Casualties in the Propaganda War

I don’t usually support law suits, but when a disabled veteran sues Michael Moore for using him for enemy propaganda purposes, I may have to make an exception.

We all know that "Farenheit 9/11" is full is full of inaccuracies. I have personal knowledge about only one

Moore contends in his film that some Saudis managed to get out of the U.S. with special help from the Bush Administration. The Guardian reprints some hard questions Moore asks the President. I cannot answer all of them, but I can help with question # 4.

4. Why did you allow a private Saudi jet to fly around the US in the days after September 11 and pick up members of the Bin Laden family and fly them out of the country without a proper investigation by the FBI ? . . . Finally, on September 18, they were all flown to Paris, out of the reach of any US officials. They never went through any serious interrogation. This is mind-boggling. Might it have been possible that at least one of the 24 Bin Ladens would have possibly known something ?

While thousands were stranded and could not fly, if you could prove you were a close relative of the biggest mass murderer in US history, you got a free trip to gay Paree !
Why, Mr Bush, was this allowed to happen ?

Like these guys, I also was stranded and could not fly after 9/11. I managed to catch a flight from Atlanta to Rome on SEPTEMBER 17, a day earlier than those influential Saudis. I used big influence that is true. I called Delta and asked if they had a seat available and they said yes. How is that for muscle flexing. Maybe those Saudis had to call Bush because they didn't have credit cards.

Now I hear about Moore’s misuse of this vet. I don't know about everything Moore says, but I know when I flew and this vet knows he is not against the president, so maybe lots of things Moore says are like that.

Le'’s think about this from the PR or propaganda point of view. Moore must have known his facts were weak, but he also knew it didn't matter much. He could (and did) create a lasting image.

Add this all to the growing list of liberal myths.

Posted by Jack at June 3, 2006 11:53 PM
Comment #154169

Just a legal fact check here… after reading the complaint, it is clear that Mr. Damon’s complaint fails to state a cause of action. To wit, the NBC clip used is not the property of Mr. Damon and, therefore, Mr. Damon’s permission is neither required nor applicable. Mr. Damon’s attorney(s) could be sanctioned for filing a frivilous lawsuit. It would have been prudent of Mr. Damon to have refused NBC the interview. While not privy to Mr. Damon’s agreement with NBC, the only possible claim Mr. Damon possibly could raise would be with NBC if there is a violation of that agreement on the part of NBC.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at June 4, 2006 12:17 AM
Comment #154171

Yeah, Moore is for the little guy. He can legally use what he wants to mislead.

Posted by: Jack at June 4, 2006 12:21 AM
Comment #154183

Jack: Which do you think the people are more concerned about, Michael Moore misleading them or the President misleading them?

Posted by: jlw at June 4, 2006 1:07 AM
Comment #154187

Dr. Poshek,

What about slander? Or would it be libel in this situation?

Posted by: Dr Politico at June 4, 2006 1:29 AM
Comment #154189



It’s not that the Saudi relatives were able to fly a week later. It’s that they weren’t questioned or held for any reasonable amount of time. Did you really not understand that in Moore’s argument? Seriously. Really?

I think you should start over and find another question to begin this thread with.

And I like the subtle and clear thoughts of your first sentence: “I don’t usually support lawsuits.” I agree. Let’s let everyone get screwed without any recourse!

Like I said, perhaps you should start this thread again…You know—making sure to think first.

Posted by: DavidL at June 4, 2006 1:57 AM
Comment #154194

Dr. Politico:

Neither libel (which is always published written words) nor slander are applicable as there was no misrepresentation of facts viz-a-viz Mr. Damon’s clip. I just reviewed the movie for that very reason. While Mr. Damon may be offended by association with the movie, that offense does not give rise to a legal claim. Also, note that libel and slander require a showing in court of a knowing misrepresentation of material fact.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at June 4, 2006 2:35 AM
Comment #154196

