Part of the Global Perspectives on War and Peace Collection. A brief insight into the life of a C.I.A. officer, John "Bob" Stockwell. Interviews with family members and Stockwell himself describe the career as simply another job, but undercurrents of more troubling aspects of the job occasionally bubble to the surface.
0:00Copy video clip URL Color film. The piece opens with brief statements from Stockwell’s children, ex-wife, and parents, who (besides the ex-wife) had only learned of his longtime profession recently.
0:35Copy video clip URL Cut to images of Angola and Vietnam, where the C.I.A. is known to have had some particularly horrific forms of involvement.
0:44Copy video clip URL Stockwell explains the career path that led him to his current position. He never intended to be in the C.I.A., but followed a straight and conservative job path from the ROTC to Marine Corps to the Gates Rubber Company. He and his former wife describe his decision to accept the C.I.A. position as one based on his ability to best provide for his family.
1:50Copy video clip URL Stockwell’s former wife seemingly tries to claim that Stockwell himself didn’t do many controversial things in his job. “When you think about his job being a career or National Security, I think that at the time the emphasis was career. I think that most of what he did was for the next fitness report, so to speak. I think that people generate activity that is unnecessary overseas in order to have some activity on their fitness report, and they really don’t get promoted within the C.I.A. unless they have so many recruitments, let’s say, in a tour of duty, or so many operations, or “ops” as they call them.”
2:43Copy video clip URL Stockwell explains his mutually beneficial relationship with former presidents, speaking relatively obscurely, although displaying an obvious level of ambition and accomplishment that is contrary to the previous statements in the film.
3:18Copy video clip URL Former wife, explaining that she repeatedly pressed Stockwell to leave the C.I.A., eventually stating, “It’s going to be the C.I.A. or our marriage. And he chose the C.I.A.”