August 30, 2011
Politics and power are of particular interest this week. They enter into the movies I watched and into my personal life.
First, I watched The Ghostwriter from 2010. It is a political thriller based a novel by Robert Harris. Though fictional, it tried to shed light on America’s involvement in England’s politics. The retired Prime Minister Adam Lang is a thinly veiled portrayal of Tony Blaire and is played by the wonderful Pierce Brosnan. Ewan McGregor plays the Ghostwriter hired to take Lang’s painfully dry memoirs and make the readable. In the process, the Ghostwriter comes to uncover the fact that Lang’s wife is a CIA agent who reported to a certain Professor Paul Emmett. The CIA used Lang as a sort of puppet for their own personal agenda, particularly where it came to the war on terror and the war in Iraq. It was a good movie I thought.
There was a preview on the DVD for a movie called Fair Game, which looked interesting, so I got Fair Game from the library next. Fair Game is the mostly true account of Valerie Plame. Valerie is a CIA agent dedicated to eliminating the nuclear threats of this world. She is part of the team investing rather Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction or not. It was her conclusion that Iraq did not have the capability to put together a Nuclear Program. Her husband, Joe Wilson, was a retired Ambassador to Niger whom was called on to help investigate Niger’s connection to Iraq. He concluded that there was no major purchase of Uranium to worry about. The Vice President’s adviser Scooter Libby, however, took the CIA’s findings and twisted them to his own agenda. Soon it was all over the TV that Iraq had WMDs and that was why we were invading them.
The embarrassing truth was that the American Public was lied to. Facts were twisted around and out right ignored so that we could waste 10 years and trillions of dollars on an ultimately pointless war.
In many ways, I can relate, seeing as how the people in my life have lied and twisted the facts around for their own personal agendas. Yes, Emotional Espionage is common on a day-to-day basis on the smallest of scales. Still, labeling it as such, helps to put things in perspective I think.
Sometimes I think I would make an excellent CIA agent. My ability to act as if nothing is wrong amazes even me. I have been able to compartmentalize and rationalize enough to continue moving forward. Agents must gather intelligence and make tough calls often with incomplete pictures. It is important to think strategically and not let emotions dictate the outcome of any particular conflict. Things often go terribly wrong when emotions are left unchecked and personal agendas twist the truth around.
Valerie Plame was exposed in the media as a covert CIA agent and this led to her losing her job and becoming a victim of a vicious media attack. It was tougher than any torture the CIA could have thrown at her. Still, she survived and continues to be an advocate for getting rid of nuclear weapons. She told her story and a movie was made of her life. I can only hope to match her strength and endurance in my own life. She is an inspiration.