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Description:

ClandesTime is a film review and cultural research show focusing on the relationship between the intelligence agencies and popular culture. Features high quality guests and discussions as well as dedicated research episodes hosted by Tom Secker.

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Podcast Episode's:
ClandesTime 193 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Aukai Collins
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-193-an-alternative-history-of-al-qaeda-aukai-collins/' title='ClandesTime 193 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Aukai Collins'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Aukai-Collins.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In 1998 the CIA got an opportunity to infiltrate one of their spies into the Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan, but turned it down. This week, I examine the autobiography of that spy – Aukai Collins, an American jihadi who became a deep cover agent for the FBI and CIA. From his time training in camps in Afghanistan and Kashmir, to fighting on the front lines of the jihad in Chechnya and Kosovo, to how and why his relationship with the CIA went horribly wrong, this is perhaps the wildest story of any of the spies inside Al Qaeda.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-193-an-alternative-history-of-al-qaeda-aukai-collins/' title='ClandesTime 193 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Aukai Collins'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 192 – The Cinema of the Navy SEALs
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-192-the-cinema-of-the-navy-seals/' title='ClandesTime 192 - The Cinema of the Navy SEALs'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Navy-SEALs-1990-film.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The US Navy SEALs are known as the ‘quiet professionals’, but in recent times they have become the highest-profile of all US special forces. In this episode I examine several films depicting the SEALs, how the Pentagon has shaped their public image through Hollywood, and why they have become so well known that now there is even a TV show named after them. I draw out some of the underlying political messages of these films, which are of critical importance in the era of global warfare.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-192-the-cinema-of-the-navy-seals/' title='ClandesTime 192 - The Cinema of the Navy SEALs'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 191 – The ‘Disguised’ Political Film in Hollywood
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-191-the-disguised-political-film-in-hollywood/' title='ClandesTime 191 - The 'Disguised' Political Film in Hollywood'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Swing-Vote-Costner.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Why isn’t the ‘political film’ a genre of cinema? Hollywood puts out a consistent stream of politically-themed films, but rarely if ever promotes them as such. In this episode I review and critique the book The ‘Disguised’ Political Film in Contemporary Hollywood, discussing both the good and the bad, before trying to answer this key question.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-191-the-disguised-political-film-in-hollywood/' title='ClandesTime 191 - The 'Disguised' Political Film in Hollywood'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 190 – Karl Rove and the Cultural Impact of 9/11
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-190-karl-rove-and-the-cultural-impact-of-9-11/' title='ClandesTime 190 - Karl Rove and the Cultural Impact of 9/11'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/9-11-second-plane.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, President Bush’s chief spin doctor and senior advisor Karl Rove enlisted Hollywood’s help in selling the War on Terror. This week, I examine this White House-driven propaganda effort and assess its influence on Hollywood’s output. Focusing in on screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, I recount how he wrote a special episode of The West Wing in response to Rove’s outreach efforts, and then years later tried to cover up the significance of this in episodes of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. I round off by looking at the cultural impact of 9/11, and the films and TV shows that were edited, delayed or cancelled in response to the attacks. I also discuss my very brief career as a trans-continental explosives smuggler. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-190-karl-rove-and-the-cultural-impact-of-9-11/' title='ClandesTime 190 - Karl Rove and the Cultural Impact of 9/11'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 189 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Omar Nasiri
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-189-an-alternative-history-of-al-qaeda-omar-nasiri/' title='ClandesTime 189 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Omar Nasiri'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/AQ-Camp.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Omar Nasiri was a Moroccan who spent 6 years spying on Al Qaeda for several European intelligence agencies. In this episode I review his autobiography Inside the Jihad, including the year he spent in Afghan training camps in the mid-1990s. Focusing on his relationships with French and British intelligence I examine the strange case of agent provocateur Ali Touchent, and ask why Nasiri wasn’t used to try to stop the 9/11 attacks. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-189-an-alternative-history-of-al-qaeda-omar-nasiri/' title='ClandesTime 189 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Omar Nasiri'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #33 – American Moon
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-33-american-moon/' title='Subscriber Podcast #33 - American Moon'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/American-Moon.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Did we really go to the moon? Yes, probably, but American Moon is an epic 3 1/2 hour documentary that tries to make arguments that the Apollo missions were faked. In this month's subscriber podcast I offer a critical review of American Moon, from the photographic evidence to the geopolitics of the space race. I analyse both the evidence and the logic of the arguments made by the film-maker, explaining why I find them unconvincing. I round off by talking about my own view of these conspiracy theories and controversies and what I think the Apollo moon landings truly represent. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-33-american-moon/' title='Subscriber Podcast #33 - American Moon'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 188 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Mubin Shaikh
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-188-an-alternative-history-of-al-qaeda-mubin-shaikh/' title='ClandesTime 188 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Mubin Shaikh'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Mubin-Shaikh.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The 2006 arrests of the Toronto 18 was a key moment in the post-9/11 war on terror. It helped internationalise the war effort and added Canada to the list of supposed terrorist targets. This week I examine the life and work of the main Canadian intelligence informant inside the Toronto 18 – Mubin Shaikh. I analyse whether the plotters posed a genuine threat, or whether they were set up by Canadian authorities for political reasons.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-188-an-alternative-history-of-al-qaeda-mubin-shaikh/' title='ClandesTime 188 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Mubin Shaikh'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 187 – When Entertainment Liaison Offices Go Bad
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-187-when-entertainment-liaison-offices-go-bad/' title='ClandesTime 187 – When Entertainment Liaison Offices Go Bad'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Heartbreak-Ridge-Clint-Eastwood.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The relationship between government liaison offices and the entertainment industry usually works well, resulting in added production value for the industry’s products and the furtherance of the government’s agendas. But sometimes things go wrong. This week we look at what happens when the relationship breaks down, using examples from the DOD, CIA, FBI, NASA, Homeland Security and the State Department.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-187-when-entertainment-liaison-offices-go-bad/' title='ClandesTime 187 – When Entertainment Liaison Offices Go Bad'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 186 – NCIS
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-186-ncis/' title='ClandesTime 186 - NCIS'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/NCIS.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>NCIS is a wildly successful TV drama, one of the most popular series of the last 20 years. This week I recount how the DOD, Navy and Marine Corps routinely rewrite episodes of NCIS to fit their PR and propaganda goals. I look at why the relationship between the producers and the military nearly fell apart over the New Orleans spin-off show, and how the Navy commissioned an episode of NCIS to help cover up their sex crime problem.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-186-ncis/' title='ClandesTime 186 - NCIS'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #32 – The Looming Tower
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-32-the-looming-tower/' title='Subscriber Podcast #32 - The Looming Tower'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Michael-Scheuer-Looming-Tower.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>On this feature-length subscriber podcast I analyse the Hulu TV drama The Looming Tower (based on the original book by Lawrence Wright). It tells the story of the intelligence breakdown between the CIA's Alec Station and the FBI's I-49 squad, honing in on the tetchy relationship between the FBI's John O'Neill and the CIA's Michael Scheuer. I discuss what the series gets right and what it gets wrong, and present my argument for why it is CIA propaganda disguised as CIA criticism.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-32-the-looming-tower/' title='Subscriber Podcast #32 - The Looming Tower'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 185 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Morten Storm
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-185-an-alternative-history-of-al-qaeda-morten-storm/' title='ClandesTime 185 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Morten Storm'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Morten-Storm.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Morten Storm is a Danish man who converted to Islam in the 1990s and got involved in the jihadi scene in Denmark, the UK, Yemen and Somalia. In 2006 he suffered a loss of faith, and turned to Danish intelligence and offered to help them fight the war on terror. He spent several years working for British and Danish intelligence, but was double-crossed by the CIA after he helped them find and kill Anwar al Awlaki. In this episode, I examine this story via Morten’s book and media interviews and show how his life fits a pattern of similar figures in the alternative history of Al Qaeda.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-185-an-alternative-history-of-al-qaeda-morten-storm/' title='ClandesTime 185 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Morten Storm'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 184 – Political Paralysis in the Information Age
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-184-political-paralysis-in-the-information-age/' title='ClandesTime 184 - Political Paralysis in the Information Age'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Political-Paralysis-Information-Age.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>What happens when people are given too much information? They feel overwhelmed, which quickly becomes apathy and political paralysis. In this episode I analyse the philosophical and critical origins of our current political malaise, where many people feel the system is incapable of facing up to real and serious problems. I focus in on concepts of information distribution, freedom of speech and a phenomenon I call ‘The Society of the Statement’ in this departure from our usual content. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-184-political-paralysis-in-the-information-age/' title='ClandesTime 184 - Political Paralysis in the Information Age'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #31 – Rollerball
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-31-rollerball/' title='Subscriber Podcast #31 - Rollerball'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Rollerball-1975.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In this month's subscriber-only podcast I examine the 1975 movie Rollerball, about an ultra-violent bloodsport and the corporate dystopian society surrounding it. I discuss some of my favourite scenes in the film and how they reflect aspects of our present, real society, as well as the political philosophy of social Darwinism. I round off by acknowledging a few criticisms of the film, and how some elements of it contrast with our reality. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-31-rollerball/' title='Subscriber Podcast #31 - Rollerball'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 183 – Fields of Fire
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-183-fields-of-fire/' title='ClandesTime 183 - Fields of Fire'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Fields-of-Fire-Napalm.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>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 from the DOD’s entertainment liaison office. I outline the reasons it was rejected, how the DOD and the Marine Corps disagreed over whether to support the movie, and discuss how it could have been one of the great Vietnam war films.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-183-fields-of-fire/' title='ClandesTime 183 - Fields of Fire'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 182 – Clear and Present Danger
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-182-clear-and-present-danger/' title='ClandesTime 182 - Clear and Present Danger'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Clear-and-Present-Danger-Black.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>1994’s Clear and Present Danger is one of the most important movies in the cinema of the war on drugs, depicting black operations by the CIA and US military against a Colombian drug cartel. In this episode I do a deep dive on Clear and Present Danger, and how it set the standards for much of the war on drugs-themed entertainment since then. I analyse the film in light of documents from the DOD’s film office, showing how they profoundly rewrote the script to fit with their new, post-Cold War propaganda ambitions. I also discuss how it functions as an antidote to the Iran-Contra cinema of the late 1980s.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-182-clear-and-present-danger/' title='ClandesTime 182 - Clear and Present Danger'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 181 – The Cinema of Iran-Contra
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-181-the-cinema-of-iran-contra/' title='ClandesTime 181 - The Cinema of Iran-Contra'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Oliver-North-Iran-Contra.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>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 were never made due to government interference. Ranging from macho 80s cop action films through to biopics of Gary Webb and Barry Seal, the cinema of Iran-Contra is a microcosm that represents the movie industry as a whole.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-181-the-cinema-of-iran-contra/' title='ClandesTime 181 - The Cinema of Iran-Contra'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 180 – The Politics of Monster Movies
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-180-the-politics-of-monster-movies/' title='ClandesTime 180 - The Politics of Monster Movies'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/King-Kong-1933-1.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Monster movies are one of the most beloved and distinctive genres in cinema, featuring a winning combination of exotic spectacle, ground-breaking visual effects and reflections on humanity’s relationship with nature. This week I examine the politics and ideas behind some of the most recognisable movie franchises of all time – <em>King Kong</em>, <em>Godzilla</em> and <em>Jurassic Park</em>, as well as a few other monster movies. From Orientalism and Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle to the Pentagon’s shifting policy on giant creature features, this is a truly gigantic exploration of one of my favourite film genres.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-180-the-politics-of-monster-movies/' title='ClandesTime 180 - The Politics of Monster Movies'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #30 – Starship Troopers
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-30-starship-troopers/' title='Subscriber Podcast #30 - Starship Troopers'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Starship-Troopers.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>On this month's subscriber-only podcast I review one of my favourite films of all time - Starship Troopers. I discuss the film's dual narratives, how it is an anti-war film disguised as a piece of war propaganda, and why it was so misunderstood when it first came out. I outline my view that watching the movie is a lesson in how to identify and understand war propaganda, as well being an ultra-violent satire of fascism. I round off by answering the question on everyone's lips - how the hell did Paul Verhoeven get away with it?<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-30-starship-troopers/' title='Subscriber Podcast #30 - Starship Troopers'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 179 – The Philosophy and Politics of Superman
