Perhaps some of you will remember the 1975 movie "Three Days of the Condor" with Robert Redford as a young CIA analyst who discovers an unauthorized plan by a rogue group inside the CIA to take over Middle East oilfields. That such a plan would be unauthorized and even scandalous must certainly seem quaint to us now. I was thinking about the final scene of the movie recently and found this script of it online. Redford plays "Turner," the CIA analyst. Cliff Robertson plays "Higgins," the CIA's New York chief, who is trying to hunt down Turner when Turner surprises him on the street. The scene now seems eerily prescient:
TURNERDo we have plans to invade the Middle East?HIGGINSAre you crazy?TURNERAm I?HIGGINSLook, Turner...TURNERDo we have plans?HIGGINSNo. Absolutely not.(then)We have games. That's all. We play games. "What if?", "How many men?", "What would it take?", "Is there a cheaper way of destabilizing the regime?"(quieter)That's what we're paid to do.TURNERSo...Atwood just took the games too seriously. He was really going to do it...wasn't he?HIGGINSIt was a renegade operation! Atwood knew 54/12 could never authorize it: not with all the heat on the company.TURNERSuppose there'd been no heat? And I hadn't stumbled on the plan? Nobody had?HIGGINS(shrugs)Different ballgame. The fact is, it wasn't a bad plan. It could've worked.TURNERJesus--What is it with you people? You think not getting caught in a lie is the same as telling the truth.HIGGINSIt's simple economics, Turner...There's no argument. Oil now, 10 or 15 years, it'll be food, or plutonium. Maybe sooner than that. What do you think the people will want us to do then?TURNERAsk them!HIGGINSNow?(shakes head)Huh-uh. Ask them when they're running out. When it's cold at home and the engines stop and people who aren't used to hunger...go hungry! They won't want us to ask...(quiet savagery:)They'll just want us to get it for them.
How sadly, darkly true.
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