Sunday, 13 January 2013

The Falcon and the Snowman

Like Casino Jack The Falcon and the Snowman is based von a true story on the extent of the CIA involvement in over throw of a legitimately elected Prime Minister in New Australia accidentally uncovered by a young man appointed a classified communications centre operated by an aerospace company  with spy satellites for  the USA government.

Christopher Boyce  was born in 1953. He was intended for the priesthood but left having reached the conclusion the church was not for him. The Falcon in the title of the film comes from ownership of a Falcon.

He accidentally received internal CIA communications(how this arose is not explained)  on the successful plot to get rid of the elected Prime Minister Gough Whitlem with the help of the British Governor General Sir John Kerr  recruited by the CIA, or  at least regarded as their man. His concern grew when he realised the CIQA was involved in  spying and influencing  government in other democratic  and rejected going to media because nothing appeared to have changed  given the media reporting of the involvement of the CIA in bringing down the elected Chilean Government shortly beforehand. However what he then decided to do  is beyond rational explanation.

He had become friends in High school with a young man adopted into an affluent middle class family- Andrew Daulton Lee. He became a successful drug dealer  known as the Snowman and he agreed to act as a courier to trade the documents obtained by Boyce to the Russians at the their Embassy in Mexico City and  where in the film his contact is played by David (Poirot) Suchet. Boyce eventually also travels to Mexico City to meet the Russians after they press for information on the Satellite codes and Lee becomes a drug user again according to the film.
Lee is arrested outside the Embassy who according to the film were refusing him entry because the police  believed he was the individual who had killed  a police officer. He had a microfilm with USA secrets on him at the time and in order to convince that he was not the cop killer he  admitted he was spying for the Russians and implicated Boyce

In the film he is given the choice of seeking asylum in Russia or returning to the USA to be arrested at the border. He chooses the latter and Boyce is subsequently arrested. Boyce was convicted and sentenced to 40 years, He escaped in 1980 and while on the loose committed 17 bank robberies and attempted to  become a flyer with a view of getting to the Soviet union. He was captured on a tip off from a bank robber. He was released from prison in 2002 having served 34 years, He was released from parole in 2008, having married the woman who has successful gained parole for Lee in 1998. Lee has written two books about his role as a Spy and then as a Bank Robbery.

Setting aside the infamy of the CIA, presumably with political approval, There are no redeeming features  about this traitor and thief. I regret the films attempt to justify action for which I am not clear he has regretted his behaviour. I have not read his books or propose to do so.

I do not know what was worse in the behaviour of Lee. His deadly trade ruining countless lives in selling drugs or national secrets for money. He was given life on sentence because of previous convictions in relation to drug trafficking. He has also attempted to sell the same information to the Chinese.

The interesting aspect about Lee is that he is portrayed the film made in 1985 by the actor Sean Penn who hired Lee as his personal assistant on  his parole in 1998. He had become a recovered drug addict. I have no information on the current position of either men.

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