Thursday, 28 February 2013

The Silver Linings Playbook

On Friday March 1st the electricity supply stopped on the hill and only commenced to come back on after 45 minutes and along our side of the street about an hour later with a work team quickly on the scene. However something happened to my desk top computer and later I managed to end its life as far as I can judge and the next step will be to see if the documents on the hard disk, especially my work records and writings can be retrieved, especially those pieces being worked on. Fortunately I had already posted some film reviews so I have been able to copy.


Last Sunday I stayed up until 4am watching the Oscars, and completing the last part of the programme when I got up around mid morning Monday to find out who had won the best picture and principal acting awards. I hoped that the actor in a lead female role would go to Jenifer Lawrence, whose performance I had arranged to see at the Bolden Cineworld on the Tuesday rather than Emanuelle Riva in Armour which was being shown on the Monday evening and although I was not in a fit I would have dragged myself to the theatre to experience had she been successful as she was at the BAFTA’s. My wish was granted and Ms Lawrence won.


My memory of what happened on Tuesday, including what I eat has become a blank but I am guessing that I did listen to the two episodes of the new BBC dramatization of the Cruel Sea, the Nicolas Monsarrat story and where I also have seen for the umpteenth time the Jack Hawkins starring film on a TV film channel within the past month. The film is excellent although it misses out the political and social comments and has a more positive ending than what happens in the original story. I will review after I have reread the book.


My memory is coming back as needing to do some supermarket shopping I decided to go to the Asda in town and not at Bolden as I wanted some frozen foods. I had also intended to have a McDonalds with coffee, but it was colder than anticipated so instead I had three sausages in a bun with a coffee in the café before making the shop and returning home and then making a dash to the cinema getting there about 15 mins before the show commenced. There was time to buy a small carton of Ben and Jerry Cherry ice cream which I took to my aisle seat only to find that a party of three were occupying seats next to me despite being at the side and where the young woman sitting next talked incessantly until the film commenced.


The cinema was showing all the nominated films in special performance each day at six thirty with the exception of Les Miserables and Django Unchained which were in the on going schedule for the week. Unusually there were no adverts or trailers so those who came late missed the opening scenes.


I have elected to begin with this film because having seen most of the other main contenders, Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, Les Miserables and Lincoln as well as Skyfall, included only at the BAFTA’s I declare Silver Linings Playbook the best of a good bunch, because it includes four major acting performances, all nominated for the first time in one  film  for several decades, was engaging with natural humour which caused me to laugh expressively several times and tackled subjects of disturbed and disturbing mental and emotional behaviour.


The film is billed as about bi-polar disorder although it is also about someone with a temporary addiction to sex. Bi polar disorder is a comparatively recent psychiatric term for those who for the previous 100 years or so were described as manic depressives. Given the history of the treatment of people whose social behaviour becomes unacceptable, labelling in this way is only of use if it enables successful treatment. In the past labelling has led to unnecessary containment and an inappropriate care from burning at stake to involuntary surgery, long periods of captivity, torture and the experimental application of substances. Labelling stigmatises and creates further problems for individuals and their families,


My best quote is from a former psychiatrist colleague who in charge of a large residential establishment in large grounds commented that at least the majority of his patients knew they were unwell and which is not something he could say for his staff. He was realistic about what can be achieved in an institution as well as recognising the ingenuity of patients and staff to disregard his leadership.

In the instance of the film the father in the family is played by that fine actor Robert De Niro who is a fanatical American football supporter of the local team but who has been banned from the ground because of his violent outburst in the past and now watches the games on TV insisting on a ritual with everything positioned always in the same place. He watches the game with the kind of friend where each man delights in getting one over the other, in this instance by betting against each other and with the friend supporting another team.

He has two sons, the first is presented as a normal American dream son, who did well at school and college and now is successful in business, with a great car, great job and about to marry a great woman, He still goes to the game with his peers from work who appear to be cast in similar mould and where as a group they behave as typical alpha males i.e. normal. It emerges that De Nero favoured this boy and gave his time as a consequence than to his named after him son, Pat Jnr played by Bradley Cooper who would have won the best acting award had it not been for the performance of Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln.


