ClandesTime show


Summary: ClandesTime is a regular 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.


 ClandesTime 195 – The New Cultural Cold War | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

The original Cultural Cold War has been the subject of numerous books and articles on both sides of the divide, but the new version has been almost entirely ignored. This week, I talk to writer and cultural critic Max Parry about the new Cultural Cold War, focusing in on HBO’s mini-series Chernobyl and season 3 […] (Read more...)

 ClandesTime 194 – Oliver Stone’s JFK | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This week, I welcome to the show author and friend James Oddy to discuss the JFK assassination case and its treatment in the Oliver Stone movie JFK. We look at the psychological and political consequences of the assassination, as well as the political and cultural impact of the film. We also make fun of Stone’s obsession with the Vietnam war. (Read more...)

 Subscriber Podcast #34 – Anti-Capitalist Pop Culture | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Why is it that capitalist economies and cultures produce anti-capitalist products? In this month’s subscriber podcast I examine three examples of anti-capitalist pop culture – Sorry to Bother You, Office Uprising and Corporate. I discuss how their storylines contain some very pertinent criticisms of capitalism as an economic model and of the corporate world. Analysing […] (Read more...)

 ClandesTime 193 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Aukai Collins | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

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. (Read more...)

 ClandesTime 192 – The Cinema of the Navy SEALs | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

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. (Read more...)

 ClandesTime 191 – The ‘Disguised’ Political Film in Hollywood | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

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. (Read more...)

 ClandesTime 190 – Karl Rove and the Cultural Impact of 9/11 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

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. (Read more...)

 ClandesTime 189 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Omar Nasiri | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

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. (Read more...)

 Subscriber Podcast #33 – American Moon | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

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. (Read more...)

 ClandesTime 188 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Mubin Shaikh | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

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. (Read more...)

 ClandesTime 187 – When Entertainment Liaison Offices Go Bad | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

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. (Read more...)

 ClandesTime 186 – NCIS | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

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. (Read more...)

 Subscriber Podcast #32 – The Looming Tower | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

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. (Read more...)

 ClandesTime 185 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Morten Storm | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

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. (Read more...)

 ClandesTime 184 – Political Paralysis in the Information Age | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

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. (Read more...)


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