Posts Tagged ‘WW2’

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.

Jack D Ripper OSS File

Published January 11th 2017
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Sterling Hayden is perhaps best-known for playing Jack D Ripper but his life and career make for fascinating reading. After a time working as a mate on various ships his near 2-metre frame, grizelled good looks and shock of blonde hair saw him move into print modelling and then into Hollywood. Hayden then joined the Marine Corps and from there the Office of the Co-ordinator of Information, which became the OSS. Following WW2 he returned to the film industry and became embroiled in the Red Scare as he had briefly been a member of the Communist Party. He testified at the HUAC hearings, a decision he later renounced, before eventually starring in two Stanley Kubrick films – The Killing and as Jack D Ripper in Dr. Strangelove. Hayden’s OSS file contains details of his wartime exploits and his reckless character.

Carol For Another Christmas – Tom Secker on PPR

Published December 24th 2016

Pearse invited me on his radio show to discuss the 1964 TV movie A Carol for Another Christmas. This was the first in a series of TV films designed to promote the United Nations and sponsored by the Xerox corporation. A Carol for Another Christmas is a remake of A Christmas Carol, only this time the protagonist’s three visions (of Christmases past, present and future) convince him to abandon his isolationist beliefs and embrace the UN’s vision of international affairs.

ClandesTime 085 – WW2 Spies and Hyperreality

Published September 25th 2016

Mutt and Jeff were a pair of Norwegian double agents during WW2, named after the popular cartoon characters. They played a crucial role in deceiving the Nazi intelligence apparatus by taking part in false flag sabotage and deception operations. Several of these operations have very curious codenames including Operation GUY FAWKES and Operation BUNBURY. In this episode I dwell on the relevance of MI5 operations sourcing their codenames from historical and fictional figures. I also analyse how an episode of Spooks in 2002 foreshadowed the declassification of government documents on these WW2 operations, before asking if MI5 are suffering from hyperreality.

16 Military and Intelligence Code Names Inspired by Popular Culture

Published June 22nd 2016

One of the most prominent influences of pop culture on government and on the deep state is in the use of code names. From the capture of Saddam Hussein to a counter-smuggling helicopter unit in Hawaii, from a mass surveillance program named after Blazing Saddles to Secret Service and MI5 code names taken from cartoon characters, this is a widespread and frequent phenomenon. It seems that the military and intelligence services are as obsessed with pop culture as anyone else, with both hilarious and terrifying results.

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