Week of August 23, 2015
Segment 1: The Green Berets
The Navy has the SEALS, and the Army has the Green Berets. They are masters of asymmetrical warfare, trained to immerse themselves in hostile territory, sleeping near their enemies and building relationships with people who may want to kill them. Retired lieutenant colonel Tony Schwalm knows this group well, because he is one of them and he trained them. In The Guerrilla Factory: The Making of Special Forces Officers, The Green Berets, he provides an inside look into the grueling training that every Army officer must endure to become one of America’s elite Green Berets.
“Interpreters for us should be verboten, you should not be a special forces guy using an interpreter. … When I left Afghanistan we were utterly dependent on interpreters. It’s not because the men can’t learn a language, it’s because no one’s made it a priority.”
Segment 2: Reconciling with Dad
The publication of Jarhead launched the writing career of Anthony Swofford. It spawned a Hollywood movie. It made Swofford famous and wealthy. It also nearly killed him. Now, in Hotels, Hospitals and Jails: A Memoir he describes his search for identity, meaning, and a reconciliation with his dying father in the years after he returned from serving as a sniper in the Marines.
“For many years, I thought that proof of manhood was combat and military service. And now, that I have a daughter, I really feel that proof of manhood for me will be what kind of father I am.”
Week of August 16, 2015
Segment 1: Wild Bill Donovan - The Father of the CIA
"Wild" Bill Donovan came from humble Irish-Catholic roots, but went on to become a successful lawyer, businessman and for a while, freelance diplomat and "information gatherer." So, when FDR needed someone to head up a new spy agency, he turned to Donovan. Veteran journalist and author Douglas Waller, Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage has written a definitive biography of America's first spymaster and the driving force behind today's CIA.
"Donovan’s OSS became the petri dish for the future CIA leaders. A lot of the directors of the CIA, later, were people who cut their teeth under Donovan."
Segment 2: Married to the CIA
You know the story. They both came from failed marriages. They met at work, fell in love. But, in this case, Robert and Dayna Baer, The Company We Keep: A Husband-and-Wife True-Life Spy Story were part of the CIA's clandestine service, roaming the world in search of terrorists. Bob Baer is the author of several bestsellers on the Middle East and his story was dramatized in the George Clooney movie, Syriana.