As a gun owning Dem, I lost all interest in Moore about the time of bowling for Colembine (sp). That being said, I do have serious questions as to how the terrorists could be capable of hijacking 4 (no less) planes to fly into serious targets in the US and then be so completely incompatant that they can’t hit us once after that.
So which is it are they this monolithic force that needs constant vigialance and loss of our liberties to protect us. Or are they so completely incompatent that after “Kitty” they can’t hit us in our vounerable underbelly ie. oil refineries in TX. Hell this was in the NEWS that they were unprotected and vounerable.
Jesus have any of you watched the HISTORY or DISCOVERY chanel. They give you all the tools you need to drop this country to its knees.
Maybe I am being a little critical here but these boobs we have in office (both isles) cant to a bang up job of anything. Where is our fiscal responsiblity, where are these jobs in our economic recovery (yes if you have a specalized skill you have plenty of job offers, otherwise you SOL).
When I was in the military we had a term for what is going on, we called it a clusterf*ck.
The only thing I can see that went right in the past 5 years is the senator from Idaho killing legistration that would have been tied to the assult gun ban extension. High capacity hand guns don’t scare me in the hands of criminals, (read a couple of stories about Portland Or. cops and criminals in a shoot out in the criminals frount yard. They were ‘6’ yes six feet apart and shot a total of 14 times before the criminal was wounded. hell it would have been faster for the cop to pull his batton and smack the sh*t out of the guy) but high powered rifles do make me a little nervous.
Other then a very small minority pay almost no heed to what Moore has to say, we know his agenda.

Posted by: timesend at June 4, 2006 2:46 AM
Comment #154200

Jack and Republican’s hypocrisy on this knows no bounds. In lock step with Pres. Bush who says one thing and does the opposite, we heard the right denounce frivolous law suits and cap suit amounts by the maimed and dying, but, let one of their own bring a suit for seeing themselves in a movie which they knew was being taken of them, and suddenly there are no frivoulous law suits. How incredibly typical.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 4, 2006 3:54 AM
Comment #154203

Oh jeezus jack give it the F*** up. What year was Ferneheit? Wellll maybee morrre things ‘er like thaaat… Yeah it’s all a myth that we heard on CNN, NBC, ABC,CBS,MSNBC,All the news papers in the frickin’ country—yeaaah it’s awwwl a conspiracy Jack and the Bin Ladens were never here. Lotta little hands ya’ know? Maybe the guy from the grassy gnoll gave Michael Moore the idea? Jack you got yer’ tinfoil hat on? Because I heard it was all a concocted lie sent out by Bigfoot Jack in collusion with Elvis who does landscaping work now with Tupac.

So the soldier was shocked to wind up on film—we get it. He was used to make a political statement against this war with all it’s Bushco truthiness.

Yes how dare he ask why the Bin Ladens were allowed out of the country by private jet when all other aircraft were down being that the Bush family has ties to the Bin Laden family. How dare he ask that of friends of the Bush family—that bastard! Maybe you can answer that Jack—oh oh right all the media outlets the world over were conspiiiiring together yeah that’s it.

Oh wait, hold on, John Lennon’s at my window—what’s that???? Paul is dead!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Novenge at June 4, 2006 4:09 AM
Comment #154204

Well actually Jack, Moore’s facts were weak—yeah the Bin Laden’s defffinitely have credit carrrds duhhh. Wowww he was waaay off!!!!!

What was the ‘myth’ Jack?—you lost me, and that soldier just doesn’t want to be known as the guy from Ferenheit 911 thus the lawsuit de frivolio. Which he probably filed while humming “Proud to be an American”—that would be my guess. Moore is kind of a wank to the left and you really haven’t come forth with anything on him with exception to the use of the word “myth”, twice I think.

Posted by: Novenge at June 4, 2006 4:35 AM
Comment #154210

Yes we all know that Michael Moore’s motives are what’s best for America. If anyone would watch 5 minutes of any of his doc’s they would know he isn’t factual. As for holding the Saudi’s and Bin Laden’s he would have just put in his documentary how the Bush administration violated their rights while in America. Could you imagine him along with the New York Times, they would have editoralized for months about this. Even better, what if Bush would of put all of them in Gitmo. The whole “why didn’t he hold them arguement” is transparent. So before we annoint Michael Moore as patron saint protector of America let’s have a reality check. I believe the only person Michael Moore cares about in this documentary was Michael Moore. Don’t forget he was not satisfied that he could not be in the best picture category. He lobbied in Hollywood and produced more conspiracy theories about that to get his movie in this category. Very little of what the media shows or prints is completely accurate. Imagine someone actually wanting to hold them accountable.

Posted by: Mike at June 4, 2006 7:32 AM
Comment #154211

Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Nice to know you support the deaths of 2,000 GIs and 100,000 Iraqis to remove Saddam Hussien.

