CIA Helped Shape Tom Clancy’s ‘Jack Ryan’ Series into Bigoted Venezuela Regime-Change Fantasy

Researcher Tom Secker exposed the Amazon TV show as straightforward U.S. imperial propaganda, reports Max Blumenthal.

By Max Blumenthal

Actor John Krasinski is one of the CIA’s biggest fans.

“The CIA is something that we should all not only cherish, but be saying thank you every single day,” he declared.

“The coolest thing ever for me, I mean I totally nerded out when we got to the CIA,” Krasinski effused. “They were the most unbelievably generous, kind, smart people.”

Krasinski’s comments flowed directly from his experience as the star of the second season of the Amazon series “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan.”

In a new video analysis of the show (embedded at the end of this article), researcher Tom Secker exposed the show as straightforward U.S. imperial propaganda which was produced in direct collaboration with the CIA and Pentagon.

The editor of the website Spy Culture, Secker has elucidated the role of Hollywood in disseminating propaganda aimed at instilling a militaristic mindset in the public. Through FOIA documents, Secker has methodically demonstrated the role of the Pentagon, CIA and FBI in shaping scripts and setting the agenda of some of the most popular American films and TV shows.

In analyzing Amazon’s Jack Ryan series, Secker revealed that the CIA’s direct role in crafting the show’s content was concealed from viewers.

Even though the show was one of the first to film at the CIA’s Langley base in years, the following disclaimer appeared at the end of each episode:

“This is government propaganda conducted in secret without the audience knowing,” Secker stated. “Their aim is to manipulate how you see the world.”

CIA Consultants

Inspired by the Cold War kitsch of pulp action author Tom Clancy, Amazon’s Jack Ryan series was the product of extensive and direct collaboration between the show’s producers and the CIA.

In off-the-cuff comments during a recent USO tour of military bases, Krasinksi revealed that he was eager to “do a show that would interface more with the military and intel community.” The actor said he requested direct engagement with the CIA, “so we did a lot of conversations about really making Jack Ryan fun as well as to make him relevant.”

Krasinksi revealed that Jack Ryan relied on “so many different consultants and people who are always checking in with us… It’s really just about asking questions and making sure we’re not doing anything too far beyond the pale.”

His co-star, Wendell Pierce, mentioned in a separate interview that he based his character on someone he met during one of the many trips the cast took to the CIA’s headquarters. In fact, many scenes in the show were filmed on the agency’s Langley, Virginia campus.

“They were the most generous, unbelievably giving people,” Krasinski said of the CIA officers he met in Langley.

 Tom Clancy’s Military-Intelligence Connection

The late Tom Clancy, author of “Jack Ryan,” speaking at the NSA.

Tom Clancy, the late bestselling author of the Jack Ryan series, sold tens of millions of books to a massive fanbase of Cold War-crazed readers during the Reagan era. His pulp novels depicted galavanting U.S. spooks and soldiers playing unheralded roles in undermining the Soviet Union and its proxies on foreign frontiers while keeping the homeland safe.

A lifelong right-wing Republican, he dedicated his book, “Executive Orders,” to then-President Ronald Reagan. Clancy was subsequently invited to speak at the NSA, FBI and Pentagon.

During an appearance at the NSA, Clancy boasted of being taken on a US Navy frigate, then of trundling around in an M1A1 Abrams tank during a tour of an Army base.

The author even volunteered his work to be reviewed by the CIA’s office of public affairs, requesting secrecy in a missive to the agency on the grounds that that his publisher would be displeased if it found out about the exchange.

One of Clancy’s most popular books, “The Hunt for Red October,” was edited by the Pentagon when it was adapted to film.

The Clancy film, “Patriot Games,” was supported by the CIA, which volunteered its Langley headquarters as a shooting location to enhance the public relations value of the film.

His next jingoistic action flick, “A Clear and Present Danger,” was carefully reviewed during an advance screening at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center by a CIA officer.

Season One: Anti-Muslim Propaganda

Jack Ryan: Season One was launched in 2018, five years after Clancy died as a multi-millionaire part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles MLB club.

