Posts Tagged ‘MI6’

Review: Spies Episode 1

Published January 9th 2017

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 training exercises. The first episode of Spies contained one variation from the BBC’s version – one of the contestants is a mole, part of the team called ‘control’ who are ostensibly running the training course.

NSA Report on John le Carré Novels

Published January 5th 2017

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 to the NSA. They assess the influence of the novels on both the general public and on policy makers and in a moment of great irony they accuse le Carré of overlooking the moral consequences of his more favoured human intelligence (HUMINT), while doing the exact same thing themselves.

Pentagon Production Assistance Agreement for Tomorrow Never Dies

Published November 2nd 2016

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 the truth and provides new details of the negotiation struck between the producers and the Pentagon.

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.

Review: The Double-Cross System

Published June 7th 2016

In my opinion, the importance of the intelligence war in World War 2 cannot be overstated. Economically, Britain was essentially bankrupt by the end of the war. Militarily they were not as well resourced and equipped as Germany with the exception of naval warfare, where the odds were much closer than in World War 1. The most decisive factor in Britain being on the victorious side of WW2 was their superior intelligence capabilities. There is nothing new in the technique of turning the agents of the enemy into channels for deception and misdirection, but the British in WW2 turned it into an art form. The Double-Cross System by John Cecil Masterman describes perhaps the most effective example of the use of double agents in modern military history.

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