As Chief Washington Correspondent for CBS News, and host of The Takeout, Major Garrett covers everything from presidential elections to international summits, and congressional investigations to Supreme Court cases.
Now, on a new podcast, he’s looking at how the U.S. handles its most sensitive information. Agent of Betrayal: The Double Life of Robert Hanssen provides the most comprehensive telling of the life and treacheries – public and personal – of the most damaging spy in FBI history. Amid the persistent threat of nuclear confrontation during the Cold War, America’s vital secrets kept falling into the hands of its sworn enemy. The FBI’s hunt for the leak led to an astonishing discovery – the mole was one of its own, special agent Robert Hanssen. For two decades, Hanssen masqueraded as a devoted patriot and anti-Communist while ruthlessly selling out his country, trading classified intelligence to the Soviet Union and later Russia for cash and diamonds. He was a whirlwind of contradictions – a by-the-book FBI agent and a traitor to his country and the bureau; a family man who sexually betrayed his wife; an ardent man of God and an unrepentant sinner.
We think of Silicon Valley as a hip and breezy yet highly competitive bastion of innovation and tech breakthroughs. But as the Cold War reached its crescendo, Silicon Valley became something else – a hotbed of espionage. Spy Valley tells the tale of James Harper, an engineer who rose through the ranks during the tech boom. As he climbed the ladder, he became obsessively ambitious. That ambition led him to endanger the United States. I love that Spy Valley incorporates testimony from James Harper himself, as we hear about how he sold nuclear secrets to the Soviets (intelligence that could still help Moscow in a nuclear exchange today), and the crazy maze of clues the FBI stumbled through to track him down.
If you haven’t been to the Spyscape Experience in New York City, I highly recommend you check it out! If you can’t make it there, the Spyscape podcast, True Spies, is the next best thing. Hosted by on-screen spies Hayley Atwell and Vanessa Kirby (of the Mission: Impossible franchise), and Daisy Ridley (of Star Wars), True Spies looks at the real people behind the greatest covert operations in history, like The Oswarld Project and the Nazi’s New York spy ring. Covering lies, murder, and so much more, True Spies teaches us the ins and outs of espionage.
Want to hear from the front lines of the FBI, CIA, and MI5? Look no further than I Spy, the podcast that gets current and former operatives to tell dramatic tales of stealing secrets, killing adversaries, and turning into double agents. If you can’t get enough of Robert Hanssen’s story, check out their two-parter on Eric O’Neill, the undercover agent who, at just 27 years old, helped catch Hanssen red-handed.
If I told you the CIA was behind one of the world’s most popular and best-selling songs of the Rock era, seriously, would you believe me? That is the premise of Wind of Change, which follows journalist Patrick Radden Keefe as he chases a rumor that intrigued him for years — that a global hit by rock group The Scorpions was actually written by the CIA as psychological propaganda during the collapse of the Soviet Union. Wind of Change is a riveting and thought-provoking mystery tour through a fascinating story that touches on history, music and geo-politics.
SpyCast, from D.C.’s International Spy Museum, gives you a front row seat to anyone and everyone involved in the world of spies, from molehunters and defectors to analysts and historians. Hear from those who made a career of espionage and speak to the past, present, and future of government intelligence across the globe.
Politics. Policy. Pop culture. On my other podcast, The Takeout, I sit down with authors, elected officials, comedians and more to discuss the latest happenings from The Hill to Hollywood. And I do it all while dining with them at my favorite D.C. restaurants, providing you with some serious food for thought. After you check out Agent of Betrayal: The Double Life of Robert Hanssen, learn more about national security and how the U.S. responds to potential threats on my episode featuring National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.
The first rule of being a spy? Don’t blow your cover. Season 2 of New York Magazine’s Cover Story follows two ex-spies with an outlandish story – there’s a billionaire philanthropist in their small town of Whitefish, Montana allegedly running a sex trafficking ring. How do they know? Well, one of the spies was the billionaire’s right hand man. Follow along for a tale of fraud, money laundering, tax evasion and, of course, espionage.
Most of us have at least heard of the CIA and FBI – two of the intelligence agencies responsible for safeguarding the nation’s secrets. But who are the people behind the letters? Alphabet Boys looks at the FBI, DEA, ATF and all the other three-letter agencies that keep very tight lips. Journalist Trevor Aaronson exposes the stories they don’t want you to know, leaving you wondering who really is the good guy? The latest season follows an international weapons deal that brings the FBI, CIA and DEA together to try to get to the truth.
On Deep Cover, journalist Jake Halpern reveals the dark underworld of deception, interviewing federal agents and convicted criminals to see how far people will go to keep up the facade of who they are only pretending to be. I recommend season 2, “Mob Land,” which tells the story of Bob Cooley – a high-rolling Chicago lawyer who syncs up with the feds to bring down one of the most powerful criminal rings in the U.S.
Curious about the world of organized crime, warlords and spies? Their profits come at the expense of people just like you and me. From Brazil’s Red Command to jewel thieves and Siciliy’s mob wars, The Underworld Podcast exposes the secretive and sometimes shady underground happenings that affect our lives in ways we don’t necessarily realize.