Posts Tagged ‘Communism’

ClandesTime 102 – Was Richard Whiteley a Spy?

Published March 12th 2017

Richard Whiteley is best known for presenting the popular afternoon quiz show Countdown, and Ricky Tomlinson is best known for starring in the popular sitcom The Royle Family. Back in the 1970s things were very different. This week we examine Tomlinson’s recent allegation that Whiteley was a ‘member’ of the security services, due to his role presenting an 1973 documentary that influenced the trial of the Shrewsbury 24 – including Tomlinson. This trial, and this documentary, were the British establishment’s revenge against Tomlinson and other leaders of the 1972 Building Workers Strike. Amidst an ongoing cover-up I examine the plausibility of Tomlinson’s allegation that Whiteley was a spy, and the unconvincing denial of the allegation by Whiteley’s former partner.

The CIA and Hollywood – Tom and Pearse on Black Op Radio

Published February 26th 2017

Pearse and I were recently invited onto Black Op Radio with Len Osanic to talk about The CIA and Hollywood. We mostly discussed Ed Lansdale’s involvement in The Quiet American (1958), which butchered the original book in part as a result of Lansdale’s influence on writer/director Joseph Mankiewicz. We also touched on Charlie Wilson’s War and The Good Shepherd, and other recent films that are known or thought to have received support from the Agency.

ClandesTime 098 – Eric Johnston

Published January 23rd 2017

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 his meeting with high level businessmen after a trip to the Soviet Union and his liberalising of the production code and promotion of American films in foreign markets to his testimony at HUAC, this story encompasses much of the deep politics of Hollywood.

ClandesTime 097 – Sterling Hayden

Published January 15th 2017

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 two Stanley Kubrick films – The Killing and Dr Strangelove. In this episode we take a look at the life and times of this fascinating man – from his time as a secret agent to testifying before anti-Communist congressional hearings to his relationship with Kubrick – and how his life has been referenced and reflected in movies.

1959 CIA Memo on the ‘Elimination’ of Castro

Published November 26th 2016

With the death of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro I felt this would be a good time to provide a copy of an important but seldom-read CIA memo from 1959 where they discuss and approve the ‘elimination’ of Castro. Shortly after the Cuban revolution Castro visited the United States, speaking with then Vice President Richard Nixon on friendly terms. Castro then went home to Cuba while Nixon wrote a memo where he declared that the new Cuban leader was a dangerous Communist. Within months the CIA were drawing up plans to assassinate him.

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