Cold War

Top Gun ‘Rehabilitated the Military’s Image’ After Vietnam, According to the Pentagon

The late Cold War classic Top Gun is one of the most well-liked military movies of all time. It's combination of romance, comedy and never-seen-before aerial action was made possible by extensive support from the DOD, particularly the US Navy.

FBI Say They Cannot Find Their File on Radical Author Sam Greenlee

Sam Greenlee is perhaps most famous for writing the novel The Spook Who Sat By the Door, which was adapted into a film in the 1970s.  Greenlee believed that the CIA and FBI suppressed the film because it portrayed them in such a bad light, and promoted b

Does the CIA use Hollywood Movies as Training Films?

In September 1977 the renowned Hollywood gossip columnist Rona Barrett appeared on Good Morning America to talk about spy films. Sat alongside her was CIA director Stansfield Turner, who commented that Hollywood movies would make poor training films for CIA spies.

War Machine vs Charlie Wilson’s War – Tom Secker on Around the Empire (Part 2)

Joanne invited me on the Around the Empire podcast to do a ‘high level compare and contrast’ of two war comedy films set in different wars in Afghanistan: Charlie Wilson’s War and War Machine.

ClandesTime 158 – Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan

The new Amazon series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan is the first TV show to film at CIA headquarters for several years, in keeping with the Agency’s long-time support for adaptations of Clancy’s work.

War Machine vs Charlie Wilson’s War – Tom Secker on Around the Empire

Joanne invited me on the Around the Empire podcast to do a 'high level compare and contrast' of two war comedy films set in different wars in Afghanistan: Charlie Wilson's War and War Machine.

What does the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs Actually Do?

The CIA's Office of Public Affairs is - ironically - very tight-lipped about what they actually do, so I was pleased that they recently responded to a 3 year old FOIA request and provided me with a document summarising their activities from 2014 to 2016.

Swiss Lab Spy Games Support the Theory that Novichok WASN’T Used in Salisbury - Spy Culture

The last 24 hours of the Novichok saga has seen a new twist — European media are widely reporting that two Russian spies were caught attempting to either hack or break into the Spiez laboratory in Switzerland that was e

CIA: Where Are Our Passes to Disney’s Magic Kingdom Club? - Spy Culture

The story of the relationship between Disney and the various branches and agencies of the US government is long and complex.  A recently uncovered memo adds one more episode to the relationship between Disney and the CIA, and revolves around a question that was critical for national security: How would

ClandesTime 150 – The Weather Underground - Spy Culture

The Weather Underground were the most active and successful militant left-wing group in US history. As part of their anti-Vietnam war operations they bombed the Pentagon, the State Department, corporate headquarters and other high-profile targets.

How the FBI Rewrote Weather Underground Movie The Company You Keep - Spy Culture

The Weather Underground were the most successful Leftist militant group in history, a radical offshoot of the SDS and the anti-Vietnam War movement.  As a result, Hollywood has almost no interest in telling stories about them and the only recent

How the FBI rewrote Alfred Hitchcock Presents - Spy Culture

Alfred Hitchcock virtually invented the spy movie genre, and made a career making films about murder, intrigue, cover-ups, suspense and spies.  He suspected that he was under FBI surveillance during the production of Notorious, but the release file only covers a later period.  Rather than be

Maximum Stupidity: The Novichok Extradition - Spy Culture

In a low-key announcement the British government have demanded that Russia extradite two suspects in the Salisbury novichok attack. Media reporting on this latest move in the novichok saga is replete with the same contradictions and absurdities that have plagued this story since day one.

Analyzing the New JFK Revelations

Bill Simpich is a civil rights attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is on the board of directors of the Mary Ferrell Foundation, an organization focused on the study of documents related to the 1960s assassinations, Watergate, and Iran-Contra.In the following essay, he offers a look at some of the gems found in the new JFK document releases and how to speed up the discovery of future finds.

