Posts Tagged ‘Cold War’

Like a Blind Man at an Orgy, I was Going to Have to Feel Things Out

In 1961 the FBI conducted a brief investigation into Lieutenant Frank Drebin, better known as actor Leslie Nielsen.  A request arrived from the Canadian authorities so the Bureau found the women they mentioned and asked her about Nielsen, who she said she hadn't seen in over a decade.  Another day ...
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The Movie Producer and the Israeli Nuclear Smuggling Ring

Arnon Milchan is the Hollywood mogul behind films as diverse as JFK, Pretty Woman, Brazil, Fight Club, LA Confidential and Alvin and the Chipmunks.  He was also an Israeli spy involved in smuggling equipment for the development of nuclear weapons.  Milchan has spoken publicly about his role in this scandal, ...
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Marine Corps emails on The Sum of All Fears

2002's The Sum of All Fears was the fourth major film adaptation of Tom Clancy's spy novels and perhaps the most visually spectacular.  The part where terrorists nuke the Super Bowl, destroying Baltimore in the process, is one of the best nuking-a-city scenes ever committed to film.  Recently released emails ...
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‘James Bond is my favorite anyway’ – CIA on Request for Film Production Assistance

In 1981 White House aide Joe Holmes contacted the CIA as part of his scheme to encourage the production of 'pro-hero' movies and TV series.  A Hollywood studio wanted CIA assistance for a spy film but CIA Director Bill Casey refused the request.  Internal Agency memos reveal that they were ...
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CIA Open Source Records on Executive Action

Executive Action is perhaps the most famous conspiracy thriller about the John Kennedy assassination, with the exception of Oliver Stone's JFK.  Recently released CIA records in the CREST database show that they were keeping an eye the production and how it was being received.  The articles even detail how the ...
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Secret Government file on Intelligence-Supported Documentary The Red Under the Bed

The 1973 ITV documentary The Red Under the Bed helped convict the Shrewsbury 24 by accusing them of being communists for their role in leading the 1972 Building Workers Strike.  A file from the office of then-Prime Minister Ted Heath confirms that the documentary was not just encouraged by the ...
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ClandesTime 105 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Blind Sheikh

The Blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman was an Egyptian cleric who played a critical role in the early years of Al Qaeda.  Rahman and his followers took over the New York branch of the MAK, an international fundraising and recruiting organisation that was central to the CIA's Operation Cyclone.  His ...
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How the Pentagon rewrote Goldeneye

Goldeneye is possibly the best of the Pierce Brosnan James Bond films, but like two others in the Brosnan period it relied on US military support.  This entailed the Pentagon reviewing the script and demanding two changes - one political, one promotional - in exchange for helping to shoot one ...
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ClandesTime 104 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Four Models

Beginning a new series on the history of Al Qaeda, this week I provide the basis for what's coming in the next several episodes.  What is or was Al Qaeda?  Four distinct models have been proposed to try to answer this question so I outline each, drawing on the works ...
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The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World

From the Donald Trump school of naming things came The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World, a 1965 spoof of the James Bond movies.  Like many 1960s spy thrillers The Second Best Secret Agent was on the radar of the CIA. Licensed to Kill The movie began ...
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