Jimmy Carter sets record straight on Argo

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.

Comments (22) Add New Comment
Ben A.
"...thanks Canada" for letting me rewrite history.
Rating: +68
truthbot
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
Rating: +77
Raifon
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.
Rating: +81
Jack Nelemans
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.
Rating: +76
James G
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!
Rating: +72
Canadian chick
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!
Rating: -83
Rob
As an American, and a Georgia, I do appreciate the moral honesty of Jimmy Carter. Never has America had such a humble President.
Rating: +83
A Hurtin' Albertan (that's Canada, eh)
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.
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Rating: +43
cathy
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.
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Rating: +21
Oberon123
Carter is the last decent, moral president that we've had. I miss him.
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Rating: +35
Boon
1) "Based on a true story" can mean that 5% of the story is used to inspire a 2 hour movie plot. Yall know this, cmon.

2) Though I'm not particular fond of Affleck's lesser portrayal of the Canadian involvement, I was hardly suprised and thought it was a good espionage movie (though Zero Dark Thirty, Syriana and Munich are all better fare for that genre imo) What Aflleck should be commended for however, is at least including the mention of Operation Ajax as JamesG also mentioned not just in the intro segment (in cartoon) but its also briefly mentioned in the movie as well. The bottom line is that the whole "Democracy in the Middle East" spiel that the US government has been spoutting off for decades was actually thrown in the gutter by the US government when they overthrew the democratically elected Mossadegh.

The situation of the Islamic Revolution in Iran was not too unlike the circumstances leading up to the Cuban Revolution. The US had the Shah over there and Batista over here. Sons of a bitches but at least they were America's sons of bitches.

3) What would have been even better is if it was mentioned that the company that could be argued to have set off the whole sequence of events of Mossadegh/the Coup/the Shah/the Revolution was a British oil company then called the Anglo Persion Oil Company. Today it has the initials BP.

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Rating: 0
Pam
President Jimmy Carter is an honourable man and I truly commend him for actually giving credit where its due. Why do the Americans always have to be the heroes at any cost, even to their integrity? One thing's for sure, Ben Affleck has proved he's 100% American! Didn't they even mention that Canadians were cowards in the movie? I for one wouldn't spend a dime to see this American fairy tale!
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Rating: +33
Gabriel Landry
Hollywood does not make historical films, they make entertainment films. This is similar to the Zero Dark Thirty film that made such a big deal out of the torture aspects of the information, when in fact the key information they got about Bin Laden’s messenger was gotten a few years before the CIA came in and started the “Enhanced” techniques that included water boarding. The “Enhanced” techniques actually got less information and the information they did get was often wrong and not useful.
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Rating: +25
EcoCollectivist
Wonderful. The Corporate nazi machine in full swing. Gotta love the jerking off of the national ego. Otherwise known as: Rampant Nationalism. The cornerstone of any good fascist corporatocracy. When you don't want your citizens to see that you are raping and pillaging them, the best thing to do is to fill their minds with images of vicarious self-importance and greatness. So let me just say this, from the deepest bottom of my dreadful heart: Thank you America, for saving us. For saving the world. You are the light in the darkness which brings Freedom and Democracy to all those degenerate third world people who wear rags or something. You, America, bring the freedom for western corporations to buy up all those pitiful 3rd world resources from their EVIL governments who would use those resources to provide public health care or public schooling. Thank you America. Thank you.
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Rating: +13
THE RATIONAL OPTIMIST
I walked out of ARGO because I found the MADE IN THE USA STAMP a bit to much and I found the movie lagging. I knew the real story and TAYLOR should have commented a lot more about this. He should not be so obtuse. If you say it is based on a true story and write lies then ALL OF CANADA should BOYCOTT this farce and send a message to Gigli boy to stay off serious topics. AFFLECK did this for purely political reasons knowing the largely pro Semite panel sitting in judgment of these movies would definitely adore a movie set in the Middle East and making Iran look in a negative light. Maybe Iran deserves this but AFFLECK does not deserve an Oscar. CANADIANS DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE.
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Rating: +27
KARIM SADRUDIN JUMA
DEAREST AND ONE OF THE BEST PRESIDENTS IN HISTORY YOU ARE A PEACE MAKER AND THE LORD HAS PRESERVED YOU IN MANY WAYS AND WILL TAKE YOUR AND YOUR FAMILY'S TO THE NEXT WORLD WITH GREAT HAPPINESS AND ACHIEVMENTS IN MANKIND. I WAS ONLY IN GRADE SCHOOL ELEMENTRY AND NOW WISHING PEOPLE WOULD RECOGNIZE YOU AS A LEADER AND NOMINATE YOU AS A NOBEL PEACE PRIZE.FEBRUARY 28, 2013, LOVE AND KISSES KARIM SADRUDIN JUMA.
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Rating: +5
Jane Edgell
P O D (Point of departure) That's (UN)Holywood for ya! They buy the premise and do what they will. The sad part is when a moralist tells the lies and we have more of the mis-educations of already history deficient Americans.
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Rating: +10
Boon
@THE RATIONAL OPTIMIST:
Seems kinda odd that "maybe Iran deserves" to be put "in a negative light" and that we are such victims for not being potrayed to true light in a movie (which isnt right but to be expected but its still a movie). What about what happened to Iran in real life? And how are they deserving to be put in a "negative light" here? Are you familiar with what really went down there since we are so worried about who is getting actual credit for what actually happened in real life?

At least it was (if briefly) mentioned what lead up to the hostage situation in the movie (at the very beginning). Would be awesome if someone were to actually take that a make an Argo prequel - Operation Ajax: British Petroleum and the CIA's First Overthrow of a Foreign (Democratically Elected) Government
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Rating: -8
Beth
I was a teenager when this happened. At the time, CB radios were very popular and I was on it a lot. I remember having a couple of different americans talk to me and say thank you to me just because I was a Canadian. I didn't even know why until it was explained to me.
While history may have been rewritten for hollywood, people had a lot of appreciation at the time.
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Rating: +14
Whack Thefack
1. Saw this flick on the plane last week as my other choice was Lincoln and I'd rather wait to see Lincoln on the big screen. Found it rather predictable and not worthy of winning an Oscar. It's a straight to video type of movie.
2. I'd see Lincoln only because of DDL. The only thing that gives me gas is the fact that SS directed this movie.
3. The only reason Argo won was because George Clooney was involved as an EP.
4. DDL is the greatest English speaking actor alive hands down.
Giving Argo the Best Picture just shows how rigged the Oscars are.
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Rating: +5

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