If you think PBS and the CIA have nothing in common, you're wrong. Tonight, public television becomes the envy of some intelligence circles as it broadcasts its documentary Inside Al Qaeda in Yemen, an eerie look into Al Qaeda's base in the Arabian Peninsular, widely-considered the most dangerous Al Qaeda stronghold.
The amazing thing about this documentary is that journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, an Iraqi-born reporter for The Guardian, was able to negotiate his way into the Al Qaeda territory, scoring rare video footage and interviews in the country's strife-torn boondocks.
To get a sense of this accomplishment, just consider the ongoing federal investigations into the leaks about the Yemen underwear bomber in May. In that case, the CIA's successful infiltration of the Yemen branch was considered so precious that whoever leaked details of the undercover plot is facing prosecution following heated calls from both Republicans and Democrats for an FBI investigation. "This really is criminal in the literal sense of the word," said Rep. Pete King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, earlier this month. He called the infiltration an "almost unparalleled penetration of the enemy."