On this week’s podcast – sponsored by Fox Nation, Steve Balestrieri interviews Toby Harnden who served in the Royal Navy and retired as a Lieutenant. Though he served in the Navy for almost a decade, Toby Harnden is famously known as a journalist and author of 3 books including Bandit Country: The IRA & South Armagh and Dead Men Risen: The Welsh Guards and the Defining Story of Britain’s War in Afghanistan.

Toby talks about how he entered into journalism which seemed like a natural progression from his time in the Navy. While serving, he got to witness the action in Ireland with the IRA. These events led up to his first book which unraveled the murders of senior RUC officers with Garda (Irish police) collusion in 1989.

His next book Dead Men Risen reached number 4 on The Sunday Times bestseller list and earned him the Orwell Prize for books in 2012. Toby details in today’s show the background of this book that started with the events of 9/11 and the heroic men he interviewed to create the story.

In Toby’s latest book First Casualty: The Untold Story of the CIA’s Secret Mission to Avenge 9/11, he looks back on the 8 men of Team Alpha who led the charge behind enemy lines on October 17, 2001, especially the heroism of David Tyson and martyrdom of Mike Spann.

Toby discusses gritty details that set the stage for the tragedy in the Fort of War and the great cooperation between CIA, Green Berets, SPS, Navy SEALs which, during the early stages of the war, were unheard of. 

Toby also shares radical details about the operation taken from firsthand sources, including a hilarious account of psychological warfare where a lady Navy pilot’s singing was used to intimidate the notoriously misogynistic Taliban, an on-the-fly idea of their bloodthirsty warlord companion.