Frontline Season 2011
S2011 E01Jan 11, 2011
Battle for Haiti Jan 11, 2011 Last year, in the chaos of the earthquake that devastated Haiti, thousands of the country's worst criminals seized the opportunity to stage a mass escape from the National Penitentiary. One year later, the gang leaders are reasserting control in the capital, threatening the country's stability. With unique access to the police units trying to hunt down the gangsters -- and revealing encounters with the gangsters themselves -- FRONTLINE examines the uphill fight to rebuild Haiti in the face of deep-rooted corruption and intimidation. The film also offers intimate portraits of the fearful lives many Haitians are living, as the central government and judicial system routinely fail to maintain order. "Haiti is a nation that committed collective suicide some time ago," the chief of the UN mission tells FRONTLINE. If the gangs are not defeated, many now believe a new Haiti cannot be born.
S2011 E02Jan 18, 2011
Are We Safer? Jan 18, 2011 FRONTLINE launches its new monthly magazine program with three reports, led by Are We Safer? In this first story, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Dana Priest investigates the terrorism-industrial complex that grew up in the wake of 9/11. Against a backdrop of recent mail bomb threats from Al Qaeda in Yemen and growing concerns about homegrown terrorists, Priest explores the growing reach of homeland security, fusion centers, battlefield technologies, and data collecting into the lives of ordinary Americans.
S2011 E03Jan 18, 2011
Flying Cheaper Jan 18, 2011 In a follow-up to the hard-hitting investigation of the regional airline industry, Flying Cheap, FRONTLINE sets its sights on another growing trend -- the outsourcing of major airline repair work to foreign-based maintenance operations, from China to El Salvador, and to U.S.-based contractors who keep costs low by using unlicensed mechanics. FRONTLINE correspondent Miles O'Brien investigates reports of undertrained mechanics, foreign workers who can't read the English language repair manuals, inadequate FAA oversight and the use of unauthorized airline parts.
S2011 E04Feb 1, 2011
Post Mortem Feb 1, 2011 Every day, nearly 7,000 people die in America. And when these deaths happen suddenly, or under suspicious circumstances, we assume there will be a thorough investigation, just like we see on CSI. But the reality is very different. In over 1,300 counties across America, elected coroners, many with no medical or scientific background, are in charge of death investigations. Nationwide there is a severe shortage of competent forensic pathologists to do autopsies. The rate of autopsies - the gold standard of death investigation - has plummeted over the decades. As a result, not only do murderers go free and innocent people go to jail, but the crisis in death investigation in America is also a threat to public health. FRONTLINE correspondent Lowell Bergman reports the results of a joint investigation with ProPublica, NPR, and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley.
S2011 E05Feb 15, 2011
A Daughter's Death Feb 15, 2011 It was a hot summer morning in St. Louis when John Johnson got the news in his doorway: His daughter was dead. LaVena was 19, a former honor student, and a freshly deployed soldier in Iraq. Devastated, her father asked the Army how she died. The answer that came back stunned him: 'Self-inflicted gunshot wound.' Johnson couldn't believe it; not his little girl. For the past five years, Johnson has waged an all-out war against the Pentagon to disprove the Army's suicide finding.
S2011 E06Feb 22, 2011
Revolution in Cairo Feb 22, 2011 FRONTLINE dispatches teams to Cairo, going inside the youth movement that helped light the fire on the streets. We follow the "April 6th" group, which two years ago began making a bold use of the Internet for their underground resistance--tactics that led to jail and torture for many of their leaders. Now, starting with the "Day of Rage," we witness those same leaders plot strategy and head into "Liberation Square" to try to bring down President Mubarak. Also in this hour, veteran Middle East correspondent Charles Sennott of GlobalPost lands in Cairo for FRONTLINE to take a hard look at Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood--the most well-organized and powerful of the country's opposition groups--as a new fight for power in Egypt begins to takes shape.
