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MICHAEL MOORE IS A PANTLOAD
Fifty-nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 911
By Dave Kopel
This is a preliminary version of an article that will be published on National Review Online. This report was first posted on the web on the morning of July 1. Since then, I've revised several sections in response to reader requests for clarifications, and have added additional deceits which have been pointed out by readers or journalists. As result, the number of listed deceits has been raised from 56 to 59.
Thanks to the readers who have written to point out additional deceits or to point out items which need clarification. Also thanks to the readers who have written in defense of Moore. All writers have been rational and civil. Moore's defenders have made two main points:
First, notwithstanding the specific falsehoods, isn't the film as a whole filled with many important truths?
Not really. We can divide the film into three major parts. The first part (Bush, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan) is so permeated with lies that most of the scenes amount to lies. The second, shorter part involves domestic issues and the Patriot Act. So far, I've identified only one clear falsehood in this segment (Rep. Porter Goss's toll-free number). So this part, at least arguably, presents useful information. The third part, on Iraq has several outright falsehoods--such as the Saddam regime's murder of Americans, and the regime's connection with al Qaeda. Other scenes in the third part--such as Iraqi casualties, interviews with American soldiers, and the material on bereaved mother Lila Lipscomb--are not blatant lies; but the information presented is so extremely one-sided (the only Iraqi casualties are innocents, nobody in Iraq is grateful for liberation, all the American soldiers are disillusioned, except for the sadists) that the overall picture of the Iraq War is false.
Second, say the Moore supporters, what about the Bush lies?
Well there are plenty of lies from the Bush administration which should concern everyone. For example, the Bush administration suppressed data from its own Department of Health and Human Services which showed that the cost of the new Prescription Drug Benefit would be much larger than the administration claimed. This lie was critical to passage of the Bush drug benefit bill. Similarly, Bush's characterization of his immigration proposal as not granting "amnesty" to illegal aliens is quite misleading; although the Bush proposal does not formally grant amnesty, the net result is the same as widespread amnesty.
But two wrongs don't make a right, and the right response to Presidential lies is not more lies from his political opponents. Moreover, regarding the issues presented in Fahrenheit 911, the evidence of Bush lies is extremely thin. Moore shows Bush claiming that a particular day at the ranch in Crawford, Texas, was a working vacation, but Bush appears to be dissembling. Later, after Osama bin Laden was driven into hiding but was not captured, Bush unconvincingly claims not to spend much time thinking about bin Laden. Within Fahrenheit 911, most of rest of alleged Bush administration lies actually involve Moore's fabrications to create the appearance of a lie--such as when Moore chops a Condoleezza Rice quote to make her say something when she actually said the opposite.
The one significant Bush administration lie exposed in the film involves the so-called Patriot Act; as Fahrenheit accurately claims, at least some of the material in the Patriot Act had nothing to do with 9/11, and instead involved long-sought items on the FBI agenda which had previously been unable to pass Congress, but which were enacted by Congress under Bush administration assurances that they were essential to fighting terrorism.
If you look up the noun "deceit" in the dictionary, you will find that the definitions point you to the verb "deceive." According to Webster's 9th New Collegiate Dictionary, the main (non-archaic or obsolete) definition of "deceive" is "to cause to accept as true or valid what is false of invalid." Although the evidence in this report demonstrates dozens of plains deceits by Moore, there are at least a few "deceits" in this report regarding which reasonable people may disagree. So if you find me unpersuasive on, for example, three alleged deceits, consider this article to have identified "Fifty-six Deceits" rather than fifty-nine. Whether or not you agree with me on every single item, I think you will agree that the evidence is undeniable that Fahrenheit 911 is filled with deceit.
There are many articles which have pointed out the distortions, falsehoods, and lies in the film Fahrenheit 911. This report compiles the Fahrenheit 911 deceits which have been identified by a wide variety of reviewers. In addition, I identify some inaccuracies which have not been addressed by other writers.
The report follows the approximate order in which the movie covers particular topics: the Bush family, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. This report focuses solely on factual issues, and not on aesthetic criticism of the film.
To understand the deceptions, it helps to understand Moores ideological position. So let us start with Moores belief that the September 11 attacks on the United States were insignificant.
Edward Koch, the former Democratic Mayor of New York City, writes:
A year after 9/11, I was part of a panel discussion on BBC-TVs Question Time show which aired live in the United Kingdom. A portion of my commentary at that time follows:
One of the panelists was Michael Moore During the warm-up before the studio audience, Moore said something along the lines of I dont know why we are making so much of an act of terror. It is three times more likely that you will be struck by lightning than die from an act of terror. I mention this exchange because it was not televised, occurring as it did before the show went live. It shows where he was coming from long before he produced Fahrenheit 9/11.
Edward Koch, Moores propaganda film cheapens debate, polarizes nation, World Tribune, June 28, 2004. By the way, I don't disagree with the point that it is reasonable to consider the number of deaths from any particular problem, including terrorism, in assessing how serious the problem is. Moore's point, however, was willfully oblivious to the fact that al Qaeda did not intend 9/11 to be the last word; the organization was working on additional attacks, and if the organization obtained the right weapons, millions of people might be killed. More fundamentally, even if Moore's argument in London is conceded to be legitimate, it contradicts Fahrenheit 911's presentation of Moore as intensely concerned about the September 11 attacks.
As we go through the long list of lies and tricks in Fahrenheit 911, keep in mind that Michael Moore has assembled a war room of political operatives and lawyers in order to respond to criticism of Fahrenheit 911 and to file defamation suits. (Jack Shafer, Libel Suit 9/11. Michael Moores hysterical, empty threats, Slate.com, June 12, 2004.) One of Moore's "war room" officials is Chris Lehane; Lehane, as an employee of Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark (who was also supported by Moore), apparently spread rumors to the press about John Kerry's alleged extra-marital affair.
Of course if there are any genuine errors in this report, the errors will be promptly corrected. On July 5, I removed a complaint about a Presidential approval poll number, which I had wrongly thought was not supported by data.
Conversely, because Moore has a paid expert staff which is monitoring criticism of the movie, it is reasonable to assume thatunless I have specifically retracted some item in this reportMoore and his staff have not offered a persuasive rebuttal.
In this report, I number Moores deceits. Some of them are outright lies; some are omissions which create a false impression. Others involve different forms of deception. A few are false statements Moore has made when defending the film.
2000 Election Night
Fahrenheit 911 begins on election night 2000. We are first shown the Al Gore rocking on stage with famous musicians and a high-spirited crowd. The conspicuous sign on stage reads Florida Victory. Moore creates the impression that Gore was celebrating his victory in Florida.
Actually, the rally took place in the early hours of election day, before polls had even opened. Gore did campaign in Florida on election day, but went home to Tennessee to await the results. The Florida Victory sign reflected Gores hopes, not any actual election results. (Gore Campaigns Into Election Day, Associated Press, Nov. 7, 2000.)
The film shows CBS and CNN calling Florida for Al Gore. According to the narrator, Then something called the Fox News Channel called the election in favor of the other guy .All of a sudden the other networks said, Hey, if Fox said it, it must be true.
We then see NBC anchor Tom Brokaw stating, All of us networks made a mistake and projected Florida in the Al Gore column. It was our mistake.
Moore thus creates the false impression that the networks withdrew their claim about Gore winning Florida when they heard that Fox said that Bush won Florida.
In fact, the networks which called Florida for Gore did so early in the eveningbefore polls had even closed in the Florida panhandle, which is part of the Central Time Zone. NBC called Florida for Gore at 7:49:40 p.m., Eastern Time. This was 10 minutes before polls closed in the Florida panhandle. Thirty seconds later, CBS called Florida for Gore. And at 7:52 p.m., Fox called Florida for Gore. Moore never lets the audience know that Fox was among the networks which made the error of calling Florida for Gore prematurely. Then at 8:02 p.m., ABC called Florida for Gore. Only ABC had waited until the Florida polls were closed.
The premature calls probably cost Bush thousands of votes from the conservative panhandle, as discouraged last-minute voters heard that their state had already been decided, and many voters who were waiting in line left the polling place. In Florida, as elsewhere, voters who have arrived at the polling place before closing time often end up voting after closing time, because of long lines. The conventional wisdom of politics is that supporters of the losing candidate are most likely to give up on voting when they hear that their side has already lost. (Thus, on election night 1980, when incumbent President Jimmy Carter gave a concession speech while polls were still open on the West coast, the early concession was widely blamed for costing the Democrats several Congressional seats in the West. The fact that all the networks had declared Reagan a landslide winner while West coast voting was still in progress was also blamed for Democratic losses in the West.) Even if the premature television calls affected all potential voters equally, the effect was to reduce Republican votes significantly, because the Florida panhandle is a Republican stronghold; depress overall turnout in the panhandle, and you will necessarily depress more Republican than Democratic votes.
