VIDEO: Mandy Patinkin Narrates Showtime Provocative Documentary THE SPYMASTERS, Starting Tonight
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 tonight, November 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime across all platforms. Get a first look at the documentary below!
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-winningSHOWTIME 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.
Writer and executive producer Chris Whipple is an acclaimed documentary filmmaker, writer, journalist, and speaker. A multiple Peabody and Emmy Award-winning producer at CBS News 60 MINUTES and ABC News PrimeTime, he is the chief executive officer of CCWHIP Productions. Whipple's previous film, The Presidents' Gatekeepers, a documentary on the modern White House chiefs of staff, aired to critical acclaim on the Discovery Channel in 2013. Whipple is writing a book about how the chiefs of staff determine the fate of every presidency. He was educated at Deerfield Academy andreceived a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in history from Yale College. He lives in New York City with his wife Cary and son Sam.
Jules and Gedeon Naudet, brothers and acclaimed filmmakers, are the film's directors and executive producers. The Naudet brothers shot, produced and directed the iconic CBS documentary 9/11, which has been compared, for its historical significance, to the Zapruder film of JFK's assassination. 9/11 won every honor in television, including Emmy, Peabody® and DuPont®awards. Jules and Gedeon produced and directed the CBS documentary special In God's Name, an extraordinary, intimate look at the lives of the world's twelve great religious leaders. Most recently, the Naudets produced and directed the Discovery Channel's four-hour series The Presidents' Gatekeepers, a riveting account of five decades of presidential history seen through the eyes of all twenty living White House chiefs of staff.
Executive producer Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer of the award-winning crime and justice series 48 HOURS. In addition to her work at 48 HOURS, Zirinsky serves as the senior executive producer for breaking news specials, such as those done in the aftermath of the Aurora, Colorado theater shootings, the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and the BOSTON MARATHON bombings. Among her many prime-time credits is the award-winning broadcast 9/11, the 2013 short-run seriesBrooklyn DA and the 2015 special David Letterman: A Life on Television. Zirinsky's work has earned virtually every major journalism honor including multiple Emmy Awards, a George Foster Peabody award, the Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence, the Christopher Award, The Writers Guild of America award and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award. And, in 2013 she was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by the New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards.
Executive producer David Hume Kennerly won the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for his photos of the Vietnam War, and then served as President Gerald R. Ford's personal photographer. He was named, "One of THE 100 Most Important People in Photography" by American Photo Magazine. In 2015 Kennerly gave the commencement address at Lake Erie College, and was awarded an honorary PhD. This year he also received the Lucie Award honoring the greatest achievement in photography in photojournalism. Kennerly was a contributing editor for Newsweek, and a contributing photographer for Time and Life magazines. Kennerly has published several books of his work: Shooter, Photo Op, Seinoff: The Final Days of Seinfeld,Photo du Jour, Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford, and most recently, David Hume Kennerly On the iPhone. In 2009 he was a producer and principal photographer of Barack Obama: The Official Inaugural Book. Kennerly received a Primetime Emmy Best Picture nomination as executive producer of NBC's The Taking of Flight 847: The Uli Derickson Story. He was executive producer and co-writer of "Shooter," for NBC starring Helen Hunt, a movie that won the Emmy for Best Cinematography. He was producer of the Discovery Channel's miniseries, THE PRESIDENTS' GATEKEEPERS about the White House chiefs of staff.
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