Revolution in Cairo Inside the youth movement; sizing up the Muslim Brotherhood, key players in Egypt's future
S2011 E07Mar 29, 2011
Money and March Madness Mar 29, 2011 FRONTLINE continues its new monthly magazine program with the lead story Money and March Madness, an inside look at the multibillion dollar business of the NCAA and its brand of amateur college sports. In this investigation, correspondent Lowell Bergman gains access to Sonny Vaccaro, a former marketing executive at Nike, Adidas, and Reebok who helped bring about the rapid commercialization of college basketball. Vaccaro's success made coaches, administrators, and companies rich. But the players remain at the mercy of the NCAA, which, despite a new $10.8 billion contract for its basketball tournament, has continued to insist that the athletes don't get paid. Now, Vaccaro has left the business world and he's spearheading a class-action lawsuit that aims to ensure that players get a piece of the action.
S2011 E08Mar 29, 2011
Who's Afraid of Ai Weiwei? Mar 29, 2011 Also in this newsmagazine hour: An intimate portrait of a man who's sometimes called China's Andy Warhol Ai Weiwei. He's a global art star who's now using his international renown, along with a video camera and a growing underground Twitter following, to push the boundaries of freedom in today's China.
S2011 E09Mar 29, 2011
The Private Life of Bradley Manning Mar 29, 2011 As the fall-out from WikiLeaks continues, an exclusive interview with Private Bradley Manning's father, who speaks out for the first time about his son's upbringing and troubled youth, Manning's time in the Army, and why he still believes his son did not hand over the largest cache ever of classified documents to the whistle-blowing site.
S2011 E10Apr 12, 2011
Football High Apr 12, 2011 High school football has never had a higher profile, with nationally televised games, corporate sponsorships and minute-by-minute coverage on sports websites. In northwest Arkansas, FRONTLINE examines one ambitious high school team working its way towards national renown. With a superstar quarterback at the helm, tiny Shiloh Christian is striving to join the ranks of the country's best high school teams -- teams whose workout schedules, practices, and styles of play increasingly imitate the pros. But as high school players grow bigger, faster and stronger, there are growing concerns about the health and safety of these young players -- with rising rates of concussions, career-ending injuries, even death. In Arkansas, FRONTLINE documents a tragic story of heat-stroke injuries that reveal how weak regulation has created a crucial lack of athletic trainers at most high schools. It all raises a critical question: has the amped-up culture of high school football outrun necessary protections for the boys who play the game?
S2011 E11Apr 19, 2011
The Silence Apr 19, 2011 Tom Curran and reporter Mark Trahant examine a little-known chapter of the Catholic Church sex abuse story: decades of abuse of Native Americans by priests and church workers in Alaska. The Silence shows how the isolation of the villages and the absolute authority of the church over the Native population created an atmosphere where molestation could go unchecked and unreported. As part of the recent church settlement with the victims, the bishop of Fairbanks returns to all of the villages where the abuse occurred and apologizes to the victims in person. FRONTLINE is there when the bishop comes face-to-face with the reality of the abuse that the church denied for years. The Silence is a co-presentation with Native American Public Telecommunications (NATP).
S2011 E12May 3, 2011
Fighting for Bin Laden May 3, 2011 Last year, Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi made an extraordinary reporting trip for FRONTLINE that led to the award-winning film Behind Taliban Lines. This year, once again, Quraishi journeys deep into enemy territory--this time to meet a different band of militants and foreign fighters who say they are loyal to Osama Bin Laden and are readying a new offensive against coalition forces. As the United States faces a major strategic review in Afghanistan, Quraishi's journey sheds light on a question of growing importance: Is Al Qaeda once again becoming a significant presence in Afghanistan? Following up, Correspondent Martin Smith talks about the future of Al Qaeda with terror expert Peter Bergen, the best-selling author of three books on Osama bin Laden and the "war on terror."
S2011 E13May 10, 2011
Kill/Capture May 10, 2011 Since taking over the war effort in Afghanistan, Gen. Petraeus has raised the campaign against the Taliban to a new intensity, nearly doubling the number of air attacks and unleashing Special Forces to kill or capture thousands of militants. In Pakistan, the CIA has killed hundreds of militants with drone attacks. Now as President Obama promises a July deadline for reducing troops, is the strategy working? Through interviews with Gen. Petraeus, his senior commanders, and Taliban foot-soldiers, FRONTLINE producers Dan Edge (The Wounded Platoon), and Stephen Grey (Extraordinary Rendition) carry out an in-depth investigation into the United States' unprecedented campaign of targeted killing. FRONTLINE also enters the lawless border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan -- making contact with defiant Taliban militia leaders and meeting with the U.S. Special Forces who are targeting them. After almost 10 years of war, this film asks: Can the U.S. get out of Afghanistan?