At 10:00 p.m., which network took the lead in retracting the premature Florida result? The first retracting network was CBS, not Fox.
Over four hours later, at 2:16 a.m., Fox projected Bush as the Florida winner, as did all the other networks by 2:20 a.m.
CBS had taken the lead in making the erroneous call for Gore, and had taken the lead in retracting that call. At 3:59 a.m., CBS also took the lead in retracting the Florida call for Bush. All the other networks, including Fox, followed the CBS lead within eight minutes. That the networks arrived at similar conclusions within a short period of time is not surprising, since they were all using the same data from the Voter News Service. (Linda Mason, Kathleen Francovic & Kathleen Hall Jamieson, CBS News Coverage of Election Night 2000: Investigation, Analysis, Recommendations (CBS News, Jan. 2001), pp. 12-25.)
Moores editing technique of the election night segment is typical of his style: all the video clips are real clips, and nothing he says is, formally speaking, false. But notice how he says, Then something called the Fox News Channel called the election in favor of the other guy The impression created is that the Fox call of Florida for Bush came soon after the CBS/CNN calls of Florida for Gore, and that Fox caused the other networks to change (All of a sudden the other networks said, Hey, if Fox said it, it must be true.)
This is the essence of the Moore technique: cleverly blending half-truths to deceive the viewer.
2000 Election Recount
A little while later:
Michael Moore shows a clip of CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin saying that if ballots had been recounted in Florida after the 2000 presidential vote, under every scenario Gore won the election.
What Moore doesnt show is that a six-month study in 2001 by news organizations including The New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN found just the opposite. Even if the Supreme Court had not stopped a statewide recount, or if a more limited recount of four heavily Democratic counties had taken place, Bush still would have won Florida and the election.
Thomas Frank, Film offers limited view, Newsday, June 27, 2004.
Florida Purge of Convicted Felons from Voter Rolls
According to Fahrenheit, Bush cronies hired Data Base Technologies to purge Florida voters who might vote for Gore, and these potential voters were purged from the voting rolls on the basis of race. ("Second, make sure the chairman of your campaign is also the vote count woman. And that her state has hired a company that's gonna knock voters off the rolls who aren't likely to vote for you. You can usually tell 'em by the color of their skin.") As explained by the Palm Beach Post, Moore's claim is extremely incomplete, and on at least one fact, plainly false.
The 1998 mayoral election in Miami was a fiasco which was declared void by Florida courts, because--in violation of Florida law--convicted felons had been allowed to vote. The Florida legislature ordered the executive branch to purge felons from the voting rolls before the next election. Following instructions from Florida officials, Data Base Technologies (DBT) aggressively attempted to identify all convicted felons who were illegally registered to vote in Florida.
There were two major problems with the purge. First, several states allow felons to vote once they have completed their sentences. Some of these ex-felons moved to Florida and were, according to a court decision, eligible to vote. Florida improperly purged these immigrant felons.
Second, the comprehensive effort to identify all convicted felons led to large number of false positives, in which persons with, for example, the same name as a convicted felon, were improperly purged. Purged voters were, in most cases, notified months before the election and given an opportunity to appeal, but the necessity to file an appeal was in itself a barrier which probably discouraged some legitimate, non-felon citizens from voting. According to the Palm Beach Post, at least 1,100 people were improperly purged.
The overbreadth of the purge was well-known in Florida before the election. As a result, election officials in 20 of Florida's counties ignored the purge list entirely. In these counties, convicted felons were allowed to vote. Also according to the Post, thousands of felons were improperly allowed to vote in the 20 non-purging counties.
When allowed to vote, felons vote approximately 69 percent Democratic, according to a study in the American Sociological Review. Therefore, if the thousands of felons in the non-purging 20 counties had been not been illegally allowed to vote, it is likely that Bush's statewide margin would have been substantially larger. (On the other hand, John Lott's study of the Florida fiasco suggests that Republicans and Democrats were purged in approximately equal numbers, with Black Republicans being disproportionately impacted.)
It seems to me that even if we presume that the 1,100 wrongly purged Florida voters would have voted Democratic at the same rate that felons do (even though some of these voters were non-felons who were the victim of mistaken identity), the net result of the 2000 purge fiasco harmed Bush: the number of votes which Gore gained as a result of 20 counties refusing to conduct the felon purge far outnumbered how many votes that Gore lost as the result of the overbroad purges in other counties.
Regardless, Moore's claim that the purge was conducted on the basis of race was indisputably false. As the Palm Beach Post details, all the evidence shows that Data Base Technologies did not use race as a basis for the purge. Indeed, DBT's refusal to take note of a registered voter's race was one of the reasons for the many cases of mistaken identity.
Bush Presidency before September 11
The movie lauds an anti-Bush riot that took place in Washington, D.C., on the day of Bushs inauguration. Moore continues: No President had ever witnessed such a thing on his inauguration day. And for the next eight months it didnt get any better for George W. Bush. He couldnt get his judges appointed; he had trouble getting his legislation passed; and he lost Republican control of the Senate. His approval ratings in the polls began to sink.
Part of this is true. Once Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords left the Republican party, Democrats controlled the Senate, and stalled the confirmation (not appointment) of some of the judges whom Bush had nominated for the federal courts.
Congress did enact the top item on Bushs agenda: a large tax cut. During the summer, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives easily passed many of Bushs other agenda items, including the bill whose numbering reflected the Presidents top priority: H.R. 1, the Bush No Child Left Behind education bill. The fate of the Bush bills in the Democratic-controlled Senate, as of August 2001, was uncertain. The Senate later did pass No Child Left Behind, but some other Bush proposals did not pass.
Fahrenheit 911 states, In his first eight months in office before September 11th, George W. Bush was on vacation, according to the Washington Post, forty-two percent of the time.
Shortly before 9/11, the Post calculated that Bush had spent 42 percent of his presidency at vacation spots or en route, including all or part of 54 days at his ranch. That calculation, however, includes weekends, which Moore failed to mention.
Tom McNamee, Just the facts on Fahrenheit 9/11 Chicago Sun-Times, June 28, 2004. See also: Mike Allen, White House On the Range. Bush Retreats to Ranch for Working Vacation, Washington Post, August 7, 2001 (Many of those days are weekends, and the Camp David stays have included working visits with foreign leaders.)
[T]he shot of him relaxing at Camp David shows him side by side with Tony Blair. I say shows, even though this photograph is on-screen so briefly that if you sneeze or blink, you wont recognize the other figure. A meeting with the prime minister of the United Kingdom, or at least with this prime minister, is not a goof-off.
The president is also captured in a well-worn TV news clip, on a golf course, making a boilerplate response to a question on terrorism and then asking the reporters to watch his drive. Well, thats what you get if you catch the president on a golf course.
Christopher Hitchens, Unfairenheit 9/11: The lies of Michael Moore, Slate.com, June 21, 2004.
By the way, the clip of Bush making a comment about terrorism, and then hitting a golf ball, is also taken out of context, at least partially:
Tuesday night on FNCs Special Report with Brit Hume, Brian Wilson noted how the viewer is left with the misleading impression Mr. Bush is talking about al-Qaeda terrorists. But Wilson disclosed that a check of the raw tape reveals the President is talking about an attack against Israel, carried out by a Palestinian suicide bomber.
"Cyberalert," Media Research Center, July 1, 2004, item. 3.
Fahrenheit presents a powerful segment on the September 11 attacks. There is no narration, and the music is dramatic yet tasteful. The visuals are reaction shots from pedestrians, as they gasp with horrified astonishment.
Moore has been criticized for using the reaction shots as a clever way to avoid showing the planes hitting the buildings, and some of the victims falling to their deaths. Even if this is true, the segment still effectively evokes the horror that every decent human being still feels about September 11.
But remember, Moore does not necessarily feel the same way. As New Yorks former Mayor Edward Koch reported, Moore later said, I dont know why we are making so much of an act of terror. It is three times more likely that you will be struck by lightning than die from an act of terror.
Like several of the other deceits identified in this report, the September 11 deceit is not part of the film itself. Several of the deceits involve claim that Moore has made when discussing the film. Like some deceits which are identified near the end of this report, the September 11 deceit involves the contradiction between Moore's purported feelings about a topic in the movie and what appear to be his actual feelings about that topic. If a Klansman made a film which feigned admiration for Rosa Parks, that too would be a form of deceit, even if the film were accurate in its portrayal of Parks as a great American hero.
On the other hand, a person might feel great personal sympathy for the victim of a lightning strike, but the same person might feel that, overall, the "lightning problem" is not worth making a big fuss over. Fahrenheit present September 11 as a terrible tragedy, and as something worth making a big fuss. On this latter point, Fahrenheit's purported view does not appear to be the same as Moore's actual view. Although I consider the disjunction to be deceitful, other people may not.
