US Navy

[Video] Jack Ryan, the CIA and Venezuela

A video essay presenting my breakdown of Amazon's Jack Ryan, including how the CIA, DOD and other US government agencies were involved in producing it.  I outline some of the history between the government and Tom Clancy productions before breaking down how seasons 1 and 2 are propaganda for US foreign

US Coast Guard’s Hollywood Office Takes 3 YEARS to Release 20 Pages of Documents

In March 2016 I put in a FOIA request with the US Coast Guard.  Several appeals, a lot of ignored emails and well over three years later they finally released just 20 pages of documents on the activities of their entertai

ClandesTime 196 – The Final Countdown

The Final Countdown is a classic of good bad cinema, featuring an aircraft carrier that goes through a wormhole and goes back in time to the day before Pearl Harbor was attacked. In this episode I review and analyse the film, which benefited from full DOD support.

ROI: Does the Pentagon Fund Movies?

One of the most common conspiracy theories you hear in this line of research is that the Pentagon and CIA fund Hollywood movies.  This isn't entirely untrue - the CIA covertly funded productions of Animal Farm and 1984 in the early Cold War period - but on the whole, it is untrue.  In all the many thousands of documen

ClandesTime 192 – The Cinema of the Navy SEALs

The US Navy SEALs are known as the ‘quiet professionals’, but in recent times they have become the highest-profile of all US special forces.

The US Navy Supported Captain Phillips – One of the Most Inaccurate Movies I’ve Ever Seen

Captain Phillips tells the story of the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama - a US container ship - off the coast of Somalia, and the subsequent US Navy intervention that killed three of the pirates and arrested the fourth.  It is also one of the least historically accurate films

Disney’s Star Wars, the Military and the Worst Hats I’ve Ever Seen

Walt Disney World Resort’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens this week - 14 acres of Star Wars experience for those who want to waste their money on plastic replicas of pod racers, Jar Jar Binks masks and hair dye so they can look like Vice Admiral Gender

Act of Valor: When the US Navy Commissioned one of the Worst Films Ever Made

2012's Act of Valor is widely recognised as the terrible, dull, depressing, futile piece of cinema that it surely is, but what is less well-recognised is that it was the brainchild of the US Navy's Special Warfare Recruiting Directorate, and they h

The DOD and Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor is a piece of absolute militaristic schlock, starring the whiny-voiced Marky Mark Wahlberg as Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell - the only survivor of Operation Red Wings, a 2005 special forces joint operation in the summer of 2005.  Over 100 pages of Navy documents show their heavy involvement in the film and how they covered

How the Pentagon Rewrote GI Jane

GI Jane is a crude, clumsy attempt to show a 'woman's perspective' on being in the military, that ruined Demi Moore's career as a leading lady.  Little known until now is how the Pentagon negotiated with Ridley Scott to rewrite the script, and even though the film didn't qualify for military support some of the scr

From Premises to Character Arcs – How Deeply the Military Rewrites Film & TV

Sometimes the US military's rewriting of scripts is very specific - take out this joke about the US losing in Vietnam, swap this bottle of beer for an energy drink, remove this scene where soldiers set fire to a village and rape all

‘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.(

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.

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'

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

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.

Keanu Reeves Trains With Former SEAL/CIA Contractor for John Wick III

In what appears to be little more than a promo for the third John Wick film, a recently-released video shows star Keanu Reeves being trained by former Navy SEAL and CIA contractor Shawn Ryan.  A veteran of the war on terror, the video shows Ryan teach

How (and why) the Pentagon Rewrote Dennis the Menace

Of all the many, many, many projects the Pentagon has supported, one of the most surprising and seemingly innocent is the mid-century TV series of Dennis the Menace.  In one episode 'Dennis at Boot Camp' the producers asked for permission for three days filming at the N

ClandesTime 171 – The Last Ship

The Last Ship is one of the most popular cable TV shows of recent years, as well as one of the most successful pieces of militainment. In this episode I examine the politics of the show, in particular how it depicts a conflict between the US and China.

Steven Seagal and the Geneva Convention

1996's action thriller Executive Decision may be light on action and lacking thrills but it is notable for one thing - the script violated the Geneva Convention and led to the Pentagon temporarily withdrawing support for the film.

ClandesTime 168 – Executive Decision

The 1996 action thriller Executive Decision was an early example of what should be called ‘irregular war films’, pitting a team of special forces commandos against a gang of terrorists, on a hijacked plane headed for Washington DC.

ClandesTime 165 – Military Meta-Propaganda

Since the publication of National Security Cinema last summer, we have seen an uptick in the media coverage of the Pentagon in Hollywood, much of it originating with the Pentagon itself. This week I take a look at the PR efforts the DOD has embarked upon, about its own PR efforts in Hollywood.

Why Does the Pentagon ████ing Hate Swearing in Movies?

One of the Pentagon's consistent bugbears when it comes to movie scripts is swearing. Whether it is from the mouths of military or civilian characters, the DOD doesn't like those ████ing cuss words. But why not?

The Pentagon’s China Syndrome

While some senior military officials have spoken openly about the possibility of a war between the US and China, the entertainment liaison offices appear to be working to ensure that doesn't happen.

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.

The US Navy say they have 20,000 Pages of Documents on Top Gun 2

I recently filed a FOIA request for documents on Top Gun 2. Going through the entertainment liaison office reports it is clear that - just as on the original film - the Navy are taking the lead on military support.