S2011 E14May 24, 2011
WikiSecrets May 24, 2011 It's the biggest intelligence breach in U.S. history-the leaking of more than half-a-million classified documents on the Wikileaks website in the spring of 2010. Behind it all, stand two very different men: Julian Assange, the Internet activist and hacker who published the documents, and an Army intelligence analyst named Bradley E. Manning, who's currently charged with handing them over. Private Manning allegedly leaked the secret cables -- along with a controversial video -- in the hope of inciting "worldwide discussion, debates and reforms." Assange's stated mission has been to force the U.S. and other governments into maximum transparency through his whistle-blowing website. Through in-depth interviews with Manning's father, Assange, and others close to the case, veteran FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith tells the full story behind the leaks. He also reports on the U.S. government's struggle to protect national security information in a post 9/11 world.
S2011 E15Jun 28, 2011
The Child Cases Jun 28, 2011 When a child dies under suspicious circumstances, abuse is often suspected. That's what happened in the case of six-month-old Isis Vas, whose death was deemed "a clear-cut and classic" case of child abuse, sending a man named Ernie Lopez to prison for 60 years. But now a Texas judge has moved to overturn Lopez's conviction, and new questions are being asked about the quality of expert testimony in this and many other similar cases. In this joint investigation with ProPublica and NPR, FRONTLINE correspondent A.C. Thompson unearths more than 20 child death cases in which people were jailed on medical evidence -- involving abuse, assault and "shaken baby syndrome" -- that was later found unreliable or flat-out wrong. Are death investigators being properly trained for child cases?
S2011 E16Jun 28, 2011
Educating Sergeant Pantzke Jun 28, 2011 As troops return from Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. government spending on veterans' education will more than double to $9.5 billion this year, and a growing percentage of this money has been ending up in the pockets of for-profit colleges. In a follow-up to FRONTLINE's College, Inc., correspondent Martin Smith investigates how the for-profit schools are aggressively recruiting huge numbers of new veterans with educational promises that many now question whether they can keep.
S2011 E17Jul 26, 2011
The Pot Republic Jul 26, 2011 The bulk of the marijuana consumed in the United States used to come across the border from Mexico, Canada and elsewhere. Now, more than half of it is believed to be home grown in California, where an enormous black market has emerged under the cover of the state's medical marijuana law. With more than a third of all states now experimenting with some form of legalization and decriminalization -- and several California counties attempting to openly regulate pot production -- FRONTLINE and The Center for Investigative Reporting team up to investigate the country's oldest, largest, and most wide-open marijuana market. Is the federal government now moving to shut it down?
S2011 E18Jul 26, 2011
Doctor Hotspot Jul 26, 2011 New Yorker writer and FRONTLINE correspondent Atul Gawande reports on a doctor in Camden, N.J., who actually seeks out the community's sickest -- and most expensive -- patients. Dr. Jeffrey Brenner and his team are pioneering a practice called "hotspotting," in which medical care is focused on the hardest-to-treat to improve their health and dramatically reduce costs.
S2011 E19Jul 26, 2011
The Atomic Artists Jul 26, 2011 After the largest recorded earthquake in Japan set off a nuclear disaster, its people are facing a generation-defining moment as they question their lifestyle and dependency on nuclear power. In The Atomic Artists, FRONTLINE journeys with Marco Werman of PRI's The World as he meets Chim Pom, a provocative group of young artists making headlines as they use art to challenge the status quo and ask Japanese society to rethink their way of life.