If you don't find my argument convincing, don't count this item as a "deceit." If you're not convinced by this item, you may likewise not be convinced by some of the items at the end of this report, which involves omissions rather than outright lies. If you think that this report would be better-titled as "The Fifty-Four Deceits of Fahrenheit 911," I accept your good-faith criticism. Let us just remember that whether the precise number of deceits is 54 or 59, it is unacceptable for a documentary or an op-ed to contain dozens of falsehoods.
Bush on September 11
Fahrenheit mocks President Bush for continuing to read a story to a classroom of elementary school children after he was told about the September 11 attacks.
What Moore did not tell you:
Gwendolyn Tose-Rigell, the principal of Emma E. Booker Elementary School, praised Bushs action: I dont think anyone could have handled it better. What would it have served if he had jumped out of his chair and ran out of the room?
She said the video doesnt convey all that was going on in the classroom, but Bushs presence had a calming effect and helped us get through a very difficult day.
Sarasota principal defends Bush from Fahrenheit 9/11 portrayal, Associated Press, June 24, 2004. Also, since the President knew he was on camera, it was reasonable to expect that if he had suddenly sped out of the room, his hasty movement would have been replayed incessantly on television; leaving the room quickly might have exacerbated the national mood of panic.
Moore does not offer any suggestion about what the President should have done during those seven minutes, rather than staying calm for the sake of the classroom and of the public. Nor does Moore point to any way that the September 11 events might have turned out better in even if the slightest way if the President had acted differently. As with the previous item, people may differ about whether this segment should be considered deceitful, or perhaps just a very cheap shot.
Castigating the allegedly lazy President, Moore says, Or perhaps he just should have read the security briefing that was given to him on August 6, 2001 that said that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America by hijacking airplanes.
Moore supplies no evidence for his assertion that President Bush did not read the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief. Moores assertion appears to be a complete fabrication.
Moore smirks that perhaps President Bush did not read the Briefing because its title was so vague. Moore then cuts to Condoleezza Rice announcing the title of the Briefing: Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.
However, no-one (except Moore) has ever claimed that Bush did not read the Briefing, or that he did not read it because the title was vague. Rather, Condoleezza Rice had told the press conference that the information in the Briefing was very vague. National Security Advisor Holds Press Briefing, The White House, May 16, 2002.
The content of the Briefing supports Rices characterization, and refutes Moores assertion that the Briefing said that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America by hijacking airplanes. The actual Briefing was highly equivocal:
We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a [deleted text] service in 1998 saying that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft to gain the release of Blind Shaykh Umar Abd aI-Rahman and other U.S.-held extremists.
Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.
(Some readers have wondered how this short segment qualifies as three deceits: 1. that Bush did not read the memo, 2. that the memo's title was offered as an excuse for not reading the memo, 3. omitting that the memo was equivocal, and that the hijacking warning was something that the FBI said it was "unable to corroborate.")
Saudi Departures from United States
Moore is guilty of a classic game of saying one thing and implying another when he describes how members of the Saudi elite were flown out of the United States shortly after 9/11.
If you listen only to what Moore says during this segment of the movieand take careful notes in the darkyoull find hes got his facts right. He and others in the film state that 142 Saudis, including 24 members of the bin Laden family, were allowed to leave the country after Sept. 13.
The dateSept. 13is crucial because that is when a national ban on air traffic, for security purposes, was eased
But nonetheless, many viewers will leave the movie theater with the impression that the Saudis, thanks to special treatment from the White House, were permitted to fly away when all other planes were still grounded. This false impression is created by Moores failure, when mentioning Sept. 13, to emphasize that the ban on flights had been eased by then. The false impression is further pushed when Moore shows the singer Ricky Martin walking around an airport and says, Not even Ricky Martin would fly. But really, who wanted to fly? No one. Except the bin Ladens.
But the movie fails to mention that the FBI interviewed about 30 of the Saudis before they left. And the independent 9/11 commission has reported that each of the flights we have studied was investigated by the FBI and dealt with in a professional manner prior to its departure.
McNamee, Chicago Sun-Times. (Note: The Sun-Times article was correct in its characterization of the Ricky Martin segment, but not precisely accurate in the exact words used in the film. I have substituted the exact quote. One September 13, U.S. airspace was re-opened for a small number of flights; charter flights were allowed, and the airlines were allowed to move their planes to new airports to start carrying passengers on September 14. Although there is still conflict on the issue, there appears to have been a charter flight from Tampa, Florida, which took three Saudis to Lexington, Kentucky.)
Tapper: [Y]our film showcases former counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke, using him as a critic of the Bush administration. Yet in another part of the film, one that appears in your previews, you criticize members of the Bush administration for permitting members of the bin Laden family to fly out of the country almost immediately after 9/11. What the film does not mention is that Richard Clarke says that he OKd those flights. Is it fair to not mention that?
Moore: Actually I do, I put up The New York Times article and its blown up 40 foot on the screen, you can see Richard Clarkes name right there saying that he approved the flights based on the information the FBI gave him. Its right there, right up on the screen. I dont agree with Clarke on this point. Just because I think hes good on a lot of things doesnt mean I agree with him on everything.
Jake Tapper interview with Michael Moore, ABC News, June 25, 2004.
Again, Moore is misleading. His film includes a brief shot of a Sept. 4, 2003, New York Times article headlined White House Approved Departures of Saudis after Sept. 11, Ex-Aide Says. The camera pans over the article far too quickly for any ordinary viewer to spot and read the words in which Clarke states that he approved the flights.
Some Saudis left the U.S. by charter flight on September 14, a day when commercial flights had resumed, but when ordinary charter planes were still grounded. When did the bin Ladens actually leave? Not until the next week, as the the 9/11 Commission staff report explains:
Fearing reprisals against Saudi nationals, the Saudi government asked for help in getting some of its citizens out of the country .we have found that the request came to the attention of Richard Clarke and that each of the flights we have studied was investigated by the FBI and dealt with in a professional manner prior to its departure.
No commercial planes, including chartered flights, were permitted to fly into, out of, or within the United States until September 13, 2001. After the airspace reopened, six chartered flights with 142 people, mostly Saudi Arabian nationals, departed from the United States between September 14 and 24. One flight, the so-called Bin Ladin flight, departed the United States on September 20 with 26 passengers, most of them relatives of Usama Bin Ladin. We have found no credible evidence that any chartered flights of Saudi Arabian nationals departed the United States before the reopening of national airspace.
The Saudi flights were screened by law enforcement officials, primarily the FBI, to ensure that people on these flights did not pose a threat to national security, and that nobody of interest to the FBI with regard to the 9/11 investigation was allowed to leave the country. Thirty of the 142 people on these flights were interviewed by the FBI, including 22 of the 26 people (23 passengers and 3 private security guards) on the Bin Ladin flight. Many were asked detailed questions. None of the passengers stated that they had any recent contact with Usama Bin Ladin or knew anything about terrorist activity.
The FBI checked a variety of databases for information on the Bin Ladin flight passengers and searched the aircraft. It is unclear whether the TIPOFF terrorist watchlist was checked. At our request, the Terrorist Screening Center has rechecked the names of individuals on the flight manifests of these six Saudi flights against the current TIPOFF watchlist. There are no matches.
The FBI has concluded that nobody was allowed to depart on these six flights who the FBI wanted to interview in connection with the 9/11 attacks, or who the FBI later concluded had any involvement in those attacks. To date, we have uncovered no evidence to contradict this conclusion.
(Deceits: 1. Departure dates for Saudis, 2. Omission of Richard Clarke's approval for departures, 3. Lying to Jake Tapper about whether Clarke's role was presented in the movie, 4. Omission of Commission staff finding that many Saudis were asked "detailed questions" before being allowed to leave.)
Bush and James Bath
Moore mentions that Bushs old National Guard buddy and personal friend James Bath had become the money manager for the bin Laden family, saying, [that after the bin Ladens invested in James Bath,] James Bath himself in turn invested in George W. Bush. The implication is that Bath invested the bin Laden familys money in Bushs failed energy company, Arbusto. He doesnt mention that Bath has said that he had invested his own money, not the bin Ladens, in Bushs company.
Matt Labash, Un-Moored from Reality, Weekly Standard, July 5, 2004. See also: Frank, Newsday; Michael Isikoff & Mark Hosenball, "More Distortions From Michael Moore. Some of the main points in Fahrenheit 9/11 really arent very fair at all," MSNBC.com, June 30, 2004.
Moore makes a big point about the name of James Bath being blacked out from Bush National Guard records which were released by the White House. The blackout might appear less sinister if Moore revealed that many other names were blacked out, to protect the privacy of former National Guard members. In fact, federal law required the Alabama National Guard to black out the names of all other Guardsmen whose medical information was on the same pages as the records which the Alabama Guard released regarding George Bush's health records. So what Moore presents as a sinister effort to conceal the identity of James Bath was in fact the legally-required compliance with federal law.