Posted by: Aldous at June 4, 2006 8:13 AM
Comment #154213

decider chimp;

What is specifically that makes Moore a great American. The half truths or the out right lies. You are probably the one who chants Bush lied people died in their sleep. So when Bush lies people die and when Moore lies it’s entertainment. Talk about thinking for yourself. If you think that Hollywood is honest your are living in their fantasy land. They are actors and film makers. What specific qualifications do they have that makes them experts? Because they are famous?

I think your name is appropriate for your. I think you have the brain development of a chimp. You are missing the part of logical and reasonable thought.


Posted by: MIke at June 4, 2006 8:37 AM
Comment #154216

Zelsdorf Ragshaft III

Only an idiot, or someone so ignorant of history would claim Bush misled America concerning Iraq. Kiddies, let us remember the Iraq resolution of l998, signed by the illustrious William Jefferson Clinton, himself. To those ignorant of the document. The goal was the removal of Saddam, for the very reasons Bush later stated.

Well - Maybe I am an idiot, but I read history differntly than you. If you do not understand the Project for a New American Century, who they are and their influence, than you do not understand history of this war.

What drove the this action by Clinton in 1998..? It was a letter from the Neo-conservative group “Project for a New American Century” - signed by neoconservative intellectuals, such as Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, and political figures Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, John Bolton and Donald Rumsfeld.

Read it here….

And while you are at the webiste I suggest really reading the whole website so you can understand that GW’s policy in Iraq was written in 1998. These people moved from the PNC to Bush’s Foriegn Policy Team.

They called for American Imperilism based moral hegonomy, and the benevolent Good empire to spread democracy and American values through military force to bring stability to protect our interests. To sell regime change in Iraq, we need another “Pearl Harbor”. 9/11 was their Peal harbor. Why else would Rumsfeld and Wolkeritz call for invadeing Iraq the day after 9/11?

Posted by: jerseyguy at June 4, 2006 8:58 AM
Comment #154217


As far I can tell, Moore did not use the clip in a deceptive way. Did he actually state or even imply that the guy didn’t support the war? If he didn’t, and he had permission to use the clip, the lawsuit is completely frivolous.

So, do you support frivolous lawsuits against people you don’t like? Maybe a lot of liberals should sue George Bush for the mental anguish of having him as president. It would have about as much merit.

The whole incident reminds me of the stink you guys raised when the New York Times printed part of a dead soldier’s letter home. You (collectively) accused them of implying that he didn’t support the war. But the NYT said nothing of the sort. They actually quoted his father saying that he supported the war. So it was really much ado about nothing.

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 4, 2006 9:09 AM
Comment #154218


It is my understanding that the soilder did not give permission or sign a release - so he says. based on that, he may have cause for a lawsuit.

Posted by: Steve at June 4, 2006 9:17 AM
Comment #154219


You need to read what Moore wrote about the Saudis more carefully. He said they were moved around the country in the days after 9/11, and then, “Finally” on 9/18 they were flown to Paris. So he was implying that there were domestic flights before 9/18. Actually, he is underplaying his case. According to the 9/11 commission, Saudi officials were flying out of the country as early as 9/14. And I bet that even though you could fly on 9/17, many people were still “stranded and could not fly”, as he states.

Now you could say that these facts don’t mean anything sinister, but your experience doesn’t contradict what he said.

Also, to state the obvious, I don’t believe you are a close relative of Osama Bin Laden…

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 4, 2006 9:24 AM
Comment #154220


To clarify, I meant permission from the people who owned the clip.

You don’t need someone’s permission to put them on the news or in a documentary.

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 4, 2006 9:29 AM
Comment #154221


So they were moved around the country by the government. If they were not detained or questioned how were they “moved” around the country? How sinister. You mean to tell me we knew where all of them were for a week after 9/11. Sounds like a conspiracy to me.


Posted by: Mike at June 4, 2006 9:38 AM
Comment #154222
Also, to state the obvious, I dont believe you are a close relative of Osama Bin Laden

While I am at it, I should probably clarify this too, as I seem to be repeating your point. Moore’s main point is that relatives of the OBL were not given enough scrutiny. I think he would argue that even treating them the same as anyone else in some sense constitutes special treatment under the circumstances. We’ve all seen the cop shows where the police ask someone who may know about a crime not to leave town for a while.

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 4, 2006 9:44 AM
Comment #154223

I think the real question here is whether Republicans and those on the Right can stand for the Democrats and the Left to have people whose views are popular, influential, and persuasive.

