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Description:

Podcast series with Tom Secker featuring film and book reviews and discussions and investigations into military and intelligence involvement in popular culture.

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Podcast Episode's:
Subscriber Podcast #7 – The Pentagon and Political Correctness - Podcast – Spy Culture
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='http://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-7-pentagon-political-correctness/' title='Subscriber Podcast #7 - The Pentagon and Political Correctness'><img src='http://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='http://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 - Podcast – Spy Culture
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='http://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='http://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='http://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 - Podcast – Spy Culture
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='http://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='http://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='http://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 - Podcast – Spy Culture
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='http://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='http://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='http://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) - Podcast – Spy Culture
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='http://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-6-under-siege/' title='Subscriber Podcast #6 - Under Siege (no, not that one)'><img src='http://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='http://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 - Podcast – Spy Culture
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='http://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='http://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='http://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 - Podcast – Spy Culture
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='http://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-103-mi5-censorship-panorama/' title='ClandesTime 103 - MI5 Censorship of Panorama'><img src='http://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='http://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? - Podcast – Spy Culture
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='http://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-102-richard-whiteley-spy/' title='ClandesTime 102 - Was Richard Whiteley a Spy?'><img src='http://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='http://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 - Podcast – Spy Culture
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='http://www.spyculture.com/subscriber-podcast-5-pentagons-hollywood-database/' title='Subscriber Podcast #5 - The Pentagon's Hollywood Database'><img src='http://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='http://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 - Podcast – Spy Culture
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='http://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-101-nightcrawler/' title='ClandesTime 101 - Nightcrawler'><img src='http://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='http://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 - Podcast – Spy Culture
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='http://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-100-sex-violence-censorship/' title='ClandesTime 100 - Sex, Violence and Censorship'><img src='http://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='http://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 - Podcast – Spy Culture
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='http://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-099-jack-valenti/' title='ClandesTime 099 - Jack Valenti'><img src='http://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='http://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 - Podcast – Spy Culture
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='http://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-098-eric-johnston1/' title='ClandesTime 098 - Eric Johnston'><img src='http://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='http://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 - Podcast – Spy Culture
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='http://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-097-sterling-hayden/' title='ClandesTime 097 - Sterling Hayden'><img src='http://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='http://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 - Podcast – Spy Culture
<table cellpadding='10'><tr><td valign='top'><a href='http://www.spyculture.com/clandestime-096-unreal/' title='ClandesTime 096 - Unreal'><img src='http://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='http://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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