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Special Events & Lectures

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Flight Path to the Black Sites:
How Journalists Uncovered the CIA's Torture Pipeline

Thursday, April 19
4:30 - 6:30 PM
Life Sciences Center 201

In the months after 9/11/2001, the CIA pursued and captured scores of alleged terrorists, setting up "black sites" used for "harsh interrogations" AKA torture. Investigative journalists undertook the challenge of uncovering the secret prison system and naming the "disappeared" prisoners. A decade after the first news reports, the probe had expanded to a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation and the "Torture Report," most of which is still classified.

How did this journalistic quest begin? By tracking the tail numbers of U.S. charter jets on flight paths between curious airports, journalists and researchers began to discover the rendition pipeline and revealed a rare glimpse into the CIA's secret operations. Using both old fashioned "shoe leather" reporting and new tools for mining information on the Internet and social media, investigative reporters and news researchers collaborated on many of the most difficult stories in the news.

Margot Williams is Research Editor for Investigations at The Intercept. Her career at the Washington Post, New York Times, NPR and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is one of the most respected in the investigative reporting world. She has pursued jihadists online and detainees who died in U.S. immigration detention, investigated Iraq war contractors and followed the money (and private jets) of mayors, governors, senators, presidential candidates, and ex-presidents. And she has spread her passion for investigative journalism — and her incredible ferreting skills — at numerous international workshops over the years. During 14 years at the Washington Post, Margot was a member of two Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning teams, for a 1998 investigation of D.C. police shootings of civilians and then again in 2001 for national coverage of terrorism. In the aftermath of 9/11 at the Washington Post and later at the New York Times, she investigated the network of jets and shell companies involved in the transport of terrorism suspects among secret prisons around the globe. She compiled the first list of the Guantánamo detainees — years before their names were made public — and created the comprehensive Guantánamo database on the Times website. In 2011, she analyzed the Guantánamo documents leaked by Bradley Manning for NPR and the New York Times. At The Intercept, she has been analyzing the National Security Agency documents leaked by Edward Snowden. In 2017, Margot and her colleagues won the the Online News Association's University of Florida Award for Investigative Data Journalism for "Trial and Terror," stories and database of all the persons charged with terrorist offenses in the USA since 9/11.

OSHER@The Movies

2018 Movies

OSHER@Dartmouth members and their friends receive free admission! Don't forget to wear your name badge.

All The President's Men

Monday, March 19
10:00 AM
Run Time: 138 minutes

Nugget Theaters

All The President's Men (1976) Starring Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden

"The Washington Post" reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon's resignation.

This event is free and open all OSHER@Dartmouth members.


7 Lebanon Street, Suite 107, Hanover, NH 03755-2112
Monday – Thursday: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM • Fridays: 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM • (603) 646-0154


Last Updated: 3/20/18