Between reality and fiction: SNOWDEN / SNOWMAN

Between reality and fiction: SNOWDEN / SNOWMAN


by Rodolfo Meyer

The planetary repercussions of the activities of the US National Security Agency (NSA) from the revelations of Edward Snowden are well known.
It is also notorious the apparent scandal caused between various governments and personalities by the espionage to which they allegedly discovered they had been subjected.
Now: The plot of Robert Lindsey’s best seller “The falcon and the snowman” is closely related to all this. An idealistic young man joins a contracting company linked to the NSA. Discover the nature and methods of the organism, and decide to sabotage it by transmitting the secrets to a foreign country. The title refers to a hawk raised by the protagonist and his messenger: a drug addict friend named “Snowman.”
Beyond the pun between Snowden and “Snowman” – whose respective subsequent behaviors were very different – what is interesting is that the book dates back to 1979 and, above all, that the plot was based on real events. In the film version filmed by John Schlesinger in 1985, Sean Penn played Andrew Daulton Lee, and Timothy Hutton played Christian John Boyce. Both characters were arrested, tried and imprisoned. The history can be consulted on the Internet (
The nature of the NSA – referred to in the novel and the film – was thus in the public eye for several decades before Edward Snowden.
Conclusion. The indignant reaction mounted by the countries and leaders affected is a farce, and the current dissemination of the issue as novel, a mockery to the whole world, beyond the ratification represented by Snowden’s brave testimony.

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