A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


The Two Williams and James Jesus Angleton
Sunday, March 05, 2006

With my wife Rosemary in Victoria for a Perennial Study Weekend I indulged in reading while eating; not washing the dishes, and watching the DVD version of The Whistle Blower, a spy movie I had seen when it appeared in 1987. With the CIA and El Busho's shenanigans of our present times the issues raised in this movie(the distruction of individuals to protect the questionable morality of the powerful) with Michael Caine and John Gielgud, seem to be hot off the press. Michael Caine is one of my favourite actors, specially when he plays secret agents. The Canadian connection here is that Christopher Plummer turned down the role of Harry Palmer in the 1965 Ipcress File which subsequently Michale Caine made his own. After seeing the Whistle Blower I thought of two American conservative authors, William F. Buckley(above) and William Safire (left). Both wrote an excellent spy novel. In 1995 I talked about Sleeper Spy - A Novel of Deception with William Safire in a Seattle hotel room interview. While indulging in chocolate covered strawberries Mr. Safire told me all about the mysterious CIA head of counternintellingence, James Jesus Angleton. This novel was as good as William F. Buckley's 2000 novel Spytime - The Undoing of James Jesus Angleton. I must note that Mr. Buckley refused to pose for me at the piano bar of the Hotel Vancouver until I asked him to autograph my copy of his awful paperback novel, Saving the Queen.

Harry Palmer
William Safire
Saving the Queen
the Orchid Man


Previous Posts
The Brandenburgs on a Desert Island

Don Juan

The Kiss

Nicolás Guillén and the Switchblade

Gone Fishing

The Blue Chow (Chow)

Frank McCourt -Teacher Man

Laura Kramer and her Baroque Cello

Tamsin and Gerry Again

Gerry Gilbert's Bicycle

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