The Pentagon and Afghanistan Papers w/ Hedrick Smith – Ep 97

In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the Pentagon Papers, we sat down with Hedrick Smith, award winning journalist and producer, who was one of the principle journalists covering the initial release of the Pentagon Papers.

Hedrick’s YouTube channel – The People Vs. The Politicians

Recent video from Hedrick regarding his good friend and famed journalist Neil Sheehan and their experiences in covering the Pentagon Papers.

Hedrick Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times reporter and editor and Emmy award-winning producer/correspondent, has established himself over the past 50 years of his career as one of America’s most distinguished journalists.

In 26 years with The New York Times, Mr. Smith covered Martin Luther King Jr and the civil rights struggle, the Vietnam War in Saigon, the Middle East conflict from Cairo, the Cold War from both Moscow and Washington, and six American presidents and their administrations. In 1971, as chief diplomatic correspondent, he was a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that produced the Pentagon Papers series. In 1974, he won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting from Russia and Eastern Europe.

His book The Russians, based on his years as New York Times Moscow Bureau Chief from 1971-74, was a No. 1 American best-seller. It has been translated into 16 languages and has been widely used in university and college courses.  His next book, The Power Game: How Washington Works, was also a major best-seller. It became a bible for newly elected members of Congress and their staffs and was bedside reading for President Clinton. His newest book, Who Stole the American Dream? published by Random House in September 2012 , has been hailed by critics for brilliant analsysis of political and economic trends and changes in the U.S. over the past 30-40 years.

For PBS since 1989, Hedrick Smith has created 26 prime-time specials and mini-series on such varied topics as terrorism, Wall Street, Soviet perestroika,Wal-Mart, Enron, tax evasion, educational reform, health care, the environment, jazz greats Duke Ellington and Dave Brubeck, and Washington’s power game.

Mr. Smith’s documentary work has won many of televisions major awards. Two of his Frontline programs, The Wall Street Fix and Can You Afford to Retire?  won Emmies and two others, Critical Condition and Tax Me If You Can were nominated. Twice he has won or shared the Columbia-Dupont Gold Baton, or grand prize, for the year’s best public affairs program on U.S. television – for Inside Gorbachev’s USSR in 1990, and for Inside the Terror Network in 2002, an investigation of the Al Qaeda pilots who carried out the 9/11 attack and how the U.S. missed chances to stop them. Along with the George Polk, George Peabody and Sidney Hillman awards for reportorial excellence, his programs have won two national public service awards


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Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

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Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Afghanistan papers & The Report w/ Ryan Keen – Ep 54

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This week, Ryan Keen stops by the podcast to discuss the recent Washington Post bombshell titled the Afghanistan Papers.  We also discuss the Amazon Prime film The Report, which discusses the 2014 Senate torture report, its creation, and the CIA’s involvement.  (We mentioned discussing the House impeachment proceedings, but we ran out of time.)

Happy holidays everyone!!!


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A special thanks to our honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Gage Counts, Fahim Shirazee, Henry Szamota, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.