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-179-the-philosophy-and-politics-of-superman/' title='ClandesTime 179 - The Philosophy and Politics of Superman'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Superman-1978.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Superman is one of the world’s most recognisable cultural icons. A symbol of human idealism, he has been subject to a range of political and philosophical agendas over the last 80 years. This week I analyse the ideas behind Superman, and how they have manifested and changed throughout the course of the films. From Nietzsche to the Nazis, from the postmodern condition to the Pentagon rewriting Man of Steel, this is an epic exploration of the philosophy and politics of the world’s most recognisable superhero.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-179-the-philosophy-and-politics-of-superman/' title='ClandesTime 179 - The Philosophy and Politics of Superman'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 178 – Black Panther vs Django Unchained
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-178-black-panther-vs-django-unchained/' title='ClandesTime 178 – Black Panther vs Django Unchained'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Black-Panther-v-Django-Unchained.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Black Panther and Django Unchained are perhaps the two most successful movies featuring black actors in lead roles that Hollywood has ever made. But are they as radical as they seem? This week I analyse these films, how they operate as emotive fantasies for black audiences. Focusing in on the dual themes of violence and (in the case of Black Panther) technology I discuss whether their radical credentials are warranted. I also look at what role the CIA had in Black Panther, and to what end. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-178-black-panther-vs-django-unchained/' title='ClandesTime 178 – Black Panther vs Django Unchained'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 177 – Ice Station Zebra
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-177-ice-station-zebra/' title='ClandesTime 177 - Ice Station Zebra'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/IceStationZebra.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>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 of the script, leading to a total rewrite. From the National Reconnaissance Office to the addition of suspicious Russians, this is a case study in how state-sponsored Cold War cinema truly operated.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-177-ice-station-zebra/' title='ClandesTime 177 - Ice Station Zebra'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #29 – Media Breakdown: Armando Iannucci at Chatham House
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-29-media-breakdown-armando-iannucci-at-chatham-house/' title='Subscriber Podcast #29 - Media Breakdown: Armando Iannucci at Chatham House'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Iannucci.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>On this month's subscriber-only podcast I break down a 2016 interview with British political satirist Armando Iannucci by Chatham House, a.k.a. the Royal Institute of International Affairs. Topics include the EU referendum, the election of Donald Trump, the re-emergence of both Left and Right wing populism, how to combat fake news, the loss of trust in politicians, the relationship between politicians and the public, and the role of (both news and entertainment) media in politics. In particular I disagree with Iannucci's prescription for how to resolve the current political malaise, and explain why his proposed solution won't move the public dialogue forward. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-29-media-breakdown-armando-iannucci-at-chatham-house/' title='Subscriber Podcast #29 - Media Breakdown: Armando Iannucci at Chatham House'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 176 – What Vice Doesn’t Tell You about Dick Cheney
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-176-what-vice-doesnt-tell-you-about-dick-cheney/' title='ClandesTime 176 – What Vice Doesn’t Tell You about Dick Cheney'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Vice-Cheney.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>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 operations, to his support for President Reagan amidst the Iran-Contra scandal, to his mysterious movements during the 9/11 attacks, this is an exploration of the secret world of Dick Cheney.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-176-what-vice-doesnt-tell-you-about-dick-cheney/' title='ClandesTime 176 – What Vice Doesn’t Tell You about Dick Cheney'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 175 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Death of Osama Bin Laden
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-175-an-alternative-history-of-al-qaeda-the-death-of-osama-bin-laden/' title='ClandesTime 175 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Death of Osama Bin Laden'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Bin-Laden-Death-Front-Pages.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>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 of the myriad contradictions and contrasting claims about what happened. I also dwell on the implications of our inability to find a consistent, coherent account of this critical event in the war on terror.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-175-an-alternative-history-of-al-qaeda-the-death-of-osama-bin-laden/' title='ClandesTime 175 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Death of Osama Bin Laden'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 174 – The Big Short vs Margin Call
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-174-the-big-short-vs-margin-call/' title='ClandesTime 174 - The Big Short vs Margin Call'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Margin-Call.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The 2008 Wall Street crash has inspired little more than a staccato response from Hollywood, with very few films taking the subject seriously. In this episode I examine and review two of the more prominent movies that cover this topic – The Big Short and Margin Call. I critique the films and their statements about the crash, in particular who or what they blame for what became a worldwide economic slump. I also offer my own thoughts on where the blame lies, and present a few suggestions for what could be done to prevent it happening again. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-174-the-big-short-vs-margin-call/' title='ClandesTime 174 - The Big Short vs Margin Call'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 173 – Public Enemies
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-173-public-enemies/' title='ClandesTime 173 - Public Enemies'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Public-Enemies.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Public Enemies is a 2009 historical drama/thriller film that tells the story of the Bureau of Investigation’s manhunt for Public Enemy Number One John Dillinger. In this episode I examine the film, the politics of crime and the romanticising of criminals. I explore these themes in light of FBI documents on how they supported the movie and influenced the script, including making changes to protect the reputation of the long-dead chief of the Bureau, J Edgar Hoover.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-173-public-enemies/' title='ClandesTime 173 - Public Enemies'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 172 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Charlie Wilson’s War
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-172-an-alternative-history-of-al-qaeda-charlie-wilsons-war/' title='ClandesTime 172 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Charlie Wilson's War'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Charlie-Wilson.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>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 to create an army of ‘techno-holy warriors’ to fight against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. This week I offer an in-depth review of the book and the operation as a backgrounder to the rise of Al Qaeda. I hone in on the Agency’s relationships with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Jalaluddin Haqqani and Wilson himself, analysing the legacy of these connections in the post-9/11 war on terror. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-172-an-alternative-history-of-al-qaeda-charlie-wilsons-war/' title='ClandesTime 172 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Charlie Wilson's War'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #28 – Panorama Breakdown: The Skripal Affair
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-28-panorama-breakdown-the-skripal-affair/' title='Subscriber Podcast #28 - Panorama Breakdown: The Skripal Affair'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Panorama-Skripal-Affair.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In this month&#8217;s subscriber-only podcast I break down the BBC&#8217;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 &#8211; The Inside Story.  I detail how the programme changes [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-28-panorama-breakdown-the-skripal-affair/' title='Subscriber Podcast #28 - Panorama Breakdown: The Skripal Affair'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 171 – The Last Ship
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-171-the-last-ship/' title='ClandesTime 171 - The Last Ship'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/ClandesTime-The-Last-Ship.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The Last Ship is one of the most popular cable TV shows of recent years, as well as one of the most successful pieces of militainment. In this episode I examine the politics of the show, in particular how it depicts a conflict between the US and China. I look at how the US Navy effectively co-produced The Last Ship, moulding and shaping it to suit their PR ambitions, and discuss why it has proven so successful in a period of more subtle and multi-dimensional entertainment.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-171-the-last-ship/' title='ClandesTime 171 - The Last Ship'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 170 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Anwar al Awlaki
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-170-an-alternative-history-of-al-qaeda-anwar-al-awlaki/' title='ClandesTime 170 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Anwar al Awlaki'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Anwar-al-Awkali.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>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. Was Awlaki a terrorist, or a spy, or both? Was he working for US intelligence while acting as a spiritual leader to several of the hijackers? In this episode we take a critical look at Awlaki, his life, his FBI file and why he became the first American to be killed in a US drone strike.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-170-an-alternative-history-of-al-qaeda-anwar-al-awlaki/' title='ClandesTime 170 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Anwar al Awlaki'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 169 – Margaret Thatcher and the Entertainment Industry
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-169-margaret-thatcher-and-the-entertainment-industry/' title='ClandesTime 169 - Margaret Thatcher and the Entertainment Industry'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Spitting-Image-Thatcher.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The British government’s role in using the entertainment industry is smaller than in America, but nonetheless involves many of the same familiar activities. From helping provide ideas to the writers of Yes, Minister to exploiting the England football team’s success in the 1990 World Cup, the Thatcher government proved adept at enhancing their public image. In this episode I explore several examples of the Thatcher government using popular culture for political and PR purposes.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-169-margaret-thatcher-and-the-entertainment-industry/' title='ClandesTime 169 - Margaret Thatcher and the Entertainment Industry'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #27 – The Suid Archive
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-27-the-suid-archive/' title='Subscriber Podcast #27 - The Suid Archive'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Suid-Archive-Deep-Impact.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In this month's subscriber-only podcast I explore several DOD-supported films and the files on them from the Lawrence Suid archive. Focusing in on Air Force One, Deep Impact, The Final Countdown, Firefox and BAT-21 I outline the script changes forced on the film-makers in exchange for military support, from removing an unlit cigar through to altering President Morgan Freeman's speeches so he didn't say that looters will be shot. I also examine how some script changes made in the name of apparent political correctness are actually quite racist and sexist.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-27-the-suid-archive/' title='Subscriber Podcast #27 - The Suid Archive'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 168 – Executive Decision
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-168-executive-decision/' title='ClandesTime 168 - Executive Decision'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/168-Executive-Decision.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>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 elements of the 9/11 attacks, the political storm surrounding its release, and the influence the Pentagon had on the script. I discuss on how Hollywood reflects the shift from traditional to irregular warfare, and helped sell the war on terror before it had even begun. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-168-executive-decision/' title='ClandesTime 168 - Executive Decision'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 167 – Phil Strub’s Greatest Hits
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-167-phil-strubs-greatest-hits/' title='ClandesTime 167 – Phil Strub’s Greatest Hits'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Phil-Strub-Goldeneye.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>I recently found out that Strub retired from his job as the DOD’s Hollywood liaison last July, though this wasn’t covered by any news outlets and the DOD didn’t bother to tell anyone. In this episode I go through some of Strub’s greatest hits – the good, the bad and the ugly, looking at script changes enforced by his office and reflecting on the consequences of his three decades as the military’s chief propagandist.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-167-phil-strubs-greatest-hits/' title='ClandesTime 167 – Phil Strub’s Greatest Hits'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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The Wire Season 5 Review (preview)
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/the-wire-season-5-review-preview/' title='The Wire Season 5 Review (preview)'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Wire-Season-5.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In my final review of The Wire I discuss how the core theme of season 5 &#8211; truth &#8211; plays out across several storylines.  From fake news to McNulty&#8217;s fictional serial killer to the Clay Davis trial, I talk about how the abusive institutions that make up a city&#8217;s control mechanisms encourage and reward lies, [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/the-wire-season-5-review-preview/' title='The Wire Season 5 Review (preview)'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 166 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Aimen Dean
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-166-an-alternative-history-of-al-qaeda-aimen-dean/' title='ClandesTime 166 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Aimen Dean'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Aimen-Dean.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>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 series. I analyse whether this story is actually true, and whether Dean has gone from being a spy for MI6 to being a propagandist, and whether MI6 deliberately contributed to the 9/11 ‘intelligence failure’.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-166-an-alternative-history-of-al-qaeda-aimen-dean/' title='ClandesTime 166 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Aimen Dean'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 165 – Military Meta-Propaganda
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-165-military-meta-propaganda/' title='ClandesTime 165 - Military Meta-Propaganda'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Captain-Marvel.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Since the publication of National Security Cinema last summer, we have seen an uptick in the media coverage of the Pentagon in Hollywood, much of it originating with the Pentagon itself. This week I take a look at the PR efforts the DOD has embarked upon, about its own PR efforts in Hollywood. From Captain Marvel to Gerard Butler, this is a reflection on the power of exposing information.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-165-military-meta-propaganda/' title='ClandesTime 165 - Military Meta-Propaganda'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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The Wire Season 4 Review (Preview)
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/the-wire-season-4-review-preview/' title='The Wire Season 4 Review (Preview)'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Wire-Season-4.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>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 approach. I also talk about the politicisation of police investigations, the relevance of Michel Foucault and what The Wire has to do with the murder of Meir Kahane by followers of the Blind Sheikh. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/the-wire-season-4-review-preview/' title='The Wire Season 4 Review (Preview)'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #26 – What Connects Star Wars, Manchester United and Brexit?