Bush and Prince Bandar
Moore points out the distressingly close relationship between Saudi Arabias ambassador, Prince Bandar, and the Bush family. But Moore does not explain that Bandar has been a bipartisan Washington power broker for decades, and that Bill Clinton repeatedly relied on Bandar to advance Clintons own Middle East agenda. (Elsa Walsh, The Prince. How the Saudi Ambassador became Washingtons indispensable operator, The New Yorker, Mar. 24, 2003.)
President Clintons former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Wyche Fowler, has been earning a lucrative living as a Saudi apologist and serving as Chairman of the Middle East Institutea research organization heavily funded by Saudi Arabia. (Joel Mowbray, Feeding at the Saudi Trough, Townhall.com, Oct. 1, 2003.)
I am not suggesting that Mr. Fowler is in any way corrupt; Im sure that he is sincere (although, in my view, mistaken) in his strongly pro-Saudi viewpoint. What is misleading is for Moore to look at the web of Saudi influence in Washington only in regard to the Republican Bushes, and to ignore the fact that Saudi influence and money are widespread in both parties.
Bush once served on the Board of Directors of the Harken Energy Company. According to Fahrenheit:
Moore: Yes, it helps to be the Presidents son. Especially when youre being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
TV reporter: In 1990 when M. Bush was a director of Harken Energy he received this memo from company lawyers warning directors not to sell stock if they had unfavorable information about the company. One week later he sold $848,000 worth of Harken stock. Two months later, Harken announced losses of more than $23 million dollars.
Moore: Bush beat the rap from the SEC
What Moore left out: Bush sold the stock long after he checked with those same company lawyers who had provided the cautionary memo, and they told him that the sale was all right. Almost all of the information that caused Harkens large quarterly loss developed only after Bush had sold the stock.
Despite Moores pejorative that Bush beat the rap, no-one has ever found any evidence suggesting that he engaged in illegal insider trading. (Byron York, The Facts About Bush and Harken. The presidents story holds up under scrutiny, National Review Online, July 10, 2002.)
Moores film suggests that Bush has close family ties to the bin Laden familyprincipally through Bushs fathers relationship with the Carlyle Group, a private investment firm. The presidents father, George H.W. Bush, was a senior adviser to the Carlyle Groups Asian affiliate until recently; members of the bin Laden familywho own one of Saudi Arabias biggest construction firmshad invested $2 million in a Carlyle Group fund. Bush Sr. and the bin Ladens have since severed ties with the Carlyle Group, which in any case has a bipartisan roster of partners, including Bill Clintons former SEC chairman Arthur Levitt. The movie quotes author Dan Briody claiming that the Carlyle Group gained from September 11 because it owned United Defense, a military contractor. Carlyle Group spokesman Chris Ullman notes that United Defense holds a special distinction among U.S. defense contractors that is not mentioned in Moores movie: the firms $11 billion Crusader artillery rocket system developed for the U.S. Army is one of the only weapons systems canceled by the Bush administration.
Michael Isikoff, Under the Hot Lights. Moores movie will make waves. But its a fine line between fact and fanaticism. Deconstructing Fahrenheit 9/11. Newsweek, June 28, 2004.
Moore claims that refusing to mention the Crusader cancellation was alright because the cancellation came after the United Defense IPO. But the cancellation had a serious negative financial impact on Carlyle, since Carlyle still owns 47% of United Defense.
Moore tells us that when Carlyle took United Defense public, they made a one-day profit of $237 million, but under all the public scrutiny, the bin Laden family eventually had to withdraw (Moore doesnt tell us that they withdrew before the public offering, not after it).
Labash, Weekly Standard.
There is another famous investor in Carlyle whom Moore does not reveal: George Soros. (Oliver Burkeman & Julian Borger, The Ex-Presidents Club, The Guardian (London), Oct. 31, 2000.) But the fact that the anti-Bush billionaire has invested in Carlyle would detract from Moores simplistic conspiracy theory.
Moore alleges that the Saudis have given 1.4 billion dollars to the Bushes and their associates.
Moore derives the $1.4 billion figure from journalist Craig Ungers book, House of Bush, House of Saud. Nearly 90 percent of that amount, $1.18 billion, comes from just one source: contracts in the early to mid-1990s that the Saudi Arabian government awarded to a U.S. defense contractor, BDM, for training the countrys military and National Guard. Whats the significance of BDM? The firm at the time was owned by the Carlyle Group, the powerhouse private-equity firm whose Asian-affiliate advisory board has included the presidents father, George H.W. Bush.
...The main problem with this figure, according to Carlyle spokesman Chris Ullman, is that former president Bush didnt join the Carlyle advisory board until April, 1998five months after Carlyle had already sold BDM to another defense firm.
Isikoff & Hosenball, MSNBC.com. (The full text of the article contains the counter-argument by Moore's "war room" and the replies by Isikoff and Hosenball).
Saudi Investments in the United States
Moore asks Craig Unger: How much money do the Saudis have invested in America, roughly?
Unger replies Uh, I've heard figures as high as $860 billion dollars.
Instead of relying on unsourced figures that someone says he heard, lets look at the available data. According to the Institute for Research Middle Eastern Policy (a pro-Saudi think tank which tries to emphasize the importance of Saudi money to the United States), in February 2003 total worldwide Saudi investment was at least $700 billion. Sixty percent of the Saudi investments were in the United States, so the Saudis had about 420 billion invested in the U.S.a large amount, but less than half of the amount that Moores source claims he heard. (Tanya C. Hsu , The United States Must Not Neglect Saudi Arabian Investment Sept. 23, 2003.)
Special Protection for Saudi Embassy
Moore shows himself filming the movie near the Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C.:
Moore as narrator: Even though we were nowhere near the White House, for some reason the Secret Service had shown up to ask us what we were doing standing across the street from the Saudi embassy .
Officer: Thats fine. Just wanted to get some information on what was going on.
Moore on camera: Yeah yeah yeah, I didnt realize the Secret Service guards foreign embassies.
Officer: Uh, not usually, no sir.
But in fact:
Any tourist to Washington, DC, will see plenty of Secret Service Police guarding all of the other foreign embassies which request such protection. Other than guarding the White House and some federal buildings, its the largest use of personnel by the Secret Services Uniformed Division.
Debbie Schlussel, FAKEN-heit 9-11: Michael Moores Latest Fiction, June 25, 2004.
According to the Secret Service website:
Uniformed Division officers provide protection for the White House Complex, the Vice-President's residence, the Main Treasury Building and Annex, and foreign diplomatic missions and embassies in the Washington, DC area.
So there is nothing strange about the Secret Service protecting the Saudi embassy in Washingtonespecially since al Qaeda attacks have taken place against Saudi Arabia.
Alleged Bush-Saudi Conspiracy
Moore asks, Is it rude to suggest that when the Bush family wakes up in the morning they might be thinking about what's best for the Saudis instead of what's best for you? But his Bush/Saudi conspiracy theory is contradicted by very obvious facts:
why did Moores evil Saudis not join the Coalition of the Willing? Why instead did they force the United States to switch its regional military headquarters to Qatar? If the Bush family and the al-Saud dynasty live in each others pockets then how come the most reactionary regime in the region has been powerless to stop Bush from demolishing its clone in Kabul and its buffer regime in Baghdad? The Saudis hate, as they did in 1991, the idea that Iraqs recuperated oil industry might challenge their near-monopoly. They fear the liberation of the Shiite Muslims they so despise. To make these elementary points is to collapse the whole pathetic edifice of the films theory.
Hitchens, Slate. This isn't to say that concerns about the wishes and interests of the Saudi rulers play too large a role in American foreign policy--especially in the U.S. State Department, which has been notoriously supportive of pro-U.S. Arab dictatorships for many decades. I would much prefer that the State Department and other American foreign policymakers spent less time worrying about friendly relations with the governments of Saudi Arabia, China, and other dictatorships, and more time supporting the aspirations of people who want to free themselves from dictatorship. But complaining about the historic pro-Saudi tilt in U.S. foreign policy, a tilt which is partly the result of extensive business relations between the two countries, is not the same as propounding a tin-hat conspiracy theory that George Bush is servile tool of the bin Laden family.
Proposed Unocal Pipeline in Afghanistan
Moore mentions that the Taliban visited Texas while Bush was governor, over a possible pipeline deal with Unocal. But Moore doesnt say that they never actually met with Bush or that the deal went bust in 1998 and had been supported by the Clinton administration.
Labash, Weekly Standard.
Moore asserts that the Afghan war was fought only to enable the Unocal company to build a pipeline. In fact, Unocal dropped that idea back in August 1998.
Jonathan Foreman, Moores The Pity, New York Post, June 23, 2004.
