The Man Nobody Knew

The Man Nobody Knew

In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby

DVD - 2011
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Uncovers the secret world of a legendary CIA spymaster, William Colby. Told by Colby's son Carl, the story is at once a probing history of the CIA, a personal memoir of a family living in clandestine shadows, and an inquiry into the hard costs of a nation's most cloaked actions.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : First Run Features, [2011]
Branch Call Number: UB271.U52 C655 2011
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (104 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in


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Sep 02, 2018

This film offers rare insight into a private man, William Colby. Like most CIA agents, he was so private and secretive that his own family didn't know what his job was. Of course when he took the job of heading up the CIA, everyone knew. By all appearances he was a good and honest man caught up in the secret corruption of all involved in propelling the unjustified Vietnam War forward. His honesty cost him. His honesty added up to disloyalty in the eyes of Nixon, Ford, Cheney, Rumsfeld, George H.W. Bush and the like who were willing to compromise their integrity unlike Colby. William Colby's son Carl is the filmmaker. While some may feel a son would only try to glorify his father, that doesn't happen here. Carl shows us the dark side of situations - the consequences of a man willing to serve his country and follow orders. William Colby served in the "Good War," WWII and, unfortunately for him, the "Bad War," Vietnam. The film offers a lot of historic footage and a rare glimpse into his (Carl's) family life. While much light is shed, William remains a bit of an enigma, thus the title of the film.

Mar 06, 2017

While very Informative and an eye opener, it seems quite biased.... Very disturbing to see how many terrible atrocities are committed, directly or indirectly by the Western countries! And to think that we wave the Flag of the Human Rights and feel insulted when someone accuses us of the abuses committed in our country's name! Sobering!

real_thing Jan 07, 2016

C.I.A documentary

Aug 20, 2013

During World War II, William Colby served with the Office of Strategic Services.
After the war he joined the newly created CIA.
Before and during the Vietnam War, Colby served as chief of station in Saigon, chief of the CIA's Far East Division, and took charge of the Phoenix Program, which was designed to identify and "neutralize" the infrastructure of Viet Cong.
This program focused on civilians, not soldiers.
The major two components of the program were Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRUs) and regional interrogation centers.
PRUs would kill and capture suspected Viet Cong.
They would also capture civilians who were thought to have information on Viet Cong activities.
Many of these civilians were then taken to the interrogation centers where some were tortured in an attempt to gain intelligence on Viet Cong activities.
The information extracted at the centers was then given to military commanders, who would use it to task the PRU with further capture and assassination missions.
The film depicts part of the Phoenix Program, which reminds me of the activities of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, where, during the Bush Administration,
Islamic people were detained for interrogation as part of the Global War on Terror.
So, it seems that history repeats itself.
Although I detest the activities of the Phoenix Program, William Colby himself seems like a devoted father and devoted civil servant.

kevfarley Feb 14, 2013

An overview of the recent ( post- WW2, Cold War, Nam, etc. ) unfortunate history of our government's misuse of power, and of the official lies and classified 'secrecy' to cover it up. It's good background to help in the understanding of our current experience of the same. But nothing new. ( P.S. Kev's PICkS : For a true 'profile in courage' about a Vietnam warrior vet... see "The Most Dangeriuos Man In America",. about Daniel Ellsberg and the Petagon Papers.)

Oct 02, 2012

This movie is a son's account of his father, with input from his mother, and others who knew the father. It is a documentary infused with strong feelings, and remarkable insights into the failures of US foreign policy in Vietnam. The conclusions are straighforward, but the path to those conclusions is full of the mystery and confusion of a son and wife growing up at the perimeter of a secret, powerful life.

Aug 08, 2012

For a man that nobody knew, there sure were an awful lot of people who did know him and knew him very well!
There are interesting interviews with high level officials - KGB even! So it is well worth watching.

aaa5756 Jul 30, 2012

It was O.K for a home TV movie. I was entertained and interesting. But it was NOT worth the long library wait or the price to rent from a Red Box. "I fast forwarded a lot but not all the way.”

Glencoe_Mike Jul 14, 2012

This doesn't offer much to say about Colby and is more of a primer on Vietnam. Just not a very in-depth or interesting documentary.


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