The show was filmed in Morocco, and was set in the paranoid environment of the so-called war on terror. The Pentagon rejected the show, probably because it depicted the U.S. military guarding CIA black sites and paying off local jihadis in Yemen. But it received support from the U.S. Coast Guard, which offered the producers free usage of its ships and helicopters.

Jack Ryan executive producer Carlton Cuse claimed that the show presented a nuanced perspective on Muslims and Islam. However, as Secker explained, the show’s Muslim characters consisted of desperate refugees and irrational evildoers – terrorists, rapist terrorists, child molester terrorists and child terrorists.

The viewer learns in Jack Ryan: Season Two that Ryan was a former Marine who became the lone survivor when a child suicide bomber killed his entire unit in Afghanistan. The child’s motives are left unexplained.

Season Two: Venezuela Regime-Change Fantasy

The second season of Jack Ryan takes place in Venezuela, the current target of a real-life Trump administration coup attempt and crushing U.S. economic sanctions.

The plot centers around a barely coherent international conspiracy led by Nicolas Reyes, a cartoonishly evil Venezuelan dictator obviously based on Nicolas Maduro, the country’s elected leftist president.

But the Jack Ryan producers stand reality on its head by depicting Reyes as a deeply unpopular right-wing kleptocrat with close ties to the oligarchy. Meanwhile, the CIA’s white knight, Ryan, enters the country to help Gloria Bonalde, a left-wing feminist depicted as a warrior for “social justice.”

IMAGE: Nicolas Reyes is an oligarchic dictator bizarrely based on Nicolas Maduro, a leftist hated by the oligarchy

As anyone with a basic knowledge of the CIA’s history of subversion knows, Reyes is exactly the kind of character the Agency has supported and propped up across the world in form of right-wing dictators like Augusto Pinochet, Ephraim Rios-Montt, and Shah Reza Pahlavi. Today in Venezuela, the CIA and its cut-outs are supporting Juan Guaido, a figure supported by his country’s upper classes and right-wing governments in the region.

The show was shot in Bogota, Colombia, not Caracas, Venezuela. And as in the previous season, viewers are bombarded with negative stereotypes of The Natives. Venezuelans who appear on screen are depicted as violent protesters, murderers, corrupt officials, evil zombies who support the dictator, and once again, as killer kids.

While touting the role the CIA played in creating Amazon’s regime change fantasy thriller, Krasinski denied advancing any ulterior agenda. “Assumptions were being made that the US was attacking Venezuela,” he said in response to criticism from the Venezuelan government, “but that has nothing to do with our show.”

To Secker, the researcher who so clinically exposed the spooks behind the curtain of the Amazon series, Jack Ryan was designed to indoctrinate viewers into a “paranoid bigoted militarized mind fuck of a world view.”

Watch Secker’s 30-minute analysis of Jack Ryan and CIA propaganda below:

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah,” Goliath,” The Fifty One Day War and The Management of Savagery.”He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Killing Gaza and Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie.” Blumenthal founded the Grayzone Project in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America’s state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

This article is from The Grayzone.

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32 comments for “CIA Helped Shape Tom Clancy’s ‘Jack Ryan’ Series into Bigoted Venezuela Regime-Change Fantasy

  1. December 8, 2019 at 23:12

    What never ceases to amaze me is how completely seamless our American propaganda apparatus has become. There is very little actual white noise within our media system in terms of any challenges whatsoever to the CIA/State narratives being peddled 24/7.

