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"Three Days Of The Condor "


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I recently watched " Three days Of The Condor " w/ Robert Redford.

I've seen it before and often wondered if the government or CIA or other agencies actually have operations like Redford's character worked on?

You know. where a set of people read mystery and spy novels and tally up the different crime senarios and put them on a computer.

Years ago I heard there was a giant computer system in the basemrnt of a highrise building out on Stemmons Expressway. Kind of a ' Big Brother ' type of intel gatherer.

Anyone know of either of these two questions?

Jim Feemster

Midlothian, Tx.

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I recently watched " Three days Of The Condor " w/ Robert Redford.

I've seen it before and often wondered if the government or CIA or other agencies actually have operations like Redford's character worked on?

You know. where a set of people read mystery and spy novels and tally up the different crime senarios and put them on a computer.

Years ago I heard there was a giant computer system in the basemrnt of a highrise building out on Stemmons Expressway. Kind of a ' Big Brother ' type of intel gatherer.

Anyone know of either of these two questions?

Jim Feemster

Midlothian, Tx.

Jim, I don't know the answer to the second question, but the film "Three Days of the Condor" was based on a fictional book called "Seven Days of the Condor."

The real CIA Operation Condor involved the overthrow of the government of Chile.

The CIA not only paid analysists to read and review works of fiction, but they actually wrote fictional books under CIA auspicies in order to try to fool the opposition readers, with E. Howard Hunt being the CIA's most prolific scribbler and David Atlee Phillips, whose "Carlos Contract" provides much fodder for those who see little difference between fact and fiction.

Years before 9/11 Tom Clancy wrote a fictional novel about a jet liner being crashed into the Capitol by a suicide pilot, a scenario the DOD and NORAD said they never considered possible.

Bill Kelly

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It seems like it was toward the end of the Clinton administration that a small plane was deliberately crashed onto the grounds of the White House - very near the residence. To hear them say later that they never considered that planes would be used as missiles is absurd. If that is true - the admittance should get every one of them fired. If false - people should just move along because there is nothing new here...

Heck, it was an offensive tactic used over and over again by the Japanese in WWII. Maybe we should rename our "intelligence" agencies - "stupidity" agencies?

Edited by JL Allen
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I recently watched " Three days Of The Condor " w/ Robert Redford.

I've seen it before and often wondered if the government or CIA or other agencies actually have operations like Redford's character worked on?

You know. where a set of people read mystery and spy novels and tally up the different crime senarios and put them on a computer.

Years ago I heard there was a giant computer system in the basemrnt of a highrise building out on Stemmons Expressway. Kind of a ' Big Brother ' type of intel gatherer.

Anyone know of either of these two questions?

Jim Feemster

Midlothian, Tx.

Jim, I don't know the answer to the second question, but the film "Three Days of the Condor" was based on a fictional book called "Seven Days of the Condor."

The real CIA Operation Condor involved the overthrow of the government of Chile.

The CIA not only paid analysists to read and review works of fiction, but they actually wrote fictional books under CIA auspicies in order to try to fool the opposition readers, with E. Howard Hunt being the CIA's most prolific scribbler and David Atlee Phillips, whose "Carlos Contract" provides much fodder for those who see little difference between fact and fiction.

Years before 9/11 Tom Clancy wrote a fictional novel about a jet liner being crashed into the Capitol by a suicide pilot, a scenario the DOD and NORAD said they never considered possible.

Bill Kelly

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Hi Jim - can't answer the question, but thought I'd add to your thread anyway... there are numerous references I have come across in my reading with respect to codes being inserted in normal periodicals and newspapers etc. - so one would imagine the answer to be a yes.