It could be argued that Pat Jnr is normal despite losing his temper like his father, getting into fights nearly killing the man he found one day coming home early with his wife in the shower, all three were teachers, the other two remain but Pat although he has not been sacked is not regarded as now suitably to return. (After all if you beat an intruder in your home attempting to steal from you the police and courts may consider this OK so why not if go for the man trying to steal your wife or vice versa!)

As an alternative to prison for the violent assault he has accepted treatment in a psychiatric institution and his wife has taken out a restraining order preventing him contacting or approaching her presumably because he had made persistent attempts to contact her although much of his past is implicit, the nature of their relationship emerging as the film progressed.

The film does not make it clear if his behaviour has always been bipolar in which instance it would be unlikely he was have qualified and practiced as a teacher, or if it was something which built up and led to the unfaithfulness of his wife. The conclusion we are asked to make is that the nature of the relationship with his dominating father, and comparatively weak mother is such that there were problems which blew up with the finding of the act of adultery. In some countries of course the woman has been and would still be stoned! There are comments introduced to indicate that the marriage lacked sexual passion, that his wife had come not love him and that they little in common although also that he had become obsessed with himself showing no interest in her choice of teaching subjects.

Pat‘s mother, Dolores, is played by Jackie Weaver nominated as best supporting actor in a female role although she is not even listed in the Wikipedia article. She appears as a loyal, long suffering mother who had held he family together and is now struggling to cope as her husband has lost his job and is living from being the neighbourhood bookmaker while planning to design build/adapt a restaurant to secure his and his wife’s financial future.

What triggered Pat violence was not so much the finding of the adultery but that she was playing their wedding song and when Pat goes to meet his appointed outpatient therapist, an Asian doctor, the man is playing the same record on the waiting room speakers as a deliberate act to see if Pat is able to control himself as he has alleged he is able to do so, despite finding ways not to take his medication.

While in hospital Pat has accepted the advice that he must focus on the positives, the silver linings, and in order to gain his wife back he insists on going to the public library immediately on release to borrow all the course books that his wife teaches, to demonstrate that he is interested in her life and just not obsessed with his own. Without medication he is unable to sleep and the middle of the night breaks into a rage on reading the negative ending of a work of fiction used as a standard book and which he then throws out of the window. In a separate incident, also in the middle of the night he cannot find his copy of the wedding video and losing control he strikes his mother causing his father to attack his son. The local police are called by the neighbours indicating that in fact Pat had his problems before the marriage break up.

Instead of the script and direction leading to tense and dramatic moments, the touch is always light with much warm humour which leads an audience into understanding and empathy rather than fear and hostility. This is not to suggests that there are not several dramatic and emotionally engaging scenes

Pat goes out running as a means of trying to find the location of his wife who has moved, monitoring trains at the station, visiting the school where he meets up with a senior teacher/head who is clearly frightened of him. He also meets up with his closest friend who has missed the opportunity having a moan with Pat about his own difficulties with his wife who appears to be a strong and rather cold woman, a friend of Pats wife and with the two women portrayed as having similar traits. Pat is surprised when he is invited to a Sunday meal especially as he was aware that the man‘s wife dislikes him and the influence over her husband.

Unbeknown to Pat the wife’s sister has also been invited to the meal, a young widow after three years of marriage the result of a hit a run and she appears to have become just as forthright and invites Pat to have sex with her within moments of their meeting. He appears the horrified married man, and rightly believes she is tracking him on his runs ( later revealed the information came from Pat’s mother) but he invites her out for meal where she reveals the details of how she lost her husband and he guilt she feels. At the meal which he insists is not a date she discloses that in her grief she had sex with everyone at her office, 11 people and Pat becomes excitedly interested when she discloses the details of one relationship with an older female member of staff. She has been sex in the same way some turn to drink and drugs.

She offers to pass a letter via her sister to Pat’s wife on the basis that he will train with her to enter a local dance competition something which her husband had not been interested and which will help her to let go and move on. At first resisting and only because of the offer to pass a letter he participates but over the following days and weeks he looks forward to the training together continuing when get gets a typed carefully worded reply from his wife open to more than one interpretation but which gives Pat hope despite its cold and calculated wording.

