Documents showing the CIA had a role in producing up to 22 entertainment projects, including History Channel documentary Air America: The CIA’s Secret Airline, Bravo‘s Top Chef: Covert Cuisine, the USA Network series Covert Affairs and the BBC documentary The Secret War on Terror—along with two fictional feature films about the CIA that both came out in 2012.
In such revelations, an important point is often overlooked: The CIA assisting or posing as filmmakers, journalists and other creative roles—a practice the Agency reserves the right to partake in to this day—puts actual filmmakers, journalists and other creators at risk overseas. It’s an important piece of context that’s rarely addressed by a pundit class who is (rightfully) outraged at American journalists and filmmakers being detained as spies overseas, but responds with praise or amusement when CIA takes on such roles as cover.
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