I think we ran over this concept before elsewhere - I was also impressed with the film and some relevance to the 'Dallas thing.' The umbrella in the garbage can, for example, as some form of signal during the operation. If I recall, there was something more to the film relative to the actually storyline. I may actually read the book, but if I remember, the idea had more to do with the reaction within the CIA to being monitored by the CIA - circles in circles - and the power of an autonomous group playing MidEast angles with oil being mixed in. So the group [that Redford's fictional character was a part of] either stumbled across, or were assigned, to monitor the activities of folks like Hunt, and folks like Hunt didn't like it and reacted. I don't know if any of what I have written has any basis in fact or reality - but I find it interesting to think about. I also found this interview interesting - like many Hollywood fantasy films, the reality is that 'Condor' wouldn't have stood a chance. A bit on a conflict in the film really, in terms of his acumen and skill as a field man, when pitted against the skills he would have acquired in the job he has been performing in a back office. Still a great watch. I also think this interview is interesting, and it begs my own question about the Washington Post and Watergate. I've decided I need to learn more about that - painfully ignorant.

http://www.ejumpcut.org/archive/onlinessay...McGilligan.html

Three Days of the Condor

Sidney Pollack interviewed

Hollywood uncovers the CIA

by Patrick McGilligan

from Jump Cut, no. 10-11, 1976, pp. 11-12

copyright Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, 1976, 2004

Hollywood, like the rest of the country, has suddenly discovered the CIA, no doubt thanks to Watergate, the Rockefeller Commission, the Church-Pike investigations, etc. But no one to the left of Daniel Moynihan should be very pleased with the results.

Not that the CIA, as a concept, is any stranger to the Hollywood movie. CIA-style espionage agencies have flourished in U.S. pictures for years, especially during the 1960’s, when there was a substantial James Bond-influenced trend that “modernized” the oldstyle cloak and dagger thriller. The CIA, or a facsimile, appears often today in low budget or independent films, especially those which are aimed at a Black market. But the major studios have been slow, in the catchphrase of the McCarthy Era, to name names. They began to react a few years ago, with EXECUTIVE ACTION, and then THE PARALLAX VIEW, flawed but courageous films which had in common the unstated presence of the CIA. Yet, though both movies vacillated, they were speedily junked by distributors and died the unseen death.

This year things are different. Criticism of the CIA is more popular, de rigueur between cocktails. Three major pictures about the CIA—each unhesitatingly using the CIA as an identifiable villain—have been released by U.S. studios, each bolstered by a top male box-office star. But they are vastly disappointing films—evasive, exploitative and politically vacuous. Two of them—Sam Peckinpah’s THE KILLER ELITE and Sydney Pollack’s THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR—are completely concerned with an internecine warfare. James Caan battles renegade Robert Duvall in one film; Robert Redford is pitted against a mysterious Mideast cabal in another. It is as if the plots deny or diminish the thought of international consequences from CIA actions. (Heaven forbid that Allende should be mentioned.) The third movie, BREAKOUT, a Charles Bronson vehicle, is the most interesting politically, even though it is the least interesting cinematically. It occurs in Mexico and deals quite blatantly with CIA intervention in foreign affairs, with Robert Duvall as an ambiguous“good guy” imprisoned on trumped-up CIA charges. In this film, the entire CIA is understood as the “enemy,” not simply a splinter cabal. And the film has an exhilarating climax, when a CIA killer is chopped into bloody pieces by an airplane’s propeller while he wrestles with Charles Bronson on a runway. Of course, this sequence always seems to elicit the loudest applause.

But, of the three movies, THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR has drawn the most critical attention and likely, it will also accumulate the largest box office receipts. Many liberal critics see it as a pertinent message to CIA-weary United States. An underground newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin, went so far as to include the film in its year’s Ten Best List, as “a chillingly accurate appraisal of CIA inter-office warfare.” But while that may be true, THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR falls desperately short of any real accuracy about the CIA, being instead a wide-screen whitewash tantamount to the Rockefeller Commission. Sure, the story has its strong aspects: a clique of power hungry agency bureaucrats who are secretly plotting intervention in the Middle East (not far from fantasy). A plot gimmick (the Redford character decodes novels for the CIA) that suggests the presence of E. Howard Hunt. An occasional specificity that brings the plot, ultimately, to a cozy hamlet named Chevy Chase, Maryland. And an ambiguous hint at the film’s conclusion suggests that the New York Times is under the thumb of the CIA. But the script is so mechanical in its dialogue and details that the politics suffer. I cite such flaws as the hokey romance between Faye Dunaway and Robert Redford. Their maudlin love scene is especially undercut by soft-focus shots of the “lonely” photographs on Dunaway’s apartment wall. It’s a “meaningful” gesture worthy of an uninspired undergraduate.

