Posts Tagged ‘war on terror’

Did the CIA rewrite Charlie Wilson’s War?

Published November 13th 2016

Charlie Wilson’s War reduces nearly 10 years of the Soviet-Afghan War into an hour and forty minutes of Sorkin-scribed witty dialogue focusing almost entirely on how one alcoholic, womanising congressman helped to raise the billions of dollars that were given to the mujahideen to fight the godless Commie invaders. While we know that CIA entertainment liaison Chase Brandon worked on the film, along with former CIA officer Milt Bearden, there is no documentation on exactly what influence they had. A close analysis of the draft scripts for Charlie Wilson’s War, compared to the finished film, suggest that it was heavily rewritten to suit the Agency’s agenda.

ClandesTime 090 – Elections as National Trauma

Published October 30th 2016

Today we welcome back Robbie Martin of Media Roots and A Very Heavy Agenda to discuss the psychological impact of the most fierce and fearful US election in recent memory. We discuss the polarisation both in the US over the presidential election and in the UK over the EU referendum, before looking at the string of ‘October Surprises’ that have dominated the news in recent weeks. We round off by talking about the new Adam Curtis documentary Hypernormalisation and our reservations about the glowing critical and popular response it has received.

ClandesTime 086 – The Cinema of the Soviet-Afghan War

Published October 2nd 2016

The Soviet-Afghan War helped bring down the Soviet Union and encouraged the rise of Al Qaeda and Islamism. The films about this war have been sponsored by both Western governments – Britain, the USA and Israel – and by Russia. This week I look at these films, their state sponsorship and how they portray both the Red Army and the Mujahideen, with some surprising results.

ClandesTime 084 – A Very Heavy Agenda

Published August 7th 2016

Today we take a look at the documentary series A Very Heavy Agenda by Robbie Martin, which I reviewed a few weeks ago. This is a very in depth conversation where we get into numerous elements covered in Robbie’s documentary including: the Kagan family, what the neocons have been up to during the Obama administration and leading into the current presidential election, the philosophy and strategy of neoconservatism and the geopolitics of NATO and Russia. Robbie’s documentary series is an excellent watch and extremely informative so if you enjoy this conversation then don’t miss it.

Did the Pentagon use The Battle of Algiers as a training film?

Published August 6th 2016

The Battle of Algiers was a groundbreaking film when it came out in 1966, not just for its depiction of the Algerian War against French occupation but for its quasi-documentary realism and its morally neutral approach, showing both sides committing atrocities. Because of this realism it is a cinematic training manual in guerilla warfare including terrorist tactics and in state repression including torture. Both are portrayed as horrible, but the inevitable results of the war for independence, itself the inevitable result of colonialism. In the decades since its release The Battle of Algiers has been used as a training film by organisations ranging from the Black Panthers to the Department of Defense. One document sheds new light on this special screening at the Pentagon.