In December 1997, a delegation from Afghanistans ruling and ruthless Taliban visited the United States to meet with an oil and gas company that had extensive dealings in Texas. The company, Unocal, was interested in building a natural gas line through Afghanistan. Moore implies that Bush, who was then governor of Texas, met with the delegation.
But, as Gannett News Service points out, Bush did not meet with the Taliban representatives. Whats more, Clinton administration officials did sit down with Taliban officials, and the delegations visit was made with the Clinton administrations permission.
McNamee, Chicago Sun-Times.
Whatever the motive, the Unocal pipeline project was entirely a Clinton-era proposal: By 1998, as the Taliban hardened its positions, the U.S. oil company pulled out of the deal. By the time George W. Bush took office, it was a dead issueand no longer the subject of any lobbying in Washington.
Isikoff & Hosenball, MSNBC.com.
On December 9, 2003, the new Afghanistan government did sign a protocol with Turkmenistan and Pakistan to facilitate a pipeline. Indeed, any Afghani government (Taliban or otherwise) would rationally seek the revenue that could be gained from a pipeline. But the new pipeline (which has not yet been built) has nothing to do with Unocal. Nor does the new proposed pipeline even resemble Unocal's failed proposal; the new pipeline would the bring oil and gas from the Caspian Sea basin, whereas Unocal's proposal involved deposits five hundred miles away, in eastern Turkmenistan.
Fahrenheit showed images of pipeline construction, but images have nothing to do with the Caspian Sea pipeline, for which construction has never begun. Nor do they have anything to do with the Unocal pipeline, which never existed except on paper.
According to Fahrenheit, Afghanistan's new President, Hamid Karzai, was a Unocal consultant. This is false. Sumana Chatterjee and David Goldstein, "A lowdown on the facts behind the allegations in 'Fahrenheit 9/11'," Knight-Ridder newspapers, July 2, 2004.
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 Hashemis 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 dont recognize any government in Afghanistan, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said on the day of the visit.
Moore Claimed that Osama bin Laden Might be Innocent and Opposed the Afghanistan War
Fahrenheit 911 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. However:
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. SomethingI cannot guess what, since we knew as much then as we do nowhas 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.
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, 2004.
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.
Afghanistan after Liberation
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 Kandaharan insurance against warlordism and a condition of nation-buildingis nearing completion with infinite labor and risk. We also discover that the parties of the Afghan secular leftlike the parties of the Iraqi secular leftare strongly in favor of the regime change. But this is not the sort of irony in which Moore chooses to deal.
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 films biggest laugh lines.
Its a cheap shot. When voters in Missouri cast their ballots for the dead man, Mel Carnahan, they knew they were really voting for Carnahans 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.
Rep. Porter Goss
Defending the 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 that Goss does not have such a number; the ordinary telephone number for Gosss office is flashed on the screen.
Youd never know by watching Fahrenheit, but Rep. Goss does have a toll-free number to which 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 Committees 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 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. As for Moore's claim that the motive of the Patriot Act was to terrify the American people, I disagree, but it's a matter of opinion, and therefore beyond the scope of this report.
Saddam Hussein Never Murdered Americans
Fahrenheit asserts that Saddams 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.
Jake Tapper (ABC News): You declare in the film that Husseins regime had never killed an American
Moore: That isnt 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. Id 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 policenow this is not a murder but its a plan to murderto 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.
Youre 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? Its our allies, the Saudis, that have been providing help and aid to the suicide bombers in Israel. Thats the story you should be covering. Why dont you cover that story? Why dont you cover it?
Note Moores extremely careful phrasing of the lines which appear to exonerate Saddam, and Moores 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 Moores clever phrasing designed to elide Saddams 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 murderincluding the American victims.
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, Ive pointed to Saudi terror funding, as have other NRO writers. But pointing out Saudi Arabias guilt does not excuse Moores blatant lie about Saddam Husseins innocence.
Moores 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 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.)
Moreover, Saddam did not need to make verbal threats in order to threaten the United States. He 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 repelledSaddam 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 reportedand the David Kay report had establishedthat 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 coalitions 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 the kind of person who was capable of using chemical weapons, since he had actually used them against Iraqi 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.
Iraq and al Qaeda
Moore declares that George Bush completely 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.
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:
Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11. Its 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.
I agree with Hayes that there is significant evidence suggesting possible Iraqi involvement in 9/11, but 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.
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, as a 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. Whether you agree with the staff report or the critics, 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.
Iraq before Liberation
Moore shows scenes of Baghdad before the invasion (read: liberation) and in his weltanschauung, its 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 soldiers father says the young man died and for what?, Moore doesnt 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 9/11s long two hours lasts only a few minutes. Its Moores 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 doesnt know, or simply doesnt 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 werent allowed to visiton 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 onjust as people did all those normal things in Somozas Nicaragua, Duvaliers Haiti and for that matter Nazi Germany, and as they do just about everywhere, including in Iraq today.
Foreman, New York Post.
Invasion of Iraq
According to the footage that ensues, our pilots seem to have hit nothing but women and children.
Labash, Weekly Standard.
Thenwham! 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 doesnt now, either. Ill 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, thats 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.)
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. Im 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 England and Australia), then it is an equally Big Lie to mention only the small and insignificant members of the Coalition.
In very selectively edited clips, Moore poses the absurd notion that the main news anchorsPeter Jennings, Dan Rather, and Ted Koppelwholeheartedly 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 Saddams 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, Peters Peace Platoon. ABCs Crusade Against Arrogant American Power, Media Research Center, March 18, 2003.)
Support for Soldiers and Veterans
Bush supported closing veterans hospitals says Moore. The Bush Department of Veterans 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. Bushs initial opposition to extending the special increase was presented by Moore as cutting assistance to their families by 60%. (Edward Epstein, Pentagon reverses course, wont 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 soldiers 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.)
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 officer. 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.)
Congressional Children in War
Early in this segment, Moore states that only one member of Congress has a child 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.
Moores 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 he is deployed, he has not been sent to Iraq, and therefore does not "count" for Moore's purposes.
How about Cabinet members? Fahrenheit never raises the issue, because the answer would not fit Moores thesis. Attorney General John Ashcrofts son is on active duty. (Fahrenheit Fact.)
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 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. Kennedys side of the conversation, however, was cut from the film, leaving him looking bewildered and defensive.
What was Michaels excuse for trimming the key segment? Kennedys remarks didnt help his thesis: He mentioned that he had a nephew that was going over to Afghanistan, Moore recounted. So then I said No, no, thats 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 youre 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 doesnt always give the whole truth. Hes a master of the misleading.
Moore: Well, at the time, when we interviewed him, he didnt 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 didnt. 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, hes lying. And Ive got the raw footage and the transcript to prove it. So any time these Republicans come at me like this, this is exactly what theyre 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. Kennedys staff agrees that Moores Website is accurate but insists the movie version is misleading. In the film, Moore says, Congressman, Im trying to get members of Congress to get their kids to enlist in the Army and go over to Iraq. But, from the transcript, heres 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: Id 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 rebuffed Moore, Kennedy agreed to help 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 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? Lets use Moores methodology, and ignore members of extended families (such as nephews) and also ignore service anywhere expect 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. Castles) 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 102 veterans currently serving in Congress. 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.)
Lila Lipscomb and Military Casualties
Moore exploits the grief of Lila Lipscomb, the mother of a soldier who died in Iraq. She denounces Bush and the War. But there are many mothers and relatives of US soldiers, alive and dead, who served there who dont agree with her. Dont look for them in this agit-prop film.
Fahrenheit wallows in pity for Mrs. Lipscomb. I was tired of seeing people like Mrs. Lipscomb suffer, he claims. Yet Moores website takes a different view:
Im 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 to 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. To the contrary, the black casualty percentage is very close to the black population percentage. The reason 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.
Moores Pro-Saddam Source
Washington Representative Jim McDermott appears in several segments.
McDermott was one of three Congressmen who went on Saddams 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). LRDs 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.
Mr. Alkhafaji, one of two Americans named in Iraqi newspapers as a participant in Saddams Oil for Food scam, gave Congressman McDermott $5,000 in October 2002 for McDermotts legal defense fund in a lawsuit against him .
The McDermott quotes are, obviously, not similar to 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. 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.
He shows Britney Spears saying she supports the President on Iraq. As if there werent a host of brain-dead bimbo celebs, (Madonna, Sean Penn, Russell Simmons, Lenny Kravitz, Susan Sarandon, The Dixie Chicks, etc.), spouting off on the other side.
Schlussel. As with much of the Iraq material, the Spears quote is not an outright fraud, but is the result of perspective which is so one-sided as to be misleading.