    One can listen to the same CIA regime-change propaganda on PBS or NPR in the morning, delivered with tasteful jazz or classical music snippets and some pretentious banter, then turn on Fox News and hear the same CIA regime-change propaganda accompanied by short skirts and offered along side thinly disguised jingoistic and xenophobic commentary; from there one can watch day-time TV shows like “The View” and hear the same CIA regime-change propaganda repeated by a group of clueless “celebrities” of various sorts pontificating about things they know absolutely nothing about; by the time you hit the dinner hour you are free to watch not only plenty of various MSM “news” broadcasts spouting the same CIA regime-change propaganda, but also listen in on some lively panel discussions in which all participants would never in a million years express even the slightest doubt regarding the veracity of said CIA regime-change propaganda; before turning in you can top your day off by listening to one or more of the oh so “woke” and “hip” late night comedians credulously work the day’s CIA regime-change propaganda into their monologues, not a one of them, it would appear, considering even for a moment their complicity in the war crimes and carnage that will eventually ensue when said propaganda is acted upon. By the next morning the “paper of record” will have had enough time to both print articles and maybe even throw in an “op ed” on “why” this CIA regime-change propaganda likely requires military action of some sort and the sooner the better. In time perhaps a TV series (like Jack Ryan, Homeland, or 24) may use the CIA regime-change propaganda for it’s story themes thereby further embedding it as “truth” in the minds of hapless America propaganda consumers. With a little funding from the right sources there may even be a chance for an award winning Netflix “documentary” on a particular CIA regime-change propaganda operation touting it’s “humanitarian” credentials (the White Helmets) – and on and on this theatre of the absurd carnival act continues melding right into a number of supposedly “progressive” web sites that somehow manage to credulously repeat said CIA regime-change propaganda though even a good portion of their own regular viewers are too well informed to believe a word of it without evidence, of which of course there is none. Amazing how seamless it all is. Is it any wonder most Americans are not simply “uninformed,” but completely “misinformed?”


    • Skip Scott
      December 9, 2019 at 05:45


      Your comment is bar none the most perfect description of today’s propaganda matrix. It is completely seamless, and the public (especially in the USA) is totally submersed in it. As for theater of the absurd, I much preferred Laurel and Hardy to Trump and Pelosi. I am constantly amazed that so many people take this never ending shit show as gospel truth.

    • evelync
      December 9, 2019 at 11:38

      The intent of all this propaganda, IMO, is to silence and frighten us so we bury our natural feelings; the natural human inclination to be horrified at the thought of violence being perpetrated on innocent people.
      We want to ask some questions but we are silenced with the constant drumbeat of “shhhhh…….national security” to shut us down.

      It’s most disappointing with PBS which we all pay for which is at the forefront of discrediting or ignoring the political candidates like Tulsi Gabbard, Bernie Sanders and perhaps Andrew Yang (whose foreign policies I really haven’t looked at but) who has the courage to question other policies that the establishment wants us to accept without question.

  2. December 8, 2019 at 22:29

    I get to listen to US TV cop shows (unless I close my door and plug in earphones). They all have a nerdy character who can pull up extensive data on suspects from various government databases with a few keystrokes. The message is that that the surveillance state is a Good Thing.

  3. Terry
    December 8, 2019 at 00:24

    What is fake news? I am not sure but it struck me as obvious at the time that the the evil personification of Maduro by the media didn’t jive with the fact that he was elected by majority vote. I met and talked with a CIA agent who was involved in the Chile coup that put General Pinochet into power. The situation in Venezuela looks similar but in Venezuela the reason i think is not just a left wing socialist government. It’s the control of rich oil resources.

  4. Will
    December 7, 2019 at 17:56

    Almost as importantly, as entertainment, it really sucks. I could barely stand to watch 2 episodes ( the based on the acting alone, but of course like similar shows, it also relies on the complete suspension of disbelief).

  5. jimmy
    December 7, 2019 at 16:48

    Disgusting Hollywood bloodshed drivel. The more believable and perhaps more realistic was prime series “Patriot”
    (At least the characters were somehow innocent but, as in reality, caught in a cascade of lies) as opposed to this Jack Ryan super patriotic murder of brown people.

  6. Chris Manecke
    December 7, 2019 at 11:51

    We need to bring back Col. Flagg!!!

  7. Nick
    December 7, 2019 at 11:12

    The CIA gave Amazon $600 million to build and maintain a web cloud for them. As soon as I saw that Amazon was making a show about a CIA agent, I knew exactly what it was going to be: absolute BS aimed at people who watch TV instead of reading (the majority of the population) in order to show the ‘heroism’ of a criminal agency. 101 million of the 327 million people in the US subscribe to Amazon Prime. This is clearly a way for the CIA to keep up to one third of the population brainwashed into believing they are actually good. It amounts in my mind to a quid pro quo. Amazon gets a $600 million contract, the CIA gets to use Amazon’s network to spread propaganda. It’s the CIA yet again operating on US soil, and should be investigated.