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-26-what-connects-star-wars-manchester-united-and-brexit/' title='Subscriber Podcast #26 - What Connects Star Wars, Manchester United and Brexit?'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Brexit.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In this month's subscriber-only podcast I discuss the links between the sacking of the manager of Manchester United, why there isn't a new Star Wars film out this Christmas, and the macroeconomics of Brexit. I examine all three in the context of a failing economic system, recounting the history and economics of the UK's relationship with the EU, and complain about how some of the world's great entertainment franchises are run by total incompetents. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-26-what-connects-star-wars-manchester-united-and-brexit/' title='Subscriber Podcast #26 - What Connects Star Wars, Manchester United and Brexit?'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 164 – China’s Influence in Hollywood
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-164-chinas-influence-in-hollywood/' title='ClandesTime 164 – China’s Influence in Hollywood'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/China-Influence-Hollywood.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>China is without doubt a major player in Hollywood. Both private investment and state regulations and censorship have played a significant role in the American movie business in recent years. This week I examine the Chinese influence on Hollywood, both in terms of the shape of the industry and the shaping of film content. I examine how both the US and China have adopted protectionist mentalities, but are forced to work together for mutual economic benefit. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-164-chinas-influence-in-hollywood/' title='ClandesTime 164 – China’s Influence in Hollywood'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 163 – Nazis in Hollywood
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-163-nazis-in-hollywood/' title='ClandesTime 163 - Nazis in Hollywood'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Hitler-Variety.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Nazis make the perfect Hollywood villains – instantly recognisable, obviously deplorable and easy to recreate. So why were there no anti-Nazi films until 1939, on the eve of World War 2? This week I explore the history of Nazis in Hollywood in the 1930s, how the German government influenced American film-making, and the Jewish intelligence organisation who did what the FBI wouldn’t – infiltrated and helped prosecute the Nazis. I also reflect on how similar the 1930s American Nazi movement was to today’s hard Right culture, and explain why the anti-Jewish conspiracy theory about Hollywood simply isn’t true.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-163-nazis-in-hollywood/' title='ClandesTime 163 - Nazis in Hollywood'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime Special – The Royal Family, Brexit and Union Jackboot
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-special-the-royal-family-brexit-and-union-jackboot/' title='ClandesTime Special - The Royal Family, Brexit and Union Jackboot'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Royal-Family-News-Collage-Black.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>This week, I welcome Matt Alford to the show to talk about the media manipulation of the image of the British Royal Family, and how it relates to British foreign policy, including Brexit. From the killing of rare animals to closet fascism, to interfering in politics and criminal investigations, we look at numerous stories that reveal the dark underbelly of the Royals. We also discuss Matt’s new book Union Jackboot: What Your Media and Professors Don't Tell You About British Foreign Policy, and make a few tentative predictions about Brexit.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-special-the-royal-family-brexit-and-union-jackboot/' title='ClandesTime Special - The Royal Family, Brexit and Union Jackboot'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 162 – The Spook Who Sat by the Door
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-162-the-spook-who-sat-by-the-door/' title='ClandesTime 162 - The Spook Who Sat by the Door'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Spook-Who-Sat-by-the-Door.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The Spook Who Sat by the Door tells the story of the first African-American to be recruited by the CIA. After becoming disillusioned with the Agency he quits and sets up a black power guerilla army that wages urban war across the United States. According to its writer Sam Greenlee the film was banned from theaters as a result of pressure from the FBI. In this episode I explore Greenlee’s life and the book and film of The Spook Who Sat by the Door, in light of newly-acquired FBI documents.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-162-the-spook-who-sat-by-the-door/' title='ClandesTime 162 - The Spook Who Sat by the Door'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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The Wire Season 3 Review (Preview)
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/the-wire-season-3-review-preview/' title='The Wire Season 3 Review (Preview)'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Wire-Season-3.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In part 3 of this subcriber-only review series I look at season three of The Wire. In this season the Barksdale storyline comes to a climax, while the city hall politics are added into the ever-expanding world of the show. I examine the Hamsterdam experiment, where one police major decides to legalise drugs in certain [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/the-wire-season-3-review-preview/' title='The Wire Season 3 Review (Preview)'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 161 – How the Pentagon Censors Military Mental Illness in Hollywood
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-161-how-the-pentagon-censors-military-mental-illness-in-hollywood/' title='ClandesTime 161 - How the Pentagon Censors Military Mental Illness in Hollywood'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Military-Suicide.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The men and women who are employed by the US military to fight its hegemonic wars often suffer from serious mental illness. Depression, PTSD/trauma, extreme anxiety and stress – these are commonplace among people both within the military and among veterans. In this episode I explore how the Pentagon's entertainment liaison offices have become less sympathetic to their own troops over time. This has resulted in a policy that effectively excludes realistic portraits of military mental illness from DOD-supported projects, censoring Hollywood for political ends. I analyse how this policy has developed over time, affecting films, documentaries and popular TV shows. I also provide a review and case study of the film A Few Good Men, a film the Pentagon tried but failed to censor.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-161-how-the-pentagon-censors-military-mental-illness-in-hollywood/' title='ClandesTime 161 - How the Pentagon Censors Military Mental Illness in Hollywood'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #25 – A New Direction
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-25-a-new-direction/' title='Subscriber Podcast #25 - A New Direction'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Los-Angeles.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In this month's susbcriber-only podcast I talk about my new screenplay project - a political satire of Hollywood. I talk about my history with acting and writing, and discuss some of my creative process, how I developed two simple ideas and combined them to form the basis for my screenplay. I also quickly review some of my film and TV inspirations including The Big Picture, Get Shorty and Episodes. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-25-a-new-direction/' title='Subscriber Podcast #25 - A New Direction'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 160 – Why Doesn’t Hollywood Make War Films Any More?
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-160-why-doesnt-hollywood-make-war-films-any-more/' title='ClandesTime 160 - Why Doesn’t Hollywood Make War Films Any More?'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/War-Movies-Forrest-Gump.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Hollywood doesn’t make war films any more. This isn’t entirely true, but compared to the post-WW2 period there are a lot less war films being made today. In this in-depth episode I offer a brief history of war movies and anti-war movies, and how the Pentagon’s policy on supporting films depicting war seems to have changed over time. I highlight some of my favourite anti-war movies, along with the most anti-war films the DOD has supported. We finish up looking at why it doesn’t matter that Hollywood doesn’t make many war movies any more, and how the underlying psychology of war movies is still present in much of our entertainment.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-160-why-doesnt-hollywood-make-war-films-any-more/' title='ClandesTime 160 - Why Doesn’t Hollywood Make War Films Any More?'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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The Wire Season 2 Review (Preview)
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/the-wire-season-2-review-preview/' title='The Wire Season 2 Review (Preview)'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Wire-Season-2.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In the second of my subscriber-only reviews of The Wire I look at season 2. Focusing on smuggling through the port of Baltimore this season explores how capitalism has evolved to a post-industrial phase dominated by service industries like sex and drugs, how investigating sex slavery is relegated behind lesser crimes, and the parallels between [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/the-wire-season-2-review-preview/' title='The Wire Season 2 Review (Preview)'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 159 – The Founder
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-159-the-founder/' title='ClandesTime 159 - The Founder'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Founder.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The Founder is a 2016 biopic of Ray Kroc, the man who created McDonald’s. Or did he? In this episode I examine this ambiguous film, one of the best examples of cultural capitalism to come out of Hollywood in recent years. I explore how it avoids the negative consequences of the creation of McDonald’s, leaving us with a simple human conflict over who deserves the credit and recognition. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-159-the-founder/' title='ClandesTime 159 - The Founder'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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The Wire Season 1 Review (preview)
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/the-wire-season-1-review-preview/' title='The Wire Season 1 Review (preview)'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Wire-Season-1.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>This is part 1 of a new subscriber-only review series where I talk about The Wire. In this episode I discuss some of the recurring themes &#8211; the war on drugs, the failed police tactics, the dirty money trail &#8211; along with the complex metaphysics of the show. I talk about some of my favourite [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/the-wire-season-1-review-preview/' title='The Wire Season 1 Review (preview)'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #24 – Swimming with Sharks
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-24-swimming-with-sharks/' title='Subscriber Podcast #24 - Swimming with Sharks'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Swimming-with-Sharks-1994.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>On this month&#8217;s subscriber-only podcast I dissect the 1994 movie Swimming with Sharks, about a young man who goes to work at a Hollywood studio, where his boss (Kevin Spacey) abuses and bullies him relentlessly. I reflect on the film&#8217;s relevance in the wake of the #MeToo phenomenon, and how the film is a dark [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-24-swimming-with-sharks/' title='Subscriber Podcast #24 - Swimming with Sharks'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 158 – Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-158-tom-clancys-jack-ryan/' title='ClandesTime 158 - Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Tom-Clancy-Jack-Ryan.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The new Amazon series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan is the first TV show to film at CIA headquarters for several years, in keeping with the Agency’s long-time support for adaptations of Clancy’s work. In this episode I review and analyse the series, including the inevitable references to 9/11, the hallmarks of CIA input on the script and the question of whether the series acts as revenge fantasy for Islamist terrorists.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-158-tom-clancys-jack-ryan/' title='ClandesTime 158 - Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 157 – Two Years Inside the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-157-two-years-inside-the-cias-office-of-public-affairs/' title='ClandesTime 157 – Two Years Inside the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/CIA-Headquarters-Overhead.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The CIA’s Office of Public Affairs (OPA) was established in the late 1970s and contains their entertainment liaison office. This week I go through an 8-page summary of the CIA’s Entertainment Liaison and Media Outreach activities covering 2014-16. This includes their relationships with journalists, their involvement in entertainment such as the Benghazi movie 13 Hours, and their relationship with deep state lawyer and Hollywood consultant Rich Klein. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-157-two-years-inside-the-cias-office-of-public-affairs/' title='ClandesTime 157 – Two Years Inside the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 156 – The Pentagon and Pitch Perfect 3
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-156-the-pentagon-and-pitch-perfect-3/' title='ClandesTime 156 - The Pentagon and Pitch Perfect 3'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Pentagon-Pitch-Perfect-3.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>To unsuspecting movie audiences Pitch Perfect 3 is a piece of lighthearted family-friendly entertainment to be enjoyed and then forgotten almost immediately. Lurking beneath this neutrally-toned surface lies a work of military recruitment propaganda, intelligently crafted to appeal to demographics that the DOD usually has trouble reaching. In this episode I break down the film, [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-156-the-pentagon-and-pitch-perfect-3/' title='ClandesTime 156 - The Pentagon and Pitch Perfect 3'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #23 – The Merits and Demerits of Netflix
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-23-the-merits-and-demerits-of-netflix/' title='Subscriber Podcast #23 - The Merits and Demerits of Netflix'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Cobra-Kai.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Streaming content on-demand has changed the way people think about their relationship with entertainment, and drastically changed people&#8217;s viewing habits and behaviour. So in this episode we take a look at Netflix (and other on-demand platforms), the merits and demerits of the streaming model, and ask whether this development will be good for independent content [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-23-the-merits-and-demerits-of-netflix/' title='Subscriber Podcast #23 - The Merits and Demerits of Netflix'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 155 – Production Assistance Agreements or How the Pentagon Broke the Rules for Transformers
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-155-production-assistance-agreements-or-how-the-pentagon-broke-the-rules-for-transformers/' title='ClandesTime 155 - Production Assistance Agreements or How the Pentagon Broke the Rules for Transformers'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Transformers-US-Air-Force.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Most government agencies sign contracts with Hollywood producers when they agree to provide support on a film or TV show. These are called Production Assistance Agreements, and set out the legal terms of the partnership between the government and the production company. In this episode I explore these contracts, how long they've been in effect, and the powers they grant to both parties. I use this as a basis for a case study of how the Pentagon has repeatedly broken the rules when it comes to the Transformers films. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-155-production-assistance-agreements-or-how-the-pentagon-broke-the-rules-for-transformers/' title='ClandesTime 155 - Production Assistance Agreements or How the Pentagon Broke the Rules for Transformers'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 154 – Hollywood Goes to Space Command
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-154-hollywood-goes-to-space-command/' title='ClandesTime 154 - Hollywood Goes to Space Command'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Hollywood-Space-Command.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>As part of their outreach efforts the Air Force's entertainment liaison office has started running annual tours for dozens of Hollywood bigshots. Recently released documents detail last year's tour to US Space Command. In this focus episode I go through the documents page-by-page as an open source case study in the government-Hollywood relationship and in how to do this kind of research. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-154-hollywood-goes-to-space-command/' title='ClandesTime 154 - Hollywood Goes to Space Command'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 153 – Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-153-mark-felt-the-man-who-brought-down-the-white-house/' title='ClandesTime 153 - Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Mark-Felt-Liam-Neeson.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Mark Felt is a 2017 biopic starring Liam Neeson as FBI Deputy Director Mark Felt, telling the story of his role in becoming a source for the Washington Post's reporting on Watergate. Following on from recent episodes on John Paisley and the Weather Underground, I offer a deconstructive view of Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, and a critique of its historical inaccuracy and political deceit. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-153-mark-felt-the-man-who-brought-down-the-white-house/' title='ClandesTime 153 - Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 152 – Condor
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-152-condor/' title='ClandesTime 152 - Condor'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Condor-TV-Series.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Condor is a TV reboot of Three Days of the Condor, and centres around a CIA officer who goes on the run after he is framed for killing 11 of his colleagues. In this episode I examine whether Condor was CIA-sponsored, why the Agency might support a series that shows them planning massive crimes, and [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-152-condor/' title='ClandesTime 152 - Condor'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime Special – Rorschach Politics: The War in Syria
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-special-rorschach-politics-the-war-in-syria/' title='ClandesTime Special - Rorschach Politics: The War in Syria'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Rorschach-Syria.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In this special episode I reflect on the war in Syria and the propaganda emanating from governments on both sides.  In particular I focus in on how the apparently anti-war Left has been fooled into becoming de facto propagandists for the Russian and Syrian security states, and how the same binary narratives are issued in [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-special-rorschach-politics-the-war-in-syria/' title='ClandesTime Special - Rorschach Politics: The War in Syria'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 151 – Rules of Engagement
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-151-rules-of-engagement/' title='ClandesTime 151 - Rules of Engagement'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Rules-of-Engagement-Poster.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The military legal drama Rules of Engagement is perhaps the greatest modern example of racist, warmongering propaganda. Unsurprisingly, it benefited from full Pentagon support, in exchange for numerous script changes. The film was eerily prescient, foreshadowing two terrorist attacks in Yemen, and in some ways the entire post-9/11 war on terror. In this episode I [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-151-rules-of-engagement/' title='ClandesTime 151 - Rules of Engagement'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #22 – Did the Marvel Cinematic Universe Troll the Pentagon?
