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In this month’s subscriber-only podcast Pearse and I discuss the 1986 TV movie Under Siege. Co-written by former Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward on the surface this is a liberal take on the Reagan White House, but underneath is a profoundly neoconservative film. When terrorists attack the US on a large scale the CIA and the military want to immediately take revenge on Iran, but the FBI director wants to hold back until they know who was responsible.

Under Siege was refused permission to shoot in the Washington DC area after officials from the agencies depicted in the film reviewed the script. We analyse the politics of this TV movie, the ambiguities throughout its story, how it predicted the post-9/11 world very accurately, and ask whether it is a bit of journalists’ fantasy or something more serious.

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