Posts Tagged ‘Al Qaeda’

Unthinkable

How the FBI Spied on and Rewrote the Torture Thriller Unthinkable

The 2010 thriller Unthinkable courted controversy by depicting the torture of a suspected terrorist who claims to have planted nuclear bombs in three US cities. Despite a strong cast including Samuel L Jackson, Carrie-Ann Moss and Stephen Root it was released direct-to-video and lost money. Recently released documents show that ...
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ClandesTime 176 – What Vice Doesn’t Tell You about Dick Cheney

ClandesTime 176 – What Vice Doesn’t Tell You about Dick Cheney

Vice has won awards along with praise from audiences and critics alike, but how well does it inform its audience about Dick Cheney? This week I take a look at the important material that Vice overlooked, or didn’t know about. From his rewriting of a key investigation into CIA black ...
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ClandesTime 175 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Death of Osama Bin Laden

ClandesTime 175 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Death of Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden’s death is the perfect postmodern event, in that most of the reports detailing how, where and when he died contradict all the other reports. This week I take an in-depth look at the Abbottabad raid of 2011 and the official story of Bin Laden’s death, analyzing some ...
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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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ClandesTime 170 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Anwar al Awlaki

ClandesTime 170 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Anwar al Awlaki

Anwar al Awlaki rose to notoriety in the 2000s as a leading internet jihadist whose lectures and videos were very popular among the emerging Islamist movement. But his history with Al Qaeda, and in particular his contacts with the 9/11 hijackers while under investigation by the FBI, pose serious questions ...
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When Al Qaeda Leader Awlaki Picked Up Hookers at Top Gun Naval Base

When Al Qaeda Leader Awlaki Picked Up Hookers at Top Gun Naval Base

Anwar Al Awlaki was the head of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula until his death in a CIA drone strike in 2011. In the mid-late 1990s he lived in San Diego, where he met future 9/11 hijackers Nawaf Al-Hazmi and Khalid Al Mihdhar and consorted with Saudi intelligence officer ...
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Steven Seagal and the Geneva Convention

Steven Seagal and the Geneva Convention

1996's action thriller Executive Decision may be light on action and lacking thrills but it is notable for one thing - the script violated the Geneva Convention and led to the Pentagon temporarily withdrawing support for the film. When the producers initially approached the DOD they were told that military ...
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ClandesTime 168 - Executive Decision

ClandesTime 168 – Executive Decision

The 1996 action thriller Executive Decision was an early example of what should be called ‘irregular war films’, pitting a team of special forces commandos against a gang of terrorists, on a hijacked plane headed for Washington DC. In this episode I analyse Executive Decision for it’s bizarre mirroring of ...
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ClandesTime 166 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Aimen Dean

ClandesTime 166 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Aimen Dean

Aimen Dean, born Ali Al-Duranni, was MI6’s spy inside Al Qaeda from 1998 to 2006. In this episode I do a critical view of his autobiography Nine Lives: My Time as MI6’s Top Spy Inside Al Qaeda, and how Dean’s story connects to other people and events explored in this ...
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The Wire Season 4 Review (Preview)

The Wire Season 4 Review (Preview)

In this penultimate review episode I look at how the education system is a poor place to learn anything, how standardised testing is a form of child abuse, the fundamental problems of electoral politics, and expand on why an intelligence-based approach to societal problems is always better than a military-based ...
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National Security Cinema - Responses to FAQs

National Security Cinema – Responses to FAQs

Since launching National Security Cinema last year, Matt and I have encountered a lot of questions about the field. These are our answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions and Comments about entertainment liaison offices and the politics of Hollywood films ...
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The 24 Mentality: The CIA, Torture and the 'Ticking Bomb' Scenario

The 24 Mentality: The CIA, Torture and the ‘Ticking Bomb’ Scenario

Just as politicians start to believe their own speeches, intelligence agencies start to believe their own propaganda. Nowhere is this clearer than in the CIA's black stite torture program initiated in the wake of 9/11. Recently declassified documents detailing current CIA director Gina Haspel's role in the torture program show ...
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