Moore is no saint. But he isn’t the buffoon or the villain you folks paint him as. What scares you folks is that this guy has enough of a following that he can get more than 100 million dollars worth of audience members to watch a documentary.

My advice, if you think he’s dishonest, is to go out there, and make a better case on better facts. If you think he misleads people, be more persuasive, more principled, and be more skilled storytellers. The GOP is not entitled to our opinion. It has to compete for it like everybody else (and no, just putting out material rebutting or making fun of Michael Moore isn’t good enough; it typically comes off as petty and snarky)

The Right will not recover from its slide until it realizes that it’s reputation will not be protected by attacking the reputations of others when its criticized.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 4, 2006 9:51 AM
Comment #154224


See my previous comment. It takes a long time to unravel something like 9/11.

Compare how Bush treated the Bin Ladens to how he is treating ordinary Americans now. Millions of peoples phone records are fair game now, but the Bin Ladens are hardly slowed down (and maybe helped) on their way out of the US.

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 4, 2006 9:52 AM
Comment #154226

Michael Moore doesn’t make documentaries, he makes films belonging to a new genre called “docu-ganda”. It’s simply propaganda done in the documentary format. Other recent films such as anything made by Moore, “An Inconvenient Truth”, “Super Size Me” and others fit this new genre. The object is to present a particular point of view, not to present objective truth. Indeed, truth often takes a backseat to the “message”.

The clip of the veteran is used in a way that makes it a knowing misrepresentation of fact.

Posted by: traveller at June 4, 2006 10:08 AM
Comment #154227

Hey zelsdorf,

I know that you’re a very intelligent man and all of us democrats are stupid, so forgive me for pointing out your inability to spell correctly. h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e is the word you’re looking for. There’s no such thing as a ‘hypocrat’.

Posted by: zelsdorf is stupid at June 4, 2006 10:14 AM
Comment #154228


Maybe we have not been hit again because we have prevented it. Everybody can see thousands of places where terrorists could do serious damage at almost no cost or risk. Why don’t they? We cannot possibly defend all these targets. The only way to protect ourselves is to get at those who would do us harm before they get at us and dissuade others from thinking they can do it.


I really don’t think this guy should win his suit and we both know he won’t. It is the only way this guy can get any notice of what Moore did to him.


The bin Ladens were NOT allowed out while others were grounded. I got a flight on September 17 BEFORE they did. I did this only by calling the 800 number of the airlines. What has annoyed me since the movie is that this simple and easily checked lie has become so well accepted. I have had to counter it several times on this blog alone.

And you know I just don’t like Moore. He is even unpleasant to look at.

Woody (and David)

You are right about the frivolous law suits. I admit that I let my dislike of Moore to lead to me a statement of policy that I would not generally support. I think this happens a lot to people with the Bush hatred too.


I actually think Moore is a buffoon although not a fool. He seems to have a visceral hatred of what he sees as the U.S. free market system and all its defenders. He uses ridicule to get at them. I have no trouble with that, but he is clearly not a happy warrior. I make fun of you guys (I suppose I have made fun of you) but I hope it is clear that I don’t hate you or think you are evil for holding the views you do and I enjoy our exchanges. Moore is not a happy warrior. My impression of Moore is that he hates. And I hate that.

Posted by: Jacks at June 4, 2006 10:17 AM
Comment #154232

Soon Mike Moore will be seen for the true patriot he is, just like the Dixie chicks,we will all praise them for there courage.

Posted by: Tom at June 4, 2006 10:30 AM
Comment #154233

Jack: The only work of Moore that I have seen is the documentary he did on the head of GM. You say that Moore hates. What does he hate? Could it be that he hates Processes, policies or people that he believes are wrong for America? Don’t you?

Posted by: jlw at June 4, 2006 10:50 AM
Comment #154235


I’m wondering whether you didn’t see the movie, which I suspect of most of the Michael Moore critics, or you’ve suffered a political stroke given some of your recent knee-jerk responses.

You acknowledge to David that this guy doesn’t have a case. He is simply seeking fame, much like John “swiftboat” O’Neil, via the right wing TV political hacks. Lying is a prerequisite.

Traveller, I agree. Moore doesn’t make documentaries. I’ve only seen two of his movies, the one about GM and Farenhiet 911.

