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Notice how fat-a$$ either has no response are skirts the topic.
[b]Bush Administration Relationship with the Taliban
Moore also tries to paint Bush as sympathetic to the Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan until its overthrow by U.S.-led forces shortly after Sept. 11. Moore shows a March 2001 visit to the United States by a Taliban envoy, saying the Bush administration “welcomed” the official, Sayed Hashemi, “to tour the United States to help improve the image of the Taliban.”
Yet Hashemi’s reception at the State Department was hardly welcoming. The administration rejected his claim that the Taliban had complied with U.S. requests to isolate Osama bin Laden and affirmed its nonrecognition of the Taliban.
“We don’t recognize any government in Afghanistan,” State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said on the day of the visit.
[Moore response. Quotes some articles showing that the Taliban visited the U.S. in 2001 to appeal for the lifting of sanctions on their government. Shows no evidence that the Taliban were "welcomed" by the Bush administration. Does not explain why Fahrenheit omits the fact that the Bush administration rebuffed all the Taliban's requests.]
[b]Moore Claimed that Osama bin Laden Might be Innocent and Opposed the Afghanistan War
Fahrenheit 9/11 attempts in every way possible to link Osama bin Laden to George Bush. Moore even claims that Bush deliberately gave bin Laden “a two month head start” by not putting sufficient forces into Afghanistan soon enough. (On HBO, Moore explicitly claimed that the U.S. is protecting bin Laden in order to please the Saudis.) However, Moore has not always been so fierce demanding that the Afghanistan War be prosecuted with maximal power in order to get bin Laden:
In late 2002, almost a year after the al-Qaida assault on American society, I had an onstage debate with Michael Moore at the Telluride Film Festival. In the course of this exchange, he stated his view that Osama Bin Laden should be considered innocent until proven guilty. This was, he said, the American way. The intervention in Afghanistan, he maintained, had been at least to that extent unjustified. Something—I cannot guess what, since we knew as much then as we do now—has since apparently persuaded Moore that Osama Bin Laden is as guilty as hell. Indeed, Osama is suddenly so guilty and so all-powerful that any other discussion of any other topic is a dangerous “distraction” from the fight against him. I believe that I understand the convenience of this late conversion.
Hitchens, Slate. That Osama, if captured and tried in an American court, would be entitled to a presumption of innocence (in the sense that the prosecution would have to prove guilt) does not mean that the U.S. should be morally foreclosed from destroying Osama's base in Afghanistan and attempting to capture or kill Osama based on facts demonstrating his guilt.
Three days after September 11, Moore demanded that no military action be taken against Afghanistan:
"Declare war?" War against whom? One guy in the desert whom we can never seem to find? Are our leaders telling us that the most powerful country on earth cannot dispose of one sick evil f---wad of a guy? Because if that is what you are telling us, then we are truly screwed. If you are unable to take out this lone ZZ Top wannabe, what on earth would you do for us if we were attacked by a nation of millions? For chrissakes, call the Israelis and have them do that thing they do when they want to get their man! We pay them enough billions each year, I am SURE they would be happy to accommodate your request....
But do not declare war and massacre more innocents. After bin Laden's previous act of terror, our last elected president went and bombed what he said was "bin Laden's camp" in Afghanistan -- but instead just killed civilians.
Michael Moore, "War on Whom?" AlterNet, Sept. 14, 2001.
The next day he wrote:
Trust me, they are talking politics night and day, and those discussions involve sending our kids off to fight some invisible enemy and to indiscriminately bomb Afghans or whoever they think will make us Americans feel good.
...I fear we will soon be in a war that will do NOTHING to protect us from the next terrorist attack.
"Mike's Message," Sept. 15, 2001. Although Moore vehemently opposed the Afghanistan War, Fahrenheit criticizes Bush for not putting more troops into Afghanistan sooner.
Are we any safer because the U.S. military eliminated the al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan, removed a government which did whatever al Qaeda wanted, and killed or captured two-thirds of the al Qaeda leadership? Fahrenheit's thesis that the Afghanistan War was solely for the pipeline and to distract attention from Saudi Arabia is inconsistent with the well-known results of the war. A sincere patriot could have opposed the Afghanistan War for a variety of reasons, such as fear that the invasion might stir up even more anti-American sentiment. But the only reason which Fahrenheit offers for opposing the war is the claim that not enough force was used in the early stages (a criticism contrary to Moore's 2001 opposition to the use of any force), and the factually indefensible claim that the results of the war did not help American security or harm terrorists.
[Moore response: none.]
[b]Afghanistan after Liberation
[When] we turn to the facts that are deliberately left out, we discover that there is an emerging Afghan army, that the country is now a joint NATO responsibility and thus under the protection of the broadest military alliance in history, that it has a new constitution and is preparing against hellish odds to hold a general election, and that at least a million and a half of its former refugees have opted to return….[A] highway from Kabul to Kandahar—an insurance against warlordism and a condition of nation-building—is nearing completion with infinite labor and risk. We also discover that the parties of the Afghan secular left—like the parties of the Iraqi secular left—are strongly in favor of the regime change. But this is not the sort of irony in which Moore chooses to deal.
[Moore response: none]
Cooperation with 9/11 Commission
Moore: But when Congress did complete its own investigation, the Bush White House censored twenty-eight pages of the report.
Reporter: The President is being pressed by all sides to declassify the report. US officials tell NBC news most of the secret sources involve Saudi Arabia.
President Bush: We have given extraordinary cooperation with Chairmen Kean and Hamilton.
Commission Chairman Thomas H. Kean: We haven't gotten the materials we needed, and we certainly haven't gotten them in a timely fashion. The deadlines we set have passed.
Bravo to Moore for raising the point about censorship of the 28 pages. It's possible that all the censorship was necessary to protect confidential sources, but it's also possible that at least some of the censorship was unnecessary, and was the result of the White House being overprotective of the Saudis. As I've said before, Moore is right to call attention to excessive Saudi influence in the U.S.; he's just wrong with many of his claims about particular issues, and is ridiculous in his claim that the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were undertaken for the benefit of the Saudis.
The second part of the quoted dialogue, however, is deceptive. The sequencing makes it appear that Kean was rebutting Bush's claim of extraordinary cooperation. In fact, Kean complained on July 9, 2003, that several "government agencies" (Justice and Defense) were not being cooperative.
On February 8, 2004, Bush told MSNBC that his administration had given extraordinary cooperation. So rather than rebutting Bush's claim, Kean's complaint helped spur the administration to, belatedly, fulfill the Committee's requests. Kean stated that the Commission had been given "unprecedented" access to records. Frank, Newsday.
