Monday, October 27, 2014

you meet in a sound-proof room

[Charlie Wilson's War]
--------------------- At Joanne Herring's "party Friday night" somewhere in the wilds of Upper Class -- or, at least, upper-checkbook -- Texas, East Texas Representative Charles Wilson and his aide Bonnie Bach breathe the air at the shindig's edge...

Bonnie sees something, reads it -- a plaque or a booklet, and turns to Wilson:

"Oh my God, she is a Minuteman, Charlie...!"

Charlie -- (in his tone of automatic, low-key, pleasantly-blustering enthusiasm) "Yeah! -- she's a direct descendant of -- George Washington's sister!  Says she had a great uncle who was killed at the Alamo.  Former Miss Cotton Bowl.  Had her own local television talk show. ..."

He gestures toward another framed accolade on the wall nearby -- "Look, Pakistan's Honorary Consul to Houston, Texas.  How's that for a title, huh?"

Bonnie -- "This is an ultra-right wing group of anti-communist fanatics."
Wilson -- (soothingly) They're not ultra-right-wing.
Bonnie -- What are they?
Wilson -- Well -- (admitting it)...they're ultra-right wing.

-- What are you doing hanging around this woman?
-- Did you hear me say she was a former Miss Cotton Bowl?
-- You are unbelievable.
-- Oh come on, you're gonna love her.  And you know, one of the things she's trying to do over there is liberate the women. ...


Joanne enters the scene, approaching them from out of the party-crowd and auction-audience, her two big slim dogs faithfully trailing in her wake.  She greets Congressman Wilson with a firm kiss on the mouth.

--------------------------- Joanne -- What did you think of the movie?

Charlie -- What, that thing we just saw?

Joanne -- The reason for the party, yes.

Wilson -- Well, I'm not an expert in the field or anything, but the production quality seemed amateurish to me.

-- Yeah, I'm not submitting the thing for a Golden Globe nomination, Charlie.  You know what I'm talking about.

-- Well, as a member of the Defense Subcommittee, did you think I wasn't aware that the Soviet Union's invaded Afghanistan?

-- Yes, I believe my government is aware, but I was wondering if they were thinking of doing anything about it, other than boycotting the Olympics, which I think you'll agree, was a fairly impotent response to the greatest national security threat we've faced since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

-- Well I don't think making more movies about it is gonna do the trick, if that's what you're asking.

Joanne -- It's not.  Exactly how much power do you have as a member of the Subcommittee?

-- Which one?  I'm on two.

-- What about the Defense Subcommittee?
-- Our budget is hidden.
-- It is also unlimited.
-- Ye-eah.

Joanne -- So, unless I'm wrong, and that would be unusual for me, you sit at the intersection of the State Department, the Pentagon and the CIA.

You meet in a soundproof room underneath the Capitol, and you preside over a secret and unlimited budget for the three agencies you would need

to conduct a covert war. 

Isn't that right?

-----------Charlie Wilson (looking fascinated and a little dumbfounded) -- "I also have seats at the Kennedy Center."

Joanne -- "Isn't that how you were able to double the CIA budget for black approps in Afghanistan just by sayin' so?"

-- Why are you only askin' me questions you already know the answers to?

-- Why is Congress sayin' one thing and doin' nothin'?

-- Well, tradition mostly.

{Charlie Wilson's War.  Mike Nichols - Aaron Sorkin - 2007 - Book by George Crile}


No comments:

Post a Comment