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A Good American (2015)

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STORYLINE


Apparently, 9/11 would have been avoided were it not for the NSA’s discontinuation of wiretapping project ‘Thinthread’ three weeks before the event occurred. A bold statement if ever there was one, yet former intelligence official and codebreaking genius (now whistleblower) William Binney goes there in A Good American. Talking heads interspliced with shots of night time cityscapes, archive footage and voiceover are the tools director Friedrich Moser uses to tell this compelling tale about deception and the desire to do the right thing in face of government opposition.

Thinthread is the most effective algorithm-based surveillance programme used for espionage you’ve probably never heard of. It’s the brainchild of Binney and a modest team comprising the cream of code-breaking. Various members detail the timeline leading up to the terrorist attack that would shake the USA to its core and reverberate well into its future, starting with the initial attack on the World Trade Centre in ’93 as one of the US’s most notable terror raids. “We said this is not a one-time event.” These were words gravely spoken by former NSA senior executive Thomas Drake on the initial attack. But despite all the names and faces we’re shown, Binney remains the most prominent character.


IMDB (7.8)

A Good American @ Wikipedia