S2011 E20Sep 6, 2011
Top Secret America Sep 6, 2011 In the years after September 11th, FRONTLINE produced more than 45 hours of award-winning films documenting the 9/11 attacks and America's response to them. Now on the 10th anniversary of September 11th, FRONTLINE Producer Michael Kirk -- Bush's War, The Torture Question, and Cheney's Law -- teams up with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dana Priest, to investigate the dramatic changes that have reshaped America in the last decade. The program examines the history of the secret side of America's "war on terror." From the creation of black site prisons abroad and super-secret facilities here in America, to targeted killings and covert wars waged by special forces, and the creation of a multibillion-dollar terrorism-industrial complex, FRONTLINE and Dana Priest ask how a decade of fighting terrorism has reshaped the country and whether it has made us any safer.
S2011 E21Sep 7, 2011
Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero Sep 7, 2011 An extended conversation with Ali Soufan, an FBI agent who was at the center of the 9/11 investigations
S2011 E22Sep 13, 2011
The Interrogator Sep 13, 2011 One year after 9/11 how did America grapple with its biggest and most difficult questions?
S2011 E23Sep 20, 2011
The Wounded Platoon Sep 20, 2011 The men of Third Platoon, Charlie Company: What happened to them in Iraq ... and what happened when they came home.
S2011 E24Sep 27, 2011
The Man Behind the Mosque Sep 27, 2011 It became the most controversial building in America, a mostly derelict property in lower Manhattan made infamous overnight as the Ground Zero Mosque. Going beyond frenzied media portraits at the time, FRONTLINE tells the inside stories of Sharif El-Gamal, a real estate developer, and of the victims' relatives and anti-Islam activists who helped turn his project into a continuing battle over faith, values and the meaning of being American. Also in this hour: A rare interview with former FBI special agent Ali Soufan, who has been at the epicenter of virtually every important moment in the "war on terror." One of only eight Arabic speaking FBI agents, Soufan investigated the U.S. Embassy bombings in East Africa, the USS Cole in Yemen, and the interrogations of many of Al Qaeda's captured leaders.
S2011 E25Sep 27, 2011
An Optimist in Haiti Sep 27, 2011 Adam Davidson of NPR's "Planet Money" travels to Haiti to meet a man with an unlikely tourism plan to help turn around his country's economy.
S2011 E26Oct 11, 2011
The Anthrax Files Oct 11, 2011 A hard look at the FBI's investigation of the country's most notorious act of bioterrorism in 2001.
S2011 E27Oct 18, 2011
Lost in Detention Oct 18, 2011 Maria Hinojosa reports on U.S. immigration policies since President Obama took office. Included: the record number of deportations (about double the rate of the Bush years); claims that families have been unfairly separated; Republican criticism.
S2011 E28Nov 8, 2011
Syria Undercover Nov 8, 2011 As the death toll in Syria nears 3,000, the revolution rages on well after the fall of dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. While grainy cell phone videos of violent attacks on protesters are making it out, foreign journalists are seldom making it in. In this newsmagazine report, FRONTLINE offers a rare look from inside, as we travel with undercover reporter Ramita Navai into some of the most dangerous parts of Syria to meet members of the opposition movement forced into hiding. As the town of Madaya is besieged by the army, the security forces and the militia, Navai experiences first-hand life as a fugitive when she is trapped in a safe house with three opposition coordinators on the government's most wanted list. Also this hour: a look at the dictator who has managed to hold on longer than any amidst the Arab unrest -President Bashar al-Assad.
S2011 E29Nov 22, 2011
A Perfect Terrorist Nov 22, 2011 It has been called the most spectacular terror attack since 9/11. On the night of November 26, 2008, 10 men armed with guns and grenades launched an assault on Mumbai with a military precision that left 166 dead. India quickly learned the attackers belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani militant group associated with Pakistan's secretive intelligence agency, the ISI. But what wasn't known then was that a Lashkar/ISI operative had been casing the city for two years, developing a blueprint for terror. His name was David Coleman Headley, and he'd been chosen for the job because he had the perfect cover: he was an American citizen. FRONTLINE and ProPublica reporter Sebastian Rotella team up to investigate the mysterious circumstances behind Headley's rise from heroin dealer and U.S. government informant to master plotter of the 2008 attack on Mumbai.