Posts Tagged ‘MI6’

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 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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ClandesTime 103 – MI5 Censorship of Panorama

In 1980 the BBC's documentary series Panorama began developing an episode on British intelligence.  This was the first of its kind, at least by such a prominent and respected series, but both the central government and the intelligence agencies were not happy.  Over a period of several months they put ...
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Top Secret File on Government Censorship of Panorama

In the summer of 1980 the BBC's flagship documentary series Panorama was developing a TV special about British intelligence.  This was the first film of its kind, and perhaps unsurprisingly Thatcher's government was not happy about it.  Downing Street put pressure on the film-makers via BBC Director-General Ian Threthowan, and ...
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Subscriber Podcast #4 – The Spy Novel that Predicted Trump

The Twentieth Day in January was published in 1980 and tells the story of an MI6 officer discovering that the Russian government is blackmailing the incoming president. In this subscriber-only podcast we take a look at the book and dwell a little on its implications, and I offer my views ...
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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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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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Pentagon Production Assistance Agreement for Tomorrow Never Dies

Tomorrow Never Dies is perhaps the most military-heavy Bond film of recent times, benefiting from production support from both the British and American armed forces.  Despite this the Pentagon's Hollywood liaison Phil Strub denied that they provided any assistance to the film-makers.  This document proves that Strub is not telling ...
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The CIA’s James Bond File

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 ...
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