On Alias

Alias and the Real Deal

A Reality Check
By Robert Stokes

Alias, the ABC-TV hit espionage drama, has to be a wet dream for CIA officials–and I’m not referring to actress Jennifer Garner, who plays the kick-butt, covert agent babe for the Agency’s L.A.-based counterterrorism operation.

I’m talking about the unlimited resources in money, superhuman field agents, high-tech magic, logistics and material that the Alias CIA counterterrorism chief has at the snap of a finger. You can bet the ranch that if ex-CIA director George Tenet had anything approaching that level of assets, plus better liaison with the FBI, it might have been an entirely different story on 9/11.

Tenet was having breakfast on Capitol Hill when he got word of the first plane hitting the north tower of the World Trade Center that bright September morning. His response: “I hope it doesn’t turn out to be that guy from Minneapolis who was taking flying lessons but didn’t want to know about takeoffs or landings.”

Under the law, domestic terrorism is the FBI’s responsibility, but CIA’s Tenet clearly did not walk back the cat on that intelligence.

However, in creator J. J. Abrams’ Alias CIA, Sydney and her lover/ fellow field agent, Vaughn, would have said, “Screw the rules,” and already nailed the dude days before 9/11 and had him in a “black, level 6” (unlisted and highly classified) Department of Defense interrogation facility. He’d have been spilling his guts within hours of the first reports that came over Director Dixon’s desk. In Alias, the CIA does not provide its detainee  …

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