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-22-did-the-marvel-cinematic-universe-troll-the-pentagon/' title='Subscriber Podcast #22 - Did the Marvel Cinematic Universe Troll the Pentagon?'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/PP22-Iron-Man-3.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Marvel have enjoyed a long-running and mutually beneficial relationship with the Pentagon, but there was a falling out during production of The Avengers (2012).  On this month&#8217;s subscriber-only podcast I examine two of the MCU films that immediately followed this argument &#8211; Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier &#8211; and highlight scenes [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-22-did-the-marvel-cinematic-universe-troll-the-pentagon/' title='Subscriber Podcast #22 - Did the Marvel Cinematic Universe Troll the Pentagon?'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 150 – The Weather Underground
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-150-the-weather-underground/' title='ClandesTime 150 - The Weather Underground'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Weather-Underground-Dustin-Hoffman.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The Weather Underground were the most active and successful militant left-wing group in US history. As part of their anti-Vietnam war operations they bombed the Pentagon, the State Department, corporate headquarters and other high-profile targets. In this episode I examine whether they were a lethal terrorist organisation, or a non-lethal militant anti-war gang. I look [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-150-the-weather-underground/' title='ClandesTime 150 - The Weather Underground'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 149 – Rear Window
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-149-rear-window/' title='ClandesTime 149 - Rear Window'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/149-Rear-Window.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Rear Window is one of my all-time favourite films so in this episode I discuss its unique production, the ethics of spying and voyeurism explored in the story, and feminist critiques of both Hitchcock and his movies.  Transcript Rear Window is one of my favourite films of all time, which is why I&#8217;ve decided [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-149-rear-window/' title='ClandesTime 149 - Rear Window'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 148 – The American President
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-148-the-american-president/' title='ClandesTime 148 - The American President'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/The-American-President-1995.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The American President is a romantic comedy set in the White House, set against a backdrop of political issues that are still part of our public conversation. In this episode I analyse the film's politics of nostalgia, its idealisation of the liberal agenda, and its promotion of the military and security state. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-148-the-american-president/' title='ClandesTime 148 - The American President'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 147 – Crime, Censorship and the Copycat Effect
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-147-crime-censorship-and-the-copycat-effect/' title='ClandesTime 147 - Crime, Censorship and the Copycat Effect'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Crime-Censorship-Dragnet.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>For movie censors, crime is perhaps the most complex issue to make decisions about. They want the public to be alert to the possibility of crimes happening, and respectful of law enforcement institutions. But entertainers and audiences want dramatic, ambiguous villains and stories of institutional corruption and hubris. This week I examine this conflict in light of three institutions – the LAPD, the FBI and the Federal Bureau of Prisons – and their relationships with the entertainment industry.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-147-crime-censorship-and-the-copycat-effect/' title='ClandesTime 147 - Crime, Censorship and the Copycat Effect'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime Special – Just When You Thought it was Safe to Go Back in the Novichok
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-special-just-when-you-thought-it-was-safe-to-go-back-in-the-novichok/' title='ClandesTime Special - Just When You Thought it was Safe to Go Back in the Novichok'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Novichok.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>For the last several weeks the British media has been in full panic mode after two people were apparently poisoned in the English town of Amesbury, a few miles from Salisbury. The official story is that the pair found a perfume bottle containing Novichok that was discarded by Russian assassins after the poisoning of the [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-special-just-when-you-thought-it-was-safe-to-go-back-in-the-novichok/' title='ClandesTime Special - Just When You Thought it was Safe to Go Back in the Novichok'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #21 – Satirising the Security State
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-21-satirising-the-security-state/' title='Subscriber Podcast #21 - Satirising the Security State'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Snake-Outta-Compton.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>While most entertainment supports or promote the military, police and intelligence agencies there is a smaller but important sub-genre that critiques and satirises the security state.  On this month&#8217;s subscriber-only podcast I look at four examples &#8211; two TV series and two films &#8211; that mock and criticise the security and intelligence agencies.  From Snake [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-21-satirising-the-security-state/' title='Subscriber Podcast #21 - Satirising the Security State'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 146 – The Death of David Kelly
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-146-the-death-of-david-kelly/' title='ClandesTime 146 - The Death of David Kelly'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/David-Kelly.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The death of weapons expert and UN inspector Dr David Kelly in the summer of 2003 is one of the Iraq War&#8217;s most enduring mysteries. While the case was officially ruled a suicide, this conclusion was reached by an informal government inquiry which the Blair government used to replace the normal, legal inquest procedure. In [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-146-the-death-of-david-kelly/' title='ClandesTime 146 - The Death of David Kelly'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 145 – Conspiracy Theories: John Paisley
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-145-conspiracy-theories-john-paisley/' title='ClandesTime 145 - Conspiracy Theories: John Paisley'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/John-Paisley.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>John Paisley was a senior CIA officer who worked on Team B, was the Agency&#8217;s liaison to the Watergate burglars, and according to some was a Soviet double agent. In 1978 he disappeared while sailing in the Chesapeake Bay, and the body that washed up was never definitively identified as his. This week we take [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-145-conspiracy-theories-john-paisley/' title='ClandesTime 145 - Conspiracy Theories: John Paisley'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 144 – The Recruit (by Robert Muchamore)
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-144-the-recruit-by-robert-muchamore/' title='ClandesTime 144 - The Recruit (by Robert Muchamore)'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Recruit-Muchamore.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>One of the growing markets in spy fiction is pop culture aimed at teenagers or &#8216;young adults&#8217;. The CHERUB series by Robert Muchamore depicts a junior wing of MI6, with the first novel in the series – The Recruit – depicting the recruitment, training and first mission of our protagonist, James Adams. This week I [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-144-the-recruit-by-robert-muchamore/' title='ClandesTime 144 - The Recruit (by Robert Muchamore)'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #20 – National Security Cinema: One Year On
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-20-national-security-cinema-one-year-on/' title='Subscriber Podcast #20 - National Security Cinema: One Year On'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/National-Security-Cinema-One-Year-On.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>A year ago I published the book National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood.  On this month&#8217;s subscriber podcast I reflect on the success of the book, its impact on media coverage of the topic of government influence on entertainment and the plans for a followup book.  I also talk [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-20-national-security-cinema-one-year-on/' title='Subscriber Podcast #20 - National Security Cinema: One Year On'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 143 – We Were Lied to About 9/11 with Jon Gold
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-143-we-were-lied-to-about-9-11-with-jon-gold/' title='ClandesTime 143 - We Were Lied to About 9/11 with Jon Gold'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Lied-to-About-911.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>This week I am joined by long-time 9/11 researcher and activist Jon Gold, to talk about his new book We Were Lied to About 9/11. We discuss Jon&#8217;s experiences both of the 9/11 attacks and of his years of research and activism, along with the legacy of the &#8216;truth movement&#8217; and why Jon&#8217;s approach is [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-143-we-were-lied-to-about-9-11-with-jon-gold/' title='ClandesTime 143 - We Were Lied to About 9/11 with Jon Gold'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 142 – The Last Supper
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-142-the-last-supper/' title='ClandesTime 142 - The Last Supper'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Last-Supper-1995.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The Last Supper is a 1990s black comedy where a group of ultra-liberal post-graduate students invite right-wingers over for debate, and kill them if they cannot change their minds. In this episode I analyse this film&#8217;s political satire, the occult symbolism littered throughout the movie, and how the logical result of identity politics is the [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-142-the-last-supper/' title='ClandesTime 142 - The Last Supper'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 141 – The Pentagon, Feminism and Home Improvement
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-141-the-pentagon-feminism-and-home-improvement/' title='ClandesTime 141 - The Pentagon, Feminism and Home Improvement'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/ClandesTime-141-Home-Improvement.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In 1995 the Pentagon supported an episode of the popular sitcom Home Improvement, where Tim and Jill get to drive tanks at a Marine base. This week we take a deep dive into this episode, its feminist subtext, and the DOD’s political censorship of the script, courtesy of a file from an archive in Georgetown. [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-141-the-pentagon-feminism-and-home-improvement/' title='ClandesTime 141 - The Pentagon, Feminism and Home Improvement'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #19 – The Politics of Eurovision
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-19-the-politics-of-eurovision/' title='Subscriber Podcast #19 - The Politics of Eurovision'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Netta-Eurovision.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>For decades the Eurovision Song Contest has been a platform for projecting soft power and engaging in cultural warfare.  In this month&#8217;s subscriber-only podcast I look at how Eurovision entries have been used for propaganda and have been subject to political censorship. I discuss this year&#8217;s winning entry &#8211; which purports to be an anthem [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-19-the-politics-of-eurovision/' title='Subscriber Podcast #19 - The Politics of Eurovision'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 140 – How the CIA Censored The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-140-how-the-cia-censored-the-cia-and-the-cult-of-intelligence/' title='ClandesTime 140 - How the CIA Censored The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/CIA-Cult-of-Intelligence.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In 1974 former CIA officer Victor Marchetti and former State Department official John Marks published their book The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence. This week I examine a file in the JFK archives that details what the CIA censored from the book, and why. I look at several categories of CIA operations that were [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-140-how-the-cia-censored-the-cia-and-the-cult-of-intelligence/' title='ClandesTime 140 - How the CIA Censored The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 139 – The Politics of Star Wars
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-139-the-politics-of-star-wars/' title='ClandesTime 139 - The Politics of Star Wars'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Politics-Star-Wars.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>This week I review the most recent Star Wars film The Last Jedi and analyse its politics. I discuss its anti-war and progressive tokenism, and why this is ultimately undermined by being symbolic, and not narrative-based.  None of the ‘progressive’ character moments or dialogue in the film have any meaningful consequences for the plot, rendering [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-139-the-politics-of-star-wars/' title='ClandesTime 139 - The Politics of Star Wars'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #18 – How Pop Culture Predictively Programmed a Poisoning
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-18-how-pop-culture-predictively-programmed-a-poisoning/' title='Subscriber Podcast #18 - How Pop Culture Predictively Programmed a Poisoning'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Subscriber-Podcast-18.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In this month&#8217;s subscriber-only podcast I take a look at three TV series which predicted or reinforced various aspects of the official story of the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.  I examine Salvation, Homeland and Strike Back have featured dialogue and storylines about Litvinenko, Russian assassination of former spies, Novichok and more.  This is [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-18-how-pop-culture-predictively-programmed-a-poisoning/' title='Subscriber Podcast #18 - How Pop Culture Predictively Programmed a Poisoning'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime Special – Conspiracy Theories: The Salisbury Poisoning
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-special-conspiracy-theories-the-salisbury-poisoning/' title='ClandesTime Special – Conspiracy Theories: The Salisbury Poisoning'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/ClandesTime-Skripal-Salisbury-Poisoning.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>On March 4th Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in the sleepy British city of Salisbury, by forces currently unknown. The British government immediately blamed Russian intelligence, leading to weeks of accusations and counter-accusations, diplomatic expulsions and lots of conspiracy theories about who really did this, and why. In this special episode I [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-special-conspiracy-theories-the-salisbury-poisoning/' title='ClandesTime Special – Conspiracy Theories: The Salisbury Poisoning'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 138 – The Reflecting Pool
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-138-the-reflecting-pool/' title='ClandesTime 138 - The Reflecting Pool'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/ClandesTime-Reflecting-Pool.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>I am joined today by Robbie Martin and Pearse Redmond to talk about the 2008 9/11 conspiracy thriller The Reflecting Pool. We pick on various aspects of the film that relate or comment on the 9/11 truth movement, including the bizarre consensus that thermite brought down the WTC which has overshadowed the much more important [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-138-the-reflecting-pool/' title='ClandesTime 138 - The Reflecting Pool'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 137 – Rorschach Politics: Russiagate
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-137-rorschach-politics-russiagate/' title='ClandesTime 137 - Rorschach Politics: Russiagate'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Russiagate.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Russiagate has become both the gift that keeps on giving and the scandal that will not die. This week we take a look at the allegations, the perceptions and the misconceptions, examining how the ‘fake news’ crisis grew out of the claim that the Russian government hacked the 2016 US presidential election. I ask whether this is merely the latest attempt by the liberal establishment to restore their fading authority and public support, or something more complex.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-137-rorschach-politics-russiagate/' title='ClandesTime 137 - Rorschach Politics: Russiagate'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Special Extra Bonus Subscriber Podcast – Cambridge Analytica