It is evident that both are becoming attracted and attached to each other. At the hospital Pat was friends with a “ barrack room “ lawyer, a black American, and when the man is eventually free he comes to give Pat advice showing more passionate and sexy contemporary dance moves which Part finds threatening to his relationship. Also threatened but by Pat‘s involvement with the young woman is De Nero who resents that his is not there to share Football games with him on TV or talk about the teams and the plays, he creates a problem for his son when he discloses that he placed all the money saved for the restaurant on a bet for the next game with his friend and rival. Moreover Pat’s brother arrives full of himself to take Pat to the game, the day when he had agreed to spend perfecting a difficult dance move. The father is attempting to atone for having favoured the other son and is wanting to spend time with Pat to show confidence in his son.

At the game a party of Asian supporters arrive which attracts adverse racial comments including from his brother’s work colleagues. One of the Asians is the psychiatrist Pat sees as an outpatient and he is as fanatical about the team as De Nero, dressed in the colours and the face paint. When there are more insults it is Pat‘s brother who gets involved in a fight about the racism and Pat joins in to protect his brother with everyone arrested although released when the psychiatrist explains what happened and goes to Pat’s home to further explain the situation. However De Nero is furious because the team lost and he loses his savings to his friend.

Stood up for the dance practice, the young woman, Tiffany, arrives and immediately challenges De Nero pointing out that in fact the team had won whenever Pat was with her and they lost when he was not. Although she disliked football she has studied the position and is able quote games and scores from the throughout the regular season to such an extent that De Niro is not only impressed but places a double or quits bet with his friend, on the local team beating the Dallas Cowboys on the same day as the dance competition and that the couple will score at least an average of 5 out 10 ten in the competition.

On the day the family and friends gather to support the dancing couple who quickly lose heart when they see the strength of the semi professional competition. Worse is to come despite the news that the Cowboys have lost as Tiffany spots Pat’s wife with her sister and husband watching the competition.

In order to get Pat to participate given that his father was putting so much trust in him, the young woman and his mother pretend that his wife has agreed to be present to witness that he has become self disciplined and in control. As she had not passed on his letter and written the reply she had not anticipated the arrival of his wife and believing this will end her prospects of a relationship with Pat she goes to bar and to try and get drunk allowing a stranger to but a round for her. Pat manages to find her in time and gets her to dance which is obscenely intimate in part. They get the minimum average of five from the judges so the bet is won. She leaves as soon as she sees Pat go over to his wife. With his father urging him not to dally Pat rushes after Tiffany and admits that he was aware that she had forged the letter but had not told her as he thought it was romantic.


He had been cured in the sense of able to move on from his wife and he had been over to tell her, and cured in these sense of realising how ill he had become, he had been taking the medication since striking his mother, The films ends with everyone in the family celebrating Christmas together, including his friend from hospital.

The young woman, Tiffany, is played by Jennifer Lawrence who at 22 is now regarded as the most talented actress in the
USA. In addition to the Oscar winning performance in Silver Linings Playbook she was nominated for the same award for Winter‘s Bone, and is the youngest woman to receive two such nominations and she has already received hundreds of nominations and awards through the USA and in addition to the two films mentioned her performance in the Hunger Games, a film I missed and wish to see and also the last X men film and where she will appear in the next film in this series. The girl has a golden future.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage War

I have been pleasantly surprised by a number of films on TV over the week. The most enjoyable starred Pauline Collins and John Alderton entitled Mrs Caldicot’s Cabbage War. Similar to Judi Dench in the Exotic Marigolds Hotel Mrs Caldicot (Pauline Collins) had a husband who insisted on controlling her life down to going through every  item of expenditure to ensure she economised. Immediately upon his death, attempting to catch a cricket ball to impress a posse of friends, Mrs Caldicot‘s frustration boils over when she finds that her husband spend even more freely than she had appreciated. First she cuts of the heads of his prize Chrysthanemums with her son played Alderton assuming this was vandalism from a rival. When he finds that she has mutilated her husbands expensive set of golf clubs he seizes the opportunity to get her GP to sedate her and arranges a placement in one of the residential homes provided by the firm where is a director.

