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Pentagon Uses the Upcoming "Man of Steel" Superman Movie to Promote New F-35 Fighter Jet

The Hollywood-industrial complex strikes again.

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The CIA has recently gotten into the racket. The Los Angeles Times reports that “The CIA has kept an entertainment liaison on staff only since 1996. At that point, the Cold War had ended, and the agency was fighting for its budget and its existence on Capitol Hill. The new mission was clear: to overcome the CIA's image in popular entertainment as incompetent, evil or rife with rogue employees.” Bill Harlow, the CIA public affairs chief is quoted saying, “I made that a big priority, and we did a lot more with Hollywood than ever before.” Tricia Jenkins reports in her book The CIA in Hollywood that the CIA was “influenced” the production of Argo which is why the movie is essentially an ad for the CIA. She reports that the underlying theme- that the public never finds about the CIA’s successes and only its failures- is one of the narratives that the CIA constantly encourages producers and directors to relate. Exactly what changes will remain unknown, Alford says, “the DOD learnt its lesson not to allow this
information into the public domain.  You won't find any records of annotated screenplays from the past decade or so.”

I asked Dave Robb how many movies never got produced because of the exorbitant cost of going without Pentagon equipment. He replied:  

The Marine Corps' film office in Los Angeles contains a floor-to-ceiling shelf of files on films that asked for assistance but were never made. Some of these probably couldn't get financing, but many weren't made because they would have been impossible -- or prohibitively expensive -- to make with out military assistance.

This is a prima facie case for de facto censorship. I consider The Thin Red Line to be the greatest war movie ever made; the thought that it may have been added to the shelf of unknown films with Countermeasures is disturbing. If the government wants to allow its equipment to be used by studios, it needs to grant access to anyone who wants to use it – that is the meaning of pluralism. The Pentagon fears that some of the movies may hurt the military’s reputation and recruiting efforts. These concerns are legitimate, but it’s more important that we allow John Stuart Mill’s “market place of ideas” to be a place for free trade, rather than favoring some over others.


Movies in the last decade made with the cooperation of the Pentagon:

2012 Battleship

2012 Act of Valor  

2011 Transformers: Dark of the Moon  

2011 Battle Los Angeles  

2010 Iron Man 2  

2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen  

2009 Bones (TV series)  

– The Hero in the Hold (2009) (this episode could not have been made without the support and generosity of - Phil Strub)

2008 The Day the Earth Stood Still  

2008 Eagle Eye  

2008 Iron Man

2007 I Am Legend

2007 Transformers

2006 Flags of Our Fathers

2006 Al Franken: God Spoke  

2006 United 93

2005 The Great Raid

2005 Stealth  

2005 War of the Worlds  

2003 American Valor  

2003 Rain  

2003 The Core

Sean McElwee is a writer and researcher of public policy. He blogs at Follow him on Twitter @seanmcelwee