Deceits 35 [/b]
Moore mocks Attorney General John Ashcroft by pointing out that Ashcroft once lost a Senate race in Missouri to a man who had died three weeks earlier. “Voters preferred the dead guy,” Moore says, delivering one of the film’s biggest laugh lines.
It’s a cheap shot. When voters in Missouri cast their ballots for the dead man, Mel Carnahan, they knew they were really voting for Carnahan’s very much alive widow, Jean. The Democratic governor of Missouri had vowed to appoint Jean to the job if Mel won.
McNamee, Chicago Sun-Times.
[Moore response: Provides a newspaper quote: "Sen. John Ashcroft on Wednesdaygraciously conceded defeat in his re-election campaign against the late Gov. Mel Carnahan and urged fellow Republicans to call off any legal challenges." Does not address the fact that voters knew that if they voted the late Mel Carnahan, his widow Mrs. Jean Carnahan would become their Senator.]
[b]FBI and Department of Justice
Much worse than Moore's petty slam of Senate candidate Ashcroft is Moore's false charge that Attorney General Ashcroft ignored warnings about the September 11 attacks:
[A]fter suggesting that Ashcroft was unconcerned about terrorism before September 11, Moore uses phrasing that exaggerates how widespread knowledge of the Al Qaeda plot was before the attacks inside the FBI and Justice Department:
[Ashcroft's] own FBI knew that summer that there were Al Qaeda members in the US and that Bin Laden was sending his agents to flight schools around the country. But Ashcroft's Justice Department turned a blind eye and a deaf ear.
This implies far more prior knowledge about flight school activity than actually existed. As the 9/11 Commission found in a staff statement (72K Adobe PDF), the so-called "Phoenix memo" from an FBI agent in Arizona suggesting a possible effort by Bin Laden to send agents to flight schools was not widely circulated within the FBI and did not reach Ashcroft's desk:
His memo was forwarded to one field office. Managers of the Osama Bin Laden unit and the Radical Fundamentalist unit at FBI headquarters were addressees, but did not even see the memo until after September 11. No managers at headquarters saw the memo before September 11. The New York field office took no action. It was not shared outside the FBI.
Before Sept. 11, the Minneapolis FBI also investigated Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker, who was enrolled in a flight school there, but no Al Qaeda connections were discovered until after the attacks. Again, saying the FBI "knew" of a plot to send agents to flight schools is overstated.
Brendan Nyhan, "Fahrenheit 9/11: The temperature at which Michael Moore's pants burn," Spinsanity.org, July 2, 2004.
Moore claims that Bush "cut terrorism funding from the FBI." Not so. In 2001, the Department of Justice was operating under the budget established in the last year of the Clinton administration, so any proposed change in future budgets obviously could not have prevented September 11. For the 2002 budget, the Bush administration did not propose cutting the FBI counter-terrorism budget. The relevant documents are collected at the website for the Center for American Progress, a self-declared "progressive" think tank which is scathing in denouncing Ashcroft for not agreeing (before September 11) to various FBI proposals for increasing FBI counter-terrorism funding. Rejecting an increase is not the same as imposing a cut.
Fahrenheit shows a document highlighting the one significant cut which Ashcroft proposed (in a Sept. 10 memo; see p. 25). Contrary to Fahrenheit's claim, that cut was not for the FBI budget. The funding was for grants to states to buy equipment; as the memo detailed, the equipment fund already had more than two years worth of money which had not been spent, because states had not yet complied with grant requirements that the states produce state-wide preparedness plans in order to receive funding.
There was also a cut in a special Attorney General fund which had been set up to pay Department of Justice field offices for costs related to the Oklahoma City Bombing. The Senate had voted to eliminate this fund.
[Moore response: Cites the Phoenix Memo warning about al Qaeda trainees in flight schools. Does not attempt to rebut the evidence that the memo was not widely circulated within the FBI and did not reach Ashcroft's desk." Cites a Chicago Tribune article summarizing September 11 Commission hearings in which former acting FBI Director Thomas Pickard claims that Ashcroft told Pickard he did not want to hear any more about terrorism. Omits Ashcroft's denial of the Pickard's claim--or the possibility that Pickard might have been attempting to shift blame away from the FBI. Moore's response does not attempt to defend the false claim about budget cuts.]
[b]Rep. Porter Goss
Defending the USA PATRIOT Act, Representative Porter Goss says that he has an “800 number” for people to call to report problems with the Act. Fahrenheit shoots back with a caption "No he doesn't." The ordinary telephone number (area code 202) for Goss’s office is then flashed on the screen.
You’d never know by watching Fahrenheit, but Rep. Goss does have a toll-free number to which USA PATRIOT Act complaints can be reported. The number belongs to the Committee which Goss chairs, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The number is (877) 858-9040.
Although the Committee’s number is toll-free, the prefix is not “800,” and Moore exploits this trivial fact to create the false impression that Goss lied about having a toll-free number.
As far as I can tell, the slam on Rep. Goss is the only factual error in the segment on the misnamed USA PATRIOT Act. While there are a few good things in the Act, Moore's general critique of the Act is valid. The Act does contain many items which had long been on the FBI wish-list, which do not have real relation to the War on Terror, and which were pushed through under the pretext of 9/11. Similar critiques are also valid for the Clinton "terrorism" bill which was pushed through Congress in 1996.
[Moore response: None.]
There are several scenes involving Oregon state troopers who patrol coastal areas in the state. The Troopers are presented as underfunded and spread far too thinly.
But this has nothing to do with Fahrenheit's claim that the Bush administration is not sincerely interested in homeland security. The Oregon State Police are paid by the Oregon state government (which has been suffering from a budget crisis). Whatever the problems with Trooper funding, the problems are the responsibility of the Oregon state government, not the federal government. Moore's point makes no more sense than blaming the Oregon state government for shortages of FBI personnel in Eugene.
[Moore response: Cites an article about Oregon state budget cuts. Continues to ignore the fact that the Oregon State Police budget is not the responsibility of the federal government.]
[b]Saddam Hussein Never Murdered Americans
Fahrenheit asserts that Saddam’s Iraq was a nation that "had never attacked the United States. A nation that had never threatened to attack the United States. A nation that had never murdered a single American citizen." Each of these assertions is false.
Jake Tapper (ABC News): You declare in the film that Hussein’s regime had never killed an American …
Moore: That isn’t what I said. Quote the movie directly.
