Jimmy Carter sets record straight on Argo

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Last week, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter went on Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN to clear up some of the confusion about the movie Argo.

The film was loosely based on the rescue of six Americans from Iran after the revolution that brought Ayotollah Khomeini to power.

Carter described Ben Affleck's picture as a "great drama". But the former president also said that "90 percent of the contribution to the ideas and consummation of the plan was Canadian".

Carter noted that the "main hero" was Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor, but the film gave full credit to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

"The Canadian government would not legally permit six false passports to be issued," Carter revealed. "So the Canadian Parliament had to go into secret session for the first time in history and they voted to let us use six Canadian passports that were false."

Perhaps this explains why Affleck thanked Canada last night when he picked up the Oscar for best movie.

He was just trying to make amends.

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Ben A.

Feb 25, 2013 at 10:51am

"...thanks Canada" for letting me rewrite history.

truthbot

Feb 25, 2013 at 10:51am

he thanked Canada because he's been getting a lot of sh*t lately about portraying the rescue as a primarily CIA operation when in fact the agent he played was only in town a day and a half. He did not give credit where it was due, and these last couple of weeks he's been getting a lot of pushback because of it - especially since it was looking like it was going to score big at the Oscars

Raifon

Feb 25, 2013 at 11:10am

All too often the American media paints a biased picture of historical events that all acclaim American patriotism. Canada witnessed this in WW2 when the Canadian Division arrived at the gates of Rome two full days before the Americans but were ordered to stand down and allow the Americans to enter the city first in a triumphant parade. This actually occurred for some sort of propaganda purpose even though Canada lost 8000 men being used as a spearhead. In Iran however Canadians did what they could for the American politicians and it is good that a former US President saw it worthwhile to get the story straight. Argo is just another in the long list of good American movies that just ignore the facts but are entertaining none the less.

Jack Nelemans

Feb 25, 2013 at 11:12am

Thank you Mr. Carter. You are an honourable man.
It is unfortunate that Americans have to twist facts to always claim #1.the worlds best, largest, smallest etc. etc.
If they were only taught world history and geography, possibly they would be more open minded.

James G

Feb 25, 2013 at 3:24pm

I was glad that President Carter spoke out and was heard. It may have only been popular entertainment but as such will be believed accurate by those who should know better, case in point: http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2012/09/toronto_4_and_the_winner_is.html
I am not particularly offended as a Canadian since I recall the details of the Iranian revolution so vividly. As a student at U of A Edmonton, I regularly wore a button that said "Free the Shah's Political Prisoners!" given to be by an Iranian student. I watched the actual revo evolve in horror as the secularist Abolhassan Bani-Sadr was sidestepped by Ayatollah Khomeni in spite of his landslide Presidential election victory. Khomeni told him flat out that if 35 million Iranians said 'yes' to his policies and Khomeni said 'no' that 'no' would prevail. The hostage crisis appalled me but I still held hope the revo would right itself (take note, fans of the Arab Spring). So although the heroism and efforts of Canadian diplomats were and are evident, I was then ambivalent about the 'Canadian caper'. What really galls me about 'Argo' is not the real and frequent enough issue of Canadian efforts being ignored and claimed by others but rather who is in line for the unearned credit for heroism, namely the CIA. The CIA, who engineered Operation Ajax and removed the secular government of Mohammad Masaddegh in 1953 and forced the Shah back on the throne is hailed for heroism? If not for Operation Ajax, Iran would have looked a lot more like modern Turkey then and now. The Iranian revolution would not have unfolded and then detiorated in the way it has. One more aspect is that Bani-Sadr, in exile in Paris, claimed in his memoirs that the Republican presidential campaign of Ronald Reagan tried to negotiate that the hostage crisis be prolongued in order to use it as political capital. So, who are the good guys again? In my view, certainly not the CIA!

Canadian chick

Feb 25, 2013 at 7:51pm

Calm down people! Usually with movies that are based on true stories and/or famous and historical figures, there will be certain liberties taken and embellishments to make the movie entertaining and some condensing of characters. We know what really happened and that is what counts. I loved the movie even though it wasn't 100% accurate. Go Bennifer!

Rob

Feb 26, 2013 at 2:02pm

As an American, and a Georgia, I do appreciate the moral honesty of Jimmy Carter. Never has America had such a humble President.

A Hurtin' Albertan (that's Canada, eh)

Feb 26, 2013 at 3:58pm

As a Canadian I am somewhat embarrassed that my neighbours to the South take such a revisionist view of History. Not surprising, though, if history is to be believed. For the record, Jimmy Carter was absolutely right. It was a Canadian Operation, and the only CIA Operative involved was in Tehran for a day and a half. There was no movie, or anything else, just one neighbour helping another in a time of crisis.

cathy

Feb 26, 2013 at 7:51pm

Yeah we were heroes-we figured out out to solve an international crisis without using violence but by being smart and creative.
All the Americans learned from the experience was to lie and make money from it.

Oberon123

Feb 27, 2013 at 5:36am

Carter is the last decent, moral president that we've had. I miss him.

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