Behind his moved is the knowledge that in order to avoid death duties his father has left the family home to him but on the basis that his mother remains inn residence during her lifetime. Gaining immediate access will enable his company to acquire a number of adjacent homes to demolish and build a new property for his company.

When she first arrives she allocated the best suite, has a personal nurse although she remains confused about her situation, helped only by the staff member Gina who she begins to explains  about the relationship with her husband and that  he had  a group of friends who he treated to drinks especially a member of a charity Mrs Caldicot was involved with played by Wanda Ventham who passes he observation that he husband had a wandering eye for the ladies and given that she did not like cricket it had been evident that she had been a close friend of her late husband. She also enjoys telling the story of how her son had also been upset to discover that she had given her husband’s expensive cellar of wine to the milkman to distribute on his round to her neighbours.

The nurse played by Angela Bruce attempts to stop the son bullying his mother to authorise the sale of the family home on the basis this will be invested to provide an income for her remain at the private home. However the husband and the family solicitor  brining in the Matron who has to the pressure on Mrs Caldicot to sign. Once she has signed she is moved into a shared room, and is treated he same as other residents. The piano is kept locked. The TV is rarely working, the food is awful and the residents feel like prisoners. The only change is that the nurse Gina encourage Mrs Caldicot to stop taking the medication and  she in turn successfully encourages others to do the same.

She develops a plan to successfully take  a group of her friends on an outing into town where they are found enjoying themselves playing bowls at a  local park by the police and returning to the home. Gina is sacked for  assisting in the escapade. 

While they are out one of the other residents dies and Mrs Caldicot organises a wake with a great meal, drink and have a sing song around the piano which they force open before the arrival of the Manager called back to the home  after staff find Matron played by Isla Blair drugged unconscious through her evening meal.  This is he last straw and manager  giver her marching orders to leave the following morning.

When she goes to depart a number of  friends determine to go with her so she takes them off to the nearest four star hotel and tricks her some by phone to authorise her own and the rooms of the others  on his credit card. Another guest, the owner of a  the local newspaper tips off the local TV and she gives an interview explaining why they have left the home and taken the protest action. By this time the son‘s managing Director is none too pleased by the turn of events and warns the son that his future is now on the line. The son  is told to sort it. Meanwhile the owner of the local newspaper has taken a shone to Mrs Caldicot, taken her out to lunch to her story and arranges got her full story to national press. With help he has  also discovered the device by which the son gained control of the home  which was to remain during the lifetime of his mother. Mother is then invited to appear on a national TV show, to be  made fun of but with a great make over which builds up her confidence she put the interviewer in his place and makes a great little speech about  the issues of getting older and needing a degree of care.

The local business man has arranged for her to meet the Board of the company to do a deal to take over the recently completed new residential home in the grounds of her old home with a low interest mortgage to provide the home for her friends with the sacked nurse  installed as the Matron and of course she now has a serious relationship with the local businessman. The son is shocked to find the size of bill for the stay at the Hotel given the full use made of room services and other facilities, meals and drinks. The Hotel manager has attempted to put them out prematurely on orders  when it was appreciated the Hotel was part of a chain owned by the same company controlling the residential homes. However the point has to be that given the high cost of residential care most of the residents portrayed in the film could have function quiet well at he hotel with the overall cost about the same if not cheaper. The  reality of the care which those in residential homes need is of course very different.  And title? It has  relevance . You will have to see the film.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Zero Black Thirty

Although I have  started on pieces about Lincoln and Borgen, Sansom’s book Dominion, Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London and a general review of the week, it is with Zero Dark Thirty and the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden that I am devoting today and will publish next. It by far the best film of this and recent years, and also the most important film of all those seen recently.

Although a fictitious account for  the search for the man after 9/11, it rings authenticity to the extent that  Republicans have called foul and are alleging that it could have only been made with agreement from Obama, the CIA and Military and therefore put at risk the security of the nation by releasing classified information, Such is their anger that  a Congressional or Senate Committee the Senate was scheduled to hold, a hearing(s) about the subject in January although I could not find specific reference on the Internet.

