12/13/2007 08:01 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Is Fred Thompson Ernest Tubb's Brother?

Taking a brief break from the torture news (gasp, please, gasp)...

Is it my imagination, or are Fred Thompson and the late great C&W legend Ernest Tubb um, brothers?

Sure might seem that way.

Here's Tennessee Fred. Just put a cowboy hat on him.


And here's Texas Ernest, singing his classic, "Walking the Floor over You," which come to think of it applies to Fred and his support in New Hampshire, not to mention nationally ("You left me and you went away...."):


I was once in a film with Fred, years and years ago, shooting in Mexico. I recall he wore banker-lawyer suspenders and smoked cigars whose size could only be termed "ostentatious." He played some sort of government type, I forget exactly. I played a mad scientist bombmaker, with a new acquired Hungarian accent (mine, I was very proud of it). I was asked to tone it down. The people clutching at their brows when I opened my mouth were mercifully somewhere beyond my anxiety-narrowed field of vision. (It was my first time on a film set.)

Thompson and Tubb, that's my wrinkly ticket. (Except I wouldn't do that to Mr. Tubb, of whom I am a great longtime fan.)

Speaking of torture (break over), in his review of BBC's The Power of Nightmares, Peter Bergen, the terrorism expert, noted this influence on Sayyid Qutb, the man who supplied the main dark theories that spawned al-Qaida:

"On his return to Egypt, Qutb joined the Muslim Brotherhood, was arrested on Nasser's orders in 1954 for supposedly plotting revolution and was then subjected to the most dreadful tortures. (Director Adam) Curtis says, "Qutb survived, but the torture had a powerful, radicalizing effect on his ideas." (emphases mine)

Boy, torture breeds no good for anybody, doesn't it?

Except perhaps when it's more like...aquatic exercise?

Appreciations to, where this post first appeared on my blog Brain Flakes.

Also at