What is Pluto in Jack Ryan? Is It Based on a Real CIA Black Ops Program?

Image Credit: Attila Szvacsek/Prime Video

The fourth season of Prime Video’s ‘Jack Ryan’ puts the titular character in a difficult situation with the agency he works with as he tries to flush out the corrupt people who have been using the CIA to serve their own agenda. Ryan discovers that the CIA’s former director Thomas Miller had greenlit several black ops, all of which were under his direct supervision. Even though the director never handles the finances of the ops, he did so in the covert operations that were kept a secret from everyone else. Ryan has no idea what these operations were intended for and why Miller chose to keep them a secret. One such program is Pluto, which brings Ryan face-to-face with Domingo Chavez. Here’s all you need to know about Pluto. SPOILERS AHEAD

What is Pluto?

Image Credit: Attila Szvacsek/Prime Video

Pluto is a fictional blacks ops program created for the Prime Video series ‘Jack Ryan.’ When Ryan discovers that Miller was overseeing nine black ops programs, he tries to decipher their meaning and importance. However, the code used by Miller is too convoluted, which leaves Ryan with no choice but to shut down all of these programs. Later, Domingo Chavez shows up at his house, demanding to restart Pluto.

Chavez tells Ryan that as a part of Pluto, he has been working undercover with the Marquez cartel in Mexico. He has told to do whatever Marquez wanted, which included killing off his competition. Later, Chavez discovered the cartel was going into business with the Silver Lotus Triad from Myanmar. On the surface, their collaboration was focused on drug trafficking, but it turned out that something much bigger was at stake.

Working for the CIA, Chavez thought he was doing a service to his country. However, he discovers that he and his team were being used to carry out assassinations and other jobs which had nothing to do with national security. Rather, their actions served criminal organizations, which posed a danger to America. Miller headed the program and provided financing from the CIA, but he reveals that there are much bigger players, and the picture is not half of what Ryan thinks it is.

Ryan briefs the President about Pluto, telling him everything about Chavez and the deal between the Triad and the cartel. He reveals that should everything go as their enemies have planned, they will have unprecedented access to America, which means they could bring in everything from drugs and weapons to suicide bombers. This could turn into a severe threat to national security, which is why they need to find out who is behind Pluto.

Is Pluto Based on a Real Black Ops Program?

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‘Jack Ryan’ is a fictional series based on the characters created by Tom Clancy. All the characters and their missions, including the black ops programs, are made up by the writers to serve the plot. The fourth season focuses on the tainted image of the CIA, wherein it has been marked by corruption, and the lack of answerability has turned the agency into something that a select few can use for their own benefit.

It cannot be confirmed whether a program like Pluto actually ever existed. Still, the intelligence agency has received flak over the years for indulging in illegal activities in the name of the nation’s interests. It has been brought under security several times, be it the illegal detention and torture of prisoners or its alleged involvement in assassinations to influence the politics of another country.

An article published in the New Yorker quotes Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who served as Senator for over two decades and introduced the Abolition of the Central Intelligence Agency Act in 195, who said in reference to the CIA that “Secrecy keeps mistakes secret. Secrecy is a disease. It causes a hardening of the arteries of the mind.” The image of the agency has given it an aura of “lawbreakers” and “human rights violators.”

It has created many misconceptions about the agents and their line regarding ethics, especially when it comes to black ops, which rarely, if ever, come to light. ‘Jack Ryan’ uses this aspect of the agency to stir conflict in the show with the introduction of Pluto. This is not a reflection of any real-life black ops programs but is intended to make the audience wonder what kinds of things take place in the shadows, of which we usually remain blissfully unaware.

Read More: Is Jack Ryan Season 4 Based on a True Story?