Moore Supports Terrorists
In Fahrenheit 911, Moore claims to support our troops. But in fact, he supports the enemy in Iraqthe coalition of Saddam loyalists, al Qaeda operatives, and terrorists controlled by Iran or Syriawho 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 in order to force a totalitarian boot onto Iraq are the moral equivalent of the American Founders, then Moore's claim about the Iraqi insurgents could be valid. But even if that claim were valid (and I do not believe that any reasonable person can equate people fighting for totalitarianism with people fighting for constitutional democracy), then Moore is still being dishonest in Fahrenheit when he pronounces his concern for American troops. To the contrary, he is cheering for the forces which are killing our troops, as he equates the killers with freedom-fighters. And if you think that the people who are slaughtering American soldiers, American civilians, Iraqi soldiers, and Iraqi civilians are terrorists rather than "minutemen," then it is true that Moore supports terrorists.
There are some sincere opponents of the Iraq War who want to "support our troops" by bringing them home, and thereby getting them out danger. But it's deceptive to say that you support the troops if (besides lobbying for troop withdrawal) you are actively recruiting enemy fighters to kill our troops. Moore is doing so, as the next item details.
Moore is Working with Terrorists to Distribute His Film
As reported in the trade journal Screen Daily, affiliates of the Iranian and Syrian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah are promoting Fahrenheit 911, and Moores Middle East distributor, Front Row, is accepting the terrorist assistance:
In terms of marketing the film, Front Row is getting a boost from organizations related to Hezbollah which have rung up from Lebanon to ask if there is anything they can do to support the film. And although [Front Rows Managing Director Giancarlo] Chacra says he and his company feel strongly that Fahrenheit is not anti-American, but anti-Bush, we cant go against these organizations as they could strongly boycott the film in Lebanon and Syria.
Nancy Tartaglione, Fahrenheit to be first doc released theatrically in Middle East, Screen Daily.com, June 9, 2004 (website requires registration). The story is discussed in Samantha Ellis, Fahrenheit 9/11 gets help offer from Hezbollah, The Guardian, June 17, 2004; and Moore film distributor OK with terror support: Exec says firm doesnt want to risk boycott of Fahrenheit 9/11 in Mideast, WorldNetDaily.com, June 22, 2004.
According to Screen Daily, Moores film will open in mid-July on ten screens in Lebanon and two screens in Syria. Syria is a terrorist state which invaded Lebanon in the 1970s and controls the nation through a puppet government. The main al Qaeda commander in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has worked with Hezbollah and has operated out of Syria.
Moore accuses the United States of sacrificing morality because of greed: The motivation for war is simple. The U.S. government started the war with Iraq in order to make it easy for U.S. corporations to do business in other countries. They intend to use cheap labor in those countries, which will make Americans rich. David Brooks, All Hail Moore, New York Times, June 28, 2004.
Yet it turns out that the self-righteous Moore is the one who is accepting aid from a terrorist organization which has murdered and kidnapped hundreds of Americans--and also an organization that works with Zarqawi and al Qaeda. Just to avoid a boycott on a dozen screens in a totalitarian terrorist state and its colony?
Moore is, with terrorist assistance, pushing the film in Syria and a Syrian colony, both of which are places which supply some of the fighters who are currently killing Americans and anti-totalitarian Iraqis. Fahrenheit presents the fighters as noble resistance, and the American presence as entirely evil. It is reasonable to expect that such a film, when shown in Syria and Lebanon, will aid in the recruiting of additional fighters to kill Americans and Iraqis. In effect, the presentation of Fahrenheit in Syria and Lebanon--especially with explicit endorsement from a terrorist organization--amounts to a recruiting film for terrorists (or, in Moore's terms, "minutemen") to go to Iraq and kill Americans.
Because of Syria's oppression of Lebanon and its support for terrorism in Iraq and other nations, Congress passed and President Bush signed the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act. The Act authorizes the U.S. government to freeze the assets of individuals or organization "who are determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to be or to have been directing or otherwise significantly contributing to" Syrian sponsorship terrorist organizations or the destabilization Iraq.
Theoretically, it might be possible that Moore has no personal awareness that his Middle East distributor is working with terrorists. But such ignorance is unlikely for two reasons: First, Moores war room staff monitors controversial articles about the film, and there could hardly be anything more controversial than making common cause with terrorists. Not only has the Hezbollah relationship been publicized in a leading film trade on-line newspaper, the Moore-Hezbollah connection has been reported in one of the very most significant British newspapers, and in an important American on-line newspaper.
Second, Moore was personally questioned about the terrorist connection at a Washington, D.C., press conference. He at first denied the terrorist connection, but was then confronted with the direct quote from his distributor. He stonewalled and refused to answer. So the man who spends so much time getting in other peoples faces with tough questions is unwilling to explain why he is accepting aid from Hezbollah.
The conclusion of Fahrenheit quotes from George Orwells 1984, the novel of a totalitarian state perpetually at war. According to Orwell, the true purpose of the war was to perpetuate a hierarchical society based on poverty and ignorance. The real purpose of war as to keep the very structure of society intact. Fahrenheit applies Orwells words to the United States of today.
Moores purported positions on some issues in Fahrenheit are different from his previous positions: whether people should have made a big deal about September 11, whether Osama bin Laden is guilty of the September 11 attacks, whether American families, including the Lipscombs, deserve to suffer the deaths of their children because they supported the war. But throughout Michael Moores career, he has remained true to the central theme of Fahrenheit: capitalist America is the real terrorist state. Because America is a capitalist society, American use of force is necessarily evil.
Four days after September 11, Moore announced: We, the United States of America, are culpable in committing so many acts of terror and bloodshed that we better get a clue about the culture of violence in which we have been active participants. (The statement has been deleted from Moores website, but is available through the web archive service called the Wayback Machine.) This is the view of Fahrenheit 911: Iraq under Saddam was fine until America began terrorizing it.
Saddam Hussein agrees; after September 11, his government issued an official statement declaring, "The American cowboys are reaping the fruit of their crimes against humanity." Saddam's media showed him telling his generals, "Those who do not want to harvest evil, should not plant evil...Despite the contradictory humanitarian feelings on what happened in America, America is harvesting the thorns that its rulers have planted in the world...Nobody has crossed the Atlantic carrying weapons against America, but it has crossed the Atlantic carrying death and destruction to the whole world." (For more of Moore's anti-American statements, see "ScaryJohnKerry and Michael Moore." It should be noted, though, the John Kerry has never associated himself with Moore's hateful comments.)
Throughout American history, there have always been patriotic Americans who criticized particular war-time policies, or who believed that a war was a mistake and should be promptly ended. Today, there are many patriotic Americans who oppose some or all aspects of the War on Terror. I am among them, in that I have strongly opposed the Patriot Act from its first days, have denounced the Bush administration for siding with corporate interests rather than with public safety by sabotaging the Armed Pilots law, and have repeatedly stated that the current Saudi tyranny should be recognized as a major part of the problem in the War on Terror--despite the tyranny's close relationship with America's foreign policy élite.
In contrast to the large number of patriots who have argued against particular wars or wartime policies, a much smaller number of Americans have hated America. They have cheered for the fighters who were killing Americans. They have belittled Americas right to protect itself, and they have produced propaganda designed to destroy American morale and to facilitate enemy victory. To advance their anti-American cause, they have sometimes feigned love for the nation they despised.
Do the many falsehoods and misrepresentations of Fahrenheit 911 suggest a film producer who just makes careless mistakes? Or does a man who calls Americans: possibly the dumbest people on the planet" believe that his audience will be too dumb to tell when he is tricking them? Viewers will have to decide for themselves whether the extremist and extremely deceptive Fahrenheit 911 is a conscientious work of patriotic dissent, or the cynical propaganda of a man who gives wartime aid to Americas murderous enemies, and who accepts their aid in return.
Dave Kopel is Research Director of the Independence Institute and an NRO columnist. He has previously written about the deceptions in Bowling for Columbine. Like Michael Moore, in 2000 Kopel endorsed and voted for Ralph Nader.
1963 COMMUNIST GOALS
The following was entered into the Congressional record by Albert Herlong, Jr. (a Floridian who served in Congress from 1949-69) in 1963.
1) US acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war
2) US willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war
3) Develop the illusion that total disarmament by the US would be a demonstration of "moral strength"
4) Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.
5) Extension of long term loans to Russia and Soviet Satellites
6) Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination
7) Grant recognition of Red China, and admission of Red China to the UN.
8) Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev's promise in 1955 to settle the Germany question by free elections under supervision of the UN
9) Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the US has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress
10) Allow all Soviet Satellites individual representation in the UN
11) Promote the UN as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the UN as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo)
12) Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party
13) Do away with loyalty oaths
14) Continue giving Russia access to the US Patent Office
15) Capture one or both of the political parties in the US
16) Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions, by claiming their activities violate civil rights.
17) Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for Socialism, and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers associations. Put the party line in text books.
18) Gain control of all student newspapers
19) Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.
20) Infiltrate the press. Get control of book review assignments, editorial writing, policy-making positions.
21) Gain control of key positions in radio, TV & motion pictures.
22) Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all form of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to "eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings", substitute shapeless, awkward, and meaningless forms.
23) Control art critics and directors of art museums. " Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art".
24) Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them "censorship" and a violation of free speech and free press.
25) Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography, and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio and TV.
26) Present Homosexuality, degeneracy, and promiscuity as "normal, natural, and healthy".
27) Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity, which does not need a "religious crutch"
28) Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the grounds that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state"
29) Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.
30) Discredit the American founding fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the "common man".
31) Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of "the big picture:" Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.
32) Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture - - education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.
33) Eliminate all laws or procedures, which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.
34) Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
35) Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI
36) Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.
37) Infiltrate and gain control of big business
38) Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand or treat.
39) Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.
40) Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.
41) Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.
42) Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special interest groups should rise up and make a "united force" to solve economic, political, or social problems.
43) Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.
44) Internationalize the Panama Canal.
45) Repeal the Connally Reservation so the US can not prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction over nations and individuals alike.
Also ich stehe der FPÖ nicht nahe und wähle sie auch nicht. Auch hab ich nix gegen Künstler, aber diese Dame hier scheint zu viel Zeit zu haben. Was heute schon alles "Kunst" ist...
Robert aus Graz
love your work christine!
I am brand new at pbase and already have found my favourite artist beginning with c (-;
Grandiose Aktion ... Super-Bilder!
Ich bewunder Deinen ... Euren Mut - diese Aktion auf offener Straße - wahnsinn!
Auch El und Hubsi ... genau darum gehts
legale Abtreibung oder Engelmacherin .. und damit der Tod hinter verschlossenen
Türen ... das war die Realität vor der Fristenlösung ... Ihr habt
die Türen aufgerissen ... ihr habt diese unmenschlichen Abtreibungsmethoden
aus dem feigen Versteck der Hinterzimmer dirket vor das Kirchentor gebracht ...
den Verantwortlichen zum Zuschauen vorgelegt ... die Folgen vorgelegt ...
vor die blutigen Stiefel gelegt!
Riesige Sache !
Die Leichen den Mördern vor die Tür gelegt !
voll Begeisterung über Deinen und Euren Mut
es muss einmal gesagt werden.
heldenhaft. wirklich heldenhaft. wenn die dame ein herr wäre, dann würde ich sagen: helenhaft.
warum wehren sie sich denn nicht endlich. bürgerin helene.
mit bomben und raketen
in den arsch getreten.
doch frau helene wacht
wünscht herr ernst
gestern warns drin, heit sinds draussen. alle miteinand, die ösis. aber die anderen sind noch drin- mittlerweile 800.
das muß eine helene doch freuen.
alles hat seine ordnung.
looked at the gallery, checked the guestbook-poetry (Bavarian "Gstanzl" type?) and leaves an invitation for HELENE: feel free to visit our Home
The great election-quiz is still running! By ENSIGN
wie war es weenachten? ich plädiere für ein anti-weenachts-volksbegehren. zweisprachig mindestens. und die nora mit dem sexuellen problem verteilt die flugis.
auf ein baldiges,
herr ernst wohnt unter www.aufdraht.org
sie sind ja doch wilder präziser und einfühlsamer. die frauen dieser welt.
herr ernst erlebt dies wann immer er aufs steig gast. und doch leben sie in der gleichen monochromen welt wo klekse bereits zu farbseen geraten.
mach weiter. helene macht ernst. herr ernst macht spass.
obiges diebstahlsgut wurde von einem dieb aus dem standard forum gestohlen in der hehlerischen absicht es hier der nachwelt zu erhalten
das standard posting trägt den treffenden titel das letzte wort - das letzte also
warum soll ein gericht das letzte wort haben, wenn es klardenkende, vernünftige landeshauptleute gibt? der landeshauptmann kennt land und leute und weiß schon allein deshalb, was gut für sein land ist. der verfassungsgerichtshof kennt nur das recht. die richter sitzen in wien und zerbrechen sich ihren kopf bei kunstlicht über staubtrockenen büchern. so muß den richtern die wirklichkeit fremd bleiben. vor allem die wirklichkeit des landeshauptmannes, der bei seinen leuten ist. und hat nicht auch peter westenthaler gesagt, dass niemand die entscheidung des verfassungsgerichtshofes versteht? sollen tatsächlich richter das letzte wort haben, wenn dieses letzte wort niemand versteht? oder sollte nicht doch richterrecht von landeshauptleuten korrigiert werden können? und hat nicht auch albert oder doch karl(?) schweitzer in der zib 3 gesagt, präsident adamovich muß zurücktreten? herr schweitzer sagt das sicher nicht ohne grund. die kenntnis von land und leuten, das unverständnis der bevölkerung und eine rücktrittsaufforderung müßten eigentlich ausreichen, um eine entscheidung des verfassungsgerichtshofs außer kraft zu setzen; nicht nur in diesem fall sondern generell. damit wäre ein basisdemokratisches korrektiv von vfgh-entscheidungen gegeben. das letzte wort hätte der landeshauptmann, der aber land und leute kennt. sicher könnte man ein solches system auch als diktatur verunglimpfen. aber volksnah und verständlich íst ein solches letztes wort allemal.
man kann allein,
man kann gemeinsam igeln.
man kann sich mit dem strich,
man kann sich gegen stacheln striegeln.
die zacken, spieße, dolche glänzen
durch heimat, holz und grünen tann,
bis an die selbstgewählten grenzen,
die man nur überschereiten kann,
wenn augen recht begehrluich glänzen
und herzensmut die schwellen glättet,
... ach jetzt ist schluß mit diesen faxen! da hauts einem ja die schindeln vom dach. was ist denn hier eigentlich los? kann mir das wer sagen? da gehts ja zu wie in einer selbsterfahrungsgruppe!
hansi n. neststreu
Ich habe es befürchtet. Die Sache nimmt keinen guten Verlauf. Der besagte Nachbar des Waldbauernbuben ist kein geringerer als der oststeirische Gurilla Carlos Vamos y Nopasaran, Autoterrorist der ersten Stunde und überaus berüchtigt, sich mit großkalibrigen Faustfeuerwaffen irgendwelche Körperteile wegzuschießen, wenn seine Forderungen unerfüllt bleiben.
Ich habe eben von unserer Gemeindesekräterin, der sehr engagierten Juanita Banana, eine erste Nachricht zur Sache übermittelt bekommen. Juanita, eine eingebürgerte Nica, besorgt für uns immer wieder nötige Übersetzungsarbeit, da auch das Spanisch von Carlos miserabel ist.
Im Anschluß die kurze Nachricht von Carlos.
Völker! Freunde! Weggefährten!
Ich verbitte mir Geschmacklosigkeiten, denn was die Ehre unserer Damas angeht, verstehe ich keinen Spaß. Das liegt mir im Blut und ist mir persönlicher Auftrag.
Wenn ich sehe, wie du, mein Waldbauernbub, meine Hilfsbereitschaft in ideologischen Fragen vergiltst, muß ich dir eine freundliche, aber bestimmte Warnung aussprechen: So geht das nicht!
Ich ehre dich mit unserem Kampfruf:
Dein Nachbar Carlos
werte frau helene!
nun hab ich, was dieses forum zuläßt, auch private post erhalten. von igeleien ist da die rede und von sexismus. ein wort, das ich nicht gar so gut verstehe. aber mein nachbar, den hab ich angerufen, der hat ein zweibändiges lexikon vom vorjahr. hatte er sich zum geburtstag gewünscht. und da stehts schon drinnen.
wenns also frauen meint, dann meint das frauenverachtend. richtig? und das darf man nicht. ABER.
das mit dem an- und umnieten, ich sags ganz offen, in meinen videos, mit denen ich mir manchmal einsame stunden verkürz, wenns da ums umnieten geht, kommen frauen eigentlich gar nicht vor. und überhaupt nicht so sehr. kommen sie vor. das geht da mehr mit so schießereien, falls sie verstehen, was ich meine.
gut, wenn ichs richtig versteh, das ist dann ein bißl männerverachtend, also vielleicht auch wieder sexistisch.
sie haben selber weiter oben geschrieben: *ziehen Sie das dirndl an und vergeistigen Sie sich ins reh am silbersee. nur so, umarmte und abgebusselte kameradin, werden sie den härten und werten gerecht.* das ist zum beispiel unter uns waldbauernbuben nicht so üblich.
wärs möglich, daß sowas mit *geschlechterdifferenz* gemeint ist? das hat mir detr nachbar nämlich auch aus dem lexikon vorgelesen.
*annieten*. das ist ja fast so scharf wie UMnieten. madame, ich sehe, da haben wir gemeinsame terrain.
nicht zu verwcchseln mit anMieten ... hach, man versteht sich doch so leicht falsch.
