19.2.07

I did it because I could do it

Thing One and I saw Breach on Saturday. I wanted to because I'd remembered the Hanssen case, and he did because of Chris Cooper. So...

I have no idea how historically accurate this movie is - although I suspect it's pretty accurate. One of the things I'd remembered about this case was the whole connection to Opus Dei and the commentary about how this didn't seem consistent with someone being a traitor to their country. This movie focuses a lot on the Catholic connection, with only one mention of Opus Dei and Hanssen's membership. Thing One was raised Catholic, attended Catholic schools, and, while he doesn't practice (although most of his family does), he's a little sensitive on this issue. You see, what wasn't brought out as much in the move was Hanssen's sexual deviancy. Now, I'm not drawing a line between the two (Catholic = sexual deviant), and perhaps the movie wanted to be equally careful not to make that connection. Or perhaps it's because the movies seemed to be from the point-of-view of the agent, Eric O'Neil, sent in to help make the case against Hanssen and perhaps O'Neil never got to see that side.

The problem, for Thing One, is that he sees this as part of an on-going culture in which it's ok to "pick" on Catholics (or Christians) in a way in which it is not ok to "pick" on Jews, Muslims, gays, cat lovers, the developmentally challenged, etc.. I don't know if that's true, but it certainly is something to think about.

One unresolved thread in the movie was the big "why". WHY turn traitor? We guessed it was because he knew he was smarter than the FBI and so, WHY NOT? Another unresolved thread was WHY Hanssen - so much smarter and more able to spot moles and liars than anyone - didn't suspect O'Neil. Again - and this is only a guess - perhaps Hanssen did "make" O'Neil, but didn't care or didn't think he'd get caught or wanted to get caught. Ultimately, it doesn't matter.

1 comment:

stj said...

possibly it was because Hanssen thought that the Americans were just so bad at the intelligence game that they deserved whatever they got...just read where he didn't spend much of the payments he received which tells me he was partially enjoying the game of cat and mouse and felt that the secrets sold were going to give us what we deserved....maybe if something so bad happened we'd wake up....we're still not waking up even after 9/11