Episode 6 - with Special Guests Michael Yon and Todd Bensman

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Todd Bensman is a full-time Texas-based Senior National Security Fellow for the Center for Immigration Studies, a D.C.-based policy institute examining immigration, and he is author of the newly released book "America's Covert Border War" . He joined CIS following nine years in counterterrorism intelligence and a two-decade long career as a journalist. He writes, speaks and grants media interviews as an expert on immigration security and counterterrorism, about which he has testified before Congress.

Separately, he writes about national security for Homeland Security Today magazine, Townhall.com, The Investigative Project on Terrorism, The National Pulse, and the Middle East Forum (Writing Fellow). He teaches terrorism and intelligence analysis as an adjunct lecturer.

For a decade prior to joining CIS in 2018, Bensman managed counterterrorism intelligence for the Texas Department of Public Safety's Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division. He designed collection operations that fed new reporting into the Intelligence Community, prompted or advanced FBI investigations, developed human sources, and identified suspects for inclusion on federal terror watch lists.

Bensman worked for 23 years as a journalist, for The Dallas Morning News, CBS, and Hearst Newspapers, among others. He covered national security after 9/11, the FBI, border security, and foreign affairs, serving on investigative teams. He has worked in 30 countries in Latin America, Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe. His foreign reporting earned two National Press Club awards, an Inter-American Press Association award, and two Texas Institute of Letters awards. In the early 1990s, he covered the Gulf War and then a year of warfare in Bosnia, where he provided dispatches from the siege of Sarajevo. He worked for a year based in Prague. He began his career with The Anchorage Times.

Bensman holds a master’s degree in homeland defense from the Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security (honors); a master’s from the University of Missouri School of Journalism; and a B.S. degree in journalism from Northern Arizona University (honors).

Michael Yon is an author and one of the world's best war correspondent. Yon completed the selection and training process for the United States Army Special Forces. He was discharged from the Army in 1987. He started general freelance writing in the mid-1990s despite having no background in the field. Notably, he covered the Aghori, an obscure Hindu cult that eats human flesh to supposedly gain magic powers. Yon believed that he had located an American cult member and passed his suspicions on to the FBI. He began writing about the occupation of Iraq after the death of two of his army friends, one of whom he had known since high school. He first landed in Baghdad in late December 2004. He covered the war in Iraq for several years afterward, notably covering the Deuce Four forces. Yon briefly stopped over to Afghanistan in early 2006. In December 2007, Yon was present in Basra with 4th Battalion, The Rifles during the British withdrawal from the city. He subsequently visited England and met the Duchess of Cornwall. Yon praised her for what he saw as her unstinting support for her troops.

Yon moved to covering the War in Afghanistan in August 2008, which he said had become the most important field in the war on terrorism. He attempted to travel to Pakistan in June 2009, but his visa application was denied. That month, he also traveled to Singapore, Bahrain, the Philippines, and Turkey to report on Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' security meetings. From July 2019 until he was deported on 5 February 2020, He had been reporting on the ground from the 2019 Hong Kong Protests.

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