Tapper: What is the quote exactly?
Moore: “Murdered.” The government of Iraq did not commit a premeditated murder on an American citizen. I’d like you to point out one.
Tapper: If the government of Iraq permitted a terrorist named Abu Nidal who is certainly responsible for killing Americans to have Iraq as a safe haven; if Saddam Hussein funded suicide bombers in Israel who did kill Americans; if the Iraqi police—now this is not a murder but it’s a plan to murder—to assassinate President Bush which at the time merited airstrikes from President Clinton once that plot was discovered; does that not belie your claim that the Iraqi government never murdered an American or never had a hand in murdering an American?
Moore: No, because nothing you just said is proof that the Iraqi government ever murdered an American citizen. And I am still waiting for you to present that proof.
You’re talking about, they provide safe haven for Abu Nidal after the committed these murders, uh, Iraq helps or supports suicide bombers in Israel. I mean the support, you remember the telethon that the Saudis were having? It’s our allies, the Saudis, that have been providing help and aid to the suicide bombers in Israel. That’s the story you should be covering. Why don’t you cover that story? Why don’t you cover it?
Note Moore’s extremely careful phrasing of the lines which appear to exonerate Saddam, and Moore’s hyper-legal response to Tapper. In fact, Saddam provided refuge to notorious terrorists who had murdered Americans. Saddam provided a safe haven for Abu Abbas (leader of the hijacking of the ship Achille Lauro and the murder of the elderly American passenger Leon Klinghoffer), for Abu Nidal, and for the 1993 World Trade Center bombmaker, Abdul Rahman Yasin. By law, Saddam therefore was an accessory to the murders. Saddam order his police to murder former American President George Bush when he visited Kuwait City in 1993; they attempted to do so, but failed. In 1991, he ordered his agents to murder the American Ambassador to the Philippines and, separately, to murder the employees of the U.S. Information Service in Manila; they tried, but failed. Yet none of these aggressions against the United States “count” for Moore, because he has carefully framed his verbs and verb tenses to exclude them.
According to Laurie Mylroie, a former Harvard professor who served as Bill Clinton's Iraq advisor during the 1992 campaign (during which Vice-Presidential candidate Gore repeatedly castigated incumbent President George H.W. Bush for inaction against Saddam), the ringleader of the World Trade Center bombings, Ramzi Yousef, was working for the Iraqi intelligence service. Laurie Mylroie, The War Against America: Saddam Hussein and the World Trade Center Attacks: A Study of Revenge (N.Y.: HarperCollins, 2d rev. ed. 2001.)
But even with Moore’s clever phrasing designed to elide Saddam’s culpability in the murders and attempted murders of Americans, Tapper still catches him with an irrefutable point: Saddam did perpetrate the premeditated murder of Americans. Every victim of every Palestinian terrorist bomber who was funded by Saddam Hussein was the victim of premeditated murder—including the American victims. Because Saddam's reward system for the families of deceased terrorists was known and publicized, the reward system amounted to a before-the-fact inducement for additional terrorist bombings.
So what does Moore do? He tries to change the subject. Moore makes the good point that the U.S. media should focus more attention on Saudi financial aid to Palestinian terrorists who murder Americans in Israel. On NRO, I’ve pointed to Saudi terror funding, as have other NRO writers. But pointing out Saudi Arabia’s guilt does not excuse Moore’s blatant lie about Saddam Hussein’s innocence.
[Moore response: Quotes a think tank writer: "Iraq has never threatened nor been implicated in any attack against U.S. territory and the CIA has reported no Iraqi-sponsored attacks against American interests since 1991." The statement does not address Iraqi payments to the families of terrorists who murdered Americans in Israel. Nor does it address the undeniable fact that Iraq was providing a hide-out for terrorists who had murdered Americans.]
Moore’s pro-Saddam allegation that Saddam "never threatened to attack the United States" is true in the narrow sense that Saddam never gave a speech in which he threatened to, for example, send the Iraqi navy and army to conduct an amphibious invasion of Florida. But although Saddam never threatened the territorial integrity of America, he repeatedly threatened Americans. For example, on November 15, 1997, the main propaganda organ for the Saddam regime, the newspaper Babel (which was run by Saddam Hussein's son Uday) ordered: "American and British interests, embassies, and naval ships in the Arab region should be the targets of military operations and commando attacks by Arab political forces." (Stephen Hayes, The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein has Endangered America (N.Y.: HarperCollins, 2004), p. 94.) On November 25, 2000, Saddam declared in a televised speech, "The Arab people have not so far fulfilled their duties. They are called upon to target U.S. and Zionist interests everywhere and target those who protect these interests."
On the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks, a weekly newspaper owned by Uday Hussein said that Arabs should, "use all means-and they are numerous-against the aggressors...and considering everything American as a military target, including embassies, installations, and American companies, and to create suicide/martyr [fidaiyoon] squads to attack American military and naval bases inside and outside the region, and mine the waterways to prevent the movement of war ships..."
Moreover, the Saddam regime did not need to make verbal threats in order to "threaten" the United States. The regime threatened the United States by giving refuges to terrorists who had murdered Americans, and by funding terrorists who were killing Americans in Israel. Saddam gave refuge to terrorists who had attacked the United States by bombing the World Trade Center. In addition:
In 1991, a large number of Western hostages were taken by the hideous Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and held in terrible conditions for a long time. After that same invasion was repelled—Saddam having killed quite a few Americans and Egyptians and Syrians and Brits in the meantime and having threatened to kill many more…
….Iraqi forces fired, every day, for 10 years, on the aircraft that patrolled the no-fly zones and staved off further genocide in the north and south of the country. In 1993, a certain Mr. Yasin helped mix the chemicals for the bomb at the World Trade Center and then skipped to Iraq, where he remained a guest of the state until the overthrow of Saddam….On Dec. 1, 2003, the New York Times reported—and the David Kay report had established—that Saddam had been secretly negotiating with the “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il in a series of secret meetings in Syria, as late as the spring of 2003, to buy a North Korean missile system, and missile-production system, right off the shelf. (This attempt was not uncovered until after the fall of Baghdad, the coalition’s presence having meanwhile put an end to the negotiations.)
Hitchens, Slate. The cited article is David E. Sanger & Thom Shanker, "A Region Inflamed: Weapons. For the Iraqis, a Missile Deal That Went Sour; Files Tell of Talks With North Korea, New York Times, Dec. 1, 2003.
