I saw the movie recently. My overall impression was that it was a decent quality film. It had a few snide comments that I could have done without, and it was a bit slow in parts. I also definitely agree with those reviewers who say that the movie is much better when Moore gets out of the way and just lets people tell their stories, rather than getting involved in the film himself. It did however have a bunch of cool shots in it and neat quotes from people. Here’s a bunch of the key bullet points I extracted from the movie:
- Bush sat in an elementary classroom photoshoot even after he heard about the second plane crashing into the World Trade Center, and even after he was informed by an aide that “the country is under attack.”
- Bush shipped bin Laden’s family members out of the country via plane on September 13th (at a time when virtually all other planes were grounded).
- Bush received large amounts of money when he was young and starting an oil business with many failures from the bin Laden family (owners of the second largest fortune in Saudi Arabia)
- Bin Laden family invested, with the Bush family, in the Carlyle Group, owners of United Defense, makers of many of the assault vehicles used by the US Army, and thereby profited from the invasions of the Middle East
- Bush tried to prohibit Congress from investigating the events of September 11th, and failed.
- Bush tried to prohibit independent investigation into the events of September 11th, failed, but classified the reports they produced.
- 5,000 family members of September 11th victims sued Saudi Arabian royalty. The Saudi’s were defended by James Baker (senior counselor to the Carlyle Group, Secretary of State and Chief of Staff under George Bush Sr., Secretary of the Treasury and Chief of Staff under Reagan, and Secretary of Commerce under Ford).
- Osama Bin Laden is a Saudi, and so were 15 of the 19 hijackers.
- 11,000 troops were sent to Afghanistan (fewer than the number of police officers in Manhattan).
- Bush quote:
Terror is bigger than one person. And, ah, he’s just, he’s he’s he’s a person who’s now been marginalized so I donn’t know where he is. Nor I, you know, I just don’t spend that much time on him, hell, to be honest with you.
- Bush invades Iraq because of threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), insists upon links to Al Qaida.
- President makes speech on aircraft carrier in front of professionally printed “Mission Accomplished” banner, saying quote, “the United States and her allies have prevailed” while Osama bin Laden remains at large and American military casualties continue.
- Military troops in Iraq complain that they are underpowered.
- Recruiters are out in force (understandably).
- Bush proposed cutting combat soldier’s pay by 33% and cutting assistance to their families by 60%, opposed giving veterans an additional $1 billion in health care benefits, and supported closing veteran hospitals, while doubling prescription costs for veterans and opposing full benefits for part-time reservists.
- Brett J Petriken, killed in battle May 26th 2003, was docked pay for the remaining 5 days of the month he couldn’t work because he was dead.
- This is from a soldier’s letter, read by his mom, received a week before sh got word that he had been killed in action:
Hello. Hey momma, well, sorry I haven’t been able to call. They took the phone seven days ago. I got the letter and box. That is so cool. Your first grandson came the same day your oldest son did. How is everyone? I’m doing fine. We are out here in the sand, in wind storms, waiting. What in the world is wrong with George? Trying to be like his dad, Bush. He got us out here for nothing whatsoever. I’m so furious right now, Momma. I really hope they do not reelect that fool, honestly. I am in good spirits and I am doing okay. I really miss you guys. Thanks for the bible and books and candy. I really look forward to letters from you guys. Well, tell all the family hello and that I am doing fine. We don’t expect anything to happen any time soon. I cannot wait to get home and get back to my life. Tell Spudnik congrats and I’ll see my first nephew soon, as soon as I get back to the states. Hope you guys are doing okay, and keep sending the mail. It makes getting through the days easier. Well I’m on my way to bed so I will write you guys soon. I love and miss all of you guys.
- Of 535 members of Congress, only one has a son in Iraq.