Son of Two CIA Operatives Blasts Christopher Nolan's 'Oppenheimer’

Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

The son of two CIA operatives, who retired as a Marine lieutenant colonel and intelligence officer, was shocked by the depiction of military personnel as buffoons and villains in the blockbuster movie “Oppenheimer.”


“My expectations were very high,” said Jonathon P. Myers, whose career included working the 1995 rescue of Air Force Capt. Scott F. Grady and leading the Marine rescue team blocked at the flight line from responding to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on American facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

“I thought it was gonna be, obviously, less of a message movie,” said Myers, who has been urged by Virginia Republican leaders to challenge to take on Rep. Abigail A. Spanberger (D.-Va.), who represents the commonwealth’s 7th Congressional District.

“I like historical biopics that tell an actual story of somebody’s life and their remarkable accomplishments–you know, along the lines of like a Daniel Day-Lewis in ‘There Will Be Blood,’ capturing how the oil business went down.”

Instead of sticking to the history of J. Robert Oppenheimer and his leadership of the development of the atom bomb during World War II at the government laboratory at Los Alamos, New Mexico, director Christopher Nolan delivered a vindication of the Communists, who worked to undermine the project and or hand the secrets of the Manhattan Project to the Russians, he said.

“I didn’t think that so much of the movie would be focused on the struggle between people who engaged or dabbled in Communism versus people who were trying to root out Communists in our nuclear program,” he said.

Then, here is the portrayal of the Army officers, who each in their own way were skeptical of the loyalties of the scientists and engineers Oppenheimer assembled in the New Mexican high desert, he said.


Matt Damon played Maj. Gen. Leslie R. Groves Jr., the commander of the Manhattan Project. Dane DeHaan played Col. Kenneth D. Nichols, Groves’ deputy. Casey Affleck played intelligence officer Col. Boris T. Pash, a White Russian veteran of the post-revolutionary conflicts in his country. David Dastmalchian played the Atomic Energy Commission staffer and former Army Air Force pilot William L. Borden.

  • Groves knew that Oppenheimer’s wife, lover, brother, and friend, who cared for his son during his wife’s benders, were all Communists. Still, he needed Oppie’s unique relationships and understanding of quantum mechanics to get the job done.
  • Nichols held up Oppenheimer’s security as long as he could until Groves overruled him.
  • Oppenheimer told Pash that his friend watching his son was a conduit to the Russians, but Groves transferred him to London to keep Oppenheimer at work.
  • Dastmalchian wrote the letter to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover that led to Oppenheimer losing his security clearance and his position at the Atomic Energy Commission, writing: “…more probably than not J. Robert Oppenheimer is an agent of the Soviet Union.”

Spoiler alert: There was a gaggle of Russian spies at Los Alamos.

“The whole film painted the military sort of as simpletons who were kind of foolishly falling into this trap of, you know, being patriotic when things were more nuanced than that,” the colonel said.

“It is similar to what happens today, where if you, if you just believe in your country and being patriotic and, and stopping, you know, adversaries from infiltrating your national security apparatus, then you’re just kind of a simple fool,” he said.


“Casey Affleck’s role and Matt Damon’s role? These guys were patriotic American military officers tasked with stopping communist infiltration into our nuclear program,” he said.

“In the film, they were most certainly cast as villains, like the bad guys who were rooting out these people who just had an alternative way of thinking, which obviously is not the case,” the colonel said.

“Communism is not an alternative way of thinking,” Myers said. “It’s the world’s deadliest ideology.”

The colonel said he is equally frustrated by Spanberger, a former operations officer with the CIA, who trades on her national security credentials.

“People like her don’t have any problem with, you know, ideologies that break down the military structure infecting the military,” he said.

“They don’t have any problem with the mentally ill people suffering from dysphorias and dysmorphia from taking positions in leadership in the military.”


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