The terrorists who attacked the United States on 9/11 didn’t do themselves any favors. That’s a given, as the United States went to war with them shortly thereafter.
Americans, though, have paid a price for that dastardly act. It has come in the form of monitoring communications among Americans. The U.S. government has decided that it needs to monitor people’s communications to ensure they aren’t terrorists themselves.
For a good while after the 9/11 attacks, the federal government did all this in secret. It’s not so secretive any longer, thanks to whistleblowers who have revealed this monitoring to the rest of the world.
Well, tonight Frontline — the acclaimed documentary series produced by WBGH-TV out of Boston — airs the first of a two-part series called “The United States of Secrets,” that will be broadcast at 8 p.m. on Panhandle PBS.
Frontline, as it always does, has acquired access straight from — let’s just say it — reliable sources to document what is known about U.S. intelligence-gathering operations.
Frontline talked to Cabinet officials, whistleblowers and intelligence experts from the Bush and Obama administrations. It learned how the government came to monitor conversations and communications among millions of Americans … not to mention the activities of citizens in many other countries around the world.
Call it a sort of “brave new world” in which the government keeps its eyes and ears open to any potential threat.
Part I of “The United States of Secrets” will examine in detail how the government arrived at this critical juncture in its war against those who would do us harm.
The second part of the series will be broadcast on Panhandle PBS next Tuesday, May 20.