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      Monday
      Jul262010

      Whose Agent Is Angelina Jolie?

      It's hard to watch Angelina Jolie's "Salt" without a fantasy stirring, a sense that the film bears too close a relationship to be accidental to the recent arrests and expulsions of the Russian sleeper spies. Whatever the origins of the movie, and fingerprints will be hard to find, it dramatizes the paranoid possibility that the Russians are plotting still, first to kill the Russian president at a New York funeral, then the American president in his bunker below the White House.

      The story revives the Cold War as a nuclear conflict that never ended, but only seemed to disappear.  Russian sleeper agents, sent here as brainwashed children, were planted eventually in agencies like the CIA, waiting for the word to attack. Since this is Hollywood, sleeper agent Jolie [Salt] manages to inflict mayhem in all directions before being revealed as a true-blue American CIA agent in a gruesome happy ending.

      But enough of the movie plot. How could there not be a connection with the revelation, only weeks ago, that there were multiple Russian agents planted here in our civil society, seeking to infiltrate the highest levels of American security?

      This is an appeal to the movie critics and investigative reporters out there to look more closely at whether there was any collaboration, including timing, in the preparation of these indictments and the development of the film during the same time period. Segments of Hollywood have collaborated with the Pentagon, CIA and FBI over scripts from the Cold War to the War on Terror, and the similarities here are chilling.

      Both the indictments and film release have taken place during the first thaw, however modest, in US-Russian relations since the Bush era. If the spy episode was not enough to derail the new relationships, it offered ammunition to Senate critics of nuclear arms reduction. The "Salt" film is even worse, planting a renewed fear in the subconscious of the movie-going public.

      Even the name Salt conjures at a deep level the notion that the SALT talks are a Russian ruse for darker plans.

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