I begin with the film and then consider the reality and the controversy. The film is the story of Maya,  recruited to the CIA from University and also immediately appointed to locate the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. In 2003 she is assigned to the USA Embassy in Pakistan as an undercover operative and she spends much of time attending interrogations, often where waterboarding, food, water and sleep deprivation is used on detainees at black sites, unofficial locations. At first she finds the methods difficult to observe or endorse but as the film progresses she appears to approve and initiate such action and expresses regret where the man leading this work, Dan says he is going home having had enough of naked bodies and what he is required to do without any seeming success as  the Al Qaeda atrocities continue.

This is my position on the use of torture. I have no deep seated objection to use by a government if doing so prevents atrocities and makes the people more safe than they were. However the recent public evidence suggests that it does not, that it damages those who undertake the task and creates even more determination among those it is intended to deter.

Under torture a detainee Ammar divulges that someone with the name of Abu Amed (see Sheikh Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti (died 2 May 2011), also known as Shaykh Abu Ahmed, Arshad Khan  (see1* ) worked as courier for bin Laden and was one of his most trusted men. He  said that Abu Ahmed passes the  message to one Faraj al-Libbi ( see 2*) number three in Al Qaeda when his superior Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured in 2003 (see 3*). Faraj was captured in 2005 and Maya not only interrogates but has him tortured but he continues to deny knowing of the courier Abu Ahmed

Maya remains convinced he and bin Laden continue to  function although  the CIA boss in Pakistan and  at HQ begin to question the value of her single task role especially when other atrocities are committed or attempted in Europe and also  in Times square, New York She is with her female boss having a meal at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad(see 4*) when it is blown up and when she is placed on a target list she narrowly escapes assassination as she leaves her guarded home. This leads to her return to Washington,

The chief Interrogator has advised Maya that the change in Administration from Republican to Democrat means that a new approach to rendition and interrogation is being required, hence his departure. I cannot remember subsequence of events in the film. Maya  is asked to assist in a mission at Camp Chapman ( see 5*) where her work friend who was also with her at the Marriott bombing was official charge of operations undertaken from the base although not directly responsible for base security. In the film Maya is asked to act as communication officer reporting on events to Langley where it is indicated the information is being passed to the President. A meeting has been arrange with a senior  figure who it is proposed to relocate after debriefing in a deal worth $25million.The agreement in advance was that the individual would be able to access the basis without armed security in surveillance. The head of base security is concerned at this and is over ruled. As a consequence when the person gets out he appears to have a limp but is in effect a controlling for a powerful car bomb which takes out the friend and various CIA high ups and other contacts. Maya survives. The deaths affect Maya and CIA morale in general and given the aborted Times Square event the previous year ( unconnected to al brought home to the CIA the failure of their activities at home as well as abroad  to apprehend those involved, with only a quarter of the al Qaeda top people in custody or killed.

It is at this point that the film begins to moves from failure towards success.  A Jordanian detainee when shown the photo of wanted Abu Ahmed claims that he buried him in 2001 and various members of the CIA including Maya’s superior believe that she and they had been following a false trail for nine years. This is something which instinctively she finds difficult to accept. Then a young female recruit working on Moroccan intelligence issues, and who admires Maya at a distance, brings to her information filed away years before which suggested that  the real name of Abu Ahmed was Ibrahim Sayeed, a man with a number of brothers, one of whom could be the man buried in 2001. Ibrahim is part of a large in friendly Kuwait where the mother and other relatives remain living and Maya persuades her boss to back her hunch that that getting the phone number of the woman for surveillance will lead to the whereabouts of the son being traced. This involves bribing a Kuwaiti with a Lamborghini car.

Calls are made and traced back to an area of Pakistan in the North far away from Pakistan border  with Afghanistan where before this. the most common belief was that if alive Bin Laden was living in caves and ineffective. Eventually the team  assigned in Pakistan work out that the individual is using the local call centre as a relay station making calls on a mobile phone from points all over the city, never for long and without any pattern or routine thus indicating someone trained in “tradecraft” expecting being looked for and with a sophisticated level of covering tracks. Then they manage to get a photo of the individual making a call from a distinctive vehicle.