  8. December 7, 2019 at 10:19

    If you think that most of the crap being spoon fed to you on a daily basis via mainstream media isn’t propaganda – I feel sorry for you. In my youth we were told that the Russian news Pravda was pure propaganda. At some point I finally awoke and realized that the USA is the biggest purveyor of propaganda in the world, bar none…

  9. Hide Behind
    December 6, 2019 at 15:58

    From its beginnings Hollywood and later TV have always been US alter ego, fantasy to take minds away from reality, provide vicarious pleasures to even those of darkest minds.
    Portraying what others determined was good versus bad characters and the public never realy associated the actors portrayals as but acting for profit and began forming their lives to conform to the messages on the screens.
    Even during depression millions flocked to movies to watch how the powerful, rich and wealthy lifestyles of pretty boy and pretty female actresses,
    Presented bad guy to fit even the worst real bad guys dreams to beros and lovers for the least virtuous to dream they were virtuous.
    Soap operas drugged women into actually thinking the actors portrayed were real live personages.
    Gave males with no balls a way to pretend they did, and today why be surprised that Hollywood and software developers of war games do the same.
    Mind games put out there for the mindless; controlled escapism.
    The male hero warriors in what has become homoerotic fantacy, the bucsome tight butted female warriors over weak males, has replaced Playboy centerfold models and given Cheetos lovers orange penis syndrome.

    The American dream of times that never were, peopled by people who never were in reality but if not real, well that is what we want them to of been.

    • December 7, 2019 at 19:35

      “The return of the Future “

  10. evelync
    December 6, 2019 at 12:19

    The film “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold” with Claire Bloom and I think Richard Burton was, I felt, a fine film based on the work of John Le Carré (David Cornwell).
    Of course Cornwell worked for British intelligence until he couldn’t take it any more and then honorably shared his cynicism in his books. – the truth that human beings in high places protected from exposure to daylight with unlimited funds are as flawed as the rest of us. The decent ones are betrayed by the politically compromised ones when wrongdoing is exposed.
    Valerie Plame…….

    I tried to read one of Clancy’s books many many years ago – couldn’t get through it; pure trash.
    boring, superficial, definitely not literature….paranoid????

    who do the intelligence agencies serve?
    we’re all paying for their work and it seems to me that Cold War Illusions that we’re propagandized with fit neatly with the financial interests of Empire
    but do they serve the vast majority of people?
    The coup’s of democratically elected leaders who think that their natural resources should be used for the benefit of their own people are just not tolerable to those who craft the agenda that the intelligence agencies seem to really serve.

    We don’t seem to care about the millions of indigenous people who are the real victims along with the people who serve in our military.

    The trillions of dollars wasted could be used rebuilding our infrastructure so we didn’t have massive electrical fires say in California.

    Noam Chomsky said in April that if Eisenhower came back today he’d agree with Senator Sanders policy positions and that’s an indication of how far right this country has moved.
    Not that Eisenhower, too, wasn’t involved in the coup d’etat in Guatemala serving the United Fruit Company…
    and I think Eisenhower seemed like a decent guy….beware the MIC, he said – something happens to some people caught in the maelstrom of Washington…..

    Thanks for this article. It’s sad how people who watch these films seem to like being frightened by the plots of these movies….
    Must be something in our reptilian brains that is used against us and our better interests……

    • Deniz
      December 6, 2019 at 15:25

      Eisenhower gave the world the notorious Dulles Brothers and their expansion of covert CIA operations, military fanatics such as the bloody General Curtis Le May, Vietnam, the Iranian Coup, the Guatemalan Coup, and countless more minor operations in Africa and South America which destabilized the continents so their people and resources can be exploited.

      The MIC quote is repeated often, but I view him as a Dr. Frankenstein finally awakened to the destructive habits of the monster he helped create.