Moore is a politico, and a bubble burster. He’s fat, kinda of like Rush, and capable of venom and distortion. I think he uses fewer drugs than Rush, though. Hey, I won’t argue that Rush is a buffoon. If you hate haters, do you hate yourself, and does that make you a hater?

I liked both movies I saw. They were funny, entertaining and posed serious questions. I think Eisenhower posed the same question that Michael Moore’s movie posed, was he a buffoon, too?

Posted by: gergle at June 4, 2006 10:55 AM
Comment #154236

Gergle: They don’t need to waste their time watching the movie. Faux News has told them the truth about the movie and Moore. What Moore do they need to know.

Posted by: jlw at June 4, 2006 11:01 AM
Comment #154238


Moore makes funny films. They are sharp and interesting. But he does not try to be fair. That is his business, but then he cannot be allowed to portray himself as a type of journalist. If you see him in interviews, it is clear that he hates his subjects and that is why he goes after them.

When someone does an ambush interview with someone with Altzheimers disease, you might question his motives.

Posted by: Jack at June 4, 2006 11:07 AM
Comment #154241


I’m rolling in the floor laughing, which makes typing this extremely difficult. Bushco truthiness!!! I love it.

Posted by: gergle at June 4, 2006 11:17 AM
Comment #154242

By the way,

Paul isn’t really dead, he just wishes his soon-to-be ex were.

Posted by: gergle at June 4, 2006 11:19 AM
Comment #154245

Team Red: I believe we shouldn’t rush to judgement here. We won’t know whether there has even been a crime until the legal proceedings are complete, and it’s completely unfair to the accused to to assume guilt.

As an exercise, try to decide whether to agree or disagree with this statement, without knowing whether I’m talking about Haditha or Moore.

Posted by: William Cohen at June 4, 2006 11:35 AM
Comment #154248


“When someone does an ambush interview with someone with Alzheimer’s disease, you might question his motives.”

That “someone with Alzheimer’s” you mentioned was the President of one of the busiest lobbying organizations in the country.
Wouldn’t you think that someone, within that lobbying organization, would have known Moore’s proclivity for “ambush” interviews and intervened?

People keep bringing up this interview with Heston, yet you’d think somebody should have known better than to expose Heston to the Moore interview.

Moore is Moore. Love him or hate him, he has been totally consistent since “Roger and Me”.

Posted by: Rocky at June 4, 2006 11:42 AM
Comment #154251

Jack: it sounds to me that you have described, to a tee, what fox news does on a daily basis. And, if you wish to here the master of hate, tune into the Rush show.

Posted by: jlw at June 4, 2006 11:45 AM
Comment #154263

I’ve not seen Fahrenheit 911, nor do I plan to, as doing so would make Moore an even richer man than he currently is (despite the image he cultivates). But I have done my homework on the movie, as well as other movies Moore has done.

He is a skilled filmmaker—but he is no where near a maker of documentaries. His films are filled with nuance that leads the viewer to specific conclusions. Moore does this often without lying, but also often by only tell a portion of the truth. His movies would never stand the courtroom test of “telling the truth, telling the whole truth, and telling nothing but the truth.”

He edits his movies carefully to give the perception of fairness, but without being fair at all. You can like him or not, but don’t confuse him with someone who is after a neutral truth. Moore has an agenda and is skilled in making movies to support his agenda. Just as Rush Limbaugh is biased in his presentation, so too is Michael Moore. Those who take either the Limbaughs or Moores of the world at face value are engaging in an exercise of intellectual laziness.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 4, 2006 12:36 PM
Comment #154266

If I were the NRA, I would not have as my spokesman a man who could not reason well enough to hold his own with an unfriendly interviewer. Being able to defend the organization’s views is the job description after all. Michael Moore and folks like him, who strongly disagree with the agenda of the NRA can only be expected to confront the organization’s spokesman, if they can manage the interview, with the full force of their intellect. It is not Moore who should be raked over the coals, but the people who put this man up to working a position he could not fully handle.

As for his disposition, I’d say he’s more towards the socialist end of things than I am, but he and I agree on one thing: this nation should not be a plutocracy, where the wealthy and the business interests rule at the expense of the public interest. I don’t agree with everything he says, but I think he presents a strong, compelling case for his views. That of course, makes him an easy target for those who oppose his views. I don’t think he’s a dishonest man. I do think he’s a propagandist, and I don’t think he makes apologies for that. These are no more meant to be even-handed than the op-ed page.

