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‘All my projects are merging’ – CIA emails on Covert Affairs

Covert Affairs was a not particularly original spy series telling the tale of an attractive young woman who is thrust into the world of CIA black operations.  It lasted for five seasons, mostly because it starred Piper Perabo and people like Piper Perabo.  Perabo's character Annie Walker is loosely based ...
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Central Intelligence – Tom Secker on Uncle the Podcast

I triumphantly returned to my favourite comedy show Uncle the Podcast to review the film Central Intelligence.  The movie stars The Rock and Kevin Hart in a zany buddy comedy about a mild-mannered accountant who is drawn into the world of CIA black operations.  To my knowledge Central Intelligence had ...
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ClandesTime 098 – Eric Johnston

Eric Johnston was the second head of the MPAA, a high level political operative and a friend of CIA director Allen Dulles.  In this episode we take a look at his life and work, from his role instituting the Hollywood blacklist to his relationships with the FBI and CIA.  From ...
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‘We will do NO press on this’ – CIA emails on Claire Danes’ first visit to Langley

Newly-available emails show that when Claire Danes first visited CIA headquarters, she did so in very low-key fashion after a friendly CIA agent got her in.  This confirms that the Agency have been involved in the production of Homeland since the first season, and shows how even their liaisons with ...
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Homeland Season 6 – Tom Secker on Porkins Policy Radio

This week I joined Pearse to talk about the beginning of the new season of Homeland, and how it isn't quite what we expected.  The entire 6th season is set between the US presidential election and inauguration day and while the president-elect is female, she is no Hitlery Clinton.  Instead ...
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ClandesTime 097 – Sterling Hayden

Sterling Hayden's life encompassed many important events and periods of the 20th century.  A lifelong seaman he joined the Marine Corps and the OSS during World War 2, running smuggling operations to support anti-fascist partisans in Yugoslavia.  He was also a movie star, famously appearing in The Godfather and in ...
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Jack D Ripper OSS File

Sterling Hayden is perhaps best-known for playing Jack D Ripper but his life and career make for fascinating reading.  After a time working as a mate on various ships his near 2-metre frame, grizelled good looks and shock of blonde hair saw him move into print modelling and then into ...
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Review: Spies Episode 1

Spies is the 'new' game show from Channel 4.  I say 'new' because it's a blow-for-blow remake of the 2004 BBC series Spy, which also took a small group of members of the public and had three former spooks put them through their paces via a series of tests and ...
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ClandesTime 096 – Unreal

Unreal is a gripping and brutal satire of reality TV but it is much more than that. While this might sound like a drama about a trivial subject, the content of Unreal makes it one of the most serious and important TV series of recent years. It follows two female ...
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NSA Report on John le Carré Novels

Recently made available by Cryptome this NSA report originally appeared in an issue of their publication Cryptolog in 1992.  It examines the role that signals intelligence (SIGINT) plays in the storylines of several John le Carré novels and considers whether the inaccuracies and limitations in these portrayals are of benefit ...
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