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ClandesTime 189 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Omar Nasiri

Omar Nasiri was a Moroccan who spent 6 years spying on Al Qaeda for several European intelligence agencies. In this episode I review his autobiography Inside the Jihad, including the year he spent in Afghan training camps in the mid-1990s.

Why Amazon’s The Boys is the Most Subversive TV Show of the Year

Amazon Prime's The Boys is not only the most enjoyable TV show I've seen all year, it's also the most subversive.  While it will appeal to audiences suffering from superhero fatigue after more than a decade of relentless Marvel and DC products, it is so much mo

‘In The Navy’ Songwriter Dead at 82

Co-founder of the Village People and co-writer of 'YMCA', 'Macho Man' and 'In the Navy' Henri Belolo died last saturday at the age of 82.  Born in Casablanca, Belolo was a key member of perhaps the first openly gay disco outfit.  He also participated in one of the funniest co-sponsorship deals the US Navy has ever seen.(

‘You Need to Keep an Eye on the Director’ – US Army emails

The US Army's emails on The Long Road Home show that not everything ran smoothly while filming progressed as Fort Hood.  While all of the information on script input is redacted, one email contains production notes from the Army's project officer Lt Col.

ClandesTime 188 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Mubin Shaikh

The 2006 arrests of the Toronto 18 was a key moment in the post-9/11 war on terror. It helped internationalise the war effort and added Canada to the list of supposed terrorist targets. This week I examine the life and work of the main Canadian intelligence informant inside the Toronto 18 – Mubin Shaikh.

Documents: CIA Successfully Pressured Michael Bay To Change Benghazi Movie

I recently obtained 50 pages of documents from the CIA on the support they provided to Michael Bay's Benghazi movie 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.  In this investigation for Shadowproof I outline how the relationship between Bay and the Agen

ClandesTime 187 – When Entertainment Liaison Offices Go Bad

The relationship between government liaison offices and the entertainment industry usually works well, resulting in added production value for the industry’s products and the furtherance of the government’s agendas. But sometimes things go wrong.

The Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing and Heartbreak Ridge

The US military's negotiations on the 1980s Clint Eastwood vehicle Heartbreak Ridge were protracted and complex, resulting in numerous changes before the movie could be approved for Pentagon support.  This included changing Clint Eastwood's character from a so

Spy Culture in the Washington Business Journal

News about this site appears to be spreading - after the flurry of articles citing Spy Culture around the release of Captain Marvel earlier this year, the Washington Business Journal put out a piece on the Top Gun: Maverick trailer using the production assistance agreement I o

“Shame on them, they know better” – When the Pentagon Fell Out with NCIS

For over a decade the CBS action drama NCIS has enjoyed a very close working relationship with the US military, which allows the entertainment liaison offices to review every script, even for episodes where they provide no

ClandesTime 186 – NCIS

NCIS is a wildly successful TV drama, one of the most popular series of the last 20 years. This week I recount how the DOD, Navy and Marine Corps routinely rewrite episodes of NCIS to fit their PR and propaganda goals.

How the Western media support state terror – while millions die

In this guest article Matt Alford - alongside Drs Daniel Broudy, Jeffery Klaehn, Alan MacLeod and Florian Zollmann - lay out their case that news media has systemically downplayed or simply avoided discussing the bloody consequences of Western foreign po

‘I Can Get the Pentagon to Vouch for Me’ – Michael Bay letter to the CIA

Michael Bay is well known for working closely with government agencies when making his films, mostly the Pentagon but also NASA.  Less well known is how he worked with the CIA to vet his script for the Benghazi movie 13 Hours, and how his request to film the

ClandesTime 185 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Morten Storm

Morten Storm is a Danish man who converted to Islam in the 1990s and got involved in the jihadi scene in Denmark, the UK, Yemen and Somalia. In 2006 he suffered a loss of faith, and turned to Danish intelligence and offered to help them fight the war on terror.

‘We are Anxious to tell this Story that Showcases the Army in such a Positive Way’

The in-development film Raven Four-Two tells the story of a battle in 2005 between insurgents and a Kentucky Army National Guard Military Police Unit, during the war in Iraq.  Documents released by

US Army Doesn’t Work on ‘Audience Participation’ TV Due to ‘Spontaneity’

The US Army's regulations on Public Affairs activities are over 100 pages of rules and restriction governing how the Army interacts with news media, entertainment media and other public events.  It outlines which activities require prior approval from Army Public Affairs chiefs (i.e.

