Posts Tagged ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

The CIA and Hollywood 14 – Zero Dark Thirty

Published July 24th 2016

Robbie Martin is our final guest for this season as we dissect the 2012 docudrama Zero Dark Thirty. We discussed the difficulty in defining what kind of film this is – somewhere between a spy thriller, a documentary and a dry European art house movie. We get into the well-documented CIA support for the film and ask why this is the only major movie about the Abbottabad raid to get ‘Bin Laden’ and why it wasn’t particularly successful. Was the film meant to serve as a substitute for any real evidence of what happened in Abbottabad in 2011? Did the filmmakers even care whether what they were portraying was true or were they blinded by the excitement of the special access they were granted?

Review: The CIA in Hollywood

Published May 8th 2016

Tricia Jenkins’ The CIA in Hollywood was one of the books that inspired me to start this site, and the recently published second edition expands considerably on the original. Because the CIA is resistant to FOIA requests and other forms of inquiry, Jenkins amassed a wide range of open source materials and interviewed various people both from the CIA (or formerly of the CIA) and from the entertainment industry. The result is an extremely accessible book on how the CIA operates in the film and TV industries and a very well researched academic textbook. For researchers, spy enthusiasts and fans of curios The CIA in Hollywood is not only an important book, but also an intriguing and at times disturbing read.

Operation Snowden? – Tom Secker on TMR

Published November 13th 2015

Remember what the world used to be like – before 2013 – when all our electronic communications were being scooped up by intelligence agencies and stored in massive data silos? Well now, thanks to Edward Snowden…. well, what? This week we welcome back to the programme writer, researcher and fim-maker Tom Secker who joins us for an in-depth and entertaining discussion on his controversial, yet intriguing, take on the whole Edward Snowden phenomenon. Is Snowden everything he seems to be? Were his NSA “revelations” really as significant as has almost universally been claimed? Or are there reasons to suspect that this might have been all officially sanctioned: an elaborate limited hangout for the purposes of normalisation and control?

CIA Inspector General’s Report on Engagement with the Entertainment Industry

Published November 3rd 2015

In the wake of the scandal over the CIA giving classified information to the makers of Zero Dark Thirty the Agency’s Office of the Inspector General carried out an audit into their involvement in the entertainment industry. The report heavily criticises the CIA’s entertainment liaison office for terrible record keeping and a very casual culture. What emerges from this report is that the ELO care more about being secretive concerning their own activities than they care about protecting the secrets of other departments within the CIA.

The CIA’s Nest of Vipers at Sony Pictures

Published April 20th 2015

Last autumn’s hack of Sony Pictures achieved several things – promoting their comedy film The Interview, creating a minor political storm that increased tensions with North Korea, and helping to cement the increasingly solid relationship between the White House, Hollywood and the intelligence services.

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