As French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin stated on November 12, 2002, "The security of the United States is under threat from people like Saddam Hussein who are capable of using chemical and biological weapons." (Hayes, p. 21.) De Villepin's point is indisputable: Saddam was the kind of person who was capable of using chemical weapons, since he had actually used them against Iraqis who resisted his tyrannical regime. As de Villepin spoke, Saddam was sheltering terrorists who had murdered Americans, and was subsidizing the murder of Americans (and many other nationalities) in Israel.
[Moore response: Cites a column by Maureen Dowd and an article for a former Australian Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs And Trade asserting that Iraq never threatened the United States. Does not address the extensive threats detailed in this section.]
[b]Iraq and al Qaeda
Deceit 42-43 [/b]
Moore declares that George Bush fabricated an Iraq/al Qaeda connection in order to deflect attention from his Saudi masters. But consider the facts presented in Stephen F. Hayes's book, The Connection : How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America (N.Y.: HarperCollins, 2004). The first paragraph of the last chapter (pp. 177-78) sums up some of the evidence:
Iraqi intelligence documents from 1992 list Osama bin Laden as an Iraqi intelligence asset. Numerous sources have reported a 1993 nonaggression pact between Iraq and al Qaeda. The former deputy director of Iraqi intelligence now in U.S. custody says that bin Laden asked the Iraqi regime for arms and training in a face-to-face meeting in 1994. Senior al Qaeda leader Abu Hajer al Iraqi met with Iraqi intelligence officials in 1995. The National Security Agency intercepted telephone conversations between al Qaeda-supported Sudanese military officials and the head of Iraq's chemical weapons program in 1996. Al Qaeda sent Abu Abdallah al Iraqi to Iraq for help with weapons of mass destruction in 1997. An indictment from the Clinton-era Justice Department cited Iraqi assistance on al Qaeda "weapons development" in 1998. A senior Clinton administration counterterrorism official told the Washington Post that the U.S. government was "sure" Iraq had supported al Qaeda chemical weapons programs in 1999. An Iraqi working closely with the Iraqi embassy in Kuala Lumpur was photographed with September 11 hijacker Khalid al Mihdhar en route to a planning meeting for the bombing of the USS Cole and the September 11 attacks in 2000. Satellite photographs showed al Qaeda members in 2001 traveling en masse to a compound in northern Iraq financed, in part, by the Iraqi regime. Abu Musab al Zarqawi, senior al Qaeda associate, operated openly in Baghdad and received medical attention at a regime-supported hospital in 2002. Documents discovered in postwar Iraq in 2003 reveal that Saddam's regime harbored and supported Abdul Rahman Yasin, an Iraqi who mixed the chemicals for the 1993 World Trade Center attack...
Hayes is a writer for The Weekly Standard and much of his writing on the Saddam/Osama connection is available there for free; simply use the search engine and look for articles by Hayes.
The preliminary staff report of the September 11 Commission states, "We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States." Some critics, including the chief prosecutor of the World Trade Center bombers, have argued that the staff report inexplicably ignores substantial evidence of Iraqi involvement in the September 11 attacks. The final Commissoin Report finds that there were "friendly contacts" between Al Qaeda and the Saddam regime. The Commission does not find that there was a "col;laborative operational relationship" for "carrying out attacks against the United States." Whether you agree with the preliminary staff report, the staff's critics, or the final commission report, there is no dispute that Saddam Hussein had a relationship with al Qaeda, an organization whose only activity was terrorism. Fahrenheit dishonestly pretends that there was no relationship at all.
Fahrenheit shows Condoleezza Rice saying, "Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11." The audience laughs derisively. Here is what Rice really said on the CBS Early Show, Nov. 28, 2003:
Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11. It’s not that Saddam Hussein was somehow himself and his regime involved in 9/11, but, if you think about what caused 9/11, it is the rise of ideologies of hatred that lead people to drive airplanes into buildings in New York. This is a great terrorist, international terrorist network that is determined to defeat freedom. It has perverted Islam from a peaceful religion into one in which they call on it for violence. And they're all linked. And Iraq is a central front because, if and when, and we will, we change the nature of Iraq to a place that is peaceful and democratic and prosperous in the heart of the Middle East, you will begin to change the Middle East....
Moore deceptively cut the Rice quote to fool the audience into thinking she was making a particular claim, even though she was pointedly not making such a claim. And since Rice spoke in November 2003, her quote had nothing to do with building up American fears before the March 2003 invasion, although Moore implies otherwise.
[Moore response: None.]
[b]Iraq before Liberation
Moore shows scenes of Baghdad before the invasion (read: liberation) and in his weltanschauung, it’s a place filled with nothing but happy, smiling, giggly, overjoyed Baghdadis. No pain and suffering there. No rape, murder, gassing, imprisoning, silencing of the citizens in these scenes. When he exploits and lingers on the tears of a mother who lost her soldier-son in Iraq, and she wails, “Why did you have to take him?” Moore does not cut to images of the murderers/terrorists (pardon me, “insurgents”) in Iraq…or even to God; he cuts to George Bush. When the soldier’s father says the young man died and “for what?”, Moore doesn’t show liberated Iraqis to reply, he cuts instead to an image of Halliburton.
Jeff Jarvis, "Watching Michael Moore," Buzz Machine weblog, June 24, 2004.
The most offensive sequence in “Fahrenheit 9/11”’s long two hours lasts only a few minutes. It’s Moore’s file-footage depiction of happy Iraq before the Americans began their supposedly pointless invasion. You see men sitting in cafes, kids flying kites, women shopping. Cut to bombs exploding at night.
What Moore presumably doesn’t know, or simply doesn’t care about, is that the building you see being blown up is the Iraqi Ministry of Defense in Baghdad. Not many children flew kites there. It was in a part of the city that ordinary Iraqis weren’t allowed to visit—on pain of death.
…Iraq was ruled by a regime that had forced a sixth of its population into fearful exile, that hanged dissidents (real dissidents, not people like Susan Sontag and Tim Robbins) from meathooks and tortured them with blowtorches, and filled thousands of mass graves with the bodies of its massacred citizens.
Yes, children played, women shopped and men sat in cafes while that stuff went on—just as people did all those normal things in Somoza’s Nicaragua, Duvalier’s Haiti and for that matter Nazi Germany, and as they do just about everywhere, including in Iraq today.
Foreman, New York Post. For more, see the weblog of Iraqi Sarmad Zanga (part of which cites this report).
