Is she, or isn’t she?
Is the Hollywood actress who has captured our imagination in spy adventure films a real CIA spy?
According to UK tabloid The Sun, there seems to be a growing dossier of evidence which suggests that such a wild claim about the 45-year-old actress and humanitarian may have weight to it.
If the so-called “leading expert” on the relationship between Hollywood and the US government is to be believed, Angelina Jolie may have been recruited as an asset by the spy agency at some point in the 2000s.
Since then, the Oscar-winner has twice been accused by angry foreign officials of being a CIA “agent,” held meetings with and played a role in the downfall of a CIA director and starred in two movies supported by the CIA, The Sun reported.
She also joined one of Washington DC’s most influential foreign policy think tanks and interviewed the outgoing boss of the UK’s MI6 secret service – one of the CIA’s strongest allies.
Expert Tom Secker has spent years using the Freedom of Information Act to investigate the connection between the movie industry and the intelligence community, and says that the evidence hints that “something is going on” between Angelina and the CIA.
The author, who wrote a book called National Security Cinema, says he believes that Jolie is an ideal “front person” for the intelligence community.
“Under the first Obama administration there was an attempt to redraw US foreign policy,” he told The Sun.
“It continued to look like US foreign policy has for decades but they very much promoted the notion of humanitarian intervention and the doctrine of the responsibility to protect, known as R2P.
“That’s how they branded the Libyan war and the Syria intervention and the general expansion of the War on Terror with the drone program.
“The notion of getting a theoretically liberal Hollywood star as a front person fits in entirely with how foreign policy was being rebranded in that period.
“I wouldn’t have thought Angelina is a salaried CIA officer — she could be although I don’t think so.
“I think somewhere along the line in the 2000s she was in effect recruited as some kind of PR asset.
“Throughout the Cold War both the CIA and the FBI were recruiting people in Hollywood for various purposes, not least hyping up the Red Scare and informing on people within the film industry.”
Over the past decade foreign officials have gone much further than Secker and suggested Angelina is a full-blown CIA “agent” who uses her humanitarian work for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to promote US foreign policy, The Sun reported.
Most recently, Angelina was blasted by then president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, following a visit she made to Venezuelan refugees in Peru in October 2018.
Similar claims had already been put forward six years earlier when Angelina praised the Turkish government following her visit to camps for Syrian refugees in September 2012, The Sun reported.
A deputy with Turkey’s main opposition party Mehmet Kesimoğlu asked: “Is Angelina Jolie an agent of the CIA, and is there any intelligence report about Angelina Jolie that indicates she is used as the face of CIA’s war politics?”
Angelina’s name has also been linked to disgraced former CIA Director David Petraeus.
The pair held talks and posed for a picture in Baghdad in February 2008 while Petraeus was serving as the top commander in Iraq, The Sun reported.
After he took the top CIA job, the pair met again at the service’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia, on January 11, 2012, the same day Angelina and her then partner Brad Pitt visited President Barack Obama in the White House.
In October this year, Angelina conducted an extraordinary interview with the outgoing head of Britain’s foreign intelligence service, MI6.
During her conversation with Sir Alex Younger, published in Time magazine, Angelina admiringly quizzed the British spymaster about his secret life, The Sun reported.
Secker believes that the actress’s link to the British intelligence service may have been made through the UK’s Foreign Office, which she began working with on a campaign against wartime sexual violence in May 2012.
Angelina’s movie collaborations with the CIA are also well-documented.
To date she has starred in at least two spy films which were directly supported by the CIA – The Good Shepherd in 2006 and Salt in 2010.
Just months after The Good Shepherd was released in December 2006 Angelina became a member of the influential Council on Foreign Relations think tank.
Angelina is amongst just a handful of Hollywood stars to have been made a member of the exclusive organization, along with George Clooney and Warren Beatty.
According to The Atlantic, ever since its inception in 1947, the CIA has been covertly working with Hollywood.
But it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the agency formally hired an entertainment industry liaison and began openly courting favorable treatment in films and television.
During the Clinton presidency, the CIA took its Hollywood strategy to a new level — trying to take more control of its own mythmaking.
In 1996, the CIA hired one of its veteran clandestine officers, Chase Brandon, to work directly with Hollywood studios and production companies to upgrade its image.
“We’ve always been portrayed erroneously as evil and Machiavellian,” Brandon later told The Guardian. “It took us a long time to support projects that portray us in the light we want to be seen in.”
It is no surprise then, that Brandon listed The Good Shepherd as one of the movies he had worked on.
The flag-waving Tom Clancy franchise became a centerpiece of CIA propaganda in the 1990s, with a succession of actors (Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and finally Ben Affleck) starring in films like Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and The Sum of All Fears, which pit the daring agent Jack Ryan against an array of enemies.
That said, the fact that Jolie’s associations with “The Company” have been so public, and, the fact Jolie is perhaps one of the most genuine and honest people in Tinseltown — just ask Billy Bob Thornton — it’s very hard to believe, she would act as an asset in any capacity.
Help the CIA manipulate foreign countries, their unions, corporations and the foreign press? Not likely, it’s not in her DNA.
Would she try to help those in need, by speaking to the CIA? Yes, of course, and that is probably her motivation and agenda — helping the poor and disenfranchised.
And would her celebrity open doors in high places? Yes, of course … she bears the burden of a pretty face, as David Byrne would say. That’s the way the world works.
And while it reads well in the British tabs, it is largely entertainment speculation.
Besides, the CIA hasn’t even launched their standard program of denial.