*sortieren und irr vor sich hinstieren* ist doch die edle, heimatliche art beim anstand auf dem hochsitz, beim ansitz auf dem hochstand - ich weiß jetzt auch nicht genau, wie unsere lieben jäger das sehen. *im fodnkreitz dea firma leitz*, wie eine angesehene österreichische volxmusik-combo singt.
ich sehe sie direkt in kniestutzen vor mir.
da muß man gleich marschieren<<
jawolll! DAS ist helenes kunstbegriff! normen, regeln, einpassen, umkasteln, festschreiben, annieten. TEXTMORDEN. entschärfen, verwerfen, sortieren und irr vor sich hinstieren.
das ist ja allerlieblichst, wies hier zugeht. also was haben wir da jetzt genau?
als genuiner waldbauernbub hab ich mit solchem heimatgetöse nicht all zu viel freude. das handelt alles nicht vom duft des waldbodens und vom diskreten charme gestärkter leinenunterröcke.
was soll ich denn bitte jetzt so einer verhatschten jodeldodel-partie abgewinnen? wenn schon, dann bitte halbwegs eindeutig-zweideutig mitten ins genre. geht das? oder muß ich erst die steigeisen rausholen?
Da kam eine ganz hastige Post von unserem lieben Brachialdichter Hansi N. Neststreu. Es muß ihn was sehr inspiriert oder aufgregt haben. Ich vermute schon einige Zeit, daß ihn die Gegenwart geistreicher Frauen immer ein bißerl nervös macht. Aber ich kann das nicht mit Sicherheit sagen.
Auf jeden Fall haben wir es hier mit einem Neststreu-Gedicht zu tun, das ausnahmsweise ganz gehörig aus der Form geht, was er sonst meist nicht zuläßt. Außer kleinen Ungereimtheiten. Naja, das ist ja heute nicht mehr so streng wie nach dem Krieg, mit dem Versmaß.
oh, kamerad HANS
ich will kein kamerad nicht sein,
da muß man gleich marschieren,
das kenn ich schon, das brauch ich nicht.
jetzt könnt man auch noch frieren.
da lob ich mir die stube fein,
gehäkelt und gebügelt,
und tritt mir wer die türe ein,
dann wird er fein geprügelt.
[himmelsakra! da hab ich mich jetzt wieder ein bißl verreimt.]
wer hier daheim ist, der darf bleiben,
da gibt der herrgot seinen segen,
wer sich nicht auskennt, der soll gehn!
der stand der dinge ist zum speiben,
ich komm nicht mit den zeilen aus,
das kann den dichter sehr erregen,
da wollen wir die heimat pflegen,
dann haut es uns die zähnt heraus,
wenn dinge nicht mehr gut gereimt sind,
das schadet unserer natur,
die dritte zeile sollt ihr sehn!
jetzt hat sichs wieder eingereimt,
doch weiß ich nicht, was wollt ich sagen?
so geht es mit der heimat mir ...
... zefixskrament, wie reim ich jetzt auf natur, und überhaupt, da sieht man gleich weider, was dabei herauskommt, wenn man versucht, irgendjemandem zu erklären, wie das mit der heimat so ist, wo es doch keine worte braucht, weil man das schließlich fühlt, das weiß einer einfach oder er ist nicht von hier, so wissen wir das, und jetzt gehts scheißen mit den zweifeln und der fragerei und dem gerede, das haben die leut schon vor fünfzig jahren gewußt, daß man mit der studiereri nicht wirklich weiterkommt, daß man an die vorsehung glauben darf und ansonsten ein tatmensch sein soll, einer der anpacken kann, nicht so ein studierer und bücherzsammschreiber, so, jetzt also, ist das einmal gesagt, ganz reimfrei, jetzt ist mir besser, adieu-holleröduliöh!
hansi n. neststreu
oh, kamerad HANS - dazu dieser urgesteinsname - es weihnachtet mir im alpen- und ungehalten. welch potential österreichischer verinnerlichung! welch streben zur parteizentrale des kleinen mannes! wir werden es den landverschmutzern und innen und vermachtungs-vermächtigungswegputzern wie innen schon zeigen, wer hier daheim ist und wofür. bleiben sie aufrecht und immer bereit, zu jeder unzeit und eng im weit!
Ihre Helene Dr. P.
Nachdem der Krusche uns Nachricht von dieser Ecke gegeben hat, durfte ich meinem Freund, dem überaus menschenscheuen Brachialdichter Hansi N. Neststreu, zeigen, daß er mit seinen Obsessionen bei weitem nicht so einsam dasteht, wie er manchmal meint.
Was ihn so gefreut hat, daß er mir schon tags darauf folgendes Gedichtlein übermittelte. Mit der Bitte, es hier anzubringen. Und mit seiner steten Empfehlung: Laut lesen. Dann reimt sichs besser!"
die heimat ist ein alter gaul,
drauf darf sich jeder setzen.
staubt aus dem fell, stinkt aus dem maul
und hinkt auf jede weise,
hat jede art von krätzen,
ist deshalb niemals leise.
denn solche grauen schinder,
die wiehern noch im grab.
kein reim am schluß. leider!
hansi n. neststreu
Helenes erhörung: kosmoPOLITISCHE heimatdichterInnen und waldbauernbuben über sumpf und mief und alpendonner, dem zunarr-vernorr ein bizarr-all-sommer.
>>ich garantiere Ihnen: noch VOR weihnachten werden sie vor unserer parteizentrale knien und um einlaß bitten! >und kommen Sie zu uns, wenn Sie bekehrt sind!<<
man möcht annehmen, madame haben sich ihr studium in einem devotionalienladen verdient.
es freut mich, daß ich hier gelandet / gestrandet bin, um zu sehen, wie kultiviert man sein kann. ich kenn ja sonst vom kulturfelde nur dieses *meine männer!!!-gebrüll*. so wie sich eben erzbischöfe aufzuführen geruhen.
aber das hier, das ist doch sehr manierlich. und daß der heimatdichtung auch referenz erwiesen wird, auf umwegen, das wird meinen alten compadre freuen, dem ich davon erzählen muß. der dichtet auch was das zeug hält. schöne aussichten ...
allerliebste frau heimatdichterin, Sie wissen doch, wie sehr ich Ihnen zu füßen liege! Ihre Helene ist doch vor allem daran interessiert, die linke vernaderungsszene zu verherzen und zu beschmerzen. wann machen Sie´s endlich dem vernünftigen sichrovsky nach und bekennen Sich zu einer ordentlichen helenenverschwörung. das land braucht Sie, meine liebe. ihre blauen augen allein erfüllen die blauäugige verzopfung nicht. ziehen Sie das dirndl an und vergeistigen Sie sich ins reh am silbersee. nur so, umarmte und abgebusselte kameradin, werden sie den härten und werten gerecht. seien Sie aufs innigste gegrüßt.
Ihre Helene Dr. P.
p.s. ich garantiere Ihnen: noch VOR weihnachten werden sie vor unserer parteizentrale knien und um einlaß bitten!
werte frau Ihre Helene!
Ihre sicherheitstips in allen ehren, schlagen Sie sie doch leuten wie herrn westentaschler oder den damen mies-prasser und mussolini-küßchen vor oder auch nach. die können damit sicher was anfangen. ich als einfache heimatdichterin will meinen synthetischen miniaturzoo behalten und erweitern, notfalls auch mit hilfe ausländischer heimatdichterInnen - und wenn Ihnen dabei noch so die inländischen grausbirn aufsteigen.
mit mehr oder weniger dichten grüßen
wir waldbauernbuben kennen nur ein programm: härter werdn!
in diesem sinne, werte frau helene, weiter so! sie werden schon sehen, was dann passiert.
Für Helene als Bergschutz und gegen Kholköpfe als Standard-Heimatkonzeptfabrikanten! Helene, 70mg, täglich 3x1 zum Einnehmen.
alstern, bin schon gespannt, welcher Kuchen auf welches Bild paßt. Malakoff auf die Muschelgrassuchende?
da sitz ich in dem trueben, kalten Skopje und kann mich an den herrlichen Photos erfreuen, mit Heimatbezug, witzig, sprizig! Du bist wirklich die Beste!
Bringst Farbe und Witz in den gestressten Alltag einer mueden Managerin!
Bitte weiter so, lass Dir wieder neue Kunst einfallen und dich von den Musen kuessen.
Herzlichste Gruesse - Deine Frieda
Werte Frau Helene!
Sie sind mein Vorbild: So wie Sie kann sonst niemand die Heimat dichter machen. Dichten Sie weiter! Aber ökologisch bitte! Hanf böte sich an.
Mit heimeligen Grüßen
Blau, blau, blau ist der enzian - und was noch ?
Zur karte faellt mir zu aller erst ein: WUFF!
Danke fuer die netten minuten in den grauen alltag mit den wirkich zum teil ueberaus witzigen und hintergruendigen kombinationen zu bildern und texten
sehr witzig, hihi