More alarmingly, the film vehemently suggests that the CIA’s “excesses” are attributable to a small, dangerous, yet ultimately controllable clique—that is presumably motivated by abstract power mongering rather than economic imperatives. This is the film’s deep, unforgivable political flaw. It renders the entire film, bright moments notwithstanding, shallow and naive. It’s easy to discern the political intelligence at work here. Both Pollack and Redford are well-known liberals, who probably agonized over the THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR script (especially the ending since the CIA was making headlines daily). And Pollack can be a thematically provocative director, albeit in a more existential vein. He demonstrated such promise in THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON'T THEY?, JEREMIAH JOHNSON and THE WAY WE WERE. The latter film is notable for its fascinating glimpses of people who sell out their politics in Hollywood. Similarly Pollack sells out in that film by not dealing directly with the Hollywood blacklist (pertinent sequences from the released film were cut). Ignoring the more complex demands of THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR, he is either unwilling or unable to do service to politically explosive material because of this personal weakness. Pollack’s THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR is ultimately a souped-up contemporary spy caper with lukewarm political impact.

I talked with Sydney Pollack last fall on the day his picture opened in Boston. He was in a foul mood, after having read a review in the daily newspaper. Pollack was irked not because the reviewer didn't like THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR (as a matter of fact, he did), but because the reviewer nevertheless termed it “shallow.” It was a movie, Pollack said angrily, that he never intended to be profound. The following interview is offered as evidence to people with like expectations: Pollack’s double-bind of weighty themes and facile technique betrays the confusion of the liberal mind.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

M: Did you have any contact with the CIA while you were making THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR?

P: There wasn't, really. We would have welcomed it, but we knew better than to try to pursue it actively in any way. What we did was to invite Mr. (Richard) Helms to come and watch the shooting for a day, which he did. I think he enjoyed himself very much. It was a movie, finally, and not any attempt on our part to do a definitive documentary.

I think that the critics are falling into all kinds of traps with this movie. Absolutely falling all over themselves. Half the critics are looking at it as a serious political piece of propaganda and criticizing it on that level which, god knows, wasn't intended. The film was three-quarters finished before any of these CIA revelations began to happen.

We were doing a straight thriller. That’s what we wanted to do. And we were shocked that as much of what we imagined, if you will, was coming to pass. We were absolutely dumbfounded. The attempt was, first of all, to make it faithful to the genre of a thriller. And within that, to explore certain ideas of suspicion, trust, morality, if you will; but it was not intended in any way as a documentary, I suppose, but as a warning—using the CIA almost as a metaphor, and drawing certain conclusions from post-Watergate America.

I didn't want this picture to be judged; it’s a movie. I intended it always as a movie. I never had any pretensions about the picture and it’s making me very angry that I'm getting pretensions stuck on me like tails on a donkey., If I wanted to be pretentious, I'd take the CIA seal and advertise this movie and really take advantage of the headlines. Central Intelligence Agency, United States of America, Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway. And don't think it wasn't suggested—obviously, that’s what advertising people do. We really put our foot down—Redford and I—to absolutely stop that.

M: I mean—did you question whether or not you would use the CIA presence so literally in the film?

P: Sure, we did think twice about it. But I didn't think there was any way to duck it. The word that comes to my mind is speculative. It was a speculative film. We were just speculating, saying what if, what if, what if. Then we got caught in the headlines. I think that’s interfered rather strongly with an objective assessment of the film as a film, as a movie. From the producer’s point of view, that’s terrific, because it makes the picture timely. From a critical standpoint, my fear is that it has forced the movie to be judged by standards other than it was intended to be judged by. If I were to make the film now, I'd still make the film the way I made it. Because I wouldn't attempt to make a serious film about the CIA without switching entirely what I was doing. I'd give up the whole spy genre and do a documentary about morality and government bureaucracies. That’s another kind of movie...

