Gauging the Effectiveness of Our Intelligence System 7 MIN, 42 SEC

The near-disaster over Detroit on Christmas Day has "reignited long-simmering concerns about intelligence reforms" implemented in the aftermath of September 11.  That's according to the Washington Post, raising questions today about the National Counterterrorism Center, created to force 16 different intelligence agencies to share information.  Karen DeYoung wrote the story.

Guests:
Karen DeYoung, Washington Post (@karendeyoung1)

The Interrogators

Greg Miller and Chris Mackey

Main Topic A Double Agent, the CIA and al Qaeda 34 MIN, 25 SEC

A promising lead on Osama bin Laden's top aide, Ayman al-Zawahri, drew the CIA's leading al Qaeda hunters to meet in Afghanistan last week with a Jordanian doctor. But he was a double agent and suicide bomber.  The agents, including experts on al Qaeda, failed to conduct a rudimentary search, and lost their lives when he detonated explosives he wore on his body. Since then, the CIA has stepped up missile attacks across the border with Pakistan in apparent retaliation. Disturbing questions remain. How did seven experienced CIA spies get caught in a deadly deception? Was the attack pulled off by a resurgent al Qaeda?  What will it mean for the CIA's crucial relationship with Jordan's intelligence agency?

Guests:
Greg Miller, Washington Post (@gregpmiller)
Michael Scheuer, former Chief, CIA's Bin Laden Unit
Brian Fishman, New America Foundation (@brianfishman)
Joshua Landis, University of Oklahoma (@joshua_landis)

Marching toward Hell

Michael Scheuer

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