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In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Nick Fury has reservations regarding Project Insight, and expresses those concerns to Alexander Pierce Fury asks Pierce to delay Project Insight, and Pierce says that he will.

Immediately afterwards (or at least, in Fury's next scene),

there is an attempt on Fury's life, orchestrated by Pierce and HYDRA.

When Pierce speaks to the World Security Council later on, they mention that Project Insight had been delayed on Pierce's insistence, based on Fury's request.

Given that

Pierce was really HYDRA, and he put the hit out on Fury's life pretty much immediately...

Why did Pierce bother approving the delay, or telling the Council that it had been delayed?

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One explanation would be that Pierce delays Project Insight before taking out Fury in the hopes that he could keep Fury off his scent long enough to remove him from the game. Fury asks Pierce to delay a full day before Pierce puts the hit out on him. Fury could have cracked the case and moved on Pierce in a day's time if he had a hint Pierce was rotten. So Pierce had good reason to put on a show of backing Fury until he could neutralize him.

As seen in the movie, Pierce was right to take caution around Fury. It only takes Team Fury about a day to figure out SHIELD was compromised. And once Team Fury does realize Pierce went dark, the five of them take down Project Insight, STRIKE and Pierce within two days.

If anything, Pierce should have been more cautious, not less.

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    But the sequence of scenes is that Fury tries to access the drive but finds it encrypted. He immediately goes up to Pierce and asks for the project to be delayed. Pierce says yes. We cut to Steve visiting the VA and talking to Sam. We then pick back up with Fury in his SUV being attacked. There's very little indication of time passing. By this point, even if Fury isn't dead, he's setting things in motion for Fury to be seen as a traitor (the story he tries to sell to Steve). – phantom42 Mar 29 '15 at 6:08
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    OK, I was a little off but the basic logic still works. Let Fury be F and Pierce be P. Assumptions: (1) P pushing back against F implies P is dark and Insight is compromised; (2) F is dead implies P can go to launch without anyone thinking P is dark; (3) revelation that P is Hydra before launch implies Project Insight will be stopped. Then: (1) P cannot push back until (2) F is dead without (3) Insight being stopped. F is not revealed to be dead until the day after P tries to kill him. Thus P must maintain cover for a full day. – DSL Mar 29 '15 at 16:26

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