Nobody is bored in this movie. There’s nothing to hate in this movie. It’s a movie, what’s to hate? What’s to not like? JAWS it’s not, maybe, but there’s nothing to hate in it. So what happens is that the intellectuality of critics takes over, after the fact. That’s what I think happens. They go to the movie, have a damn good time and then they feel guilty about it, because it’s in the headlines. If it weren't in the headlines now, they'd come away saying, jeez, this is a terrific spy thriller. But now they have to say, wait a second, it’s a spy thriller, but look what it’s about... and then a certain kind of intellectual snobbery takes over. I'm not knocking the critics; I'm just saying that they have a conscience that hits them afterwards.

The same thing happened with THE WAY WE WERE. Critics went to THE WAY WE WERE and they all cried. Then they came out and wrote about it as dribble. In between the lies they begrudgingly said they liked it, but they felt guilty for liking something so overtly romantic... I think if they had to write about it immediately after, it would be terrific. They get too long a time to think.

M: But you ‘are exaggerating the movie’s political impact—I think it is a very serious film.

P: Here’s what I always try to do, and again it’s something I get my wrists slapped for all the time. I want to work within genres—a western, romance, melodrama or spy film. And then, within that form, which I try to remain as faithful to as I can, I love to fool around with serious ideas. The westerns that I've made have not been straight westerns, by any manner. JEREMIAH JOHNSON was, for me, a very serious film. It was a western, but it was still a serious film and it entertains very serious ideas about copping out, dropping out, how far can you go? Do you have to make it work within the system or do you try to make it work elsewhere? To me, those are serious ideas, but still it’s a movie, basically an entertainment.

Here I tried to deal, as much as I could, with trust and suspicion, paranoia, which I think is happening in this country, when every institution I grew up believing was sacrosanct is now beginning to crumble. It’s destroying, in a very serious way, a certain kind of trust that is essential to have in a working society. Now those are all very pretentious ideas to have. But I don't think they have to be pretentious, if you put them in this kind of entertaining piece. I don't think there’s anything wrong with exploring those ideas as long as you don't get pretentious about it.

I think it’s interesting to take Redford as a man who trusts, in the beginning of the movie, and turn him into a guy who is practically paranoid by the end, so much so that he distrusts his lover. And to take a girl (sic) who doesn't trust in the beginning, and when she’s forced to be close at gunpoint and doesn't die, she ends up trusting in an odd way. Those ideas are serious ideas, but I don't think of it as an idea picture. I think of it basically as a thriller, and that was what I wanted to make.

M: The ending is very political.

P: That, to me, was very important. I did not want to take a cheap shot at the CIA, which is very easy to do now. I wanted to give (Cliff) Robertson a voice. Let him say what he says there, which is, hey look, we have a job to do. We didn't invent it. You guys paid the taxes for us to do this job... I don't necessarily agree with that point of view but I felt I had to voice it, in all fairness, because otherwise I think it’s just taking a cheap shot, which is easy to do—making them a bunch of moustache-twirling villains. God knows, they're bad enough. All you have to do is present the reality.

M: You sound as if you have a lingering respect for the CIA.

P: What I mean is, I don't defend the CIA’s actions. I think they're horrific. But, on the other hand, I don't think we should abolish the CIA. What we have to do is find some way of making a check and balance system work that, conceivably, hasn't been working before. The CIA has grown autonomous in a way that’s horrific. Have you read in the paper about the plates they've printed to make their own money, billions of dollars? They've printed billions of dollars, and the money has turned up in Mafia hands. Those actions are horrific. So anybody who goes to see the movie and says, this is far out, this couldn't happen, it’s not true.

M: Was the New York Times ending thrown in because of what was happening while you were shooting—the Watergate disclosures?