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/special-extra-bonus-subscriber-podcast-cambridge-analytica/' title='Special Extra Bonus Subscriber Podcast - Cambridge Analytica'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Alexander-Nix.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In this special podcast just for Pearse&#8217;s patreon subscribers (also available to my subscribers) we discuss all things Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix and Christopher Wylie.  Fundamentally we ask whether their activities are new or unique, or merely the most well-known when dozens of other companies and government agencies do the same things.  We finish up [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/special-extra-bonus-subscriber-podcast-cambridge-analytica/' title='Special Extra Bonus Subscriber Podcast - Cambridge Analytica'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #17 – Naming the B-21 Bomber
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-17-naming-the-b-21-bomber/' title='Subscriber Podcast #17 - Naming the B-21 Bomber'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/B-21-Bomber.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>On this month&#8217;s subscriber-only podcast I talk about my new job and why it means I&#8217;ve been unable to produce much content recently, and about the US Air Force&#8217;s competition to name the in-development B-21 strategic bomber. From the Trumpnator to Bomby McPlaneFace, a lot of the suggestions are very funny, and I offer a [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-17-naming-the-b-21-bomber/' title='Subscriber Podcast #17 - Naming the B-21 Bomber'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 136 – The Politics of the Cinematic Universes
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-136-politics-cinematic-universes/' title='ClandesTime 136 - The Politics of the Cinematic Universes'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/NGEN-Northrup-Grumman.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>From racism and sexism to the military-industrial complex, the politics both within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and surrounding it here in the real world are a constant source of news stories and controversy. This week we look at how the world’s biggest film franchise is both the source and the subject of political disputes and [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-136-politics-cinematic-universes/' title='ClandesTime 136 - The Politics of the Cinematic Universes'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 135 – Conspiracy Theories: Cambridge Analytica
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-135-conspiracy-theories-cambridge-analytica/' title='ClandesTime 135 - Conspiracy Theories: Cambridge Analytica'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Cambridge-Analytica.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Cambridge Analytica are a big data marketing firm who, according to numerous media commentators, were the critical factor in the election of Donald Trump. They are the subject of many officially-endorsed, fully-mainstreamed conspiracy theories proposed by different segments of the political-media spectrum. This week we take a critical look at these theories and ask whether those who believe in them are confusing technological sophistication with real-world effectiveness. We also examine an alternative conspiracy theory about the company and their associations. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-135-conspiracy-theories-cambridge-analytica/' title='ClandesTime 135 - Conspiracy Theories: Cambridge Analytica'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 134 – Spy vs. Spies
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-134-spy-vs-spies/' title='ClandesTime 134 - Spy vs. Spies'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/ClandesTime-Spy-vs-Spies.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Spy is a 2004 BBC gameshow where ordinary members of the public are trained and tested by real life ex-spooks and ultimately some are eliminated until there’s a winner. Spies is a 2017 Channel 4 gameshow where ordinary members of the public are trained and tested by real life ex-spooks and ultimately some are eliminated [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-134-spy-vs-spies/' title='ClandesTime 134 - Spy vs. Spies'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #16 – Why I do What I do
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-16-i-i/' title='Subscriber Podcast #16 - Why I do What I do'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/PP-16.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>On this month&#8217;s subscriber-only podcast I talk about my political and personal motives for doing this sort of work as well some of my thoughts on strategies for tackling political problems. I discuss the history of anarchism &#8211; both intellectual and terroristic &#8211; and how I see my work fitting into that, as well as [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-16-i-i/' title='Subscriber Podcast #16 - Why I do What I do'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 133 – Was the Unabomber Right?
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-133-unabomber-right/' title='ClandesTime 133 - Was the Unabomber Right?'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/ClandesTime-133-Unabomber.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Ted Kaczynski is most famous for both being the most prolific serial bomber in US history and for writing the Unabomber Manifesto – a political-philosophical tract that was published by major newspapers and by the FBI. This week I take a look at the life of Ted Kaczynski and conduct a philosophical analysis of Industrial [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-133-unabomber-right/' title='ClandesTime 133 - Was the Unabomber Right?'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 132 – The Secret World of Tom Clancy Part III: US Intelligence
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-132-secret-world-tom-clancy-part-iii-us-intelligence/' title='ClandesTime 132 - The Secret World of Tom Clancy Part III: US Intelligence'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Clancy-Intelligence.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Aside from Ian Fleming, there is no more influential spy author than Tom Clancy. Clancy’s books (and the films and computer games based on them) benefited from his close contact with the US government. This week we shed light on his relationships with the CIA and the NSA, and ask whether the CIA’s public affairs [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-132-secret-world-tom-clancy-part-iii-us-intelligence/' title='ClandesTime 132 - The Secret World of Tom Clancy Part III: US Intelligence'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast 15 – White Helmet Supremacy
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-15-white-helmet-supremacy/' title='Subscriber Podcast 15 - White Helmet Supremacy'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/White-Helmets-Syria.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>On this month's subscriber-only podcast I explain my criticisms of 21st Century Wire and Patrick Henningsen in particular. I outline their disturbing habit of denying the suffering of non-white people, often by claiming they are mere 'crisis actors', their implicit and explicit endorsement of white supremacism, and their martyr-lite marketing strategy, as well as the laughable nature of their coverage of all things Hollywood.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-15-white-helmet-supremacy/' title='Subscriber Podcast 15 - White Helmet Supremacy'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 131 – The Science and Entertainment Exchange
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-131-science-entertainment-exchange/' title='ClandesTime 131 - The Science and Entertainment Exchange'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/SEEX.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The Science and Entertainment Exchange (or SEEX) has consulted on over 1300 films and TV shows in less than 10 years, but outside of Hollywood few people know who they are and what they do. This week we pull back the curtain to look at their activities and their agenda. Are they merely concerned with promoting science and encouraging young people to take up scientific careers, or is there a weirder and darker side to their Hollywood operations?<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-131-science-entertainment-exchange/' title='ClandesTime 131 - The Science and Entertainment Exchange'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 130 – Fake News and the Postmodern Condition
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-130-fake-news-postmodern-condition/' title='ClandesTime 130 - Fake News and the Postmodern Condition'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Fake-News-Clandestime.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>What is fake news? Where did it come from and why is it so profitable? In this week’s episode I consider whether fake news is a new thing, or simply a newly-popular name for methods of deceit that have existed for centuries. I explore the idea that it is simply a popular recognition of an [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-130-fake-news-postmodern-condition/' title='ClandesTime 130 - Fake News and the Postmodern Condition'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 129 – History by Hollywood
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-129-history-hollywood/' title='ClandesTime 129 - History by Hollywood'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/History-By-Hollywood.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>This week I welcome Martin Darlington, co-host of the History by Hollywood podcast, which reviews and analyses films claiming to be based on real events. We talk about Martin’s adopted homeland of Qatar, his views on history and politics, how he and his co-host Andrew prepare and produce the podcast, the power of music in [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-129-history-hollywood/' title='ClandesTime 129 - History by Hollywood'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #14 – How the Pentagon Rewrote Lone Survivor
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-14-pentagon-rewrote-lone-survivor/' title='Subscriber Podcast #14 - How the Pentagon Rewrote Lone Survivor'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Pentagon-Rewrote-Lone-Survivor.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Lone Survivor is one of very few recent DOD-supported films that is based on real events from the war on terror.  In a period where the Pentagon is more interested in Transformers and superhero movies, Lone Survivor is an exception.  Reports from the military Hollywood offices called it &#8216;a two hour infomercial&#8217; about US special [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-14-pentagon-rewrote-lone-survivor/' title='Subscriber Podcast #14 - How the Pentagon Rewrote Lone Survivor'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 128 – The FBI in Hollywood
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-128-fbi-hollywood/' title='ClandesTime 128 - The FBI in Hollywood'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Mulder-and-Scully.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Of all the US intelligence agencies, the FBI has the longest-running relationship with Hollywood. From spying on A-listers as to helping blacklist screenwriters, through to manipulating scripts for PR and propaganda purposes, the Bureau’s influence on Tinseltown is very broad. Using documents from throughout the FBI’s history, today we’re going to look at this relationship and ask: whatever happened about that Sony hack?<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-128-fbi-hollywood/' title='ClandesTime 128 - The FBI in Hollywood'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Extra Bonus Podcast – House of Cards 3 – The Final Cut
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/extra-bonus-podcast-house-cards-3-final-cut/' title='Extra Bonus Podcast - House of Cards 3 - The Final Cut'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Final-Cut.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In our review of the final season of the original House of Cards, Pearse and I discuss whether Urquhart is a psychopath, or someone so brutalised by the military and ruling class life that he is indistinguishable from one. We look at The Final Cut&#8217;s depiction of British foreign policy &#8211; a new element for [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/extra-bonus-podcast-house-cards-3-final-cut/' title='Extra Bonus Podcast - House of Cards 3 - The Final Cut'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 127 – Arthur Ransome (and Swallows and Amazons)
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-127-arthur-ransome-swallows-amazons/' title='ClandesTime 127 - Arthur Ransome (and Swallows and Amazons)'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Swallows-and-Amazons.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Arthur Ransome was a well-known children’s author, best known for his series of adventure books beginning with Swallows and Amazons. He was also close friends with the Bolshevik leadership and married Trotsky’s secretary. Meanwhile, he was spying for British intelligence, and being spied on by British intelligence as a suspected Communist. This week we take a look at the life of Arthur Ransome and the key differences between the two film adaptations of Swallows and Amazons which turned the 2016 version into a piece of Russophobic propaganda.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-127-arthur-ransome-swallows-amazons/' title='ClandesTime 127 - Arthur Ransome (and Swallows and Amazons)'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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MuckRock interviews Tom Secker
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/muckrock-interviews-tom-secker/' title='MuckRock interviews Tom Secker'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Muckrock-Interview.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>I was recently interviewed by Michael Morisy the co-founder of MuckRock, the world's premier FOIA site. It was an interesting conversation about how to use FOIA, what works and what doesn't, how my use of the FOIA developed over time and why I've had so much success with FOIA requests. We also talk about some tips and techniques and how I got into this area of research.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/muckrock-interviews-tom-secker/' title='MuckRock interviews Tom Secker'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 126 – American Vandal
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-126-american-vandal/' title='ClandesTime 126 - American Vandal'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/American-Vandal.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Today I am joined by old friend Pearse Redmond to review and discuss the Netflix TV series American Vandal, a mockumentary that satirises the true crime genre. Pete Maldonado is a student at a high school in California who starts making a documentary about a fellow student, Dylan Maxwell, who was expelled for graffitti-ing dicks on 27 teachers cars. He soon finds that Dylan is probably innocent, and he and his co-producer Sam set out to find the true culprits and figure out what is really going on. In our discussion Pearse and I get into some of our favourite moments and characters, the style which shifts throughout the series from comedy to drama, the lessons for amateur detectives and the role of social media. We also touch on why true crime is popular and ask whether it merely provides a vicarious thrill or whether it inspires people to become hobby investigators.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-126-american-vandal/' title='ClandesTime 126 - American Vandal'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Extra Bonus Podcast – House of Cards Season 2
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/extra-bonus-podcast-house-cards-season-2/' title='Extra Bonus Podcast - House of Cards Season 2'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/To-Play-the-King.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In this extra bonus podcast for subscribers Pearse and I discuss the second season of the British House of Cards &#8211; To Play the King.  Our review covers numerous parallels between what happens in the series &#8211; when a left-wing King rises to challenge Urquhart and how the PM and the security services respond &#8211; [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/extra-bonus-podcast-house-cards-season-2/' title='Extra Bonus Podcast - House of Cards Season 2'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #13 – Sex, Lies and Hollywood
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-13-sex-lies-hollywood/' title='Subscriber Podcast #13 - Sex, Lies and Hollywood'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Harvey-Weinstein.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In this month's subscriber podcast I look at recent spate of allegations - and in some cases more than allegations - against a string of Hollywood bigwigs and media celebrities. I examine the selective media dialogue around these events, and how it poisons everything it touches and is deeply sexist in all directions at once. I talk about some personal experiences including when I was assaulted due to false allegations, review a rare example of a TV show that had a mature response to the issue of rape and sexual assault, and discuss why no one should believe a word Corey Feldman says. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-13-sex-lies-hollywood/' title='Subscriber Podcast #13 - Sex, Lies and Hollywood'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 125 – Why Can’t You Film at Langley Any More?
