Posts Tagged ‘Cold War’

ClandesTime 183 - Fields of Fire

ClandesTime 183 – Fields of Fire

Fields of Fire is one of the greatest movies that was never made. A brutal but sympathetic portrait of the Vietnam War, it was denied military support despite being written by a former Secretary of the Navy. This week I examine the story of Fields of Fire using a file ...
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Spy Culture Certified by American Journal of Economics and Sociology

Spy Culture Certified by American Journal of Economics and Sociology

Today I received an email that I thought I would share with you, from the publishers of the American Journal of Economics and Sociology.  It said that the two articles I penned for the journal were among the top 20 most-downloaded articles in the year following publication, and even offered ...
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ClandesTime 181 - The Cinema of Iran-Contra

ClandesTime 181 – The Cinema of Iran-Contra

Iran-Contra is in many ways the definitive government conspiracy – involving guns, drugs, anti-communism and black operations, it went all the way to the White House. This week I examine several films that implicitly or explicitly incorporate the Iran-Contra conspiracy into their plots, as well as movies about Iran-Contra that ...
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'The Script was Entertaining but very Sophmorish' - FBI Deputy Director on The X-Files

‘The Script was Entertaining but very Sophmorish’ – FBI Deputy Director on The X-Files

In 1998 retired FBI deputy director Cartha DeLoach was asked by the producers of The X-Files to review the script for an episode of the show that was set in the 1950s.  The FBI recently released DeLoach's response to the producers, where he branded the script 'very entertaining but Sophmorish', ...
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The Pentagon, Superman and the Freedom of Information Act

The Pentagon, Superman and the Freedom of Information Act

In 1977 the producers of Superman and Superman II approached the Pentagon to try to obtain stock footage of missiles launching, for use in depicting Lex Luthor's dastardly plot to nuke the San Andreas fault.  The Air Force and Strategic Air Command were provided with copies of the script in ...
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Watergate, the Mark Felt Biopic and the FBI

Watergate, the Mark Felt Biopic and the FBI

In my latest article for Shadowproof I examine the FBI's role in the Mark Felt biopic Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House.  Using documents obtained under FOIA and an interview with Ed Gray, the son of FBI acting director Pat Gray (who is depicted in Mark ...
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ClandesTime 177 - Ice Station Zebra

ClandesTime 177 – Ice Station Zebra

While it is now considered a Cold War classic Ice Station Zebra was a flop when it was first released. This week, I review Ice Station Zebra and analyse the development of the film, how it differs quite radically from the book, and why the DOD rejected an early version ...
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How the Hell is Project Blue Book so Boring?

How the Hell is Project Blue Book so Boring?

UFOs.  Probable extraterrestrials.  Investigation and revelation.  Nazi scientists.  A military cover-up.  With all these elements in place the History Channel's Project Blue Book should be an exciting, unpredictable replacement for The X-Files.  Instead it is a dull-as-dishwater procedural that lacks tension, drama and political relevance.  ...
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'Without any assistance from the military, then naturally, anything can happen' - DOD File on Ice Station Zebra

‘Without any assistance from the military, then naturally, anything can happen’ – DOD File on Ice Station Zebra

The production of Ice Station Zebra is a great case study in just how much influence the Pentagon can have over a movie script.  The initial script - by multi-Oscar winning writer Paddy Chayefsky - was rejected by the DOD for being too politically critical and culturally subversive.  In the ...
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The CIA, the National Reconnaissance Office and Ice Station Zebra

The CIA, the National Reconnaissance Office and Ice Station Zebra

The 1968 spy and counterspy classic Ice Station Zebra was inspired by a real life event during the CIA/Air Force Corona spy satellite program.  In April 1959 the satellite Discoverer 2 became the first to send a recovery capsule containing satellite surveillance imagery back to earth, but there was a ...
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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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Subscriber Podcast #28 - Panorama Breakdown: The Skripal Affair

Subscriber Podcast #28 – Panorama Breakdown: The Skripal Affair

In this month's subscriber-only podcast I break down the BBC's Panorama episode on the Skripal affair.  One year on from the Salisbury poisoning, I offer comments and criticism of one of the most shameless pieces of British state propaganda ever made: Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack - The Inside Story.  I ...
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