cia

Cold War Blunders Abound in ‘Quiet Americans’

Lee Polevoi

Anderson frames his story with in-depth biographies of four CIA operatives largely unheralded in the annals of American espionage. These men include Edward Lansdale, a larger-than-life advertising executive turned secret agent; Peter Sichel, a German Jew who escaped Nazi Germany and later led key operations in postwar Europe; Michael Burke, an ex-naval officer who guided operations in Albania and Eastern Europe; and Frank Wisner, a crusading spymaster who oversaw many covert missions.

From COINTELPRO to PRISM: The Long History of Government Surveillance

Seeta Pena Gangadharan

Who is mined, who is profiled, and who suffers at the hands of an extensive regime of corporate and government surveillance raises issues of social and racial justice. PRISM, the National Security Agency’s clandestine electronic surveillance program, builds on a history of similar efforts whose impacts have affected racial and ethnic minorities in disproportionate ways. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Counter Intelligence Program (“COINTELPRO”), established in 1956, represents one of the forbearers of PRISM. 

From ‘Homeland’ to ‘Zero Dark Thirty’: A Look at Women Who Hunt Terrorists

Maggie Hennefeld

While strong female protagonists have been all but invisible in conventional war genre films (Jarhead, Hurt Locker, Black Hawk Down, Restrepo), a new sub-genre has cropped up that puts women at the center of military defense politics. From Alias and Salt to Homeland and the Oscar-nominated Zero Dark Thirty, we have witnessed the emergence of a contemporary screen obsession with watching ass-kicking female CIA agents hunting the world’s most elusive political terrorists. 

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