Posts Tagged ‘Communism’

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.

The CIA’s James Bond File

Published October 20th 2016

The CIA has had an interest in James Bond almost since its inception as a series of novels in the 1950s. The books were probably the first spy fiction to refer to the CIA by name and to depict them through the character of Felix Leiter. This led to a friendship between Ian Fleming and CIA bigwig Allen Dulles, who not only discussed with Fleming how the CIA were portrayed in the Bond novels but also sourced ideas from the books. The CIA has released relatively few internal documents about the Bond books and films but they do have a considerable number of open source records that shed light on their interest in the franchise.

The CIA and Hollywood 15 – SALT

Published August 1st 2016

Rounding off this second season we take a look at SALT, the 2010 action thriller starring Angelina Jolie as a CIA officer accused of being a Russian sleeper agent. SALT is one of the less well known CIA-assisted productions, but along with technical advice from former CIA officer Melissa Boyle Mahle the producers also consulted with the CIA themselves in a video conference. There is also a very weird story involving one of the extras in the opening sequence in North Korea. We analyse the mystery of Evelyn Salt’s underwear and then the conversation hones in on Russia, who in 2010 were not on the news agenda, and how this movie predicted the rise of the ‘new Cold War’ that is commonplace in most current spy films and TV shows.

Hunter S Thompson’s FBI File

Published July 23rd 2016

Author and the creator of gonzo journalism Hunter S Thompson could be expected to have an FBI file, and he does. When it was released the FBI admitted that they had destroyed parts of it during the 1990s, and what remains is a smattering of amusing irrelevances. They began their investigations into Thompson in 1967 and continued until at least 1971, but the most interesting aspect of this is that they had an investigation into him at all. They found nothing, but they never really had any reason to look in the first place.

5 Examples of Hollywood’s Influence on Politics

Published June 30th 2016

Washington is Hollywood for ugly people, said Paul Begala (probably). Washington is the entertainment capital of the world, said Jack Valenti. Washington’s influence on Hollywood, the state’s influence on popular culture, is the primary topic of this site. But what about Hollywood’s influence on politics, the influence of popular culture on the state? After all, if mass culture can shape the perceptions of people like us, the general public, then why shouldn’t it shape the perceptions of politicians and the establishment?

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