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-125-cant-film-langley/' title='ClandesTime 125 - Why Can't You Film at Langley Any More?'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Cranston-Affleck-Langley.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The first movie to film at CIA Headquarters at Langley was Scorpio in the early 1970s. The last major film was Argo in 2012. Sometime in 2014 the CIA stopped letting film-makers shoot footage on the CIA campus. This week I examine this decision by analysing the last two films that were granted access to [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-125-cant-film-langley/' title='ClandesTime 125 - Why Can't You Film at Langley Any More?'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #12 – Reality Winner (and Russiagate)
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-12-reality-winner-russiagate/' title='Subscriber Podcast #12 - Reality Winner (and Russiagate)'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Reality-Winner-1.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Reality Winner is a former Air Force language specialist who was working for an NSA contractor when she stole a single document and sent it to The Intercept. The document described supposed Russian attempts to ‘hack the US election’ and so this one act of whistleblowing or espionage, however you want to see it, fits [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-12-reality-winner-russiagate/' title='Subscriber Podcast #12 - Reality Winner (and Russiagate)'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 124 – Has Hollywood Run Out of Ideas? (and what the govt. is doing to help)
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-124-hollywood-run-ideas-govt-help/' title='ClandesTime 124 - Has Hollywood Run Out of Ideas? (and what the govt. is doing to help)'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/ClandesTime-124-Hollywood-Run-Out-Of-Ideas.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The book of Ecclesiastes tells us, ‘The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.’ Even the idea that there is nothing new is thousands of years old. This week we’re going to look at why Hollywood appears to have run out of ideas despite being one of the most innovative places on earth. As the studios have become more desperate for something we haven’t seen before they are increasingly turning to governments for help. I explore how the new models of soft reboots and cinematic universes have been encouraged and supported by the Pentagon, and how this is helping create a dynamic whereby government agencies are increasing their power in Hollywood.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-124-hollywood-run-ideas-govt-help/' title='ClandesTime 124 - Has Hollywood Run Out of Ideas? (and what the govt. is doing to help)'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Extra Bonus Podcast – House of Cards Season 1
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/extra-bonus-podcast-house-cards-season-1/' title='Extra Bonus Podcast - House of Cards Season 1'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/House-of-Cards-1.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'><p style="text-align: left;">Pearse hosted this podcast for his subscribers but I am also making it available for those of you who <a href="https://www.patreon.com/tomsecker" target="_blank" rel="noopener">support me on Patreon</a> as well. In the first of three episodes, Pearse and I examine season 1 of the original (and superior) <em>House of Cards</em>, which follows Francis Urquhart's rise from Chief Whip to Prime Minister. In the coming months we will examine season 2 and 3, so stay tuned for those.</p><table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/extra-bonus-podcast-house-cards-season-1/' title='Extra Bonus Podcast - House of Cards Season 1'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 123 – Buster Crabb
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-123-buster-crabb/' title='ClandesTime 123 - Buster Crabb'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Buster-Crabb.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Lionel ‘Buster’ Crabb, OBE, was a Royal Navy frogman and MI6 diver who disappeared while on an underwater spying mission in April 1956. For three quarters of a century the story around Crabb has remained a mystery – was he killed by the Soviets, whose ship he was spying on? Did he defect and assume a new identity? Did he die in an absurd, politically-charged accident? This week we examine the legend of Buster Crabb and zero in on the BBC’s attempts to make a documentary about his death, and how the British government intervened to stop them.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-123-buster-crabb/' title='ClandesTime 123 - Buster Crabb'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 122 – The Fake Sheikh and Red Mercury
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-122-fake-sheikh-red-mercury/' title='ClandesTime 122 - The Fake Sheikh and Red Mercury'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Fake-Sheikh-Red-Mercury.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In 2004 three men were arrested in the UK for trying to buy red mercury – a trigger for a nuclear bomb – from an undercover journalist working with British intelligence. This plot inspired multiple films and TV programmes and the resulting trial cost over £1 million. The problem is that ‘red mercury’ doesn’t exist. This week we examine the myth of red mercury, where it originated, how it was featured in state-sponsored entertainment and how it still hits the headlines today.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-122-fake-sheikh-red-mercury/' title='ClandesTime 122 - The Fake Sheikh and Red Mercury'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #11 – Contagion and the CDC’s PR Coup
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-11-contagion-cdcs-pr-coup/' title='Subscriber Podcast #11 - Contagion and the CDC's PR Coup'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Subscriber-Podcast-Contagion.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'><p style="text-align: left;">The 2011 pandemic thriller <em>Contagion</em> was a massive PR boost for the CDC. In this month's <a href="https://www.patreon.com/tomsecker" target="_blank" rel="noopener">subscriber-only podcast</a> I examine the film and nearly 1000 pages of documents from the CDC about their involvement in helping to make the film, what they thought of it, and the promotional events they created around the movie's release. I explain how a running theme throughout the files is that the CDC are more than a public health agency, and function as another branch of the security state and foreign policy.</p><table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-11-contagion-cdcs-pr-coup/' title='Subscriber Podcast #11 - Contagion and the CDC's PR Coup'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 121 – Operation Terror
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-121-operation-terror/' title='ClandesTime 121 - Operation Terror'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Operation-Terror.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'><p style="text-align: left;">This week I am joined by <a href="http://mediaroots.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Robbie Martin</a> and <a href="https://porkinspolicyreview.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Pearse Redmond</a> to review and analyse the low budget conspiracy thriller <em>Operation Terror</em>. We analyse the plot – where a member of the Council on Foreign Relations recruits a CIA officer to prepare and carry out the 9/11 attacks – and why this is unrealistic. We note several examples of how the film incorporates elements from all over 9/11 conspiracy lore, but especially from Pilots for 9/11 Truth, one of the more wacky parts of the ‘truth’ movement. We ask whether the film is fan service for 9/11 truthers, and conclude that it reflects and represents a lot of the real characteristics of the 9/11 movement. This is a lengthy and very funny discussion that you won't want to miss.</p><table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-121-operation-terror/' title='ClandesTime 121 - Operation Terror'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 120 – The Pentagon’s Hostile Takeover of Hollywood
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-120-pentagons-hostile-takeover-hollywood/' title='ClandesTime 120 - The Pentagon's Hostile Takeover of Hollywood'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Pentagon-Hollywood.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In recent years the Pentagon have not only expanded their operations in the entertainment industry, they have aggressively and pro-actively tried to expand their influence on Hollywood. This week we take a look at how they are trying to cozy up to studio moguls, make friends and influence people, and get involved at the earliest stages of production. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-120-pentagons-hostile-takeover-hollywood/' title='ClandesTime 120 - The Pentagon's Hostile Takeover of Hollywood'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 119 – The Cinema of the Inside Job
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-119-cinema-inside-job/' title='ClandesTime 119 - The Cinema of the Inside Job'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Long-Kiss-Goodnight.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'><p style="text-align: left;">The 1996 action thriller <em>The Long Kiss Goodnight</em> was only a modest commercial and critical success, but is a cult classic in the 9/11 ‘truth movement’ because it appears to predict the attacks. This week we analyse the film, its apparent predictive qualities, its commentary on the 1993 WTC bombing and its similarity to several CIA-assisted productions. We also consider other more recent examples of pop culture depicting ‘inside job’ conspiracy theories at the centre of their narratives, including <em>White House Down</em> and <em>Designated Survivor</em>.</p><table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-119-cinema-inside-job/' title='ClandesTime 119 - The Cinema of the Inside Job'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 118 – Ali Mohamed and the Entertainment Liaison Offices
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-118-ali-mohamed-entertainment-liaison-offices/' title='ClandesTime 118 - Ali Mohamed and the Entertainment Liaison Offices'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Ali-Mohamed-Entertainment-Liaison-Offices.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>What connects Al Qaeda to the Pentagon’s Entertainment Liaison Offices? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the answer is Ali Mohamed – the triple agent who was Al Qaeda’s main terrorist trainer. This week we look at two films and a documentary to illustrate these connections and examine how they were influenced by the Pentagon’s propaganda machine.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-118-ali-mohamed-entertainment-liaison-offices/' title='ClandesTime 118 - Ali Mohamed and the Entertainment Liaison Offices'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #10 – The Censorship of James Bond
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-10-censorship-james-bond/' title='Subscriber Podcast #10 - The Censorship of James Bond'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/James-Bond-Censorship.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In this month's subscriber-only podcast we explore the censorship of the one of the world's biggest film franchises - James Bond. The Bond movies have been subject to both moral/cultural censorship by the British Board of Film Classification, and political censorship by the Pentagon's entertainment liaison offices. This is a highly informative episode that fills in many of the blanks when trying to understand how these different institutions influence what we see on the big screen. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-10-censorship-james-bond/' title='Subscriber Podcast #10 - The Censorship of James Bond'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 117 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The 9/11 Intelligence ‘Failure’
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-117-alternative-history-al-qaeda-911-intelligence-failure/' title='ClandesTime 117 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The 9/11 Intelligence 'Failure''><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/CIA-Sweeping.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In the five years running up to 9/11 the NSA were monitoring Osama Bin Laden's satellite phone and Al Qaeda's communication hub, and the CIA were closely following their key operatives, including to the so-called '9/11 summit' in Malaysia. So why didn't they prevent the attacks? This week we look at the 'failure' of the NSA, CIA and FBI to share important information and ask whether these intelligence failures were the result of deliberate decisions on the part of those responsible for preventing terrorist attacks.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-117-alternative-history-al-qaeda-911-intelligence-failure/' title='ClandesTime 117 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The 9/11 Intelligence 'Failure''>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 116 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Embassy Bombings
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-116-alternative-history-al-qaeda-embassy-bombings/' title='ClandesTime 116 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Embassy Bombings'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Embassy-Bombings.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>On August 7th 1998 two almost identical truck bombs exploded outside the US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In this episode we look at the embassy bombings, their genesis and consequences. From the role of triple agent Ali Mohamed to the absurd circumstances of the explosion in Nairobi, this story reflects much of what we saw with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-116-alternative-history-al-qaeda-embassy-bombings/' title='ClandesTime 116 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Embassy Bombings'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 115 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Manchester Manual
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-115-alternative-history-al-qaeda-manchester-manual/' title='ClandesTime 115 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Manchester Manual'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Al-Qaeda-Manual-Open-Source-Allen-Dulles.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The Al Qaeda training manual ‘Military Studies in Jihad Against the Tyrants’ is one of the most important documents in the history of the terrorist gang. Perhaps more than any other artefact it encompasses the absurd contradictions of the War on Terror – people have been convicted for owning a copy, but for years it was available on the Justice Department’s website and on Amazon. This week we take a look at its origins, how it was discovered by Western authorities and what they used it for, as well as two woeful miscarriages of justice that resulted from it. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-115-alternative-history-al-qaeda-manchester-manual/' title='ClandesTime 115 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Manchester Manual'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #9 – The Mystery of the 2nd DOD-Hollywood Database
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-9-mystery-2nd-dod-hollywood-database/' title='Subscriber Podcast #9 - The Mystery of the 2nd DOD-Hollywood Database'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2nd-DOD-Hollywood-Database.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In this month&#8217;s subscriber-only podcast I talk about some of my recent FOIA escapades, including my attempts to track down the 2nd Pentagon-Hollywood database.  The existence of this second database was revealed to me by the Marine Corps communications office, but both the Marine Corps and the Office of the Secretary of Defense deny that [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-9-mystery-2nd-dod-hollywood-database/' title='Subscriber Podcast #9 - The Mystery of the 2nd DOD-Hollywood Database'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 114 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Ali Mohamed
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-114-alternative-history-al-qaeda-ali-mohamed/' title='ClandesTime 114 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Ali Mohamed'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/ClandesTime-114-Ali-Mohamed.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>What if I told you that the same man trained Meir Kahane’s killer, the World Trade Center bombers, the African embassy bombers and Osama Bin Laden’s bodyguards? What if this man was a member of the Egyptian Army unit that assassinated Anwar Sadat, and was a translator and close associate of Ayman Zawahiri? And what if he did all this while serving in the US Special Forces, as an FBI informant and working for the CIA? That man is Ali Mohamed, perhaps the most astonishing spy of recent times. This week we’re going to examine some of the key events in the story of Ali Mohamed and ask whether he was Bin Laden’s master spy in America, or the CIA’s master spy in Al Qaeda.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-114-alternative-history-al-qaeda-ali-mohamed/' title='ClandesTime 114 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Ali Mohamed'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 113 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Destruction of Yugoslavia