Again Maya is shown having to battle to get the  funds  to employ the numbers required to keep watch on the roads going out of the city and track him down to an isolated dwelling close one Pakistan military college for officer training and with staff living in area. The building has a degree of isolation with a high surrounding wall. It is a three story building with top floor masked in such a way that while there appears to be walk around verandas it is impossible to see anyone moving there. Apart from satellite surveillance there is no way to get closer to the building from the ground or to be able to place cameras to get a closer look any those inside when they the internal open area, to dry clothing or for exercise. Apart from the man making the telephone calls no one  appears to leave the building.

It is evident from this that someone is there who does not want to be identified and the proximity to the Military establishment raises questions. The matter is considered at the highest levels in the CIA, the Military and the White House. There is a general consensus that was the hideout of someone significant unlikely to be a drug baron  or master criminal because there was no telephone and if retired where was the swimming pool and other trappings of wealth and usually a more open protection service. In this instance there were three women which normally meant three men plus a number of children.

There is a top meeting  at the CIA the odds that the  compound holds bin Laden is only put at 60% with Maya 100% and in response to who are you from the head of CIA says she is the mother f.....r   who found him. The plan would involve two stealth helicopters and a team of Navy SEALS involving breaching Pakistan air space,  100 days pass before the operation is given the green light and Maya  goes with the SEALS as they prepare and she appears to wait on her own at the US base Jlalabad Afghanistan, while the CIA HQ shown monitor the operation. We do not see the Whitehouse situation  with the President and chiefs of staff.  The complete darkness with some night sights we witness the operation taking place, the failure and hard landing of the one of the helicopters with its unit taking the perimeter with the second aircraft landing within the compound and then entering the main building where it is suggested that one of the women is killed as she attempts to protect the wounded body of her husband. There is a large office area with many computers and filing cabinets  and some of the force race against time to remove the hard drives and the files especially when information arrives that the Pakistan airforce is launching its fighters.  The body is brought back and Maya is given he task of identification although in reality there would have been a number of test, including DNA checks. While the SEALS celebrate there is no sense of triumphant. The picture ends with Maya being given a ride on her own in a transport plane  for R and to anywhere of her choosing such are the order and the special position she now holds. No doubt if such an individual existed and  exists they would now have been given an entirely new identity and life rather than appointed to a senior position  in the service or feted as a national celebrity. 
`The film engages from the outset even though the main events and the outcome are known. The lack of triumphalism is important and because of the Direction, the script and an outstanding and in my view Oscar winning performance by Jessica Chastain as Maya it communicates what happens to someone who has devoted all their lives to one thing even if they are successful in achieving their objective. I will also be disappointed if  the Director Kathryn Bigelow, previously of the Hurt Locker is not awarded the Oscar as well as the film

As for the reality here is the information I have been able to find.

1* Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti also known as Shaykh and Arshah Khan or Mohammed Arshad was a Pakistani citizen born in Kuwait and was one of the few men bin Laden fully trusted, his right man  and favourite courier.   He spoke Pashto and Arabic, he pupil of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is reported responsible for giving computer training to those given computer training in Karachi to those preparing for the 9/11 attacks. He provided a safe haven at home in a residential neighbourhood of Karachi.   His two languages enable him to communicate with members of Al Qaeda and the Pashtun tribesmen of Pakistan, he was believed to have been killed in 2001 but in 2007 his real name was discovered and in 2009 it was established that he lived in Abottabad Pakistan with the information coming from detainees at Guantanamo, notably Hassan Goul who had revealed the info in 2004 that he was close to  Abu Faraj al Libbi. The CIA did track his whereabouts after gaining access to the telephone of relatives in Kuwait and with the assistance and in 2010 he was tracked from Peshawar where he made his phone calls to the compound at Abbottabad.  He was known in the local community and attended local funerals he and another resident  known as his brother claimed they were from a village near the town of Charsadda on the North-western frontier with their wealth from a family owned hotel in Dubai and that the high walls were to keep out enemies encountered in his profession as a money changer.   Source Wikipedia and others.  He was killed during the assault on the compound. 

