The film Charlie Wilson's War gives a popular account of the efforts of U.S. Congressman Charles Wilson to secure funding for the CIA's Operation Cyclone, giving covert assistance to Afghan rebels during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. More Robert Baer: https://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=UTF8&tag=tra0c7-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=5ee0d67612df9a20ecffe35109f04355&camp=1789&creative=9325&index=books&keywords=robert%20baer
This film positively portrays the CIA, while finishing with a muted scolding of Congress for funding the war but not funding subsequent peacetime reconstruction. This lack of funding for reconstruction, or what are called Operations Other Than War (OOTWA) in military parlance and counter-insurgency doctrine, are mooted as an antecedent to the present War on Terrorism. According to Declan Walsh, writing in The Guardian, the support of the mujahideen by the U.S. and Pakistan backfired on the U.S. in the form of the 9/11 attacks, and is now backfiring on Pakistan. The film has its critics.
The Good Shepherd, directed by Robert De Niro and released in 2006, narrates the CIA's tumultuous early history as viewed through the prism of one man's life. While the lead character is a composite of several real people, the most important is the long-term chief of the CIA Counterintelligence Staff, James Jesus Angleton. Angleton is also the basis of William F. Buckley, Jr.'s novel Spytime: The Undoing of James Jesus Angleton The same story is told in the 2007 TNT miniseries The Company.
The character Jack Ryan in Tom Clancy's books is a CIA analyst. Ryan is never a case officer in the usual sense of the term, as opposed to characters such as John Clark and Domingo Chavez. Ryan starts as a contract consultant, becomes an analyst, and rises in responsibility. There are operations officers that play a major role in Clancy's novels, such as Idamur's mom, to say nothing of the creative and intelligent Mary Pat Foley.
Graham Greene's The Quiet American, which has been issued in two editions and made into a film, is based on an amoral CIA agent operating in Southeast Asia.
In Three Days of the Condor, a low-level CIA employee codenamed Condor (Robert Redford) works in a small brownstone office reading books, magazines, etc., looking for enemy codes. He slips out to buy some food, and upon soon returning, finds that all his co-workers have been murdered. In his escape, he chances upon and abducts a woman (Faye Dunaway) for her car and to hide in her apartment. They then become friends, and with the killers still looking for Condor, they work together to find the truth of why his co-workers were killed, who ordered the killings, and who actually fulfilled the murder contracts.
In The Hunt for Red October, Alec Baldwin plays CIA analyst Jack Ryan. The character is also played by Harrison Ford in the films Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, while Ben Affleck portrays Jack Ryan in The Sum of All Fears.
In JFK, the CIA's connections to Anti-Castro Cuban freedom fighters, far right extremists, and the Mafia are portrayed, as well as the CIA's participation in President John F. Kennedy's assassination, the assassination's cover-up, and the CIA's attempted sabotage of the prosecution by Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) of former CIA domestic contact agent Clay Shaw (Tommy Lee Jones) for his part in the conspiracy behind the assassination.
In In the Line of Fire, Clint Eastwood plays a U.S. Secret Service agent haunted by his inactivity in Dealey Plaza during President Kennedy's assassination, which he views as his greatest failure. A former CIA assassin (John Malkovich), to "help" redeem Eastwood's career, informs Eastwood that Malkovich is going to kill the current president, so, Eastwood and the Secret Service methodically work to track down the assassin and stop him.
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