The other night Bobbi and I re-watched what is perhaps the most fascinating spy movie of all time, the 1975 cult classic, Three Days of the Condor. The movie centers on a bookish CIA researcher, Joe Turner (played by Robert Redford) who returns from lunch to discover his co-workers murdered; and who subsequently tries to avoid his own murder and outwit those responsible. The entire film is an emotional roller-coaster as the viewer is left guessing, who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.
Directed by the late Sydney Pollack, Joe Turner code-named Condor, finds himself on the run after he discovers his slain co-workers; slayings that were fast, dispassionate, and efficient. A half-dozen people were left dead, including Turner’s love interest who was politely asked to “step away from the window” before she is mercilessly gunned down. Why the hit took place is a mystery, but it’s a question Turner must answer before the killers find him too. As the story unfolds viewers are left trying to piece together what’s happening and everyone seems suspicious.
~ The True Terror of a Deep State ~
Three Days of the Condor is a masterpiece in part because it creates a sense of paranoia. Viewers don’t know who to trust, creating a suspended feeling of tension throughout the film. This sense of paranoia is only heightened when we learn the US government is behind the killings, but of course, it’s all for “the greater good.” Once upon a time the notion of a “deep state” was the exclusive domain of spy novels. But since the Russia/Trump collusion hoax has been exposed, only ideologues and fools deny its existence.
And it was the Durham investigation that disabused us of that notion when it detailed the speed and aggressiveness the FBI opened and investigated the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election based on raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence. It also exposed how the Trump investigation was a significant departure from how the FBI approached other matters involving foreign election interference including the shenanigans of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The idea that “deep state” operatives exist in the US government operating with their own agendas should frighten us. And while fiction, Three Days of the Condor more than hints at the extent of government dishonesty and malfeasance. In one particular scene, Cliff Robertson who plays the role of. Higgins, the deputy director of the CIA’s New York bureau, is interacting with Joe Turner trying to explain the rationale behind it all.
Higgins: “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?”
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!”
Near the end of the film, it appears that Turner has won. The ‘bad guys’ have been dispatched and Turner has taken his story to the New York Times. But in the final scene at a street corner in New York City, Turner again meets Higgins and tells him he’s spilled the beans to the Grey Lady. “The story is out,” he says confidently, “and there’s nothing you can do about it.” And with a visual of the NY Times building in the background, Higgins with a crestfallen look says, “Awwa, you poor, dumb son-of-a-bitch, you don’t know what you’ve done” and Turner turns and walks away triumphantly.
But a moment later Higgins calls out, “Hey Turner, how do you know they’ll print it?” Now it’s Turner who looks crestfallen, and perhaps even a bit frightened. “They’ll print it,” he replies, but the tenor of his voice tells us he’s not altogether certain. And now it’s Higgins who looks steely confident. “How do you know?” Higgins asks. Turner doesn’t reply, and as the movie ends, the viewer is left to wonder what happens next.
What makes the movie truly frightening is how close this situation parallels 21st century America in the obverse. I use the term obverse because in 2023, the media is complicit in the deceptions, and especially so regarding the climate debate. I do not pretend to understand the machinations of the Deep State or who their corporate accomplices are or to what degree is their collaboration. But in light of the fact that the unnecessary and wholesale abandonment of fossil fuels is going have extremely deleterious and long-lasting effects on the lives of billions of people, especially those in the third world, coupled with the amount of new scientifically sound counter arguments, one would think that when making decisions about the future of society with its reliance reliable and abundant energy everyone would want those decisions predicated upon honest, accurate and verifiable information. .
At the same time, social media is now as bad as the legacy media inasmuch this is where the cancel culture thrives. And as more and more scientists come forth exposing the lies about climate emanating from our government, the media, and the UN, we must demand open debate because a complicit media is furthering the lies and misinformation Americans are being told about climate.
Albert Einstein once said, “A government should be considered evil if it carries within it the tendency to deteriorate into tyranny. And the danger of such deterioration is more acute in a country in which the government has authority over every channel of education and information.” In the end, Three Days of the Condor leaves us with a question. What is the use of a free press if those who control it are too corrupt to print the truth? Which brings us to questions we should all ask, i.e., why doesn’t the left want alternative viewpoints heard, why do so many powerful people eschew open and honest debate, what are they afraid of?
Quote of the day: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” – Steven Koonin