The Power of Nightmares was possibly the last great documentary series produced by the BBC. A decade after it was first broadcast I look back at the series, offering a brief review before using this as a basis for analyzing recent events. I discuss the criticism of the filmmaker Adam Curtis for his superficial take on 9/11, before exploring the 'defection' of Jamal Al Fadl, an associate of Osama Bin Laden.
Watergate is the quintessential conspiracy, one that went all the way to the White House and took down a presidency. But it is a story that is almost always provided without context, and with no mention of certain key facts. J Edgar Hoover died only a couple of months before the Watergate break-in, so the FBI was in the midst of a succession crisis when they were hit with the most controversial investigation in their history.
In 1971 DOD analyst and RAND Corporation employee Daniel Ellsberg leaked The Pentagon Papers - the DOD's Top Secret history of the Vietnam War. This is one of the biggest and most famous leaks in history, but there remain huge questions about why this happened. Was Ellsberg a genuine whistleblower? Or were the Pentagon Papers leaked as part of a distraction and disinformation campaign?
Former CIA officer and NSA contractor Edward Snowden has recently joined Twitter. While this is hardly headline news the story has gone around the world, reported on by dozens of major media outlets. A follow-up story, that Snowden accidentally received 47 gigabytes of emails as a result of joining Twitter also got enormous attention, despite being obviously untrue.
Deep state intellectual Zbigniew Brzezinski turns up everywhere but he is perhaps most known for his role in the founding of Operation Cyclone - NATO's program to support the mujahideen in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets. The media coverage, both mainstream and alternative, has focused on misleading interpretations of what happened and when, much of which has been encouraged by Brzezinski himself.
The Gunpowder Plot is the most famous terrorist conspiracy in British history and one of the most famous in the world. The name 'Guy Fawkes' is familiar to almost anyone who speaks English, but this was a much larger and more complex event than we have been led to believe, particularly by Hollywood versions like V For Vendetta.
Martial Bourdin was an anarchist who accidentally blew himself up near the Greenwich Royal Observatory in London in 1894. This event formed the basis for a book by Joseph Conrad and a film by Alfred Hitchcock, but behind the absurdity and horror lies a familiar tale of secret agents, insider accounts and the advancement of the security state.
Was Lawrence of Arabia the first Gladio B operative? In answering this question, today's episode presents a view of World War One from the perspective of British geostrategy in the Middle East. Using a fascinating lecture as the basis for our discussion I outline how Turkey got drawn into the war, at a time when the Ottoman Empire was crumbling.
Continuing our exploration into the origins and development of false flag operations, this week we look at World War 2 and the British Double Cross System. Run by an Oxford academic, this system was set up to detect Nazi agents as they landed in Britain and turn them into double agents working for the British.
As a keen user of the Freedom of Information Act I have filed many requests over the years. This week I delve into some of my personal experiences with FOIA requests explaining what worked and what didn't, which requests were successful and unsuccessful, and why. I discuss the latest success: getting over 1600 pages of new material from the Pentagon's entertainment propaganda office, how it came about and why it was successful.
Tom Secker Presents Professor Lars Svendsen
This week I present a mini-documentary on the rise of the neocons in the 1970s and how they turned Cold War paranoia into War on Terror paranoia. I look at the people and organisations involved: Henry Jackson and the Coalition for a Democratic Majority, Richard Pipes and Team B, the reformed Committee on the Present Danger and how this all ties in with the Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism in 1979.
In the first of a three-part series I look into the 1979 Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism, where the ideology of the current War on Terror was conceived. I focus in on Benjamin Netanyahu, who hosted the conference and later wrote a book on all the major speeches and discussion. I round off by tracing the legacy of this conference via the example of the original Mohammed cartoons controversy in 2005. Listen to the Preview Clip Here
In the following on from the last episode I had a casual late night chat with Guillermo Jimenez of De-Manufacturing Consent. We picked up on some of the ideas and comments on the previous episode and fleshed them out, talking about our own experiences of trying to maintain sanity while investigating the insane. The core topics in this conversation are the importance of skepticism, intuition and having a sense of humor. Listen to the Preview Clip Here
In the opening episode of this new show Tom explores the question of conspiracy theories and the roles they can play and effects they can have, both good and bad. He offers the case study of a documentary about a teenager who tried to incite his own murder through an internet chatroom, and draws out some parallels between that story and how people engage with conspiracy theories. He also explains a little about what to expect from the show as it progresses, and asks for your opinions and answers