The trouble with the Republicans nowadays is that they are too quick to assume an irrational motive for things when folks can be upset about what their policies are doing for rational reasons.

An example, personally speaking: It really upset me to learn the extent to which the case for war that had appeased my doubts was wrong, to learn just how comprehensively unsupportable on the facts, the checkable facts, all these premises were. I was concerned when our invasion was quickly followed by lawlessness, and increasing annoyed and angry, as the violence and unrest began to ramp up in the summer after that. The fact that it took us 9 months after that to capture Saddam Hussein, whose continued freedom most likely emboldened the insurgents and the terrorist, did not make me any happier. It was good to hear and see that we had captured him, but even then, the continued violence worried me.

Fallujah and Najaf were what really clenched it for me, America essentially giving up these cities as lost for half a year, letting them remain under the control of the enemy. I mean, in all this, how were we going to go about the business of reconstructing and pulling together that country, with big chunks of territory in open revolt? Why were they in open revolt to begin with? Hadn’t we done this job right the first time?

I don’t think it’s unreasonable, given the power and grace with which we defeated Iraq’s forces in the initial fight, to find it difficult to accept that we would so screw up the aftermath, and make a bigger, longer, nastier war out of that than the one we first fought.

All this stuff about supporting our troops and refusing aid and comfort to the enemy is all well and good, but you don’t win a war by will alone, and morale is not generated or lost in a vacuum. It is the practical mistakes of this war that have us in this position, that have split the country and made Iraq so problematic. If we are to win, we have to move past sentiments and vain wishes towards giving our soldiers the tools and strategy needed to win.

In the end, that’s what most Americans, regardless of party have been asking for.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 4, 2006 1:04 PM
Comment #154271

I expect more than the “i dont usually, but” syndrome from you. Sounds to me like its ok for you to make exceptions when they suit your argument.
“It was kind of almost like the enemy was using me for propaganda. What soldier wants to be involved in that?” Damon told CBS’s local television news affiliate. “I didn’t lose my arms over there to come back and be used as ammunition against my commander-in-chief.” quoted from supplied link.
This poor mans claim is that “It was kind of almost like the enemy was using me for propaganda”. Kind of almost like? Where is SE? Who could defend this guy?
It seems the rest of the piece is a sob story about a veteran that wants a hand out.
Why doesn’t he get in line?
Oh? The person that wronged him was a disenting liberal. Well then, I suppose its ok to sue him.
However, if our government wants to turn it’s back on all of the homeless veterans, it is ok. I mean those guys had it easy anyway. After all, THERE WERENT ANY TERRORISTS BACK THEN!!!!

BTW I don’t usually use caps or disrespect veterans, BUT…

Posted by: stopculture[EVIL] at June 4, 2006 1:39 PM
Comment #154288

Note: Mr. Damon is not homeless. In fact, he has a new house given to him by and support group.

Posted by: Dr. Posheki at June 4, 2006 3:19 PM
Comment #154304

Jack nice two step around the issue I proposed. Well maybe we stoped some terrorists. Hell if that happened it would have been all over the news from the bully pulpit of the president.
Look at us we saved you again. How many Oranges did we have between 9/11 and the 11/2004?
How many Oranges have we had since 11/2004?
Do you see any inconsistancies?
What is our government doing to protect us other then erode our rights?
If protection comes at the loss of my civil liberties then I don’t want protection. Hell I have my own guns I will protect my own family. This is what scares me when is this government going to go after our guns, the are going after everything else we hold dear.

Posted by: timesend at June 4, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #154319

A better link:

Posted by: allen at June 4, 2006 6:09 PM
Comment #154325

JACK, You got a flight out before the Bin Ladens did? Interesting. So why were they not questioned by the FBI? By the 17th atleast we had the assumptive reason to say that Osama and Al Qaida were behind the WTC attacks—so why no questions of them? I think that is still a valid question actually.

Personally I don’t like Michael Moore due to some of the things he did on his television show, TV Nation, back in the 90’s (especially concerning his playful attitude towards the war in Bosnia) nor have I seen the movie “Farenheit 911”. But I do think the question is fair—why didn’t the FBI either detain them or question them before leaving the country? It just seems really irresponsible not to atleast get what information they had on Osama’s whereabouts. I personally don’t believe the hype that Osama is such a black sheep in the family—Bin Laden money was poured into Al Qaida, the family holds those purse strings I would suppose to some extent atleast. So a detainment and questioning of them by the FBI would have been fair. Wouldn’t you say? If George W Bush did that you’d support it but instead he didn’t so you support that instead, all on some notion of good faith.