US Military Continue their Degradation of Superman

The new Superman is now a Navy SEAL.  No, you didn't misread that - the affable journalist Clarke Kent is being erased from history in favour of making the world's most famous superhero an advert for naval special forces.  "Superman: Year One" went on sale this week as part of DC'

‘The Army’s Newest Weapon: Death by Cringe’ – US Army Posts Hip Hop Track on Youtube

A week ago the US Army posted a youtube video of the Army Field Band's new hip-hop track 'Won't Be Defeated'.  At the time of writing its likes-dislikes ratio is 625 to 593, and the comments section is littered with mocking and ironic comments.  As a P

The DEA and Breaking Bad: Why Hank Never Tapped Jesse’s Phone

Despite its enormous popularity there are many problems with Breaking Bad - the utterly racist depiction of Mexicans, the glorifying of a sociopathic protagonist and that incredibly boring and pointless fifth season come to mind.  But what has never been discussed before is how the show functions as propaganda for the Dr

The Rebooted Designated Survivor: Sponsored by the CIA?

The soft reboot of the political drama Designated Survivor recently dropped on Netflix and in spite of Kiefer Sutherland making the least convincing president since Sarah Palin it is a considerable improvement on the first two seasons.

ClandesTime 183 – Fields of Fire

Fields of Fire is one of the greatest movies that was never made. A brutal but sympathetic portrait of the Vietnam War, it was denied military support despite being written by a former Secretary of the Navy. This week I examine the story of Fields of Fire using a file from the DOD’s entertainment liaison office.

‘Fuck John Wayne’ – Why the DOD Prevented the movie Fields of Fire from Being Made

When James Webb approached the Pentagon to ask for assistance making his Vietnam war drama Fields of Fire he had every right to expect their support.  A former Marine and short-term Secretary of the Navy he was a military veteran who had written his novel based on his own real-life experiences of V

Spy Culture Certified by American Journal of Economics and Sociology

Today I received an email that I thought I would share with you, from the publishers of the American Journal of Economics and Sociology.  It said that the two articles I penned for the journal were among the top 20 most-downloaded arti

Black Hawk Down, the LA Riots and Clear and Present Danger

When the producers of Clear and Present Danger approached the Pentagon to ask for military support they probably weren't expecting 6 months of script negotiations to get their film into a shape deemed acceptable by the entertainment liaison offices

ClandesTime 182 – Clear and Present Danger

1994’s Clear and Present Danger is one of the most important movies in the cinema of the war on drugs, depicting black operations by the CIA and US military against a Colombian drug cartel.

The FBI and DEA Spy on Hollywood Producers

The relationship between intelligence agencies and the entertainment industry is complex and multi-faceted.  Angles include the influence of the agencies on their own public image, the influence of entertainment on the agencies, and intelligence-gathering by those agencies on the culture industry.

Q-Force, or How Queers Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Fascism

Netflix recently ordered a 10-episode first series of Q-Force, the world's first animated LGBTQ spy series.  Pitched as a 'gay James Bond' the cartoon will undoubtedly contain the usual PR for the security state, wrapped up in a rainbow flag.  No doubt

The DEA and the Entertainment Industry: Spying, Censorship and Control

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently released nearly 200 pages of contracts between themselves and entertainment producers, which for the first time shed light on how they interact with Hollywood.

ClandesTime 181 – The Cinema of Iran-Contra

Iran-Contra is in many ways the definitive government conspiracy – involving guns, drugs, anti-communism and black operations, it went all the way to the White House.

Top Secret CIA Emails on Osama bin Laden ‘Devil Doll’

In 2014 the Washington Post's Adam Goldman published a story about the CIA producing dolls of Osama bin Laden as part of an influence operation designed to diminish the former Al Qaeda's leader's popularity in the Middle East.  The dolls would be made so the paint on the eyes would easily rub off, revealing 'devil eyes' underneath.

‘A Complete Rewrite of the Storyline Would be Required’ – DOD File on The Presidio

1988's The Presidio wanted to film at the real Presidio in San Francisco, an Army installation.  As per usual this required a full military script review, but the DOD responded demanding a 'complete rewrite' before they would approve access to

The Latest in Recruitment Propaganda: US Air Force teams up with MMA

The US military's ever-expanding portfolio of recruitment efforts just broke new ground: the Professional Fighters League.  This mixed martial arts league is watched the world over and a recent event in Nassau was sponsored by Air Force Special Ops and the Air Force Reserve Command.  It

ClandesTime 180 – The Politics of Monster Movies

Monster movies are one of the most beloved and distinctive genres in cinema, featuring a winning combination of exotic spectacle, ground-breaking visual effects and reflections on humanity’s relationship with nature.