The Central Intelligence Agency is waging an unusual campaign to make Gina Haspel its next leader, despite her polarizing past. Why do officers see her most controversial quality as her greatest asset?
On today’s episode:
• Adam Goldman, a reporter who covers the intelligence community for The Times.
• John Bennett, a former chief of the C.I.A.’s clandestine service who retired in 2013.
• Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee for C.I.A. director, is expected to face tough questions at a Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday about her involvement in torture and secret prisons after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
• Ms. Haspel offered to withdraw her nomination last week amid concerns that her role in the brutal interrogation of a Qaeda suspect in Thailand would scuttle her confirmation.
ISIS turns fantasy into reality for a new recruit.
Who is it that ISIS appeals to, and how? Rukmini speaks with a former ISIS member about how and why he joined the fold.
The New York Times has introduced a documentary audio series that follows Rukmini Callimachi, a foreign correspondent for The Times and a frequent voice on “The Daily,” as she reports on the Islamic State and the fall of the Iraqi city of Mosul. With the producer Andy Mills, Rukmini journeys to the heart of the conflict to grapple with the most pressing questions about ISIS and to comprehend the power and global pull of the militant group.
Today, instead of our usual show, we offer the Prologue and Chapter 1 of “Caliphate.” This episode includes disturbing language and scenes of graphic violence.
You can listen to “Caliphate” above, or by searching for “Caliphate” wherever you get your podcasts. (If you’re on an Apple device, that’s probably Apple Podcasts. Users of Apple or Android devices can find us on RadioPublic, Stitcher, Spotify or the podcast platform of your choice.)
Each episode will be available to New York Times subscribers a week early, as a way to thank them for their support of this kind of reporting. If you’re a Times subscriber, you can get an early listen to the next episode here. If you’re not, consider becoming one. Either way, sign up to receive weekly dispatches from Rukmini and learn when new episodes are live.
• On five trips to Iraq, Times journalists scoured old Islamic State offices, gathering thousands of files abandoned by the militants.
• The documents that were unearthed reveal extreme brutality and detailed record-keeping.
Yesterday I stood on stage at the sold-out TEDxManchester at the Bridgewater Hall, and spoke to about 2,400 people about my experiences. It was terrifying, but ultimately a really positive experience. I've barely decompressed, and I'm going to write a full blog post about it all when my head is back together a bit, but for now here's the transcript of what I said, more or less:
In February, speaking before a joint session of Congress, President Trump declared that: “according to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted of terrorism and terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country.” There's a lot of reason to believe this statement is a compound lie—both to believe that the vast majority of individuals convicted of terrorism-related crimes did not come here from elsewhere and to believe that the career men and women of the Department of Justice did not provide any data suggesting otherwise.
Six civilians were killed and 48 were hospitalized in attacks near London Bridge in what both Prime Minister Theresa May and the police called an act of terror.