Fahrenheit points out, correctly, that the Saudi monarchy is "a regime that Amnesty International condemns as a widespread human rights violator." Fahrenheit does not mention that the Saddam regime was likewise condemned by Amnesty International. As AI's 2002 annual report noted, in April 2002 "the UN Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution strongly condemning 'the systematic, widespread and extremely grave violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law by the Government of Iraq, resulting in an all-pervasive repression and oppression sustained by broad-based discrimination and widespread terror.'''
[Moore response: None.]
[b]Invasion of Iraq
According to the footage that ensues, our pilots seem to have hit nothing but women and children.
Labash, Weekly Standard.
Then—wham! From the night sky come the terror weapons of American imperialism. Watching the clips Moore uses, and recalling them well, I can recognize various Saddam palaces and military and police centers getting the treatment…I remember asking Moore at Telluride if he was or was not a pacifist. He would not give a straight answer then, and he doesn’t now, either. I’ll just say that the “insurgent” side is presented in this film as justifiably outraged, whereas the 30-year record of Baathist war crimes and repression and aggression is not mentioned once. (Actually, that’s not quite right. It is briefly mentioned but only, and smarmily, because of the bad period when Washington preferred Saddam to the likewise unmentioned Ayatollah Khomeini.)
[b]Major Coalition Partners Ignored
Q: You mock the “coalition of the willing” by only showing the tiny countries that have voiced support. But you leave out England, Spain, Italy and Poland. Why?
Moore: “This film exists as a counterbalance to what you see on cable news about the coalition. I’m trying to counter the Orwellian nature of the Big Lie, as if when you hear that term, the ‘coalition,’ that the whole world is behind us.”
Patrick Goldstein, “Truth teller or story stretcher?” Los Angeles Times, June 22, 2004.
If it is a “Big Lie” to mention only the powerful and important members of the Coalition (such as the United Kingdom and Australia), then it is an equally “Big Lie” to mention only the small and insignificant members of the Coalition.
[Moore response: Provides a citation showing that the small countries which Fahrenheit mocks were part of the Coalition. Does not attempt to justify omission of other countries.]
Major Gregory Stone and Reservist Peter Damon
Exploitation and Invasion of Privacy
The family of U.S. Air Force Maj. Gregory Stone was shocked to learn that video footage of the major's Arlington National Cemetery burial was included by Michael Moore in his movie "Fahrenheit 9/11."
Maj. Stone was killed in March 2003 by a grenade that officials said was thrown into his tent by Sgt. Hasan K. Akbar, who is on trial for murder.
"It's been a big shock, and we are not very happy about it, to say the least," Kandi Gallagher, Maj. Stone's aunt and family spokeswoman, tells Washington Times reporter Audrey Hudson.
"We are furious that Greg was in that casket and cannot defend himself, and my sister, Greg's mother, is just beside herself," Miss Gallagher said. "She is furious. She called him a 'maggot that eats off the dead.'"
The movie, described by critics as political propaganda during an election year, shows video footage of the funeral and Maj. Stone's fiancee, Tammie Eslinger, kissing her hand and placing it on his coffin.
The family does not know how Mr. Moore obtained the video, and Miss Gallagher said they did not give permission and are considering legal recourse.
She described her nephew as a "totally conservative Republican" and said he would have found the film to be "putrid."
"I'm sure he would have some choice words for Michael Moore," she said. "Michael Moore would have a hard time asking our family for a glass of water if he were thirsty."
John McCaslin, "Inside the Beltway," Washington Times, July 13, 2004. Sgt. Stone was killed by an American Muslim soldier, who threw a grenade in his tent while he was sleeping.
Fahrenheit shows an interview in Walter Reed Army Medical Center with Massachusetts National Guardsman Peter Damon. Damon lost parts of both his arms in Iraq, and is learning how to use prosthetic arms. The footage comes from an interview Damon granted to NBC Nightly News. Damon's wife says that he never granted Moore permission to use the footage, was never asked, and strongly objects to being used in the film. As of July 15, it is not clear whether Moore's usage of the footage was illegal. But it hardly seems ethical for a film-maker who dedicates his film to the soldiers in Iraq to put a double-amputee veteran into the film without even bothering to ask for permission.
In very selectively edited clips, Moore poses the absurd notion that the main news anchors—Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, and Ted Koppel—wholeheartedly support Bush and the War in Iraq….Has Moore forgotten the hour-long Saddam softball interview Rather did just prior to the war, [or] Jennings’ condescending coverage…?
Jennings is shown delivering a broadcast in which he says, “Iraqi opposition has faded in the face of American power.” But Jennings was simply stating an undeniable fact, as he stood next to a map showing that Saddam’s army had collapsed everywhere, and all Iraqi cities were in Coalition hands. Despite what Moore implies, Jennings strongly opposed the liberation of Iraq. (Tim Graham, “Peter’s Peace Platoon. ABC’s Crusade Against ‘Arrogant’ American Power,” Media Research Center, March 18, 2003.)
[Moore response: None.]
[b]Abuse of Iraqi Captives
Long before Fahrenheit was released, Moore promised that he had videos of Iraqi prisoner abuse. Fahrenheit presents a video of making fun of a prostrate Iraqi. To the audience, it seems like another Abu Ghraib. Moore told an audience, "You saw this morning the first footage of abuse and humiliation of Iraqi detainees." Fahrenheit claims: "Immoral behavior breeds immoral behavior. When a President commits the immoral act of sending otherwise good kids into a war based on a lie, this is what you get."
Not really. As reported in the (Toronto) Globe and Mail:
He revealed that a scene in which American soldiers appear to be desecrating a corpse beneath a blanket may be misleading. In fact, the soldiers had picked up an old man who had passed out drunk and they poked at his visible erection, covered by a blanket.
It's not very respectful to make fun of a drunk who has passed out on a street. But such teasing has nothing to do with the kind of bizarre sexual abuse perpetrated at Abu Ghraib. All over the world, law enforcement officers make fun of comatose drunks.
Such teasing is an abuse of power. (Although it's a relatively harmless abuse of power, since the only victim can't hear the disrespectful words.) Insulting a drunk who can't hear you is not like torturing a conscious victim. And such insults are not the result of "sending otherwise good kids into a war based on a lie"; the insults are the result of the fact that law enforcement personnel all over the world have to remove comatose drunks from the streets, and law enforcement personnel sometimes make fun of the drunks.
[Moore response: None.]
