You lie so profusely that I sobered up
- Green . The Purple Sails
the argonaut by gomagoti
In my old times in the Soviet Union we had a whole genre of the " KGB fairy --tale' movies.. The script would be nearly the same for all of them: there would be some crisis in the unnamed country and Soviet citizens would be stuck there while helping the progressive forces. A special KGB officer would be sent to the rescue and does it nicely with the help odd devoted local sympathizers. No bribes, no extortions, no blackmails, no killings if possible, all folks are humanitarians down to the bone and all are honest and dedicated -- the "heroes, not mentioned in the newspapers'. Usually those movies would be very neatly produced technically, involving well-known actors and people would watch them anyway. After leaving the movie theater many people would repeat the above quote by A. Green which eventually became a folk saying , "They lie so profusely that even a drunk sobers up."
The KGB officer in the movie always would be clean-shaved and sober. Aside of the beard, moustache and boozing of Ben Affleck's character the movie Argo resembles those KGB movies to the letter. I even thought for a moment that Ben bought one of the old Russian scripts, changed names and locations and went for the Oscars (in all fairness, the KGB movies never competed for any awards). A bottle of good beer did not help; I sobered in an instant and started counting the goofs:
- The embassy scene. It is shown surrounded by the mob with guns and that mob's activities are very well coordinated. That is a realistic perception; mobs are usually coordinated. It is unlikely though that in such situation the embassy would work on a usual schedule and have local visitors inside. How could they get into the embassy through the mob? I once saw a demonstration in Italy in front of the US embassy and it promptly closed its operations. So, no, I don't think they continued their everyday work in Iran. And where was the ambassador? His word was to be the main one in the decisions and instead chaos reigns. If the mob had been there for a long time as it is implied and the coordination was obvious then there surely was a surveillance of the building and that back exit was monitored. No way it wasn't. So why the six people knew about the exit but not the others? Why would they go out without even trying to change their appearances, white women et al? And how did they reach the Canadian ambassador's residence? Did they go on foot? And how did he know that they would come? And where was (for the whole movie) the RCMP ( Royal Canadian Mounted Police) or whoever designated to protect the Canadian diplomats, same as Marines do that for the US people?
- When the diplomatic rep. or an embassy staff person enters another country for a service his/her identity and a dossier are to be presented to the governmental organizations of that country. Thus the photos of all the US personnel were to be available to the Iranians from their own sources and they would not need to use little children to restore the pictures. Most likely they used kids to restore something else, like spying memos. To define who was missing the Iranians just needed to get the list of all the embassy employees and then- to verify who was in their custody. The whole idea that they did not know who escaped up to the last moment, 45 days later insults a person's intelligence.
- It is not clear if the Canadian ambassador's house was on the Canadian embassy compound or not but it seems that it was not. The housekeeper could be very loyal but an even meager watcher could notice the amount of provisions delivered as well as check the garbage and verify that instead of two people before there are eight. That's when kids come in -- Russian folks used kids for such missions routinely.