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ClandesTime 173 – Public Enemies

Public Enemies is a 2009 historical drama/thriller film that tells the story of the Bureau of Investigation’s manhunt for Public Enemy Number One John Dillinger. In this episode I examine the film, the politics of crime and the romanticising of criminals. I explore these themes in light of FBI documents on how they supported the movie and influenced the script, including making changes to protect the reputation of the long-dead chief of the Bureau, J Edgar Hoover.

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The CIA, the National Reconnaissance Office and Ice Station Zebra

The CIA, the National Reconnaissance Office and Ice Station Zebra

The 1968 spy and counterspy classic Ice Station Zebra was inspired by a real life event during the CIA/Air Force Corona spy satellite program.  In April 1959 the satellite Discoverer 2 became the first to send a recovery capsule containing satellite surveillance imagery back to earth, but there was a ...
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How (and why) the Pentagon Rewrote Dennis the Menace

How (and why) the Pentagon Rewrote Dennis the Menace

Of all the many, many, many projects the Pentagon has supported, one of the most surprising and seemingly innocent is the mid-century TV series of Dennis the Menace.  In one episode 'Dennis at Boot Camp' the producers asked for permission for three days filming at the Naval Training Center in ...
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Why the Pentagon Rejected Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Why the Pentagon Rejected Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

In early 1977 the producers of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes approached the Pentagon about filming a couple of brief scenes at National Guard armories.  Even though the National Guard Public Affairs staff thought it was a fun film and were happy to help, they were overruled by the Pentagon's ...
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ClandesTime 173 - Public Enemies

ClandesTime 173 – Public Enemies

Public Enemies is a 2009 historical drama/thriller film that tells the story of the Bureau of Investigation’s manhunt for Public Enemy Number One John Dillinger. In this episode I examine the film, the politics of crime and the romanticising of criminals. I explore these themes in light of FBI documents ...
Read more
Arnold Schwarzenegger Now Doing Military Outreach in Hollywood

Arnold Schwarzenegger Now Doing Military Outreach in Hollywood

Arnold Schwarzenegger is famous for many things - being Mr Universe, The Terminator, the Governator and Commando.  Now he's trying to add one more to the list - unofficial military entertainment liaison.  The USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy recently hosted a workshop to help Hollywood bigshots mingle ...
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ClandesTime 172 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Charlie Wilson's War

ClandesTime 172 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Charlie Wilson’s War

George Crile’s book Charlie Wilson’s War is the most in-depth account of the CIA’s support to the Afghan mujahideen, based on countless interviews with inside sources. It tells the story of how a rogue congressman – Charlie Wilson – and a rogue CIA officer – Gust Avrokotos – joined forces ...
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Spy Culture in LA Magazine Article on Captain Marvel

Spy Culture in LA Magazine Article on Captain Marvel

Yesterday, LA Magazine published a piece on the military and Captain Marvel and - I'm pleased to say - they used this site as a research source.  After years of researching, speaking and writing about Marvel's relationship with the military it seems the word has got out, and I for ...
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Spy Culture in Newsweek article on Captain Marvel

Spy Culture in Newsweek article on Captain Marvel

I was recently made aware of a Newsweek article on Captain Marvel that used this site as a source.  The article ‘Captain Marvel’ Latest Superhero Movie to Promote Air Force in Trend Stretching Back to Comics is one of several that highlight how the new MCU movie Captain Marvel has ...
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Subscriber Podcast #28 - Panorama Breakdown: The Skripal Affair

Subscriber Podcast #28 – Panorama Breakdown: The Skripal Affair

In this month's subscriber-only podcast I break down the BBC's Panorama episode on the Skripal affair.  One year on from the Salisbury poisoning, I offer comments and criticism of one of the most shameless pieces of British state propaganda ever made: Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack - The Inside Story.  I ...
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The Novichok Anniversary: BBC Change Official Skripal Story Yet Again

The Novichok Anniversary: BBC Change Official Skripal Story Yet Again

We’re coming up on the first anniversary of the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, and the official story has been revised once again. According to the most recent BBC reports, fundamental details that we were told about the circumstances around the poisoning must have been wrong, because the new ...
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ClandesTime 171 - The Last Ship

ClandesTime 171 – The Last Ship

The Last Ship is one of the most popular cable TV shows of recent years, as well as one of the most successful pieces of militainment. In this episode I examine the politics of the show, in particular how it depicts a conflict between the US and China. I look ...
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National Geographic The Long Road Home

When the US Army Decided a Chin Strap was More Important Than the Death of One of Their Soldiers

The US Army provided extensive support to the National Geographic film series The Long Road Home, supposedly to ensure it depicted the real-life battle of Sadr City in a 'reasonably realistic' way. But Army emails that I obtained under FOIA show they were more concerned with the fact that a ...
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