[b]Support for Soldiers and Veterans
Bush “supported closing veterans hospitals” says Moore. The Bush Department of Veteran’s Affairs did propose closing seven hospitals in areas with declining populations where the hospitals were underutilized, and whose veterans could be served by other hospitals. Moore does not say that the Department also proposed building new hospitals in areas where needs were growing, and also building blind rehabilitation centers and spinal cord injury centers. (For more, see the Final Report of the independent commission on veterans hospitals, which agrees with some of the Bush proposals, and with some of the objections raised by critics.)
According to Moore, Bush “tried to double the prescription drug costs for veterans.” What Bush proposed was raising the prescription co-pay from $7 to $15, for veterans with incomes of over $24,000 a year. Prescription costs would have remained very heavily subsidized by taxpayers. Some, not all, veterans would have faced a doubling of their prescription co-pay, but only to a level which is common for many people with prescription insurance, and hardly a large enough increase to make a great difference in most cases.
Bush, announces Moore, “proposed cutting combat soldiers’ pay by 33%.” Not exactly. In addition to regular military salaries, soldiers in certain areas (not just combat zones) receive an “imminent danger” bonus of $150 a month. In April 2003, Congress retroactively enacted a special increase of $75, for the fiscal year of Oct. 1, 2002 through Sept. 30, 2003. At first, the Bush administration did not support renewing the special bonus, but then changed its position
Likewise, Congress had passed a special one-year increase in the family separation allowance (for service personnel stationed in places where their families cannot join them) from $100 to $250. Bush’s initial opposition to extending the special increase was presented by Moore as “cutting assistance to their families by 60%.” (Edward Epstein, “Pentagon reverses course, won’t cut troops’ pay,” San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 15, 2003.)
Even if one characterizes not renewing a special bonus as a “cut,” Fahrenheit misleads the viewer into thinking that the cuts applied to total compensation, rather than only to pay supplements which constitute only a small percentage of a soldier’s income. An enlisted man with four months of experience receives an annual salary more than $27,000. (Rod Powers, “What the Recruiter Never Told You: Military Pay.” The figure includes the value of health care, housing, and so on.) So allowing the $75 per month supplemental bonus to expire would have amounted to a "cut" of only about 3 percent of total compensation, even at the lowest levels.
Although Moore presents Bush as cutting military pay, Bush did the opposite: in 2003, Congress enacted a Bush administration proposal to raise all military salaries by 3.7%, with extra “targeted” pay increases for non-commissioned officers. NCOs are lower-ranking officers who typically join the military with lower levels of education than commissioned officers. (Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, “Defense Department Targets Military Pay Increases for 2004,” American Forces Press Service.)
(Deceits: 1. Closing veterans hospitals without mentioning of opening of veteran's hospitals, 2. Cutting combat soldiers pay as if it were a cut in total salary, 3. Omission of Bush pay increase for military. Prescription drugs not counted as deceit, although important context is missing.)
[Moore response: Quotes the movie as referring to "combat soldiers' bonus pay." The version of the movie I have seen does not include the word "bonus." On other matters, Moore provides citations which are consistent with my explanation of the facts, and does not attempt to explain or justify the deceits or omissions.]
[b]Congressional Children in War
Early in this segment, Moore states that "out of the 535 members of Congress, only one had an enlisted son in Iraq." The action of the segment consists of Moore accosting Congressmen to try to convince them to have their children enlist in the military. At the end, Moore declares, “Not a single member of Congress wanted to sacrifice their child for the war in Iraq.”
Moore’s second statement is technically true, but duplicitous. Of course no-one would want to “sacrifice” his child in any way. But the fact is, Moore's opening ("only one") and his conclusion ("not a single member") are both incorrect. Sergeant Brooks Johnson, the son of South Dakota Democratic Senator Tim Johnson, serves in the 101st Airborne Division and fought in Iraq in 2003. The son of California Republican Representative Duncan Hunter quit his job after September 11, and enlisted in the Marines; his artillery unit was deployed in the heart of insurgent territory in February 2004. Delaware Senator Joseph Biden's son Beau is on active duty; although Beau Biden has no control over where he is deployed, he has not been sent to Iraq, and therefore does not "count" for Moore's purposes. Seven members of Congress have been confirmed to have children in the military.
How about Cabinet members? Fahrenheit never raises the issue, because the answer would not fit Moore’s thesis. Attorney General John Ashcroft’s son is serving on the U.S.S. McFaul in the Persian Gulf.
Why not count Duncan Hunter's son? Note the phrasing: "only one had an enlisted son in Iraq." Although Hunter's son "enlisted" in the Marines, he is a Second Lieutenant, which means that he is above the rank of an "enlisted man." But why hide from the viewers how many Congressmen really have sons serving in the military in Iraq?
The editing of the Congressional scenes borders on the fraudulent:
….Representative Kennedy (R-MN), one of the lawmakers accosted in Fahrenheit 9/11, was censored by Michael Moore.
According to the [Minneapolis] Star Tribune, Kennedy, when asked if he would be willing to send his son to Iraq, responded by stating that he had a nephew who was en-route to Afghanistan. He went on to inform Moore that his son was thinking about a career in the navy and that two of his nephews had already served in the armed forces. Kennedy’s side of the conversation, however, was cut from the film, leaving him looking bewildered and defensive.
What was Michael’s excuse for trimming the key segment? Kennedy’s remarks didn’t help his thesis: “He mentioned that he had a nephew that was going over to Afghanistan,” Moore recounted. “So then I said ‘No, no, that’s not our job here today. We want you to send your child to Iraq. Not a nephew.’”
Kennedy lambasted Moore as a “master of the misleading” after viewing the interview in question.
George Stephanopoulos, of ABC News, asked Moore about the selective cuts in the Kennedy footage:
Stephanopoulos: You have a scene when you’re up on Capitol Hill encountering members of Congress, asking them if they would ask their sons and daughters to enlist … in the military. And one of those members of Congress who appears in the trailer, Mark Kennedy, said you left out what he told you, which is that he has two nephews serving in the military, one in Afghanistan. And he went on to say that, “Michael Moore doesn’t always give the whole truth. He’s a master of the misleading.”
Moore: Well, at the time, when we interviewed him, he didn’t have any family members in Afghanistan. And when he saw the trailer for this movie, he issued a report to the press saying that he said that he had a kid in—
Stephanopoulos: He said he told you he had two nephews.