P: No, it wasn't at all. We didn't want the CIA to end up victorious, it was as simple as that. When a power that strong is after a single individual, where can he (sic) go? The book has the CIA killing everybody; I didn't want to do that. I didn't want him dead. I wanted some hope, some sense that the audience could feel that there is a recourse; and the fact is, as corny as it seems, that what is changing everything now is the media. That’s the pipeline that’s exposing all of. this, whether it’s Ellsberg with The Pentagon Papers, or Watergate with Bernstein and Woodward. Somehow, when it’s public knowledge, that at least is a starting point. And we couldn't come up with another ending.

M: Did you consider other endings?

P: We considered following the book, where he kills people, but that just sounded cheap to me. There was another alternative, which was for him to somehow find a way of discrediting the character played by Cliff Robertson, and we toyed with that for awhile, but that didn't work out. I was always nervous about the New York Times ending; so was Bob. We all were. But under the circumstances, it seemed the most truthful one, albeit corny. I mean, how would a guy get himself out of a situation like that?

The only way I know is to write a book about it, to go on television and say, “Hey look, these guys are after me and here’s the proof.” I mean, somehow, when you become a large public figure, it’s hands off. It’s like the CIA wouldn't dare to try to make a move to stop this movie. We have too high a profile. It’s like the Russians not killing Solzhenitsyn. If he were less famous, they'd do something to him. But notoriety is his only protection; he has too high a profile. What would happen to world opinion if something did happen to Solzhenitsyn.

M: I understood the ending differently. Isn't there a strong implication that the CIA also controls the New York Times?

P: There is. We are saying, god help you all if we can't keep this pipeline open. What if. That’s why he says, suppose they don't. That’s all I really meant—not that they will or they won't. There is that slight bit of doubt, and that’s what I wanted. That’s why I froze the frame, with Redford looking like he might be hunted—because, you know, there was a real attempt to suppress The Pentagon Papers. We're taking all of this very for granted now, all this freedom of the press. Oh come on, they're going to print it, they're going to print it. Well, it’s only within a couple of years that that’s happened. There was real government pressure to stop the New York Times from printing The Pentagon Papers—and they might have won, very easily. I don't know how much pressure is being brought to bear right now, on these newspapers, by CIA people. It can't be good for the CIA—there’s a bad part to all this, too—because the CIA, I'm sure, is partially paralyzed at this moment because of the public attention on them. And that’s not good for this country either.

M: I disagree. I don't have any affection or respect for the CIA—for operations like the murder of Allende. It sounds as if, again, you—and the film—are really in favor of having the CIA.

P: I think you have to. In other words, I wish the world was such that you didn't have to, but I'm not naive enough to believe that there isn't an intelligence gathering service in every other country, and I think that being the case, we have no choice but to have one. The fact that the CIA is corrupt I totally agree with, but the abstract idea of having an intelligence gathering service in a country like the United States—well, I think you have to. I really do.

M: What script changes were made as a result of the CIA revelations?

P: None, I promise you. We didn't try to jump on the headlines at all. First of all, we were too late. We started shooting the picture in October. The story began to break in December. We were four weeks from finishing the movie. We had shot the whole set-up, the whole plot, we were locked. We couldn't, all of a sudden, start changing scenes; we couldn't.

M: But it was a movie that was influenced by Watergate—it never would have been made ten years ago.

P: No, it wouldn't. Oh, absolutely. It had to do with Watergate, Chile—we knew about Allende, that had happened. We knew about links between Hunt, Colson, Magruder, those guys in the CIA. And we knew that one of the things Hunt was accused of was leaking CIA plots to book companies, to write mystery stories. That’s absolutely fact.

M: Of course, the other reason why the film is approached on political terms by some people, including myself, is because of the presence of Redford. He is a very political liberal actor, and it is not hard to think that he was attracted to the project because of what it had to say, politically, about the CIA.

P: That was one of the reasons he was attracted to the project. But the basic reason, to be honest with you, and I hate to disappoint everybody, but the real reason he wanted to do it was because it was the kind of movie neither of us had ever made before. It was a thriller, it was contemporary.

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"Years ago I heard there was a giant computer system in the basemrnt of a highrise building out on Stemmons Expressway. Kind of a ' Big Brother ' type of intel gatherer."

