EXCLUSIVE: Documents expose how Hollywood promotes war on behalf of the Pentagon, CIA and NSA
US military intelligence agencies have influenced over 1,800 movies and TV shows
We have recently acquired 4,000 new pages of documents from the #Pentagon and CIA through the Freedom of Information Act. For us, these documents were the final nail in the coffin.
These documents for the first time demonstrate that the US government has worked behind the scenes on over 800 major #movies and more than 1,000 TV titles.
The previous best estimate, in a dull-as-dishwater academic book way back in 2005, was that the Pentagon had worked on less than 600 #films and an unspecified handful of television shows.
The CIA’s role was assumed to be just a dozen or so productions, until very good books by Tricia Jenkins and Simon Willmetts were published in 2016. But even then, they missed or underplayed important cases, including Charlie Wilson’s War and Meet the Parents.
#Vietnam is evidently another sore topic for the US military, which also removed a reference to the war from the screenplay for Hulk (2003). While the military are not credited at the end of the film, on IMDB or in the DOD’s own database of supported movies, we acquired a dossier from the US Marine Corps detailing their ‘radical’ changes to the script.
This included making the laboratory where the #Hulk is accidentally created into a non-military facility, making the director of the lab an ex-military character, and changing the code name of the military operation to capture the Hulk from ‘ #Ranch_Hand ’ to ‘Angry Man’.
‘Ranch Hand’ is the name of a real military operation that saw the #US_Air_Force dump millions of gallons of pesticides and other poisons onto the Vietnamese countryside, rendering millions of acres of farmland poisoned and infertile.
They also removed dialogue referring to ‘all those boys, guinea pigs, dying from radiation, and germ warfare’, an apparent reference to covert military experiments on human subjects.
The #CIA has also managed to #censor scripts, removing or changing sequences that they didn’t want the public to see. On #Zero_Dark_Thirty screenwriter Mark Boal ‘verbally shared’ his script with CIA officers, and they removed a scene where a drunk CIA officer fires an AK-47 into the air from a rooftop in #Islamabad, and removed the use of dogs from the #torture scenes.
While very little is known about the NSA’s activities in the entertainment industry we did find indications that they are adopting similar tactics to the CIA and DOD.
Internal #NSA emails show that the producers of #Enemy_of_the_State were invited on multiple tours of NSA headquarters. When they used a helicopter to film aerial footage of Fort Meade, the NSA did not prevent them from using it in the movie.
According to a 1998 interview with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, they changed the script at the NSA’s request so that the wrongdoings were the actions of one bad apple NSA official, and not the agency in general.
‘I think the NSA people will be pleased. They certainly won’t come out as bad as they could have. NSA’s not the villain.’
This idea of using cinema to pin the blame for problems on isolated rogue agents or bad apples, thus avoiding any notion of systemic, institutional or criminal responsibility, is right out of the CIA/DOD’s playbook.