    • Mrs Debra L. Carr de Legorreta
      December 6, 2019 at 15:44

      I don’t agree wth Chomsky regarding Eisenhower. I have a different take from what is usually presumed about Eisenhower’s “Farewell Speech,” in which he coins the term “military industrial complex.” At the onset of that speech, Eisenhower reeks of Russia bashing and worries about the red invasion. Given that and that Eisenhower changed the CIA’s mission (to Truman’s disgust) from intelligence to covert military operations, I see Eisenhower as trying to take some of the preference given to the DoD and diverting toward his baby, the new CIA we see here. We are seeing exactly what Eisenhower intended.

    • Charles Vick
      December 6, 2019 at 21:38

      The Dulles Brothers owned stock in United Fruit Company. Mary’s Mosaic by Peter Janney.

    • evelync
      December 7, 2019 at 17:19

      Thank you Deniz and Mrs Debra L. Carr de Legorreta for this info on Eisenhower.

      It’s disappointing to know that he relished the likes of these right wing paranoid dangerous.

      I’m confused. Why do the Dulles Bros, Tom Clancy, and other paranoid right wingers always line up with foreign policies that wage war and steal resources from vulnerable countries?
      Are they just toadies and servants of these interests or do they push the reactionary foreign policy and then financial interests jump in to take advantage?

  11. Deniz
    December 6, 2019 at 11:39

    Jack Ryan is a very accurate depiction of the narcissistic script that the intelligence agencies instill in Americans to cover up their war crimes. Good American soldiers are saving the world from Bad Foreigners. The essence of any any pro establishment debate boils down to this very simple formula, that we have all been indoctrinated in since we were children.

  12. December 6, 2019 at 11:19

    Trump likely will not get impeached but not to worry. The “Deep State” got him. And look for CIA groupie, Pompeo to run for president.

  13. Drew Hunkins
    December 6, 2019 at 11:02

    Great piece.

    An insightful book on this general topic, though it’s dated, is Michael Parenti’s “Make Believe Media.” It’s a spectacular expose on the mainstream entertainment media.

  14. Zman
    December 6, 2019 at 10:45

    I watched both seasons and can confirm this is not much more than a US CIA propaganda tool. After seeing Clancy’s other works transitioned to film, I was expecting to see temporally relevant fictional episodes. Oh, they were temporally relevant all right, they were as close to today’s overt US media/Zionist propaganda as was possible. The only surprise in the last series was the kicker at the end. I suppose it was added to make the program appear to be ‘balanced'(similar to ‘Clear and Present danger’ ending). Even his previous works put on film were propagandistic and self serving…but were not necessarily for influencing the public regarding upcoming/contempory issues or events. This series, especially season 2, however, is just that. Designed to encourage acceptance of the criminal actions and propaganda lies of our government and to severely criminalize Venezuelans/et al, with fictional accounts of crimes, the series shows US agents violating laws across the board, ours and theirs, in the pursuit of righteousness. This the John Wayne Hollywood/ Ronald Reagan admin approach to international relations. This show has been removed from my viewing schedule…I have the MSM to view if I want to see Zionist propaganda. Krasinski is just another Hollyweirdo pitching for his show…either that or he has zero clues about what the CIA really does. He should stick to acting and keep his ignorance to himself.

    • Kras
      December 8, 2019 at 03:33

      Z-man. Karasinski is acting in the series Jack Ryan. He has not run for office in D.C. based on his character. Lots of people in this comment section seem to think they are righteous, you just watched entertainment. If there was NO story or no protagonist and antagonist from whatever country then you have…NO show. Or seemingly the show has to be the way that leftists see fit. Can’t do anything with people that drone around speaking Republicrats and Democans all day long.

  15. Paul Easton
    December 6, 2019 at 10:16

    The CIA has teamed up with the DNC to assert its veto power over the Presidency. We are in big trouble.

  16. Skip Scott
    December 6, 2019 at 07:47

    The MIC’s encroachment on the entertainment world has been going on for decades. Like the rest of government propaganda, their methods are constantly improved and refined. This is how they feed cannon fodder into the war machine with the enthusiastic approval of the sheeple as they bow their heads and say “Thank you for your service.”

    John Krasinski (and the rest of the brain dead TV watching public) has been sheep-dipped in propaganda for his entire life. Someone should send him a copy of “The Devil’s Chessboard.”

