Michael Moore

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I hadn't been planning on seeing Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, but some friends invited me to the movie and a dinner, and it sounded like fun to experience it with them. And unfortunately, it surpassed my expectations.

The movie was very deceptive, in many ways. Many of them are lawyerly lies; he says, for example, that Saddam's Iraq was a nation that “had never attacked the United States. A nation that had never threatened to attack the United States. A nation that had never murdered a single American citizen.†Is it murder to fund Palestinian terrorists who kill Americans in Israel? Is it murder to kill American soldiers who are attempting to drive you out of Kuwait? Is it a threat against the United States to attempt to assassinate its former leader, or to attack its military, which is patrolling the no-fly zone? I'd answer yes to all of that, but Moore never gives these details to allow you to make you your own mind.

Most of the rest of Moore's lies are those of implication. Moore spends a great deal of time on the Bin Laden flights out of the country. He directly implies that the members of the Bin Laden family were flown out of the country without being questioned, by interviewing someone and talking about how you should interview such people before allowing them to leave, who said we did not do anything but check their passports when they left. But the 9/11 Commission says 22 of the 26 passengers on the "Bin Laden" flight were questioned; that the FBI were satisfied that no one allowed to leave had any connection to or knowledge of the events; and that no information has turned up since then to call that decision into question. In other words, there's nothing here.

And he goes into all this right after directly implying Bush should have listened to Richard Clarke pre-9/11 just because Clarke was his terrorism expert. But he makes no mention of the fact that it was Clarke's decision to allow these Saudis to leave the country; should not have Bush allowed them to leave just because Clarke, his terrorism expert, said it was OK?

And then there's the name of James Bath, which was blacked out of Bush's military records. Moore implies this is part of some conspiracy (indeed, he finishes his film with an animation of the name being covered up). Bath and Bush had both been relieved of duty in separate incidents. There was no reason to keep his name in the record, since it had nothing to do with Bush. To include it would have been a violation of Bath's privacy. It's standard procedure to black out the name in this case. There's nothing here.

There's a whole lot more (I don't buy all of those "deceits" at Kopel's site, but much of it is painfully obvious); this is just a few obvious examples where Moore is intentionally deceptive to try to convince you of his point. It's manipulative and deceptive propaganda. The only thing Moore convinced me of is that I should never again bother seeing any of his films.

Some have said that Moore's film, despite its deceptions, still paints a powerful picture of the reason why this war is a bad one. I don't think any of us needed Moore's help telling us that war is bad, do you? I thought Moore wanted people to see the truth; that's what he said, after all. It's just one more deception, I guess. slashdot.org

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