Argo (2012)

It’s basically the story of Tony Mendez’s efforts to retrieve 6 embassy staffers during the Iran Hostage crisis.  It’s also basically how most of the general population learned the meaning of exfil, if they hadn’t already learned it from G-Force.  I’m sure there’s plenty of criticisms out there but as a Kryptos-CIA hobbyist, I enjoyed it a lot and the person I went with, a non-enthusiast, also enjoyed it a lot.  It’s one thing to read static, historical accounts and quite another to have the immersion of cinema.

I think it puts the context of the relationship between the White House and the CIA into context namely “hey, go do this thing” – “hey, we’re doing that thing you wanted” – “plans have changed, do it quicker and we don’t care how”  – “okay!” – “that’s your stupid fucking idea, plan is off” – “hey our guy is minutes from the airport with your people” – “…” – “ah, dammit!” – “we don’t know what these crazy CIA people do and would like to distance ourselves as much as possible since it’s an election year” – “**** you guys (redacted)”.

I would like to see Ben Affleck direct a movie that doesn’t star him.  Mostly just out of curiosity to see how he’d do it.  The Town and Argo were fantastic.  If he has to star to keep giving us movies then by all means, I’d rather get his movies with him then no Affleck movies at all.

Plus you have to figure the CIA is glad to have some good PR for a change.  That’s the funny thing about the CIA, they’ve spent all this time trying to avoid blowback and flap only to have all their good stuff stay unknown and their bad stuff shared with the whole world.  Might be time to rethink their declassification schedules.

And by the way, screw Kissinger and David Rockefeller for over-riding the State Department about the Shah’s trip to Mayo.  And screw Ayatollah Musavi Khoeyniha for helping pass it under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s radar.  At the end of the day the Iranian power-grabbers were no better than the Americans as the whole crisis devolved into politics, power and money.  Not much of a revolution if you ask me but I guess this isn’t the first time the idealism of student-led demonstrations has led to exploitation.

Go watch Argo.