The C.I.A. mission recalled in “Neither Verify Nor Deny,” Philip Carter’s neat and steadily paced documentary, sounds just like the stuff of a Tom Clancy Chilly Conflict thriller. Within the movie, C.I.A. veterans and journalists recount a 1974 U.S. operation to recuperate a Soviet nuclear submarine that had sunk within the Pacific six years earlier. It’s a high-risk mission made extra suspenseful by technical challenges, the looming specter of Watergate and a necessity for secrecy within the face of scrutiny from Russia and the press.
The story assembles earlier than our eyes like an illustration in a guide for superspies. The purpose: get hold of invaluable nuke knowledge. The device for the job: an enormous ship with the power to grab the sub and sneak it away to American shores. The quilt story: an undersea mining operation fronted by Howard Hughes.
David Sharp, who directed the mission and wrote a e-book about it, is probably the most prominently featured of the wonky speaking heads right here. He relates wonderful particulars — like what the U.S. did with our bodies of Soviet sailors that have been found — within the understated method of a form science instructor. The Pulitzer-winning journalist Seymour M. Hersh, who wrote in regards to the operation for The New York Occasions within the Seventies, gives a salty insider perspective.