IT reads like the most outlandish of Hollywood spy scripts: Angelina Jolie – one of Tinseltown’s biggest stars – working undercover with the CIA.
Yet there is a growing dossier of evidence which suggests that such a wild claim about the 45-year-old actress and humanitarian may not be quite as crazy as it sounds.
And if a leading expert on the relationship between Hollywood and the US government is to be believed, Angelina 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.
She also joined one of Washington D.C.’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."
I think somewhere along the line in the 2000s she was in effect recruited as some kind of PR asset.
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.
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.
‘Evidence’ that may suggest Angelina is a spy
- Held meetings with and played a role in the downfall of a CIA Director
- Spoke to CIA agents when she starred in two movies which were supported by the CIA
- Joined one of Washington D.C.’s most influential foreign policy think tanks
- Accused by two foreign politicians of being a CIA operative
- Interviewed the outgoing boss of the UK’s MI6 secret service – one of the CIA’s strongest allies
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.
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.
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.
The meeting would later come to play a minor role in the sex scandal that ended Petraeus’ CIA career.
Early concerns about the director’s relationship with his biographer Paula Broadwell were reportedly raised amongst CIA staff after the writer posted an unofficial photo of the Angelina meeting on Facebook, in breach of security protocols.
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.
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.
The CIA’s first ever entertainment liaison Chase Brandon, who served from 1996 to 2007, listed The Good Shepherd as one of the movies he had worked on.
Just months after The Good Shepherd was released in December 2006 Angelina became a member of the influential Council on Foreign Relations think tank.
The Council’s links to the CIA date back to the early days of the intelligence service and continue to this day.
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.
Then in 2010 Angelina starred in Salt, a story about a Russian sleeper spy who has infiltrated the CIA.
CIA documents obtained by Secker list Salt as an example of one of the movies that it provided “entertainment industry outreach” for “in an effort to ensure an accurate portrayal of the men and women of the CIA”.
Secker says that to prepare for Salt, director Phillip Noyce went on a tour of CIA's headquarters in Langley, Virginia, with Angelina and they had a video conference with CIA operatives who were active at the time.
In production notes for the movie distributed by Sony Pictures, Angelina stated: “We talked to a lot of the women in the CIA.
“One after the other, they are just these lovely, sweet women that you can’t imagine being put in a dangerous situation, but they really are.”
“The interesting thing is that they were talking to CIA operations officers,” Secker said.
“Normally if you want to have a look around Langley to do research and talk to a couple of people, that is organized through the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs.
“The fact they were sitting down and having a conference with currently serving operations officers, people who work undercover – that’s unusual.
“On Salt it is evident that the relationship went deeper.”
In the past the actress has claimed she couldn't ever be a spy, telling AFP in 2010, "I couldn’t keep a secret life because it is just not natural to me and my family, but I think it is a great sacrifice people make."
The Sun reached out to a representative for Angelina on Secker's claims.
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