    If I could have a single Christmas wish granted, I would love to see all TV sets suddenly break down, even if only for a day. I imagine the experience for the masses would be like awakening from hypnosis.

    • Tony
      December 7, 2019 at 07:13

      That is a very good book.

      It shows how the CIA under Eisenhower penetrated the State Department, the Pentagon, the White House etc. I would imagine that that is still the case. It was under Nixon.

      CIA Director Allen Dulles urged Eisenhower to overthrow the government of Iran. To his credit, he refused. Unfortunately, Dulles then went back to him with a totally different set of arguments. Instead of seeing through Dulles’ ploy, Eisenhower now gave in.

      The book also shows how the Bay of Pigs invasion was never intended to succeed. It was actually designed to force Kennedy to launch a full-scale invasion. It also claims that the CIA deliberately sabotaged the U 2 spy plane that flew over the USSR in 1960 so as to wreck the forthcoming Eisenhower-Khrushchev summit.

      It is a great book although I think the author fails to appreciate Lyndon Johnson’s true role in the JFK assassination.

  17. triekc
    December 6, 2019 at 07:17

    US oligarch owned media is complicit or a tool promoting propaganda supporting their irrational goal of global control and infinite accumulation of wealth. Season one Jack Ryan teed up the radical Islamist as the evil villain, following the model of literally thousands of movies and tv series supporting the hugely successful 911 false flag attack. In past few years, their movies and TV series’ have pivoted to Russian and Iranian evil villains, which dovetails with those countries being called out in the National Security Strategy as the biggest threats to the US – without any evidence, or plausible scenario as to how these countries could attack the US mainland.

  18. michael
    December 6, 2019 at 06:36

    Just finished reading “the Watchdogs Didn’t Bark” focused on the CIA and, incredibly, it’s role in 9/11. Either intentionally, working with the Saudis, or unintentionally, working against the FBI, the CIA’s Alec Station contributed in a major way to the 9/11 catastrophe.
    Ostensibly the CIA stopped communications with the FBI to cover a project to “turn” terrorist Khalid al Mihdhar and gain insights and perhaps a spy in Al Qaeda, an illegal project since the CIA is not supposed to have covert operations within the US. The non-fiction book carefully dances around the conclusions, but its evidence is clear. A little thing: the FBI and NSA employees were stunned, crying and upset by the 9/11 catastrophe; the CIA group involved was not perturbed nor upset, none were fired or really punished, most were promoted.
    Max Blumenthal (and Ben Norton) have done an excellent job covering US bankrupt foreign policy in Latin America (the CIA/MSM just spews propaganda). The CIA (created as an information gathering unit only) has always worked outside of official channels, and their perversions and screwups are legendary. Blumenthal and Norton are constantly crossing paths with the CIA, which is surely dangerous.

  19. Fran Macadam
    December 5, 2019 at 21:31

    I would rather characterize lying propaganda as an invasion of another’s mind, to produce thoughts and actions that would not otherwise be undertaken by a free individual. It’s a form of mind rape.

  20. lsc
    December 5, 2019 at 21:06

    Thanks for the truth. Having lived in Venezuela for seven years in the 70s, watching the latest Jack Ryan TV show was disheartening.

    • ML
      December 6, 2019 at 11:20

      My sentiments exactly, having lived in Colombia in the 1970s for several years. It’s an embarrassment at the least, how sycophantic these actors are! Evil at worst, even if they act as if they don’t know any better.

  21. bjd
    December 5, 2019 at 20:08

    Thanks for keeping us informed, Max!
    All the best to you.

    • December 6, 2019 at 12:39

      While this is nothing different from what even simple minded television dramas centered around military and security oriented topics, such as JAG, Seals, Madam Secretary, etc., Zthis latest Clancy fantasy is more complex and straight forward. The bigotry bred and promoted from such productions served to reenforce the pre Iraq War rhetoric topped off by the hysteria following the 9/11 attacks and is what is behind the present Russophobia, Sinophobia, and anti Iran opinion. All pretty disgusting and definitely seeking “monsters to destroy” mentality.

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