October 8, 2004

Enemy Camp (2004)

Behind enemy lines, sometimes people get confused about whose side they're on and how to fight the enemy.

We made an updated version of this episode in 2010.


Behind enemy lines, sometimes people get confused about whose side they're on and how to fight the enemy. (2 minutes)
Act One

Our Own Worst Enemy?

In this election year, one question is rarely asked in a very direct way: Is the Bush Administration competent at conducting the war on terror? Every few weeks it seems like there's more news about how badly it's going: Senior Administration officials like Colin Powell now admit the insurgency in Iraq is growing; terror suspects like Yasir Hamdi (who supposedly were so dangerous that having a lawyer talk to them about their case would compromise national security) are released without trial because the evidence against them is so flimsy; there was the Abu Ghraib prison scandal; and just this week, the former head of the U.S. operation in Iraq, Paul Bremer, declared the problem from the start was that there were not enough troops there. Host Ira Glass discusses whether the Bush Administration is simply not very skilled at fighting terror with Richard Perle and James Fallows. Perle was one of the early advocates in Administration circles of going to war in Iraq. During the run-up to the war, he was chairman of the Defense Policy Board, a civilian advisory panel in the Pentagon. Fallows is national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, who has written extensively on the planning and early problems in the war in Iraq. (14 minutes)

Act Two


Patrick Wall was a special kind of monk. He was a fixer. The Catholic church sent him to problem parishes where priests had been removed because of scandal. His job was to come in, keep events from going public, and smooth things over until a permanent replacement priest was found. But after four different churches in four years, after covering up for pedophiles and adulterers and liars and embezzlers, he decided to make a change. Carl Marziali tells his story. Read the statement from St. John's Monastery on sex abuse by their monks. Also, visit the website of the Survivor's Network of Those Abused by Priests. (21 minutes)

Act Three

Blood Agent

You can divide all living creatures into two camps. We humans are in one camp, along with lots of other things like dogs and birds and trees and caterpillars. In the other camp are the things that live inside of us, the bacterias and viruses, the worms and protozoans, in short, parasites. Scientists estimate that the parasites outnumber us and our free-living allies by 3 to 1. Carl Zimmer, author of the book Parasite Rex, talks with Ira about how parasites manage the trick of living inside of us, behind enemy lines, without us finding out. (9 minutes)