Norway, ninjas and Dick Cheney

The movie poster

Dick Cheney should take note. Norway does revisionist history better than you.

I read Barton Gellman’s review of Cheney’s new memoir, “In My Time,” some time ago and his opening paragraph elicited that familiar cognitive dissonance I’ve tried to repress after eight years of Bush/Cheney.

“Sometimes subtly and sometimes starkly, the vice president’s story takes issue with the public record on pivotal events,” Gellman wrote.

Gah, you scoundrel! Those Rick Perry people are right (just a tad late to the party) there was a demon at work in the Beltway.

Back to Norway, where the language is sexy, like gargling gravel, and the film industry is breaking loose into the world of genre flicks. “Norwegian Ninja” is one of the coolest pieces of revisionist history. Much better than the fabrication that Christopher Columbus was a noble explorer and not a genocidal treasure hunter.

In his memoir, Cheney spins a yarn about his involvement in trying to get a dying John Ashcroft to reauthorize the nefarious domestic spying program. Filmmaker Thomas Cappelen Malling does a much better job at tweaking reality by giving us an alternate universe version of Norway’s most newsworthy event of the 1980s: The treason of Arne Treholt.

Arne was convicted in 1985 of dishing state secrets to Russia and Iraq. He was released and pardoned in 1992.

The trial sounded like a lot of fun.

“Qvigstad (prosecutor) said many aspects of the case were too secret for open court, but he described secret meetings in Vienna, Helsinki, New York and Oslo and messages left in automobile exhaust pipes and toilets and on tables in a United Nations library,” according to an Associated Press story from February 1985.

It’s the 1980s version of Wikileaks, only Mr. Treholt actually went to prison for espionage. He supposedly provided the Russians with “confidential accounts of meetings between Norwegian officials and Western dignitaries,” and stuff about NATO nuclear weapons, according to the AP story.

Seriously, though, a Norwegian spy? That’s about as scary as a Röyksopp concert.

The AP story says that Mr. Treholt, a diplomat from Norway’s Foreign Ministry, went to a party in Moscow. The party got a little out of hand and turned into an orgy. He was shown photos of his hedonistic endeavors and blackmailed into turning spy.

Well, the movie gives us insight into the true patriotism of Arne Treholt. Mr. Treholt was a master ninja under orders from the king of Norway to train a band of invisible soldiers in the Cold War battle against the Soviets. His island, protected by a feng shui shield, is an Eden training ground filled with ocelots, moose and other critters.

And Mr. Treholt has powers that would certainly make Cheney envious, such as using his fists as defibrillator paddles. He disappears and reappears in a puff of smoke – ninja style. I bet Dick Cheney can do that – demon style.

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