Don’t you ever think for yourself or is that treasonous? You have the right to ask why they were never detained or questioned too ya’ know, as that may have turned up some needed answers especially right after America was attacked, the towers were in smoke and rubble and 3000 were dead as a result.

Forget Michael Moore for a second, focus on the question: Should they or should they not have been questioned by the FBI after what happened to this nation by one of their own direct relatives?

Posted by: Novenge at June 4, 2006 7:05 PM
Comment #154349


Not me, you or Moore knows whether they were questioned or what value they could have been. If you were to question them and they told you something useful, would you expect to go public? I hear that the bin Laden family has literally hundreds of members. Would you detain all of them?

Beyond that, these guys if they worked at the Embassy had diplomatic status. You cannot detain diplomats except under very narrow circumstances. That is black letter international law. Guantanamo is small potatoes in comparison.

So to answer Moore. We probably did questions some. Others had little value. It is likely that our security services were intimately familiar with these Saudis anyway. They had diplomatic immunity, which the U.S. does not violate. I expect we got what we needed in those days between Sept 11 and Sept 18. After all, they COULD have left a day early if they had only known the 800 number to Delta or United. Moore is specualating about something he does not understand. A fool can ask Moore questions than a wise man can answer. And they do.

Posted by: Jack at June 4, 2006 9:43 PM
Comment #154357

Some might have had that kind of immunity, but all? As you said, there are many Bin Ladens, but I’m sure many if not most chose a career other than diplomacy. As for many of them living in this country, I think the point made about them still stands. When somebody apparently commits a crime, talking to the family of the suspect is a natural step to take, especially if you have your eye on catching them. I think we can agree we were both interested in that, and the family’s wish to leave our country quickly should have taken a backseat to finding the likely suspect in the deaths of 3000 Americans. Right?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 4, 2006 10:05 PM
Comment #154366


You do not know the extent that they were investigated. Moore says they were not. As far as I know, nobody says anything else. But if they were questioned it would not need to be a in depth interogation to believe they didn’t know anything of value.

It is also true that bin Laden’s proclivities were known from the time of Clinton. Presumably the bin Laden’s in the U.S. were also known and vetted by both Clinton & Bush’s guys. They were not under cover, since even Moore can figure it out. It is probably just a non-story made to look like a big deal. After all, we have not in the subsequent years heard that these guys did anything. I did see on TV a story that one of bin Laden’s female cousins is working as a model in NYC. She has no contact with him and I don’t suppose he approved of her.

Moore is very good at mixing things in ways that make them seem significant. In his earlier movie he made a big deal that the NRA was founded the same time as the KKK. He failed to note, however, that the NRA was founded by Union officers who were fighting the Clan. He has a way with editing. He is not an honest witness, and I don’t think even he claims to be.

Posted by: Jack at June 4, 2006 10:51 PM
Comment #154372

If you don’t know the extent to which they were investigated, how can you claim it was sufficient, much less calculate the value of what they might have said?

Bin Laden’s status as leader of a terrorist group was only really worked out about the mid-nineties, and I’m sure many of the Bin Ladens have been living here longer.

As for what they could tell? You’ll never know if you don’t ask. One does not have to be even all that close to him, much less a criminal to know something important. All it takes is the right observation, the right information about who supports Bin Laden’s terrorism in the family, and you could get much closer to Bin Laden’s trail.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 4, 2006 11:26 PM
Comment #154373

I was scheduled to fly home from BWI on Sept 12 and the 800 number got me on a flight out of Dulles on the 15th (weird that the one with a hijacking opened first)
But I think they started the international flights later than the domestic ones so I don’t know if that proves anything…

Also, when I saw that movie, multiple half truths were obvious. Grain of salt.


Posted by: Christine at June 4, 2006 11:26 PM
Comment #154385

Okay JACK,

Let me start out by saying if all the members of the Bin Laden family were in the US yes I would say detain them and question them all.

And B: Very precise circumstances to detain or question those with diplomatic immunity???—Two very large skyscrapers were totalled by their relative Osama BinLaden with a series of 737’s. Would this not be cause enough to bear forth questions? Really not enough cause that their cousin or nephew or brother or sister did something that vicious to the United States?? This does not warrant atleast a few questions for them???? I think it certainly does.

