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ClandesTime 189 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Omar Nasiri

Omar Nasiri was a Moroccan who spent 6 years spying on Al Qaeda for several European intelligence agencies. In this episode I review his autobiography Inside the Jihad, including the year he spent in Afghan training camps in the mid-1990s. Focusing on his relationships with French and British intelligence I examine the strange case of agent provocateur Ali Touchent, and ask why Nasiri wasn’t used to try to stop the 9/11 attacks.

Latest Posts
From Premises to Character Arcs - How Deeply the Military Rewrites Film & TV

From Premises to Character Arcs – How Deeply the Military Rewrites Film & TV

Sometimes the US military's rewriting of scripts is very specific - take out this joke about the US losing in Vietnam, swap this bottle of beer for an energy drink, remove this scene where soldiers set fire to a village and rape all the women. At other times their requested ...
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ClandesTime 189 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Omar Nasiri

ClandesTime 189 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Omar Nasiri

Omar Nasiri was a Moroccan who spent 6 years spying on Al Qaeda for several European intelligence agencies. In this episode I review his autobiography Inside the Jihad, including the year he spent in Afghan training camps in the mid-1990s. Focusing on his relationships with French and British intelligence I ...
Read more
Why Amazon's The Boys is the Most Subversive TV Show of the Year

Why Amazon’s The Boys is the Most Subversive TV Show of the Year

Amazon Prime's The Boys is not only the most enjoyable TV show I've seen all year, it's also the most subversive.  While it will appeal to audiences suffering from superhero fatigue after more than a decade of relentless Marvel and DC products, it is so much more than that.  It ...
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Subscriber Podcast #33 - American Moon

Subscriber Podcast #33 – American Moon

Did we really go to the moon? Yes, probably, but American Moon is an epic 3 1/2 hour documentary that tries to make arguments that the Apollo missions were faked. In this month's subscriber podcast I offer a critical review of American Moon, from the photographic evidence to the geopolitics ...
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'In The Navy' Songwriter Dead at 82

‘In The Navy’ Songwriter Dead at 82

Co-founder of the Village People and co-writer of 'YMCA', 'Macho Man' and 'In the Navy' Henri Belolo died last saturday at the age of 82.  Born in Casablanca, Belolo was a key member of perhaps the first openly gay disco outfit.  He also participated in one of the funniest co-sponsorship ...
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Combat Obscura - Tom on Fortress on a Hill

Combat Obscura – Tom on Fortress on a Hill

I recently joined Henri from the Fortress on a Hill podcast for our latest discussion on military movies. We talked about the eyeopening documentary Combat Obscura, compiled from footage shot by Marine Corps combat cameramen in Afghanistan.  We hone in on how the film breaks through the usual Pentagon filters ...
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'You Need to Keep an Eye on the Director' - US Army emails

‘You Need to Keep an Eye on the Director’ – US Army emails

The US Army's emails on The Long Road Home show that not everything ran smoothly while filming progressed as Fort Hood.  While all of the information on script input is redacted, one email contains production notes from the Army's project officer Lt Col. Timothy Hyde, warning him to 'keep an ...
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ClandesTime 188 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Mubin Shaikh

ClandesTime 188 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Mubin Shaikh

The 2006 arrests of the Toronto 18 was a key moment in the post-9/11 war on terror. It helped internationalise the war effort and added Canada to the list of supposed terrorist targets. This week I examine the life and work of the main Canadian intelligence informant inside the Toronto ...
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Documents: CIA Successfully Pressured Michael Bay To Change Benghazi Movie

Documents: CIA Successfully Pressured Michael Bay To Change Benghazi Movie

I recently obtained 50 pages of documents from the CIA on the support they provided to Michael Bay's Benghazi movie 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.  In this investigation for Shadowproof I outline how the relationship between Bay and the Agency started well, how they leaned on Bay to ...
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The New Jack Ryan Will Promote a Coup in Venezuela, but Why did the DOD Reject the Series?

The New Jack Ryan Will Promote a Coup in Venezuela, but Why did the DOD Reject the Series?

The teaser trailer for season 2 of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan depicts John Krasinski as the eponymous hero in a Latin American country where there is an uprising against the government (cough, Venezuela, cough).  Like season 1, I expect the show will be fully supported by the CIA but the ...
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ClandesTime 187 – When Entertainment Liaison Offices Go Bad

ClandesTime 187 – When Entertainment Liaison Offices Go Bad

The relationship between government liaison offices and the entertainment industry usually works well, resulting in added production value for the industry’s products and the furtherance of the government’s agendas. But sometimes things go wrong. This week we look at what happens when the relationship breaks down, using examples from the ...
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Western Media Coverage of Top Gun: Maverick Jacket Highlights Hypocrisy Over Military Censorship of Movies

Western Media Coverage of Top Gun: Maverick Jacket Highlights Hypocrisy Over Military Censorship of Movies

A story doing the rounds in the last few days claims that the producers of Top Gun: Maverick changed the decals on the back of his leather jacket in order to 'appease Communist China'.  While the story may be true, not a single report has highlighted the much more egregious ...
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