Tom Clancy’s “The Sum Of All Fears” is a great movie. I have it on DVD. And on the DVD are “commentary tracks” – one of which features the diminutive militophile, chatting with the director, while they watched this epic.
Now Clancy is the kind of writer who piles tons of research (way TOO much) into his tomes, requiring him to gain access to places usually denied to mere mortals.
And in Clancy’s case, the US government and military bend over backwards to assist him, since his books inevitably make them look good. Likewise, they are happy to lay on military hardware – and even personnel – when he films them.
The makers of “Independence Day” got NO such help, because they refused to remove references to Area 51 from their script. But the government and military LOVE Clancy and give him carte blanche – or DO they?
The thing is, on the Clancy/director commentary track of “The Sum Of All Fears”, the two prattle on about military hardware, politics and The Company (the CIA) like old hands.
But I’ve met Yanks like Clancy before. He’s one of those guys who delight in “casually” dropping names, details and “inside information” – as you and I might discuss the weather – in order to impress.
So the bit that interested me was where they discussed the inside of Langley (CIA Central) – in particular, the Russia Desk – Clancy: “It’s on the 7th floor – it looks like a college dorm – a handful of PCs – the researchers spend most of their time watching Russian TV and surfing the Net…” – and the Incident Room at the White House – Clancy again: “Most people imagine it looks like the War Room in ‘Dr Strangelove’, but in reality, it’s a rather boring small, wood-panelled conference room, with a little TV screen at one end…”
Yeah, well, he may be right. However, it occurred to ME that perhaps that’s what the powers-that-be WANT their VIP visitors to THINK.
I mean, given the bottomless pit of resources the US Defence Dept has, it would present few difficulties to employ a bunch of people to man an entirely bogus “Russia Desk” and fit out an equally fake “Incident Room” – while the REAL high-tech Russia Desk and Ken Adam-style War Room lay in the BASEMENTS!