Moore:… No, he didn’t. And we released the transcript and we put it on our Web site. This is what I mean by our war room. Any time a guy like this comes along and says, “I told him I had two nephews and one was going to Iraq and one was going to Afghanistan,” he’s lying. And I’ve got the raw footage and the transcript to prove it. So any time these Republicans come at me like this, this is exactly what they’re going to get. And people can go to my Web site and read the transcript and read the truth. What he just said there, what you just quoted, is not true.
This Week followed up with the office of Rep. Kennedy. He did have two nephews in the military, but neither served in Iraq. Kennedy’s staff agrees that Moore’s Website is accurate but insists the movie version is misleading. In the film, Moore says, “Congressman, I’m trying to get members of Congress to get their kids to enlist in the Army and go over to Iraq.” But, from the transcript, here’s the rest:
Moore: Is there any way you could help me with that?
Kennedy: How would I help you?
Moore: Pass it out to other members of Congress.
Kennedy: I’d be happy to — especially those who voted for the war. I have a nephew on his way to Afghanistan.
This Week, ABC News, June 20, 2004.
So while Fahrenheit pretended that Kennedy just stupidly looked at Moore, Kennedy agreed to help Moore.
Notice also how Moore phrased his reply to Stephanopoulos: "Any time a guy like this comes along and says, 'I told him I had two nephews and one was going to Iraq and one was going to Afghanistan,' he’s lying." But Kennedy never claimed that he had a nephew going to Iraq. The insinuation that Kennedy made such a claim is a pure fabrication by Moore.
Fahrenheit shows Moore calling out to Delaware Republican Michael Castle, who is talking on a cell phone and waves Moore off. Castle is presented as one of the Congressmen who would not sacrifice his children. What the film omits is that Rep. Castle does not have any children.
Are Congressional children less likely to serve in Iraq than children from other families? Let’s use Moore’s methodology, and ignore members of extended families (such as nephews) and also ignore service anywhere except Iraq (even though U.S. forces are currently fighting terrorists in many countries). And like Moore, let us also ignore the fact that some families (like Rep. Castle’s) have no children, or no children of military age.
We then see that of 535 Congressional families, there are two with a child who served in Iraq. How does this compare with American families in general? In the summer of 2003, U.S. troop levels in Iraq were raised to 145,000. If we factor in troop rotation, we could estimate that about 300,000 people have served in Iraq at some point. According to the Census Bureau, there were 104,705,000 households in the United States in 2000. (See Table 1 of the Census Report.) So the ratio of ordinary U.S. households to Iraqi service personnel is 104,705,000 to 300,000. This reduces to a ratio of 349:1.
In contrast the ratio of Congressional households to Iraqi service personnel is 535:2. This reduces to a ratio of 268:1.
Stated another way, a Congressional household is about 23 percent more likely than an ordinary household to be closely related to an Iraqi serviceman or servicewoman.
Of course my statistical methodology is very simple. A more sophisticated analysis would look only at Congressional and U.S. households from which at least one child is legally eligible to enlist in the military. Moore, obviously, never attempted such a comparison; instead, he deceived viewers into believing that Congressional families were extremely different from other families in enlistment rates.
Moore ignores the fact that there are 101 veterans currently serving in the House of Representatives and 36 in the Senate. Regardless of whether they have children who could join the military, all of the veterans in Congress have personally put themselves at risk to protect their country.
(Deceits: 1. number of Congressional children in Iraq, 2. Mark Kennedy, 3. Michael Castle, 4. False impression that Congressional families are especially unlikely to serve in Iraq.)
[Moore response: Cites a May 11, 2003 article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that only Brooks Johnson had a son who had fought in Iraq. The article was accurate at the time, since Duncan Hunter's son, who had already enlisted, had not yet been sent to Iraq. But Fahrenheit premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2004--two months after it had been reported that Duncan Hunter's son had been sent to Iraq. At the least, Moore could apologize that his claim about "only one" child is inaccurate, and blame the error on his having not noticed the news about Hunter while the movie was in its final production stages. But instead, Moore continues to repeat the "only one" claim, which is indisputably false. Moore offers no defense for the other falsehoods in this section.]
Lila Lipscomb and Military Casualties
Fahrenheit spends a much time on the grief of Lila Lipscomb, the mother of Sgt. Michael Pederson, who died in Iraq in April 2003. (He enlisted in the military in 1996, and was 26 years old when he was killed.) There is no room in Fahrenheit for bereaved families who feel different from Mrs. Lipscomb. Not even room for the widow Sgt. Michael Pederson, who believes that "Hating President Bush is not going to bring Michael back." Ben Schmitt, "Flint woman spotlighted in Moore's latest movie," Detroit Free Press, May 29, 2004.
Mrs. Lipscomb reads for the camera an Angry letter which Sgt. Pederson wrote castigating President Bush. Not shown on camera is the fact that Pederson apologized for the letter shortly afterward.
Moore films Mrs. Lipscomb in Washington, D.C., where she tearfully walks to the White House, which is she will, in words, "put all my pain and all my anger and to release it." On the way, Fahrenheit shows Mrs. Lipscomb arguing with a passerby who says that the whole thing is staged. What Fahrenheit does not show is that the passerby talked with Mrs. Lipscomb, heard her side of the story, and apologized on the spot.
Fahrenheit wallows in pity for Mrs. Lipscomb. “I was tired of seeing people like Mrs. Lipscomb suffer,” Moore claims. Yet Moore’s website is not quite so sympathetic:
I’m sorry, but the majority of Americans supported this war once it began and, sadly, that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe -- just maybe -- God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end.
Michael Moore, “Heads Up... from Michael Moore,” MichaelMoore.com, April 14, 2004.
Fahrenheit is correct in pointing out that people who enlist in the military are less likely to be college graduates and more likely to be black than is the general U.S. population. However, Moore's portrayal of the socioeconomics of the U.S. military is false is several respects. First, people who are at the lowest end of the economic spectrum--people who have failed to graduate from high school or to obtain a G.E.D.--are not over-represented in the military. Like college graduates, they are under-represented. In the case of high school drop-outs, the reason is that the all-volunteer military can be selective, and generally prefers not to enlist high-school drop-outs.
Although blacks are about twice as likely to serve in the military as is the general U.S. population, black people do not suffer disproportionate casualties in Iraq. Official casualty statistics for Operation Iraqi Freedom report that--as of June 26, 2004--blacks suffered 111 of the 850 U.S. fatalites. That figure of 13%. The Census Bureau estimates that blacks comprise 12.3% of the U.S. population. The reason that black enlistment is disproportionate but black fatalities are not is that many blacks in the military serve in support roles (such as providing supplies) which are unlikely to suffer high rates of casualties. Sydney J. Freedberg, Jr., "The Fallen: A profile of U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan," GovExec.com, May 28, 2004.