There are a number of spam based enterprises out of Dallas that a few years back were hitting boards much like this one.

To make a long technical story short, Dallas is a bit of an internet hub and various companies lease fiber, telco (dial ) and cable lines for voice over internet and regular internet etc to other companies.

I have seen the "stemmons fwy" address on a number of strange ip's related to spam and my homework led me to belive they were harmless spammers leasing lines.. it is possible that a number of these are shell companies but i doubt that. it would be too ironic that they would be specifically located on stemmons.

there are about 50 internet related companies in Dallas in that area although i assume they are mostly harmless.

in as far as a "super computer" goes, most fiber hubs now run hardware variants of the NSA's "echelon" which is hardware based spyware and this is now everywhere where there is a hub. it needn't be specifically in Dallas. (look up "Echelon" on google etc.)

It doesn't take a super computer to invade your privacy at all, its a few pieces of rack mounted gear which plugs into your internet provider directly.

isn't martial law great in the police state?

If I look through my files i can tell you the exact name of one of those "stemmons" companies and their ip but again, its probably harmless. (they used to hit one of my boards quite frequently and the stemmons tag gave me the willies)

What you should worry about however is that all of your traffic is monitored now, especially when you hit a board like this.

oh, and i will tell you this: there is no such thing as anonymous web surfing. impossible.

google data mines, hotmail data mines and your server keeps logs of all traffic etc.

with george and co running the show like a bunch of paranoid Nazi's, you can bet the internet and privacy are as mutually exclusive as say, an SUV and great gas mileage.

and you thought COINTELPRO was bad.....

information is big business.

big business loves information.

big business controls the flow of that information.

you figure it out.

hope that helps.

cheers,

Dobson

Edited by Blair Dobson
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  • 9 months later...

A Study of CIA Dictatorial Abuse

By Bill Hare

02/18/2007 12:14:52 PM EST

One night last week when I felt like watching a movie I opted for a film I had not seen for quite some time starring two performers I genuinely admire, Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway. I was interested in the theme of CIA intrigue what with so much focus on that concern today in a violent world where that agency has left so many hand and footprints.

The spy adventure film "Three Days of the Condor" was released in 1975. The movie was made during the Watergate period about the time that Richard M. Nixon became the first American president to resign his office.

This was a turbulent period of uncertainty when the American government and the commercial sector were in a panic over our access to oil. President Gerald Ford, mindful of the power of the Oil Producing Export Countries, announced that in the future we might take oil by force if it should be denied to America.

The Watergate Scandal ultimately undid Nixon. That story was also brilliantly depicted by Hollywood with "All the President's Men." That film also starred Redford with fellow progressive Dustin Hoffman.

What was Watergate? A series of clandestine activities, which once again leads back to the central point that "Three Days of the Condor" was and remains a timely film.

Why is "Three Days of the Condor" even more timely today? Because of all that we have been through and what we know about the CIA and its clandestine activities that we did not know then.

We have experienced 9/11 and skepticism increases over its causes and who put the plan into effect, much like those same questions being asked about the assassination of President Kennedy.

The reason why this film is even timelier today and can be better understood in a context better than three decades after its initial release is that we are much better informed about a major point discovered by Robert Redford, a book reader for the CIA who goes by the code name of Condor, is that there is an official CIA and another unofficial and very deadly CIA.

Often the latter will superimpose itself on the former. John Le Carre made the same point relative to MI5 and MI6 in British intelligence, their equivalents of America's FBI and CIA respectively.

Redford, working out of a New York office operating under the front of an historical society, leaves one afternoon to order and bring back lunch for himself and the rest of the crew. After a little chitchat at the restaurant Redford returns to discover that everyone in the office has been fatally shot.

Just where does Redford go from there? Redford explains on the phone to headquarters that he is no agent, and is just a research man who reads books and makes recommendations. He hopes to be brought in before he meets with the same fate as his office colleagues.