Also you are assuming that they were questioned…and that it was all secret?? There is no evidence of that because as you state it was secret—hmm okaaay..Devil’s advocate..

Actually yes it would have been made public due to public outcry and they would be responsible and by openly reporting the Bin Ladens were questioned would get the media and the public off of their backs. So yes it would have been made public that they were questioned. What was said exactly may not have been made public information however but we would NOT make that a national secret that questions were asked—as it is American Law enforcement and FBI’s ass that is on the line.

JACK, You yourself have probably seen myriad examples of this where law enforcement investigators will say that a person was questioned but won’t give any further details of it. So yeah as a means of protocol yes it would have been made public if there was a questioning with exception to what was asked or said, quite probably.

Posted by: Novenge at June 5, 2006 12:31 AM
Comment #154386

In other words Jack, No the Bin Ladens were probably never questioned at all. Perhaps a stand down order from somewhere else higher up the chain made the call I would assume (or were completely negligible).

Posted by: Novenge at June 5, 2006 12:38 AM
Comment #154392

Hey wait a minute, another thought, aren’t the republicans against granting foreign dignitaries diplomatic immunity but are now defending it in this case to defend the Bush administration? This is a complete policy 180. If it is something that gives Bush a negative image—you appear to be supporting standards such as granting foreign dignitaries Diplomatic Immunity and that they should never be questioned. the republican party used to be against foreign dignitaries having these rights and being above the law thus I would expect you would say that they should have been questioned being that they have no right to be above US law—especially being who they are—the terrorists actual and direct family members. WE couldn’t hold them here in this country, not neccesssarily Gitmo but here in the US, atleast until this blew over and they were found innocent and knowing nothing.

You appear to be defending the Bin Laden family for one and two the rights of foreign dignitaries to have diplomatic immunity from US laws or rights over the basic protocols of American law enforcement. Face it Jack they should have been questioned and we knew they were in the country, Bush (or the CIA which Bush senior used to head)just did them a favor.

Posted by: Novenge at June 5, 2006 12:58 AM
Comment #154440


As far as I know, we have never significantly violated diplomatic immunity in this administration or any other.

Both me and Moore are speculating about the extent of questioning. What Moore is lying about is the idea that they got out sooner than anyone else by some special arrangement.

You (and I guess Moore)are advocating arresting and detaining people because of their name. And yet you oppose wiretaping of terrorist phones or statistical analysis of phone calls.

How many ADULT memembers of the bin Laden family are we talking about anyway (I really don’t know. This is not a rhetorical question)?

Posted by: Jack at June 5, 2006 10:19 AM
Comment #154442

An interesting link on the Docuganda pieces Moore pioneered. Use them with care and don’t believe everything in them.

Posted by: Jack at June 5, 2006 10:39 AM
Comment #154634

Documentary, as a genre, is basically no different than Non-fiction section in the library. It does not guarantee objectivity, or even complete factuality.

Remember Triumph of the Will? The Thin Blue Line? Why We Fight? These are but a few of many examples of movies that have a strong point of view, yet are considered to be documentaries. Moore’s movies easily fall into this category. The notion that Documentaries must be objective is a stylistic notion, though not unimportant to the analysis of the content. If the point of the documentary is supposedly to educate, I would prefer objective case-building.

I don’t think it’s the end of the world, though, when we see documentary op-eds. It’s happened before, it will happen again, we just got to take what we see with a grain of salt.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 5, 2006 11:06 PM
Comment #154637


review the movie again,

You said:
“What Moore is lying about is the idea that they got out sooner than anyone else by some special arrangement.”

…and you’re wrong. Look at it again.

Posted by: RGF at June 5, 2006 11:18 PM
Comment #154981

The quotation I used above came from Moore’s book. I thought he also used it in the movie, but maybe not. Unlike Moore, my error is not intential and does not affect the underlying facts of the case. It is what Moore wrote above. Follow the link to his own words.

His contention does not correspond to reality. Only he knows if he is lying or just misinformed. But if he is misinformed, he must be really dumb (and he is not dumb, just unattracive)


I don’t know about the Thin Blue Line They other ones are certainly propaganda and the Triumph of the Will is odious. I would certainly put Moore in the same category as Leni Reisenthal as a truth teller.

Posted by: Jack at June 6, 2006 10:42 PM
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