Hassan Ghul mentioned above was captured by the Kurdish Military in 2004 and handed to the USA who has detained him since. And was a courier for leading al Qaeda members including bin Laden, Sheik Khalid Mohammed and Abu al Zarqawi the man said to be responsible for suicide bombings in Iran and Iraq although there has never been  formal statements and he man has never been brought to trial. He had been held in various location  a prison in Pakistan and his present whereabouts is unknown. Under USA detention is said to have the name of  Abu Ahmed al Kuwaiti.

2* Abu Faraj al Libbi is the assumed name of the Libyan senior member of al Qaeda whoa real name is thought to be Mustafa al Uzayti. He was arrested by Pakistani forces in 2005 with the help of the CIA. He  is held at Guantanamo Bay. He is said to have become number three  and director of operations for the organisation after the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. He is said to have been the main planner of the 2006 transatlantic plot and that his accomplice in this was responsible for the murder of Wall Street Journalist Daniel Pearl about whom I have previously written.

3* Khalid Sheik Mohammed is regarded as the chief architect of the 9/11 terror attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon and captured in Pakistan in 203 he has been held at Guantanamo Bay. He is  said to have been responsible  of  most of the major atrocities and attempted atrocities of he past twenty years, including  murder of Daniel Pearl, the Bali  nightclub bombings. He has  confessed under torture including to the plot to kill the Pope, President Jimmy Carter and atrocities all over the world. He is said to have been born in Kuwait and to speak fluent Arabic, English, Urdu and Balochi. He is known to have been in the Philippines, Bosnia and Qatar.  Where in 1996 he was sheltered by the Qatari Minister of Religion. He is alleged to have warned that the capture of death of bin Laden would result in a secret cell exploding a nuclear weapon in Europe.

During the past three years here has been  much argument about holding military controlled trials in Cuba  and civilian in the United State. It is understood that Mohammed and those charged with him in relation to 9/11 were to have leaded guilty at a civilian trial; but at the Military led Trial  which commenced in May of  last year he and the others refused to answer questions put by the judge. The trial continues.

4* The Islamabad Marriott Hotel was bombed  in September 2008 when a dump truck detonated outside its front. 54 people were killed and over 250 were injured leaving a 60  foot wide and 20 foot deep crater. Five foreign nationals were killed and 15 others reported injured within hours of the first  speech of President Asif Ali Zardari to the Pakistani Parliament. The hotel was immediately and quickly rebuilt. The top leadership of the country was to have met at the hotel but the plan was changed at the last minute (why?) Two USA military personnel and a State Department employees plus a Danish intelligence agent were among those killed or missing. The UK Citizens also died. It is believed that a number of top CIA officer were at the hotel and this appears to be confirmed by the film. There were  significant diplomatic repercussion.

5* Camp Chapman was(is?) a CIA forward base in Afghanistan  close to an area controlled by the Taliban. The base monitored drone movements  into Pakistan Seven CIA officers including the chief of the base and a Jordanian Intelligence officer were killed with six other seriously wounded. The suicide bomber was a double agent who had  visited he base on a number of previous occasions and therefore was not search at the out perimeter and detonated the explosives attached to his bomb as he was about to be searched on arrival. This was the second greatest loss of life by the agency in a single incident. While responsibility initiating the attack remains to be established  a claim was made  that the action was taken following the death of a Taliban leader in a drone attack. The ehad of al Qaeda in Afghanistan praised the bombing and said that it was in retaliation for the deaths of their operatives by drone attacks. The perpetrator as a Jordanian doctor from the same town as Abu Musab al- Zarqawi. It is alleged that  an established extremist he was blackmailed into acting for CIA and Jordanian authorities. He had provided information about low level extremists who were “whacked” by the CIA  but in this instance he as believed to bringing information about top Al Qaeda people. The expectation was that the information he provided would go  immediately to the President. In the film  a sum of $25 million was mentioned and a new life with Maya pr4sent as a communications officer. Because he had been to the base before reports  confirm what was said in the film that he was allowed to pass the three outer checkpoints without being searched. The head of the base Jennifer Lynne Matthews was married with three children. Also killed were two agency security officers contracted to work with the CIA. There has been  an allegation that Pakistani Intelligence was involved in the plot.