A smooth and suave Cliff Robertson is Redford's contact operating out of the CIA's main headquarters in Langley, Virginia. When it is arranged for a station chief to come to New York to "bring him in," more trouble ensues. Redford has every reason to wonder if he has any allies left in "The Company" as he runs away from tragedy once more.

In an effort to secure at least temporary safety Redford kidnaps Faye Dunaway after she leaves a store where he has gone to temporarily hide from pursuers. A professional photographer who lives in Brooklyn, Dunaway at first resists Redford, but ultimately becomes an ally when she realizes that he is telling the truth and his life is in danger.

At one point Dunaway tells Redford that she is afraid to get to know him since he is not going to live very long. He disagrees, telling her that sense of danger is a driving interest force within her toward him. Ultimately they became romantically involved and she is willing to accompany him to Langley so she can render assistance in enabling Redford to confront Robertson.

The film was released not long after Daniel Ellsberg became famous for leaking what came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. In a fascinating twist at the end of the film, Redford uses the New York Times as a unique type of life insurance policy.

Some of the film's most dramatic scenes involve Redford and Robertson. While Redford speaks on behalf of America's best instincts as he states the case for decency and accountability in government, Robertson sounds like Karl Rove as he states with unflinching coldness the proposition for secrecy and an "end justifies the means" mentality.

Sydney Pollack in his director's role keeps the pacing fast as befitting a spy mystery involving pursuers and pursued. The camera work was magnificent. Some of the long shots are particularly fascinating in displaying New York City and Washington D.C. as large cities in the midst of winter amid the tension of Redford's ongoing battle to survive.

Two prominent character actors render solid performances; John Houseman as a veteran CIA officer and colleague of Robertson's and Max Von Sydow as a contract assassin who performs his tasks with consummate professional detachment.

Seeing this film today prompts one to recognize that the dazzling symmetry generated, the ingredients of great filmmaking, makes the viewer aware that the camaraderie developed from knowing that something vital was being said and that the participants were proud to be a part of it.

Today America stands at a crucial crossroad. One sees the country in a struggle that was depicted with such allegorical finesse and thematic decisiveness in "The Day of the Condor" over thirty years ago.

The forces of Bush, Cheney and Rove are on the march, seeking to implement the grand neoconservative design elucidated in The Project for the New American Century. Cliff Robertson constantly tells Redford that opposition is useless and the grand plan for America's future, not to mention globally, is being indelibly and inevitably written.

Robert Redford was that voice in the wilderness imploring us to wake up before it is too late. Are you listening Democratic congressional majority?

http://www.politicalcortex.com/story/2007/2/18/121452/914

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I was just reading about the movie the other day. Evidently, it was changed from the book to make it more timely. The rogue element in the book were not performing assassinations but running a drug cartel. Makes me wonder if the writer knew a thing or two.

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I was just reading about the movie the other day. Evidently, it was changed from the book to make it more timely. The rogue element in the book were not performing assassinations but running a drug cartel. Makes me wonder if the writer knew a thing or two.

The use of the name "Condor" is interesting. At the time the book was written the CIA had a highly secret "Operation Condor" that involved the killing of left-wing activities in the Third World. It was instigated at a time when George H. W. Bush was head of the CIA. His main advisor on the project was his pal, Ted Shackley.

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I was just reading about the movie the other day. Evidently, it was changed from the book to make it more timely. The rogue element in the book were not performing assassinations but running a drug cartel. Makes me wonder if the writer knew a thing or two.

The use of the name "Condor" is interesting. At the time the book was written the CIA had a highly secret "Operation Condor" that involved the killing of left-wing activities in the Third World. It was instigated at a time when George H. W. Bush was head of the CIA. His main advisor on the project was his pal, Ted Shackley.

In David Phillips' autobio Nightwatch - he relates the story of an alledged defector to a foreign embassy who offered copies of a CIA document re: Operation Condor, which is described as US efforts to destabalize the government of Chile before the coup. While I don't have the book in front of me, perhaps someone who does can quote the passage more precisely.

I recall that it was a significant point in Phillps' career as he was repremanded because the operation went bad.

BK

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