Re: Neil and Willie/Tapes

David Conner (
Wed, 04 Feb 1998 19:34:11 -0800

snopes wrote:
> On Wed, 4 Feb 1998, Denise Primm wrote:
> > I am fascinated by the Neil-Willie relationship. It was obviously forged
> > during their stint as co-Sandbaggers. Normally I would not think Neil was
> > the kind of person Willie would even want to associate with. But he
> > evidently found qualities in him worth his loyalty.
> Remember the episode with Willie and Karen on the hijacked plane? Neil
> absolutely insisted that they had to set a rescue effort -- no matter
> how futile -- in motion, because Sandbaggers had to have absolute
> confidence that he would use every means available to extricate them
> from trouble. At the end, when Willie and Karen rescued themselves,
> Willie matter-of-factly asked Neil what type of rescue had been planned.
> Neil was definitely unlikeable, but he did merit the loyalty.
> - David

I think that episode - "Decision by Committee" - is really crucial to
understanding Burnside's character. He's willing to move heaven and earth,
risking his own career, and risking a major debacle for the SIS, just for one
Sandbagger. I think it's a valuable counterpoint for those who think Burnside
is just an amoral manipulator - he's actually a very *moral* manipulator.