Synopsis (1) Summaries A young pilot finds himself recruited unwittingly into a covert and corrupt C.I.A. airlift organization operating in Vietnam War-era Laos. Air America was the CIA's private airline operating in Laos during the Vietnam War, running anything and everything from soldiers to foodstuffs for local villagers.
In "Panama," Mel Gibson plays Stark, a CIA operative who recruits James Becker, a Marine veteran played by Cole Hauser, to take on a top-secret arms mission to Panama in 1989, just before the U.S....
Billy Covington (Robert Downey Jr.) is a traffic copter pilot for a Los Angeles radio station. His pilot license gets suspended after he flew low to confront a driver and he gets recruited to join Air America. Veteran pilots Gene Ryack (Mel Gibson) and others show him the ropes.
Of course Air America is also the name of a comic film starring Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr., but Robbins has devoted an entire chapter to panning it. Apparently the film makes the unsubstantiated claim that the CIA was using the heroin trade to fund the secret war.
The Mel Gibson film, Air America, was based on the Christopher Robbins book Air America, which chronicled the history of CIA proprietary airlines in Southeast Asia. In his book, McCoy wrote It is transported in the planes, vehicles, and other conveyances supplied by the United States.
Indeed, last week saw the release of American Made, a film starring Tom Cruise portraying the life of CIA drug-trafficker Barry Seal. The film brings to mind the 1990 action comedy Air America starring Mel Gibson and Robert Downey, Jr. – also about the CIA’s drug airlines, all painted in nonchalant comedic whitewash.
A Mel Gibson movie based on a book by a Fleet Street hack made outlandish claims about Air America’s involvement in drug trafficking, lies that outrage men who risked their lives in secret service...