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-113-alternative-history-al-qaeda-destruction-yugoslavia/' title='ClandesTime 113 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Destruction of Yugoslavia'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Ep-113-Yugoslavia.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The conventional explanation of how Yugoslavia 'fell apart' is that ethnic and religious tensions led to civil wars, necessitating the breakup of the country into a series of smaller states. The reality is that Yugoslavia was knowingly and willingly destroyed by NATO, with Al Qaeda playing a critical role in the wars in Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia. This week we examine these wars, the true motives behind them, how the conflicts progressed through the 1990s and into the 2000s, and how the CIA along with British and American Special Forces used Al Qaeda jihadis as a strategic proxy force. We also look at the presence of the mercenary firm MPRI, who operated in the Balkans throughout this period. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-113-alternative-history-al-qaeda-destruction-yugoslavia/' title='ClandesTime 113 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Destruction of Yugoslavia'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 112 – Billions
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-112-billions/' title='ClandesTime 112 - Billions'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Billions.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Pearse Redmond joins us to discuss the TV series <em>Billions</em>, which mixes elements of legal thrillers, human drama, sexual fetishes, 9/11 insider trading and deep politics. We examine the characters in the film and how they are metaphors for the philosophical conflict at the heart of American politics between individual free will and the need for government as a restricting force. In short, Axe represents Ayn Rand and Chuck represents James Madison. We also look at several supporting characters including the non-binary Taylor who works at Axe’s hedge fund, Chuck’s father and his deep political friend Black Jack Foley, and how both sides in this conflict use coded language and spycraft as weapons against the other.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-112-billions/' title='ClandesTime 112 - Billions'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #8 – Braindead
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-8-braindead/' title='Subscriber Podcast #8 - Braindead'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/BrainDead.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'><p style="text-align: left;">In this month's <a href="https://www.patreon.com/tomsecker" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">subscriber-only podcast</a> I review the TV series <em>Braindead</em>, which is about an invading army of extraterrestrial bugs who burrow into people's heads and eat their brains. On top of this comic-horror there is a lot of well-observed satire about the polarised political climate we've experienced in the last couple of years and some highly original scenes showing how government works behind the scenes. I also go on about how great I think Mary Elizabeth Winstead is.</p><table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-8-braindead/' title='Subscriber Podcast #8 - Braindead'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 111 – The Manchester Bombing and the Politics of Fear
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-111-manchester-bombing-politics-fear/' title='ClandesTime 111 - The Manchester Bombing and the Politics of Fear'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/ClandesTime-111-Manchester-Bombing-Politics.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The bombing in Manchester this week was an especially horrific act of terrorism. 22 people were killed and dozens more were injured – many of whom were children or teenagers who were exiting an Ariana Grande concert. This week I examine some of the questions I have about this bombing, and outline a lot of [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-111-manchester-bombing-politics-fear/' title='ClandesTime 111 - The Manchester Bombing and the Politics of Fear'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 110 – A Brief History of Suicide Hijackings
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-110-brief-history-suicide-hijackings/' title='ClandesTime 110 - A Brief History of Suicide Hijackings'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Suicide-Hijackings-Corder-White-House.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>After the 9/11 attacks we were told that no one could have predicted that terrorists would hijack planes and use them as missiles against buildings. This lie quickly fell apart when it emerged that NORAD – the US air defence command – had run training exercises in the years and months leading up to the attacks that included this scenario. The history of real life suicide hijackings is several decades old and offers a different way of understanding how predictable 9/11 really was. From the man who tried to assassinate Nixon by crashing a plane into the White House, to the jihadis who plotted to smash an airliner into the Eiffel Tower, this week’s episode looks into insane world of suicide hijackings.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-110-brief-history-suicide-hijackings/' title='ClandesTime 110 - A Brief History of Suicide Hijackings'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 109 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Bojinka Plot
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-109-alternative-history-al-qaeda-bojinka-plot/' title='ClandesTime 109 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Bojinka Plot'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/ClandesTime-109-Bojinka.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The Bojinka plot was one of the most imaginative and potentially devastating terrorist plans ever. Conceived by Ramzi Yousef it centred around a scheme to blow up 10-12 airliners simultaneously, killing thousands of people, but it also included an assassination attempt on the Pope and crashing a plane into CIA headquarters. This week we take a closer look at Bojinka, its origins and genesis, and the theory that it was a prototype for the 9/11 attacks. We also examine Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, the brother in law of Osama Bin Laden and why he was never prosecuted for his role as the probable financier of the plot.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-109-alternative-history-al-qaeda-bojinka-plot/' title='ClandesTime 109 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Bojinka Plot'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 108b – Ramzi Yousef: A NeoConspiracy Theory
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-108b-ramzi-yousef-neoconspiracy-theory/' title='ClandesTime 108b - Ramzi Yousef: A NeoConspiracy Theory'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Ep108b-Ramzi-Yousef-NeoConspiracy-Theory.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In this special bonus episode of ClandesTime we look at the theory that World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef was an agent of Iraqi intelligence. This theory, put forward by neoconservative analyst Laurie Mylroie, contributed to the false idea that Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s government were working together. But is there any truth to it?<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-108b-ramzi-yousef-neoconspiracy-theory/' title='ClandesTime 108b - Ramzi Yousef: A NeoConspiracy Theory'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 108 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Ramzi Yousef
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-108-secret-history-al-qaeda-ramzi-yousef/' title='ClandesTime 108 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Ramzi Yousef'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Ep-108-Ramzi-Yousef.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Ramzi Yousef is an international man of mystery who is currently serving a 240-year sentence in a Supermax prison for bombing the World Trade Center. He is the first of two major figures we have not looked at yet in our exploration of the WTC93 bombing, the other is Ali Mohamed who we will get to in a few episodes time. Today we're going to take a look at Yousef's life and career as a terrorist, some of the mysteries and theories that surround him, and the inevitable intelligence failures that helped him do what he did.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-108-secret-history-al-qaeda-ramzi-yousef/' title='ClandesTime 108 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Ramzi Yousef'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #7 – The Pentagon and Political Correctness
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-7-pentagon-political-correctness/' title='Subscriber Podcast #7 - The Pentagon and Political Correctness'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Liberal-Hollywood.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'><p style="text-align: left;">In this month's <a href="https://www.patreon.com/tomsecker" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">subscriber-only podcast</a> I look at the notion that Hollywood is a liberal propaganda machine supported by the government. Looking through the reports of the Pentagon's Entertainment Liaison Offices I find examples where a socially and politically conservative agenda, not a liberal agenda, is encouraged, enhanced and promoted by the DOD. From sending celebrities to Iraq to selectively working with advocacy groups to the story of why the Army wouldn't work on <em>Wife Swap</em> this is a provocative and highly amusing story that reveals a lot about the DOD's mentality.</p><table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-7-pentagon-political-correctness/' title='Subscriber Podcast #7 - The Pentagon and Political Correctness'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 107 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The TRADEBOM Investigation
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-107-an-alternative-history-of-al-qaeda-the-tradebom-investigation/' title='ClandesTime 107 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The TRADEBOM Investigation'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/TRADEBOM-investigation.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>This week we take a look at TRADEBOM, the FBI's investigation into the World Trade Center bombing. We examine how the case broke after one of the bombers foolishly went back to the rental company to try to get a refund on the van they had blown up. Then we look at some of the problems the FBI encountered, from extremely dubious eyewitnesses to their own explosives expert giving false testimony. This led to confrontations in court and a very critical Inspector General's report. We round off looking at how the case set legal precedents for the 21st century War on Terror. I also attempt an impression of Mohammed Salameh. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-107-an-alternative-history-of-al-qaeda-the-tradebom-investigation/' title='ClandesTime 107 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The TRADEBOM Investigation'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 106 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The FBI and the WTC bombing
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-106-alternative-history-al-qaeda-fbi-wtc-bombing/' title='ClandesTime 106 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The FBI and the WTC bombing'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/ClandesTime-Emad-Salem.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The WTC bombing in 1993 was a massive embarrassment for the Bureau. It emerged at the resulting trials that the Bureau had an informant deep within the Al Kifah group, but fired him months before the bombing took place. This week we take a closer look at Emad Salem, the former Egyptian intelligence officer hired by the FBI to infiltrate the Blind Sheikh's circle. We examine why the Bureau fired him and then re-hired him after the bombing to act as an agent provocateur, the conspiracy theories resulting from this, and what the tapes between Salem and his handlers actually say.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-106-alternative-history-al-qaeda-fbi-wtc-bombing/' title='ClandesTime 106 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The FBI and the WTC bombing'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 105 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Blind Sheikh
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-105-alternative-history-al-qaeda-blind-sheikh/' title='ClandesTime 105 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Blind Sheikh'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/ClandesTime-105.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The Blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman was an Egyptian cleric who played a critical role in the early years of Al Qaeda. Rahman and his followers took over the New York branch of the MAK, an international fundraising and recruiting organisation that was central to the CIA's Operation Cyclone. His followers carried out several major crimes - the murders of the mosque's original imam Mustafa Shalabi and of Jewish Defence League founder Meir Kahane, as well at the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. However, Rahman was only allowed into the US due to CIA official granting him visas, and the police and FBI investigations into these crimes were very limited. In this episode we examine the Blind Sheikh's relationship with US intelligence, the murders committed by his followers, and why he managed to evade arrest for several years. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-105-alternative-history-al-qaeda-blind-sheikh/' title='ClandesTime 105 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Blind Sheikh'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #6 – Under Siege (no, not that one)
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-6-under-siege/' title='Subscriber Podcast #6 - Under Siege (no, not that one)'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Under-Siege-1986.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'><p style="text-align: left;">In this month's <a href="https://www.patreon.com/tomsecker" target="_blank">subscriber-only podcast</a> Pearse and I discuss the 1986 TV movie <em>Under Siege</em>. 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. <em>Under Siege</em> 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.</p><table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-6-under-siege/' title='Subscriber Podcast #6 - Under Siege (no, not that one)'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 104 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Four Models
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-104-alternative-history-al-qaeda-four-models/' title='ClandesTime 104 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Four Models'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Al-Qaeda-Four-Models.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Beginning a new series on the history of Al Qaeda, this week I provide the basis for what's coming in the next several episodes. What is or was Al Qaeda? Four distinct models have been proposed to try to answer this question so I outline each, drawing on the works of Rohan Gunaratna, Jason Burke/Adam Curtis, Nafeez Ahmed and Daniele Ganser. While drawing no specific conclusions this presents more subtle and complex way of viewing the ongoing War on Terror, and provides an interpretive framework for the specific cases we're going to examine in this series. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-104-alternative-history-al-qaeda-four-models/' title='ClandesTime 104 - An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Four Models'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 103 – MI5 Censorship of Panorama
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-103-mi5-censorship-panorama/' title='ClandesTime 103 - MI5 Censorship of Panorama'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Censorship-of-Panorama.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In 1980 the BBC's documentary series Panorama began developing an episode on British intelligence. This was the first of its kind, at least by such a prominent and respected series, but both the central government and the intelligence agencies were not happy. Over a period of several months they put pressure on the BBC, trying to stop the programme from being broadcast. When this failed they considered using the government veto to prevent it from airing, and ultimately ended up heavily censoring the documentary via a secret preview screening with MI5. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-103-mi5-censorship-panorama/' title='ClandesTime 103 - MI5 Censorship of Panorama'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 102 – Was Richard Whiteley a Spy?
