Review of 'Uncovered: The War on Iraq', director Robert Greenwald
The flow of hard hitting and powerful documentaries coming out of North America seems unstoppable. In Uncovered: The War on Iraq Greenwald (maker of Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism) looks at how the US government used the events of 11 September 2001 to justify the war on Iraq and pulls apart piece by piece the whole defence of the drive to war.
What makes Uncovered so compelling is not that it proves the US government lied and that the WMDs never existed - for many Socialist Review readers this is not a revelation - it is Greenwald's method. Cinematically it is quite straightforward, relying for the most part, but not entirely, on talking heads. But just check out the credentials of these talking heads. Whole swathes of the government and intelligence establishment have come forward to talk about the reality behind the press briefings and the patriotic speeches. Archive footage also makes sure the Bush administration have plenty of opportunity to hang themselves with their own words.
You can see the shock on the faces of some erstwhile supporters of the war as they tell of their realisation that they had been cynically and consciously duped.
Dr David Kay is interviewed. The CIA appointed him to head up the 1,400 members of the Iraq Survey Group in mid-2003. He talks about their search for weapons of mass destruction. The group turned Iraq upside down. He said in a similar situation, 'Usually you'll have people coming to you, and I have a lot of money, reward money, and I have green cards and passports to virtually any attractive place in the world. [You say to them] "You come to us with weapons of mass destruction, evidence about the weapons, and we'll take care of you." All I had coming to me were fabricators, people who said it but didn't have anything, absolutely no evidence. Iraq was a horrible place in June, July, August, September, October and November; insecurity, the economy wasn't working, there was violence, and there is still violence there... In a place this bad who wouldn't want a golden lifeboat to get out? All they had to do was come with information; I would protect their identity - it was clear to everyone. I would take their whole family ...'
No one came forward because of course there were no weapons. When he submitted the Iraq Survey Report saying as much he resigned his post. He knew that his career was finished.
Scott Ritter was another former weapons inspector in Iraq (until 1998). He was against the war on Iraq, he has spoken on many anti-war platforms, and because of this he was disparaged by the media and the establishment as they tried to undermine his credibility: 'The media is culpable for the misleading of the American public. They bought into the Bush administration's rhetoric... I was belittled. I was called a traitor. I was called crazy. Paula Zahn of CNN accused me of drinking Saddam Hussein's Kool-Aid for making accurate statements in response to aluminium tubes.'
Uncovered is another weapon in our arsenal exposing the truth behind this appalling war.