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Following the death of the hugely successful author Tom Clancy I filed a series of FOIA requests with various US government agencies for records on assistance given to him in the course of writing his books. The first response has come back from the DIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency. Strangely, the document is not strictly a response to my request, as it details DOD assistance to the film adaptation of Clancy’s novel Clear and Present Danger, not to Clancy himself.

The document is an unclassified message (though some information is redacted), sent from the office of the Secretary of Defense in Washington. Exactly who the message was sent to is not clear. It outlines how a few days earlier the decision had been made to grant assistance to the team producing the film of Clear and Present Danger, including permission to film in Arlington National Cemetery, Andrews Air Force Base and aboard an aircraft carrier.

The DOD also agreed to loan the producers two MH-60 helicopters for  scenes to be shot in Jalapa, Mexico but supposedly depicting ‘the Colombian mountains’.  The message explains how a DOD project officer would be assigned to follow the production on-set, and requested assistance (again, from who is not clear) in gaining Mexican government permission to use the military helicopters in Mexico for these scenes.  You can download the document here and as further files are made available in response to my requests I will of course be posting them here.  One further question is why the DIA had a copy of this document, since the subject doesn’t involve them in any apparent way.