Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wrong is Right


Imagine a world of intrigue and propaganda, of setting up an Arab dictator, claiming he had Weapons of Mass Destruction, exploiting the news media, and launching an invasion of that Arab dictator's country . . .

That's essentially the point of Richard Brooks' Wrong is Right (1982), starring Sean Connery as a superstar celebrity journalist. At the time, I thought the target country a dead ringer for Libya. Brooks (1912-1992), who also directed In Cold Blood (1967), loosely based Wrong is Right on The Better Angels, a 1979 novel written by ex-CIA operative Charles McCarry (b. 1930). Oddly enough, McCarry's first book was Citizen Nader (1972) -- about Ralph Nader, who's running for president (again) in 2008.


I met Frank Snepp (b. Kinston, North Carolina, 5/3/1943), another ex-CIA operative-turned-author, back in the early 1980s. He spoke to my small Vietnam War class at UNC-Chapel Hill, and what he had to say about how things really happened between Tet and the fall of Saigon gave me the chills . . . He could only speak from memory, as "the Company" served him notice -- anything more detailed would be construed a possible threat to national security. Check out his Decent Interval: An Insider's Account of Saigon's Indecent End Told by the CIA's Chief Strategy Analyst in Vietnam (1977) and its 1999 sequel: Irreparable Harm: A Firsthand Account of How One Agent Took on the CIA in an Epic Battle Over Free Speech. Last I heard, he was working as an investigative reporter and consultant in Las Angeles.


Meanwhile, on SHADO Moonbase, an officer bearing a keen resemblance to not-yet-then-born Christina Ricci reveals Space Age fashion secrets, early 1970s . . .

Today's Rune: Defense. Snow Day. Dentist. Oorah!

2 comments:

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Charles Gramlich said...

I'm beginning to wonder if you are not yourself an "operative," Erik. You know too much.