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  • Warning: Spoilers
    I was a fairly faithful viewer of the "Espionage" television series, but only one of the episodes has staid with me over the years. The one I remember is Episode #8 "The Whistling Shrimp." I also remember that Larry Gates and Arthur Kennedy were in it. (They are also both in the movie "Some Came Running.") I haven't seen the episode since it first appeared, but I never forgot it.

    The plot, as I recall it, revolves around Kennedy as a reporter covering events in Africa and Gates as an official of the US State Department. Kennedy, who suspects clandestine CIA activity, asks Gates to tell him the truth about what the US is doing behind the scenes in a newly independent African country. Gates, a man of honor, says that he will always tell the truth until shrimp learn to whistle.

    An African (played, I think, by Brock Peters and meant to represent Patrice Lumumba) comes to Gates to tell him that he fears for his life. Gates begins to investigate, but he's stonewalled. After the African is assassinated, Kennedy confronts Gates who assures him that the US had nothing to do with it.

    To my recollection, this was the first time that US involvement in undermining third world governments had ever been dealt with on national TV. It was broadcast two days before JFK was shot. I wonder if this coincidence is the reason I started concocting conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination long before Oliver Stone's movie.