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ClandesTime 146 – The Death of David Kelly

The death of weapons expert and UN inspector Dr David Kelly in the summer of 2003 is one of the Iraq War’s most enduring mysteries. While the case was officially ruled a suicide, this conclusion was reached by an informal government inquiry which the Blair government used to replace the normal, legal inquest procedure. In this extended episode I examine the Kelly case, talking with David Halpin, a retired surgeon who has been integral to the struggle for a proper investigation of Kelly’s death. I also analyse how the theory that Kelly was assassinated has been encouraged by state-sponsored TV spy fiction, and speculate as to why this is.

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CIA documents on In The Company of Spies

CIA documents on In The Company of Spies

In 1999 Showtime/Paramount Network Television produced a made-for-TV film about a CIA agent called In the Company of Spies.  It starred Alice Krige and Tom Berenger and was a relatively predictable story where an agent has to come out of retirement to resolve the jeopardy.  The production enjoyed great co-operation ...
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Review: Zero Dark Thirty

Review: Zero Dark Thirty

The Oscar nominations have been announced and despite much hope on this side of the pond there is no place for Skyfall in the Best Picture category. There is, however, a place for not one but two spy films telling good old fashioned patriotic tales: Argo and Zero Dark Thirty ...
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CIA on recruiting Jennifer Garner

CIA on recruiting Jennifer Garner

In 2004 the CIA used the popular TV actress and star of CIA drama Alias Jennifer Garner in a recruitment video to be shown at colleges and similar venues.  The video was made available for a time on their website though is sadly no longer accessible. Garner was not paid ...
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Zero Dark Thirty - the CIA and DOD files

Zero Dark Thirty – the CIA and DOD files

The film Zero Dark Thirty about the 'Bin Laden raid' in Abbottabad in May 2011 enjoyed an unprecedented degree of official co-operation in its production, notably from the CIA and the DOD.  Judicial Watch, a conservative lobbying organisation, obtained copies of emails between the writer and director of the film, ...
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Profile: W Somerset Maugham

Profile: W Somerset Maugham

Born: 25 January 1874 Died: 16 December 1965 Intelligence involvement: Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) during World War One. Culture involvement: Author of popular plays, novels and short stories. Reputedly the best paid author of the 1930s. Bio: William Somerset Maugham was born into a diplomatically connected family, indeed he was ...
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Profile: Victor Rothschild

Profile: Victor Rothschild

Born: 31 October 1910 Died: 20 March 1990 Intelligence involvement: Worked for MI5 during World War Two. Culture involvement: N/A Bio:  Nathaniel Mayer Victor Rothschild was born into the illustrious and notorious Rothschild family in London.  He was educated at Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge.  There he joined the ...
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FBI file on Ray Bradbury

FBI file on Ray Bradbury

The FBI recently released their file on popular author and screenwriter Ray Bradbury.  Like so many involved in popular culture in the mid-late 20th century, Bradbury was investigated due to suspicions that he was involved with Communism. The file is mostly a litany of diversions and pointless investigations.  For example, ...
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Jack the Ripper and the FBI

Jack the Ripper and the FBI

In 1988 Cosgrove-Meurer Productions were producing a TV mini-series about the notorious Jack the Ripper murders of exactly 100 years earlier.  Their show claimed to have gained unprecedented access to official files on the case but ended up advancing a commonly-believed theory linking the murders to the British Royal Family ...
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Profile: Frederick Forsyth

Profile: Frederick Forsyth

Born: 25 August 1938 Died: N/A Intelligence involvement: Occasional work for MI6.  Served in the RAF. Culture involvement: Author of widely read and acclaimed thrillers most notably The Day of the Jackal, Icon and The Odessa File. Many of these books were subsequently adapted for the big screen. Bio:  Frederick ...
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Profile: William Melville

Profile: William Melville

Born: 25 April 1850 Died: 1 February 1918 Intelligence involvement: Superintendent of Scotland Yard Special Branch (1893-1903), Secret Service Bureau (exact dates unknown) Culture involvement: Was the subject of much of Patrick McIntyre's memoir about Special Branch. Subject of an acclaimed biography 'M: MI5's first spymaster'. Possible basis for the ...
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Profile: Ian Fleming

Profile: Ian Fleming

Born: 28 May 1908 Died: 12 August 1964 Intelligence involvement: British Naval Intelligence.  Possible work for MI5. Culture involvement: Author of world famous James Bond spy novels.  Naval Intelligence exploits fictionalised in 2011 film Age of Heroes. Bio:  Ian Lancaster Fleming was born to a wealthy family.  His father was ...
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Why ISC's new powers are impotent

Why ISC’s new powers are impotent

27/12/2012 Buried in the Boxing Day news is a story about the ISC (the Intelligence and Security Committee, who supposedly oversee MI5, MI6 and GCHQ) and their new powers to obtain information from the British security services. Whereas previously the ISC merely had the ability to 'request' information they can ...
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