I listen to senators and garbage collectors referring to themselves as public servants and my mind immediately substitutes public enemy and their faces turn to a twisted image of Jimmy Cagney as a two-bit gangster.
America, once a magical country, has stopped producing anything much except weapons of war and a toxic economy and the land of fruited plains is now a vacation destination.
The purpose of Homeland Security seems to be to keep visitors out of this country — thereby bankrupting the few people who are left after the housing bubble, the financial bubble, the stock market bubble and all the bathtub and champagne bubbles have long since popped.
The mighty dollar is worth spit
Who was supposed to be watching the store?
Our government. Filled with a collection of miscreants interested only in perpetuating their self-interest and time in office.
And then along comes Dick Clarke, not the Dick Clark of American Bandstand I once joked with in West Hollywood where he usually went for breakfast at Dukes in the Tropicana Motel.
Long gone, as land developers turned the Golden State to a stream of you-know-what kind of gold.
The Dick Clarke I refer to is the guy who may be the last idealist left to tumble out of Washington, D.C.
He warned everyone that 9-11 was about to happen months before it did, then appeared before Congress and apologized to everyone for failing to warn us of imminent attacks to this country by terrorists.
Talk about killing the messenger
As far as I can tell he’s about the only person in D.C. who said sorry. Everyone else but Jon Stewart of The Daily Show was blaming Dick for what happened to the Twin Towers.
It was Dick Clarke, the public servant, a real public servant, an idealist who believed in America with his heart and soul, who said watch out for Osama bin Laden and screamed that Al-Qaeda was gearing up to rip us apart.
Dick Clarke is the subject of a brilliant documentary (S.O.S./State of Security) by Michèle Ohayon (Academy Award-nominated for Colors Straight Up).
She somehow stitched together S.O.S. over three years…and in doing so waded through thousands of files, documents and miles of footage. Her team — because you have to have a team to make a documentary like S.O.S. — is more dedicated and tenacious than the consortium that pulled those miners from the depths of the Chilean underground.
Michèle’s magic strikes a balance between information, humor, and insight.
The insight is where we went wrong after 9=11 and what we can and must do to prevent the next attack. Hint: pretty much the opposite of what we are doing.
It’s all filtered through the mind of Dick Clarke. He has a plan for putting America back on track…it’s the first plan I’ve heard that makes sense from a D.C. insider (Clarke served under four presidents as a security advisor.)
We ignore Clarke’s thoughts and Michèle’s S.O.S. at our own peril.
Every person who claims to be a public servant should be forced to see S.O.S.
Even if they look like Jimmy Cagney.
Even if it means water boarding.
Of course Dick Clarke would be the first to explain that torture doesn’t work.
Is he vengeful?
Someone asked him at a recent screening of S.O.S. how he felt about the death of his old nemesis, bin Laden. “It’s a bit like ordering pizza. What do you say when the delivery boy shows up 15 years late?”
For what he has done for America and what he has been through and the ideals he stands for, Dick Clarke should be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Click here to discover more about S.O.S. This
includes the trailer and screening times.
BONUS! Here’s some more films by Michèle.
And here is my latest novel. It’s about a religious nut. Me.
(You should be 18 to read it.)