Vietnam war

ClandesTime 194 – Oliver Stone’s JFK

This week, I welcome to the show author and friend James Oddy to discuss the JFK assassination case and its treatment in the Oliver Stone movie JFK. We look at the psychological and political consequences of the assassination, as well as the political and cultural impact of the film.

Napalm, Ambushes and Russian Roulette: Why the Pentagon Rejected The Deer Hunter

The epic war drama The Deer Hunter won five Oscars, despite the central conceit and metaphor of the film being inaccurate.  This conceit - that the Viet Cong forced American prisoners of war to play Russian Roulette - is the main reason the f

Born on the 4th of July – Tom on Fortress on a Hill

In the second part of our discussion (following Combat Obscura), Henri, Keagan and I talked about the 1989 Oliver Stone classic Born on the 4th of July.  Based on the real life experiences of Ron Kovic, we charted the film's development in the late 70s and into the 80

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

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

‘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

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.

Forrest Gump – Tom Secker on Fortress on a Hill

Chris and Danny invited me back onto their podcast to discuss the 1994 comedy-drama Forrest Gump.  We talked about the original book by Winston Groom as well as McNamara's 100,000 - a project to recruit troops into the US Army who would normally have fallen below the required standards.  We ho

FBI Apparently Had No Problem with ‘Deep State’ Storyline in Shooter

Compared to the DOD, the US intelligence agencies support a more politically diverse range of movies, from the hi-tech surveillance thriller Enemy of the State to torture porn like Zero Dark Thirty and Unthinkable.  One such controversial movie was Shooter, which depicts a deep state element framing a Vietnam veteran fo

ClandesTime 167 – Phil Strub’s Greatest Hits

I recently found out that Strub retired from his job as the DOD’s Hollywood liaison last July, though this wasn’t covered by any news outlets and the DOD didn’t bother to tell anyone.

How Many Movies has the Pentagon Prevented from Being Made?

The Pentagon's censorship of movie scripts is fairly well established - I have documented numerous instances on this site. But their ultimate power is the ability to kill a production, to prevent a film being made.

On Her Majesty’s Clandestime Service – Tom Secker on Fortress on a Hill

Chris and Danny from Fortress on a Hill invited me onto their podcast to discuss militarism in Hollywood, the DOD's role in altering scripts, how recruitment propaganda works in the UK, the military vs intelligence approaches to cou

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.

ClandesTime 151 – Rules of Engagement - Spy Culture

The military legal drama Rules of Engagement is perhaps the greatest modern example of racist, warmongering propaganda. Unsurprisingly, it benefited from full Pentagon support, in exchange for numerous script changes.

US Marine Corps Entertainment Liaison Office script notes on Rules of Engagement - Spy Culture

Rules of Engagement is notable for being possibly the most violent, racist, colonialist film Hollywood has made since the end of the Cold War.  It pre-empted two real life terrorist attacks in Yemen including one on the

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

No Matter How Bad Things Seem, 1968 Was Worse

Just how bad are things today? Let’s compare. Exactly 50 years ago, the Vietnam War was raging — the Tet offensive had begun and 30,000 more troops went to Vietnam while the war dead were returning home in body bags. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated, race riots broke out in almost every large city in America, and one political party’s convention became a domestic war zone. In Europe, Czechoslovakia’s Prague Spring was crushed by a bellicose Soviet Union.

What We Still Haven’t Learned from the Vietnam War

Fifty years ago today, in 1967, nearly 100,000 Americans marched on Washington, DC, to protest the Vietnam War. In those days there was a mandatory draft in place, and the risk was very real that a young man just out of high school could quickly wind up 13,000 miles away, fighting an unseen enemy in jungles that didn’t need tanks or B-52 bombers to inflict fear.

JFK: Victim of the National Security State

Following the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, President Kennedy announced he would ban the testing of nuclear weapons. He called for an end to the Cold War and the removal of troops from South Vietnam. Kennedy also put an end to the Pentagon's plan to invade Cuba and refused to provide air support for the Bay of Pigs invasion. It was the last straw when he forced the resignation of Allen Dulles, the director of the CIA. The National Security State said Kennedy had to go. They said he was a threat to national security.

U.S. Media Helps Promote Deep State Agenda By Selectively Showcasing Victims Of Terror Attacks

After the Syrian chemical attack, several mainstream outlets decided to showcase footage of the victims of the attacks. This is interesting due to the fact that these same outlets, knowingly or not, choose not to showcase footage from other terrorist attacks, namely in Yemen, Sweden and Egypt.

Tribute to the Man Who Exposed the Pentagon Papers

At WhoWhatWhy, we’re proud that a great patriot and American hero, has been on our Editorial Advisory Council since our earliest days.