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-102-richard-whiteley-spy/' title='ClandesTime 102 - Was Richard Whiteley a Spy?'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Ep-102-Richard-Whiteley-Spy.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'><p style="text-align: left;">Richard Whiteley is best known for presenting the popular afternoon quiz show <em>Countdown</em>, and Ricky Tomlinson is best known for starring in the popular sitcom <em>The Royle Family</em>. Back in the 1970s things were very different. This week we examine Tomlinson's recent allegation that Whiteley was a 'member' of the security services, due to his role presenting an 1973 documentary that influenced the trial of the Shrewsbury 24 - including Tomlinson. This trial, and this documentary, were the British establishment's revenge against Tomlinson and other leaders of the 1972 Building Workers Strike. Amidst an ongoing cover-up I examine the plausibility of Tomlinson's allegation that Whiteley was a spy, and the unconvincing denial of the allegation by Whiteley's former partner.</p><table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-102-richard-whiteley-spy/' title='ClandesTime 102 - Was Richard Whiteley a Spy?'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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Subscriber Podcast #5 – The Pentagon’s Hollywood Database
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-5-pentagons-hollywood-database/' title='Subscriber Podcast #5 - The Pentagon's Hollywood Database'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Database.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>In this month&#8217;s subscriber podcast I talk about the Pentagon&#8217;s database on their collaboration with Hollywood &#8211; what it is, how I got it and what it contains. I highlight some of the more provocative and politically relevant entries and provide details on how the Pentagon rewrote elements of films such as Forrest Gump and [&#8230;]<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-5-pentagons-hollywood-database/' title='Subscriber Podcast #5 - The Pentagon's Hollywood Database'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 101 – Nightcrawler
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-101-nightcrawler/' title='ClandesTime 101 - Nightcrawler'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Nightcrawler.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'><p style="text-align: left;"><em>Nightcrawler</em> is one of those rare films that is beautifully written, very well executed and is about something that actually matters. It tells the story of Lou Bloom, a young man in poverty-struck Los Angeles who gets into nightcrawling - filming violent crimes and accidents and selling the footage to TV news. In this episode <a href="https://porkinspolicyreview.com/" target="_blank">Pearse</a> and I conduct an extensive analysis and review of the film, exploring many different interpretations that often contradict each other. Is Lou a sociopath, or the product of economic circumstances and a media culture that turns violence into a fetish? Are his cohorts Rick (his assistant) and Nina (the director of the news channel) just as guilty and complicit in what happens? Is his rival nightcrawler Joe Loder actually worse than Lou? These and many more questions are explored in this epic discussion.</p><table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-101-nightcrawler/' title='ClandesTime 101 - Nightcrawler'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 100 – Sex, Violence and Censorship
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-100-sex-violence-censorship/' title='ClandesTime 100 - Sex, Violence and Censorship'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/ClandesTime-Logo-Rectangle.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Why do we censor films? Intuitively we all know the answer to this question - because there are some things we don't want to see on the screen. In this episode we examine film censorship, focusing primarily on the treatment of cinematic violence by the MPAA and BBFC. Using Walter Benjamin's Critique of Violence as a foundation I discuss how societies are attempts to rationalise violence and determine what are legitimate and illegitimate uses of force. We then look at how censorship does not do much to limit the scale or type of violence shown on screen, but instead prevents the depiction of the consequences of violence, the suffering and pain, before talking about how this kind of censorship influences our views of real-world violence, especially that committed by the state. <table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-100-sex-violence-censorship/' title='ClandesTime 100 - Sex, Violence and Censorship'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 099 – Jack Valenti
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-099-jack-valenti/' title='ClandesTime 099 - Jack Valenti'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Jack-Valenti.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Jack Valenti was a special assistant to President Lyndon Johnson, a consultant to the State Department and the third head of the MPAA. In this episode we look at his life, focusing in two key areas - the introduction of the film classification ratings system and Valenti's connections with the CIA.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-099-jack-valenti/' title='ClandesTime 099 - Jack Valenti'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 098 – Eric Johnston
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-098-eric-johnston1/' title='ClandesTime 098 - Eric Johnston'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Johnston-Dulles.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>Eric Johnston was the second head of the MPAA, a high level political operative and a friend of CIA director Allen Dulles. In this episode we take a look at his life and work, from his role instituting the Hollywood blacklist to his relationships with the FBI and CIA. From his meeting with high level businessmen after a trip to the Soviet Union and his liberalising of the production code and promotion of American films in foreign markets to his testimony at HUAC, this story encompasses much of the deep politics of Hollywood.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-098-eric-johnston1/' title='ClandesTime 098 - Eric Johnston'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 097 – Sterling Hayden
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-097-sterling-hayden/' title='ClandesTime 097 - Sterling Hayden'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Sterling-Hayden.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'><p style="text-align: left;">Sterling Hayden's life encompassed many important events and periods of the 20th century. A lifelong seaman he joined the Marine Corps and the OSS during World War 2, running smuggling operations to support anti-fascist partisans in Yugoslavia. He was also a movie star, famously appearing in <em>The Godfather</em> and in two Stanley Kubrick films - <em>The Killing</em> and <em>Dr Strangelove</em>. In this episode we take a look at the life and times of this fascinating man - from his time as a secret agent to testifying before anti-Communist congressional hearings to his relationship with Kubrick - and how his life has been referenced and reflected in movies.</p><table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-097-sterling-hayden/' title='ClandesTime 097 - Sterling Hayden'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 096 – Unreal
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-096-unreal/' title='ClandesTime 096 - Unreal'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Unreal.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'><p style="text-align: left;"><em>Unreal</em> is a gripping and brutal satire of reality TV but it is much more than that. While this might sound like a drama about a trivial subject, the content of <em>Unreal </em>makes it one of the most serious and important TV series of recent years. It follows two female producers as they make a romance-themed reality show, highlighting the degree to which they're willing to manipulate the contestants in order to produce 'good TV'. The psychological and moral impact of this on the production crew - particularly the junior producer Rachel - is quite awful, and she rebounds between depression and megalomania as a result. This week we take a deeper look at this series, examining its commentary on what constitutes 'entertaiment' and how that is made, through its complex politics of gender and race to the constant use and subversion of stereotypes.</p><table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-096-unreal/' title='ClandesTime 096 - Unreal'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 095 – The CIA and Top Chef
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-095-cia-top-chef/' title='ClandesTime 095 - The CIA and Top Chef'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/CIA-Top-Chef.png' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The CIA finally jumped on the cooking-themed reality TV propaganda bandwagon in 2010 when they hosted an episode of <em>Top Chef</em>. This week we take a look at the episode in question, how it flattered the CIA, and how <em>Top Chef</em> has involved numerous government agencies and departments. We round off looking at some of the reasons why cooking programmes make for effective propaganda.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-095-cia-top-chef/' title='ClandesTime 095 - The CIA and Top Chef'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 094 – How Many Films has the Pentagon Supported?
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-094-many-films-pentagon-supported/' title='ClandesTime 094 - How Many Films has the Pentagon Supported?'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Pentagon-Films-Transformers.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>The Department of Defense is the government agency with the largest and most influential operations in Hollywood. But to how many films have they provided production assistance? How many movies have they supported? In this episode we explore the answer to this question, why it is so difficult to answer conclusively and why this matters.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-094-many-films-pentagon-supported/' title='ClandesTime 094 - How Many Films has the Pentagon Supported?'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 093 – The Pentagon and the Cinematic Universe
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-093-pentagon-cinematic-universe/' title='ClandesTime 093 - The Pentagon and the Cinematic Universe'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Pentagon-Cinematic-Universe.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'><p style="text-align: left;">In less than 10 years Marvel has created the biggest money-making film franchise of all time with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, this probably wouldn't have been possible without the help of the Pentagon. In this episode we examine the rise of the MCU, the Pentagon's involvement, and the fallout of their disagreements when making <em>The Avengers</em>. We round off looking at the creative implications of the cinematic universe becoming the new model for Hollywood.</p><table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-093-pentagon-cinematic-universe/' title='ClandesTime 093 - The Pentagon and the Cinematic Universe'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 092 – Conspiracy Theories: The False Flag Exercise Hypothesis
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-092-conspiracy-theories-false-flag-exercise-hypothesis/' title='ClandesTime 092 - Conspiracy Theories: The False Flag Exercise Hypothesis'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/False-Flag-Exercise.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>9/11. The 7/7 London Bombings. The Boston Marathon. The Paris Massacre. This episode we take a look at the false flag exercise theory, which has become the default alternative media interpretation of these events. We examine the theory's history in military deception techniques, its origins as a popular conspiracy theory and how it has been encouraged in state sponsored popular culture.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-092-conspiracy-theories-false-flag-exercise-hypothesis/' title='ClandesTime 092 - Conspiracy Theories: The False Flag Exercise Hypothesis'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 091 – The CIA and James Bond
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-091-cia-james-bond/' title='ClandesTime 091 - The CIA and James Bond'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/ep91-CIA-James-Bond.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'><p style="text-align: left;">What connects JFK, Allen Dulles and the CIA's invasion at the Bay of Pigs to the movies <em>Thunderball</em> and <em>Goldfinger</em>? The answer is the relationship between the CIA and James Bond. In this episode we look at Fleming's decades-long relationship with American intelligence, from the OSS through to the CIA, and how Dulles' friendship with Fleming allowed the Agency to quietly improve their public image via the James Bond novels. We also examine how the CIA were invited to a screening of Goldfinger by Charles Russhon - the military consultant and technical advisor on the early Bond movies. Rounding off with the story of the CIA's secret support for the movie of <em>Thunderball </em>and its connections to JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis, this is an epic exploration of the relationships between popular culture, high politics and intelligence.</p><table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-091-cia-james-bond/' title='ClandesTime 091 - The CIA and James Bond'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 090 – Elections as National Trauma
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-090-elections-national-trauma/' title='ClandesTime 090 - Elections as National Trauma'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Election-National-Trauma.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'><p style="text-align: left;">Today we welcome back Robbie Martin of <a href="http://mediaroots.org/" target="_blank">Media Roots</a> and <a href="http://averyheavyagenda.com/" target="_blank">A Very Heavy Agenda</a> to discuss the psychological impact of the most fierce and fearful US election in recent memory. We discuss the polarisation both in the US over the presidential election and in the UK over the EU referendum, before looking at the string of 'October Surprises' that have dominated the news in recent weeks. We round off by talking about the new Adam Curtis documentary <em>Hypernormalisation</em> and our reservations about the glowing critical and popular response it has received.</p><table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-090-elections-national-trauma/' title='ClandesTime 090 - Elections as National Trauma'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 089 – Conspiracy Theories: The Moon Landings
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-089-conspiracy-theories-moon-landings/' title='ClandesTime 089 - Conspiracy Theories: The Moon Landings'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Moon-Landing.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'>I don't believe any of the alternative theories about the moon landings but this week I thought it would be fun to explore some of the arguments around these seminal events. We begin by looking at some of the arguments people have made in support of the conspiracy theories and the questions they overlook and evidence they do not have. I then take a look at why there are both optimistic (secret space program) and pessimistic (we never went) conspiracy theories about the moon landings and whether this is a good thing.<table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-089-conspiracy-theories-moon-landings/' title='ClandesTime 089 - Conspiracy Theories: The Moon Landings'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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ClandesTime 088 – Roar
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-088-roar/' title='ClandesTime 088 - Roar'><img src='https://www.spyculture.com/wp-content/uploads/Roar.jpg' border='0' width='600px' /></a></td></tr><tr><td valign='top' align='left'><p style="text-align: left;"><em>Roar</em> is a truly unique piece of cinema, possibly the most dangerous and brave and crazy film ever made. This week I take a look at this fascinating production which took 11 years to make, cost over $15 million and put most of its cast and crew in the hospital. The result is a magical, terrifying, hilarious story of the power of nature, the dangers inherent in our relationship with it and of good intentions gone badly wrong.</p><table width='100%'><tr><td align=right><p><b>(<a href='https://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-088-roar/' title='ClandesTime 088 - Roar'>Read more...</a>)</b></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td></td></tr></table>
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