Flashbacks: May 19, 2006

By EDITORIAL  |  May 17, 2006

“ ‘There was one particular, key member of my National Security Council (NSC) who stayed on and worked full-time for Vice-President Bush,’ says Carter when asked who he thought was responsible for leaking the information.

“Donald Gregg, a former Carter NSC member who later became Vice-President Bush’s NSC adviser, is currently ambassador to South Korea. When asked if the person he was referring to was the ambassador to South Korea, Carter responded: ‘That’s correct....’

“After an interview in which the former president described in detail the suspicious events that led up to his 1980 defeat, Carter told a reporter to read in advance a chapter in the Bible about ‘forgiving others’....

“ ‘It might be appropriate,’ says Carter.

“For the past 11 years, Carter – who patterns his life after Christian teachings – has remained silent about his knowledge of the alleged secret deals made by the Reagan-Bush campaign to undermine the efforts of his administration to secure the early release of the hostages.”

Cruise control | 20 years ago | May 20, 1986 | Owen Gleiberman wasn’t impressed with the Tom Cruise vehicle Top Gun.
“Cruise is a charismatic actor, but what the filmmakers have done to him is a form of dehumanization: they’ve exploited the vanity of a young star, encouraging him to strut and preen, to assume the sort of absurdly macho, Brut-commercial poses no actor could get away with in a movie that ever touched ground. And Cruise delivers. He looks happy as a clam, as though he could have stood around the set all day giving his co-stars the high five. This movie couldn’t be more different in tone from The Right Stuff or An Officer and a Gentleman, both of which looked at the human side of valor; in those two movies, the performances of Lou Gossett and Ed Harris made inspiring cases for the appeal of square, rigorous, and (yes) militaristic values. But Top Gun lacks even the courage of its own schlock-patriotic romanticism....

“What’s offensive about this movie isn’t its ‘Go, America!’ cheerleading; it’s the aggressive hollowness of a style that reduces every scene, every emotion, to the same level of numbed aestheticism, a style that can make even a dogfight with the Soviets seem as briskly trivial as a video game (and as visually chaotic as one you don’t know the rules to).”

Killing him softly | 25 years ago | May 19, 1981 | Carmen Wiseman reflected on the death of reggae icon Bob Marley.
“Even if the rumors were true, it seemed entirely possible that Bob Marley could outfox Brother Death, just as Anansi the spider did in the Jamaican folk tales. He was still a young man, in his mid-30s, and he did not indulge in the kind of self-destruction that adds new members to the brigade of dead rock stars every month.
Besides, he’d already cheated death rather spectacularly. In 1976, goons allegedly from the Jamaican Labor Party attempted to assassinate Marley in a last-ditch effort to stop a free concert in support of leftist Prime Minister Michael Manley. The singer and members of his entourage were machine-gunned at close range. No one was killed, but a bullet lodged within millimeters of Marley’s heart. Three days after the shooting, Marley performed at the concert.

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