Tag Archives: zero dark thirty

The CIA and Hollywood episode 14 Zero Dark Thirty

Robbie Martin is our final guest for this season as we dissect the 2012 docudrama Zero Dark Thirty. We discussed the difficulty in defining what kind of film this is – somewhere between a spy thriller, a documentary and a dry European art house movie. We get into the well-documented CIA support for the film and ask why this is the only major movie about the Abbottabad raid to get ‘Bin Laden’ and why it wasn’t particularly successful. Was the film meant to serve as a substitute for any real evidence of what happened in Abbottabad in 2011? Did the filmmakers even care whether what they were portraying was true or were they blinded by the excitement of the special access they were granted?

After summarizing the role of senior CIA and DOD intelligence officer Michael Vickers (who is portrayed in Charlie Wilson’s War) we discuss why so many CIA agents are portrayed in movies and TV. The conversation then zeroes in on ‘Maya’ – based on the real life CIA officer Alfreda Frances Bikowsky, who was critically involved in the 9/11 intelligence breakdown and the post-9/11 torture program. Getting back to the film we talk about the raid sequence itself which is very dry and realistic but we never actually see Bin Laden. We conclude that Zero Dark Thirty is like a rorschach test where you can bring your own expectations and prejudices to your experience of watching the movie. We round off talking about the portrayal of torture in the film and ask whether the controversies around the film were created as a smokescreen to avoid people asking the question: was it really Bin Laden?

Download The CIA and Hollywood ep 14

Show Notes:

Zero Dark Thirty

CIA Memo on Rewriting Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty the CIA and DOD files

The ‘Dynamite’ Pentagon Interview Behind ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Bin Laden Burial took place on Top Gun ship

CIA Inspector General’s Report on Engagement with the Entertainment Industry

Who is Richard Blee (podcast)

Alfreda Frances Bikowsky

Alec Station

CIA’s Queen of Torture Married to Former CIA Official Who Urges War Between Sunnis and Shiites

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Porkins Policy Radio episode 52 Tom Secker – Chase Brandon, State entertainment, Turkey Coup,

For this inaugural episode I am joined by my good friend and frequent collaborator Tom Secker. We begin by discussing the bizarre life and career of the CIA Hollywood liaison Chase Brandon. We then move onto the relationship between entertainment and the security services. We explore the notion that this going beyond mere propaganda, and instead represents a significant distortion of our culture and perception of reality and world events. Tom and I finish off by discussing the recent coup attempt in Turkey and some of our problems with the way the alt-media has covered this event.

Download episode

Show Notes:

Biggest ever FOIA release from Pentagon Entertainment Liaison Offices

CIA Inspector Generals Report on Engagement with the Entertainment Industry

The CIA and Hollywood Season 2 Link Chart

The-CIA-and-Hollywood-linkchart-2

 

From SpyCulture:

We will begin releasing season 2 of The CIA and Hollywood this weekend, and to give you a taste of what’s to come we have produced a linkchart combining data and connections from both season 1 and the forthcoming season 2.  New additions include The Rock, Angelina Jolie and former Sony executive Amy Pascal, along with self-confessed (though officially denied) CIA agent Chuck Barris.  Much of this season’s material links up with the people and organisations we discussed in season one, including the two production companies Participant Media and Relativity Media.

As with the previous linkchart, embedded in the pdf are links to various resources – interviews, documents, making of featurettes and other sources of information for those who want to know more about the relationship between the CIA and Hollywood, and of course where Pearse and I get the information we use.  The 8 films we examine in this second season are: The Quiet American (1958), Good Night, and Good Luck (2005), Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), Men who Stare at Goats (2009), American Ultra (2015), Race to Witch Mountain (2009), Zero Dark Thirty (2012) and Salt (2010).

The linkchart is available as a high-resolution PNG file or as an even higher-resolution PDF, which has the source links embedded within it.

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