DIA Connections

DIA Connections is an exciting new podcast. Featuring overlooked or unfamiliar aspects of who we are, what we do, and the countless ways we’ve impacted the lives of people everywhere. Since its creation in 1961, the Defense Intelligence Agency has been the nation’s premier all-source military intelligence organization. Our team at DIA deploys globally, alongside warfighters and interagency partners, to defend America’s national security interests. However, we are so much more, as this podcast series will reveal.

Podcast Episodes

September 11th

On this episode of DIA Connections, we reflect on September 11th, 2001. You’ll hear from two former DIA teammates about their roles in the ensuing days and weeks after the attack, seeking out those responsible. Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary for President George W. Bush also joins us. On 9/11, he was with the president on Air Force One as they returned to Washington, D.C. His account of that experience is riveting. And former Major League Baseball umpire Jim Joyce tells us about being at Yankee Stadium for Game Three of the World Series when Bush threw the ceremonial first pitch to signify that America was healing in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Listen Now 


Best of Season One

On this special episode of DIA Connections … a chance to catch-up with the best of season one. Thirty-five guests, including writer Malcolm Gladwell, legendary newscaster Ted Koppel, actor/comedian Rob Riggle, and former White House photographer Pete Souza discuss a wide range of topics, including DIA’s role in finding Osama bin Laden, tracking illegal fentanyl, searching for U.S. soldiers reported as missing in action during the Vietnam War, catching a spy within DIA, and recalling the horror of the Iranian Hostage Crisis from one of the hostages held for 444 days. Listen Now to highlights from our “Best of Season One” show. 


Finding Bin Laden

On May 1, 2011, U.S. Navy SEALs conducted a raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden. In this episode of DIA Connections, we discuss the Defense Intelligence Agency's support to locate the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks with a former senior intelligence analyst who was part of the Joint Intelligence Task Force for Combating Terrorism. We also hear a chilling behind-the-scenes account of the raid from photographer Pete Souza. Pete tells the story behind the historic image of President Barack Obama and his advisors in the White House Situation Room during the mission. Listen Now


Guitar Heroes

Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven was the catalyst for luthier Paul Reed Smith's innovative technology that can enhance and clarify the hidden information that's in waveforms, pictures, and images. On this episode of DIA Connections, we spoke with Paul about his contributions to national security and his guitar playing, guitar making, and musical influences. Joining the conversation is music buff and former DIA Director Robert P. Ashley, Jr. Listen as these Guitar Heroes play, and talk, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Hendrix, and The Beatles. Listen Now


Hiding in Plain Sight

From the day she started working at the Defense Intelligence Agency in 1985 until the day she was arrested for conspiracy to commit espionage in 2001, Ana Montes was a spy working on behalf of Cuban Intelligence. In this episode of DIA Connections, we examine the nefarious activities of this highly decorated intelligence analyst who became one of the most damaging spies ever caught engaging in espionage against the United States. Conversations with counterintelligence investigator, spy psychiatrist, and bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, help to unravel the challenges and pitfalls in catching the woman known as the “Queen of Cuba”. Listen Now


Iran Hostage Crisis

On Nov. 4, 1979, the United States Embassy in Iran was overrun by Iranian students. For the next 444 days, 52 American hostages were held in captivity. Five of those hostages were from the attaché office of the Defense Intelligence Agency. This episode of DIA Connections features an in-depth conversation with one of those hostages, Mr. Joseph Hall. His gripping recollections tell the emotional story of a terrifying time that captured the world’s attention. Additional information is gained through insightful discussions with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Mr. Donald F. McHenry, and ABC News broadcasting legend Ted Koppel. Listen Now


DIA Podcast #9: Spirit


The Spirit of Hope Award, named for entertainment legend Bob Hope, is awarded to men and women of the armed forces, entertainers, and other distinguished Americans, for outstanding patriotism and service to the United States of America. This episode of DIA Connections features a conversation with April Maletz, who in 2020, became the first Defense Intelligence Officer to ever win this prestigious award for her volunteer efforts in bringing veterans to Washington DC to visit the memorials created in their honor. Along with April are two other stories certain to lift the spirits. A discussion about Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, and his clever contributions to the enlisted during WWII. And a conversation with Grammy Award-winning artist Lee Greenwood, whose song, “God Bless the USA” has become an American anthem for patriotism. Listen Now


DIA Podcast #8: The Arctic

The Arctic

The region at the top of the globe was always considered too cold, too far, and too dangerous; but not anymore. The Arctic is now warming faster than any place on earth. The sea ice that was once an obstacle is now melting away, and as a result, this emerging frontier is bustling with activity. And not all of it is positive. This episode of DIA Connections examines the developing issues and complexities as a result of a warmer climate, and the implications it is having on our national security. Listen Now


DIA Podcast #7: President's Daily Brief

President's Daily Brief

Since its creation in 1946, the intelligence briefer to the president of the United States had always been a representative from the CIA. That long tradition ended in 2010 when James Danoy of the Defense Intelligence Agency was bestowed that honor. In this episode of DIA Connections, Danoy recounts his interactions with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, and on board Air Force One, while discussing the duties and responsibilities of this position in a candid one-on-one interview. Listen Now


DIA Podcast #6: The Director's Cut

The Director's Cut

Now retired Army Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley Jr. served his country for 36 years, most recently as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. In this episode of DIA Connections, Ashley reflected on his career, shared his thoughts concerning the biggest threats that face our country, and the contributing factors that motivated him as DIA director. Also discussed was his passion for reading, music, family, and his future plans. Listen Now


DIA Podcast #5: Bringing Them Home: Part 2

Bringing Them Home: Part 2

Jessica Buchanan was an aid worker in Somalia, helping to raise awareness about how to avoid land mines. She was abducted and taken hostage by Somali land pirates for 93 days. In this episode, listeners learn about her harrowing experience and DIA's persistent efforts to secure her rescue. Listen Now


DIA Podcast #4: Bringing Them Home

Bringing Them Home

DIA plays a vital role in the U.S POW/MIA support mission. This episode examines both past and present efforts in locating and repatriating the remains of those lost but not forgotten from the Vietnam War. Listen Now


DIA Podcast #1: Rob Riggle

Rob Riggle

Comedian and actor Rob Riggle sits down with director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley Jr. to discuss Riggle’s affinity for the military and his two-decade entertainment career. Listen Now


DIA Podcast #2: Dale Dye

Dale Dye

When Hollywood directors Oliver Stone and Steven Spielberg want war scenes to look and feel authentic, the military advisor they rely on is Dale Dye. In this episode, Dye visits DIA where he discusses how, after surviving more than 30 combat operations in the Vietnam War, he became a catalyst in changing the way Hollywood makes war movies. Listen Now


DIA Podcast #3: Fentanyl


Synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, are now the most common drugs involved in overdose deaths in the United States. This episode examines DIA’s role in tracking the shadowy production and distribution networks trading in this lethal drug. Listen Now