Lipscomb is from Flint, Michigan, which Moore calls "my hometown." In fact, Moore grew up in Davison, Michigan, a suburb of Flint. Davison is much wealthier than Flint. According to the Census Bureau, 6 percent of children in the Davison public schools are from families living in poverty, whereas in Flint, 31 percent of children are. Calling Flint your "hometown" when you really grew up in Davison is like calling the Bronx "my hometown" when you really grew up in Westchester County.
Flint is working class, industrial, down-at-heel, where the majority of the population is black or Latino. It's where the factories are.
Davison, where Moore grew up and attended Davison High School, is comfortable middle class, suburban, and white. Overwhelmingly white. It's where the managers and professionals live. While many of the children of Flint go on to work at the factories...the normal trajectory for the children of Davison is university. Michael Moore went to university (though didn't stick long). Unusually, he also went to Flint and tried his hand on the blue-collar front line with a job on the Buick assembly line for General Motors. He found the conditions under which the working class actually worked so appalling he quit the job after one day.
"Less is Moore," Sydney Morning Herald, July 10, 2004.
Discussing unemployment rates, Mrs. Lipscomb states, "But you have to take into account as well that when your unemployment runs out you're no longer counted." (Presumably she means that when your "unemployment insurance benefits" run out, you're no longer counted.) There is no reason to doubt her sincerity, but she is incorrect in this regard. The Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment rate counts all "Persons 16 years and over who had no employment during the reference week, were available for work, except for temporary illness, and had made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the 4-week period ending with the reference week." The rate has nothing do with whether the person is receiving unemployment insurance payments. (For more, see the detailed BLS explanation of how unemployment rates are calculated.)
A curious reader of this article wrote to the Michigan Dept. of Labor & Economic Growth/Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives. An official with the Michigan Bureau sent back a document (which is apparently not on the Internet) titled "Labor Force, Employment, Unemployment, Unemployment Rate Estimates For States And Local Areas." The document explains how unemployment rates are calculated. In particular, the document explains the calculated rate specifically includes people who have exhausted their unemployment insurance benefits, but who are still unemployed. The unemployment rate includes:
An estimate of the number of individuals who have used up all of their unemployment benefits, but are determined, through estimation, to be still unemployed. A formula that utilizes the parallel relationship between the rate of unemployment and the duration of unemployment spells, and a quarterly Current Population Survey average state duration average, yields a survival rate for a particular area depending on that areas current labor market condition. Thus an area with high unemployment will have a larger percentage of its unemployment claims exhaustees included into its jobless total.
(Italics in original.) The Michigan official's letter explained, "In the official statistics we produce (in cooperation with the BLS) for the number of unemployed for the state and local areas, current unemployment claimants account for about 30 to 40 percent of the total unemployed."
[Moore response: Does not attempt to explain why he calls Flint "my hometown." No defense of the misstatement about how unemployment rates are calculated.
In previous draft, I had cited data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that Flint's unemployment rate in January 2004 was 10 percent, and said that Fahrenheit''s claim about a 17 percent rate was incorrect. Moore's response cited the Michigan Dept. of Labor & Economic Growth for a 17 percent rate. The BLS figure (10 percent) is labeled "Flint," but actually includes all of Genesee Country. The Michigan DLEG figure (17 percent) is for the city of Flint only. So Moore was correct, and I was incorrect.]
[b]Moore’s Pro-Saddam Source
Washington Representative Jim McDermott appears in several segments.
McDermott was one of three Congressmen who went on Saddam’s propaganda tour of Iraq in Fall 2002. The trip was funded by Life for Relief and Development (LRD), a “charity” which laundered money to terrorist group Hamas’ Jordanian operation. LRD is funded in part by Shakir Al-Khafaji, a man who did about $70 million in business with Saddam through his Falcon Trading Group company (based in South Africa). LRD’s Iraqi offices were raided by US troops last week, and the Detroit-area “charity” is suspected of funding uprisings, such as the one in Fallujah. Its officials bragged of doing so at a recent private US fundraiser.
The McDermott quotes are, obviously, not like the deceitful quote of Condoleezza Rice, in which her quote was twisted to mean the opposite of what she really said. McDermott is apparently quite sincere, and there is no indication that anything he said was taken out of context. So you don't have to count this as a deceit if you don't want to. On the other hand, McDermott's quotes about the alleged motivations of the Bush administration are supported by no evidence, and amount to nothing more than the speculative ravings of one of the very few pro-Saddam members of Congress--who also worries that bin Laden has already been captured, and will be brought out at an opportune time before the election. To rely on McDermott to explain the Bush administration's alleged secret intentions is akin to relying on a bitter atheist to describe an alleged secret conspiracy in the Vatican.
McDermott claims, "Well you make them afraid by creating an aura of endless threat. They played us like an organ. They raised the le[vel], the orange up to red than they they dropped it back to orange." To the contrary, the threat level has never been raised above orange (high risk). It takes a highly paranoid mind to conclude that because changes were made in the announced threat levels, the changes must have been for the purpose of psychological warfare on the American people.
[Moore response: None.]
Michael Moore told Time magazine that at the Washington premiere of Fahrenheit, Tom Daschle "gave me a hug and said he felt bad and that we were all gonna fight from now on. I thanked him for being a good sport." Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) told the Rapid City Journal that he has never even met Moore.
[Moore response: None. Speaking to the Washington Post, Moore has stuck by his claim about Daschle.]
[b]Moore Supports Terrorists
[b]In Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore claims to support our troops. But in fact, he supports the enemy in Iraq—the coalition of Saddam loyalists, al Qaeda operatives, and terrorists controlled by Iran or Syria—who are united in their desire to murder Iraqis, and to destroy any possibility of democracy in Iraq. Here is what Moore says about the forces who are killing Americans and trying to impose totalitarian rule on Iraq:
The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not "insurgents" or "terrorists" or "The Enemy." They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win.
Michael Moore, “Heads Up... from Michael Moore,” MichaelMoore.com, April 14, 2004. Of course if you believe that the people who are perpetrating suicide bombings against Iraqi civilians and American soldiers for the purpose of forcing a totalitarian boot onto Iraq are the moral equivalent of the American Founders, then Moore's claim abou
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[quote][i]Originally posted by Big Al NYC[/i]@Jul 27 2004, 10:39 AM
[b] Do you have links to this article? [/b][/quote]