Novichok being Rebooted More Often than Spiderman - Spy Culture

As the Amesbury poisoning drama enters its third act we have been given an entirely new set of claims regarding Novichok, which directly contradict the previous claims.

ClandesTime 145 – Conspiracy Theories: John Paisley - Spy Culture

John Paisley was a senior CIA officer who worked on Team B, was the Agency&;s liaison to the Watergate burglars, and according to some was a Soviet double agent.

Ambassador, with this Novichok Bullshit You Are Really Spoiling Us… - Spy Culture

With the Russian World Cup proving to be one of the most entertaining, unpredictable and violence-free tournaments in recent memory the British government has been asking what it can do to disrupt the event.

Salisbury, Skripals & Syrian Airstrikes – Tom Secker on Media Roots - Spy Culture

I recently joined Robbie Martin of Media Roots to discussion the Salisbury poisoning, the Skripals, the Syrian airstrikes and the general state of politics and Russophobia.  We covered many of the reasons to be sceptical of the official s

When RFK Invoked James Bond While Trying to Kill Castro - Spy Culture

Newly released documents in the JFK files have cast fresh light on the CIA&;s plots to kill Fidel Castro.  One interview with William Harvey &

ClandesTime 137 – Rorschach Politics: Russiagate - Spy Culture

Russiagate has become both the gift that keeps on giving and the scandal that will not die. This week we take a look at the allegations, the perceptions and the misconceptions, examining how the ‘fake news’ crisis grew out of the claim that the Russian government hacked the 2016 US presidential election.

Homeland Mid-Season Review – Tom Secker on PPR - Spy Culture

In our mid-season review and analysis of Homeland season 7, Pearse and I get into various strands of the show including the Brett O&;Keefe/Waco arc, the Russiagate con

ClandesTime 136 – The Politics of the Cinematic Universes - Spy Culture

From racism and sexism to the military-industrial complex, the politics both within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and surrounding it here in the real world are a constant source of news stories and controversy.

The King, the starlet and the CIA’s fixer in Hollywood - Spy Culture

A recently released document from the JFK files has confirmed an old rumour: that the CIA helped arrange the affair between actress Susan Cabot and King Hussein of Jordan.  The memo records how the man directly involved was the CIA&

Porkins Policy Radio End of Year Special - Spy Culture

Pearse invited me onto PPR to talk 2017: the highs, the lows, the overrated, the underrated, and Trump.  We discuss our favourite film and TV of the year, the most overblown news stories, the most important news that didn&

The time Tom Clancy was paid to speak at CIA headquarters – and he gave the money back - Spy Culture

Tom Clancy was a good friend of US intelligence.  After the publication of his enormously successful Hunt for Red October in 1984, he was repeatedly invited to speak at the CIA, NSA and FBI.  The CIA even paid him a $500 honourarium fo

MI5 file on Sir Kingsley Amis - Spy Culture

The latest files to be released by the National Archives include one on Kinsgley Amis - the former novelist and critic who was knighted in 1990. Amis was a member of the Communist party while at Oxford university in June 1941, though he renounced Marxism in 1956-7.

ClandesTime 127 – Arthur Ransome (and Swallows and Amazons) - Spy Culture

Arthur Ransome was a well-known children’s author, best known for his series of adventure books beginning with Swallows and Amazons. He was also close friends with the Bolshevik leadership and married Trotsky’s secretary.

Gladio Revisited: State Sponsored Terrorism in the Mono-Polar World Order - Spy Culture

November 22nd is the 27th anniversary of a European Parliament resolution condemning Operation Gladio. For decades, secret armies in over a dozen NATO countries carried out terrorist attacks to influence the political landscape and manipulate elections.

The FBI spied on the star of The F.B.I. - Spy Culture

The long-running ABC show The F.B.I. was perhaps the greatest success of the FBI's entertainment liaison office during Hoover's time as head of the Bureau. The deal struck between the FBI and the producers granted Hoover approval and veto power over scripts, casting and even sponsors.