For the first time in history, all 12 living directors of the CIA will be interviewed in THE SPYMASTERS – CIA IN THE CROSSHAIRS, a two-hour documentary premiering Saturday, November 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME across all platforms. Narrated by Emmy® and Tony® winner Mandy Patinkin (Homeland), the film offers a remarkable inside look into the spy agency’s controversial conduct in the war on terror – marked by the use of brutal interrogation techniques, secret prisons and lethal drone warfare. Written by Chris Whipple (The President’s Gatekeepers), THE SPYMASTERS is directed by Jules and Gédéon Naudet (the Emmy, Peabody® and DuPont® award-winning 9/11) in a joint SHOWTIME and CBS News production. Executive producers are Jules and Gédéon Naudet, Chris Whipple, Susan Zirinsky and David Hume Kennerly.
Interviewed in THE SPYMASTERS are George H. W. Bush, Stansfield Turner, William Webster, Robert Gates, James Woolsey, John Deutch, George Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta, David Petraeus, and John Brennan. Also featured in the documentary are former acting directors Michael Morell and John McLaughlin, along with former top agency operatives Cofer Black, Jose Rodriguez and current senior counterterrorism analyst Gina Bennett.
Highlights of the documentary include former CIA Director George Tenet and his Director of Counterterrorism Cofer Black detailing unheeded warnings given to the Bush administration of an imminent al-Qaeda attack. Two months before 9/11, in an emergency meeting at the White House, they warned National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice that the attack could even take place on U.S. soil. They urged the White House to go on a “war footing.” Tenet and Black say the warnings were ignored. The directors are also remarkably candid about the agency’s controversial lethal drone warfare program – a program so secret that the CIA has never officially acknowledged it. Former directors William Webster and Robert Gates take issue with the way the agency targeted and killed an American citizen, militant Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Gates also takes issue with a form of attacks known as “signature strikes,” the practice of targeting unnamed terrorist suspects. Former Director James Woolsey says the Obama administration is depriving itself of valuable intelligence. The president, he says “is killing more people than he needs to and we’d be better off capturing some of them and interrogating them.”
THE SPYMASTERS also reveals a sharp division among the directors over the ethics of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques,” a form of questioning suspected terrorists that President Obama has labeled “torture.” Current CIA director John Brennan acknowledges for the first time that he would refuse to waterboard a detainee even if ordered by the President.
Mandy Patinkin is the narrator for THE SPYMASTERS. Patinkin currently stars in the Emmy and Golden Globe® Award-winning SHOWTIME series HOMELAND as the CIA’s European Division Chief “Saul Berenson,” for which he has been nominated for Golden Globe and Emmy Awards. Patinkin won a 1995 Emmy Award (as well as a Golden Globe nomination) for his performance in the CBS series Chicago Hope. He was in the SHOWTIME Original Series Dead Like Me as the reaper “Rube Sofer.” His other television appearances include the SHOWTIME film Strange Justice, The Hunchback, a film version of Arthur Miller’s Broken Glass, episodes of The Larry Sanders Show (1996 Emmy nomination), The Simpsons, and others. His feature film credits include: Wish I Was Here, The Wind Rises, Everyone’s Hero, Choking Man, Piñero, The Adventure, Lulu On The Bridge, Men With Guns, The Princess Bride, Yentl (1984 Golden Globe nomination), The House On Carroll Street, True Colors and Maxie. Patinkin is known to audiences for his Broadway performances, including his Tony Award-winning role in Evita, and his Tony-nominated star turn in Sunday in the Park with George. Other memorable stage shows include The Secret Garden, his one-man show, Mandy Patinkin in Concert and his solo concerts, Dress Casual, Celebrating Sondheim and Mamaloshen. His most recent appearance on stage was The Last Two People on Earth: an Apocalyptic Vaudeville, co-starring Taylor Mac. In addition to his Broadway repertoire, Patinkin’s stage credits include Compulsion, The Tempest, Enemy Of The People, Falsettos, The Winter’s Tale, The Knife, Leave It To Beaver Is Dead, Hamlet, Trelawney Of The ‘Wells, The Shadow Box, The Split, Savages and Henry IV, Part I. Patinkin’s extensive concert career includes tours throughout the United States, Canada, London and Australia, and New Zealand, performing songs from writers including Stephen Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Irving Berlin, Randy Newman, Adam Guettel and Harry Chapin, among others.
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