Wednesday, November 23


Anyone remember the film Three Days of the Condor starring Robert Redford?

The story goes like this: a CIA researcher reads books, all kinds of books from all over the world, to see if their plot lines reveal any current or planned CIA activities ("We read everything that's published in the world. And we... we feed the plots - dirty tricks, codes - into a computer, and the computer checks against actual CIA plans and operations. I look for leaks, I look for new ideas... We read adventures and novels and journals. Who'd invent a job like that?"). One day the researcher, Joe Turner, returns from lunch and finds all of his co-workers have been murdered. He tries to get the Company to bring him in from the cold, but when he starts getting shot at he realizes that one of the reports he submitted to his superiors outlining the plot of a book in which the CIA plans an invasion of a Middle Eastern country in order to secure their oil is true, and everyone he knows is being killed to wipe out any tracks to that truth.

Memorable quotes:

Joe Turner (to CIA boss): Boy, what is it with you people? You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth?

Higgins (CIA boss): It's simple economics. Today it's oil, right? In ten or fifteen years, food. Plutonium. Maybe even sooner. Now, what do you think the people are gonna want us to do then?
Joe Turner: Ask them?
Higgins: Not now - then! Ask 'em when they're running out. Ask 'em when there's no heat in their homes and they're cold. Ask 'em when their engines stop. Ask 'em when people who have never known hunger start going hungry. You wanna know something? They won't want us to ask 'em. They'll just want us to get it for 'em!

Sound eerily prescient?

Well, the denouement of the film is Joe giving the whole story to the New York Times, confident that they'll print it and preserve his life by doing so.

Higgins: Turner! How do you know they'll print it? You can take a walk. But how far if they don't print it?
Joe Turner: They'll print it.
Higgins: How do you know?

Feel the shivers running up your spine?


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