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Pissing off the US government is not the aim of what I do here, but it is what you might call a fringe benefit.  Today, I received a response to one of my (200+) outstanding FOIA requests, this one from the US Air Force.  Like many of the responses I’ve had since the publication of National Security Cinema in the summer of 2017, the documents are not a comprehensive response to what I requested, and are heavily redacted.  They do reveal that the process by which the US Air Force pitches Hollywood has become more formal, but what they’re pitching is anyone’s fucking guess, going by these pages.

One of the most important discoveries in the many thousands of pages of reports from the military entertainment liaison offices is that they are very pro-active – they push and pitch and are constantly trying to make friends and influence people.   The 2018 tour of Air Force Special Operations Command centred around an effort to pitch the Air Force role in the Thai Cave Rescue just weeks after it had happened.  I detailed this in a ClandesTime episode, including how Lt Col Nathan Broshear of the Air Force’s Hollywood office lied about the trip, its purpose, and what (if anything) it accomplished.

According to Glenn Roberts, head of the DOD entertainment office, they ‘never pitch’.  So I have to ask, given that Glenn took up the DOD job in July 2020 and prior to that was head of the Air Force office, why the Air Force reports from 2019 have a whole section devoted to – you’ve guessed it – pitches.

US Air Force entertainment liaison office document showing ideas and pitches

Glenn Roberts is lying about the military not pitching Hollywood

So, the US Air Force pitches Hollywood, pitched Hollywood when Roberts was running their Hollywood office, and Roberts is simply lying.  These documents precede his statement that ‘we never pitch’ at the US Naval Institute Conference in 2020, so he must have seen them – hell, he probably helped write them.  He may even have been the project officer mentioned in the January 2019 pitch meeting with [REDACTED].

No doubt, the Air Force didn’t want me to put two and two together when they sent me these documents.  They are heavily redacted, only cover part of 2019 when I asked for everything from mid-2017 up to the point a search was carried out (in a request submitted in summer 2018).  The fact they only came up with stuff from 2019, and took until autumn 2023 to release it, shows how intentionally slow they’re being with my requests.  Naturally, a(nother) FOIA appeal will be winging its way to the US Air Force just as soon as I’ve finished writing this article and have had a Twix.


Highlights from the Documents

Some of the other highlights from these documents include The Junkyard, which is listed on IMDB as completed but not yet released, with an interesting-sounding plot:

“The Junkyard” is the story of two twin baby brothers who get separated in Afghanistan in 1981, when an airstrike hits their home. Both survive, 38 years later they meet again by accident as enemies.

Evidently, the Air Force didn’t like this movie about a US-backed war tearing a family apart, which rebounds into a US-led war with family members on opposite sides.  Their entry on the movie states:

Junkyard, a low-budget film set in 1981 Afghanistan requested to film at Kirtland AFB in February. PAYL determined the Air Force depiction was minimal, script lacked proper messaging and distribution was questionable — as such, support was declined.

Then there are the really dumb redactions, such as this one on Operation Christmas Drop:

US Air Force document on the film Operation Christmas Drop, with the title redactedWhy would they redact this?  I reviewed the movie nearly three years ago, the Air Force released a batch of documents to me about the filming of Operation Christmas Drop (though no script notes), the title isn’t in any way a secret.  Naturally, I’ll be appealing the excessive redactions too.

Their assessment of the movie The Last Full Measure, about a dead Vietnam vet award the Medal of Honor decades after his death, illustrates perfectly how they deal with ‘controversial’ subject matter:

The depiction of Air Force heroism is laudatory and accurate, with the few instances of bureaucratic infighting and post-Vietham PTSD cases largely overshadowed by the positive message of bravery and sacrifice.

Then there’s the success of their 2018 Entertainment Industry Leader Tour, which helped lead to:

Thai Cave Rescue Documentary//Passion Pictures for NatGeo – Production is requesting an interview with [REDACTED] USAF member who participated in the rescue. Working with AFSOC to determine member’s availability—likely to be interviewed in London, UK in the next 10-14 days.

And, just in case you were in need of a dose of astonishing cynicism, this is what they made of articles critical of their role in Captain Marvel:

Media Coverage of the Captain Marvel film release has been overwhelmingly positive. PAYL responded to three media queries directly —, LA Weekly and Air Force Times. Air Force Times released a positive review, while and LA Weekly chided the military for a “history of sexual assault” and “military boosterism” in online articles (articles were more ‘opinion’ pieces and would not be considered ‘news’ by most readers.

Christ on a bike, these people are soulless.  Also, why did they not release these reports as part of the 1500 pages of stuff they sent me on Captain Marvel?  Especially since they mention my FOIA requests in these documents, the pigs:

US Air Force document referencing my FOIA requests for US Air Force documents

US Air Force document refers to my FOIA requests for US Air Force documents #irony

I will go through these documents on a podcast episode soon but one more snippet caught my eye and made me laugh.  In a ‘slew’ of rejected productions one in particular is quite wonderful:

[LONG BIT REDACTED] – access to Davis-Monthan AFB/AMARG to hunt for ghosts. Based on the questionable existence of ghosts and lack of return on investment for the unit, the production support request was declined.

Questionable?  Fuck you, SAF/PAYL…

US Air Force Pitches Hollywood Documents

US Air Force Entertainment Liason Office Reports covering 2019