Robert Greenwald, Producer/Director of "Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War," A New Documentary That Reveals How the Bush Administration Lied the Nation Into War
A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW - 3 Nov 03
"Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War," premiering on November 3rd, includes an A-team of experts who have exposed the Bush administration lies that deceived the nation. The Executive Producer is Robert Greenwald, who also served in the same role for "Unprecedented," which documented the theft of the presidency in 2000.
This is the description of the "Uncovered" from the TruthUncovered.com website: "This controversial and arresting film takes you behind the walls of government, as CIA, Pentagon and foreign service experts speak out, many for the first time, detailing the lies, misstatements and exaggerations that served as the reasons to fight a 'preemptive' war that wasn't necessary. The war with Iraq brought about unparalleled resistance, both in the streets and in the chambers of government. This documentary offers an in-depth look at the unsettling distortion of intelligence and the 'spin and hype' presented to the American people, the Congress and the press. Fighting wars to bring about regime change is in breach of international law. Yet, throughout the fall of 2002, and into the weeks preceding the war in Iraq, the Bush administration systematically distorted intelligence evidence and misled the public in order to turn opinion favor of 'regime change' in Iraq."
A noted television and film producer, Greenwald is a committed activist for democracy.
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BUZZFLASH: "Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War" is a pretty inviting title for a documentary. It begs the question, what did you uncover?
ROBERT GREENWALD: First, there are a large number of people who have worked within the corridors of power from the CIA to the Pentagon to weapons inspection to foreign service -- people with hundreds of years of service to our country who are upset, angry and distraught at the lies that we have been told about the war. And these people are willing to step forward and go public. Some of these people were in favor of the war -- and yet the way the pre-war information was distorted by the Bush administration is of deep concern to these true patriotic Americans.
We also uncover in the film that it is not just the lies about weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. There are a series of specific, smaller lies -- from the infamous Niger-gate to the supposed chemical labs to the information from Saddamís relatives to the alleged WMD trucks, which were, in reality, fire trucks. It goes on and on.
BUZZFLASH: You interviewed an A-team of whistleblowers and intelligence analysts who argue that the Bush administration misled America into war. Tell us about some of the people that are included in the film.
GREENWALD: I was deeply affected by the breadth of those who have spent years and years working for the government and feel it essential that they speak out. Ambassador Joe Wilson is a smart, tough critter. They messed with the wrong guy. He has all the skills of a diplomat and the instincts of a hit man. He knows how the game is played, and he took on Saddam. Now he is taking on the Bushies; he won't bend or cave or run for cover. We are lucky to have him on our side, the side of the true patriots.
Ray McGovern worked for the CIA for over 20 years. His duties included preparing the daily briefing for the president when he worked there. He is a library of information about what has gone on and what is going on. He is fearless in what he says and committed to getting the true story of how we were deceived out.
Bradley Kiesing was the first person to resign over the war. He has an articulate and nuanced world view and a profound understanding of how the politics of the Bush administration is causing long-term havoc for the U.S. throughout the world.
John Dean is a former Nixon aide who's famous for his role in Watergate and is currently a respected legal and political analyst. His analysis is from the point of view of someone who has been inside. His understanding of the legal implications as well as how the presidency serves to muffle dissenting voices provides important perspective.
David Albright, a scientist and a weapons inspector, is very well respected in all quarters. He is careful and reasoned, and he feels the misuse of the information is clear and "borders on propaganda." This is a man who has spent his life investigating weapons around the world, and his credibility is beyond question.
Those are just some of the people whom we interviewed in the documentary, but that should provide you with a good sense of the credibility of the individuals who bolster the case that this administration lied us into a war.
BUZZFLASH: Are there any new disclosures in the documentary about the Bush administrationís campaign of deception before, during and after the Iraq war?
GREENWALD: Like the documentary "Unprecedented: The Story of the 2000 Florida Election Scandal," which I executive produced, I donít think there is a smoking gun, but seeing the sum total of the deceptions is at times overwhelming, and using the techniques of film to tell the story makes it much, much clearer to all of us on how we were misled. There is some new information, there is some information that hasnít received its due, and there is lots that is made clearer by the style of the film. You see it recreated from footage in the Bushiesí own words, and then our experts deconstruct what they falsely claimed.
BUZZFLASH: You are initially distributing the documentary exclusively through the Internet. Why did you choose that route?
GREENWALD: BuzzFlash, AlterNet, The Nation, and MoveOn.org are leading the way in the Internet distribution -- and we will all be notifying their members and readers. This is a powerful, democratic and alternate way to get the film into peoplesí hands.
I am very excited about our alternative distribution. There will be screenings around the country, including D.C., New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. We have different sponsors in different cities, and more to come. I encourage all BuzzFlash readers to get a copy and screen it, no permission necessary. Just let us know so we can post it on the website. You can use it at your school, club, church, or family get-together, use it as fundraiser, use it to generate discussion. The other part of the distribution pattern is through the Internet, so that the gatekeepers canít stop us from getting the word out.
BUZZFLASH: Several months ago, we interviewed Earl Katz, who worked with you in producing "Unprecedented." That documentary details the theft of the presidency in 2000. Now, you are launching a documentary about the lies that led a nation into war. We kind of get the feeling that you believe that the slogan for the Bush Cartel should be "lie, cheat and steal." Any thoughts on that?
GREENWALD: Well, I wouldn't want to put any words into their mouth; they do a good enough job themselves! I do think that we are facing a crisis in our democracy. As true patriots, each and every one of us has to speak up, speak out, and change those in charge. Our democracy depends upon it.
BUZZFLASH: Are you planning a third documentary on the betrayals committed by the Bush administration?
GREENWALD: "Unprecedented," "Uncovered" and, finally, "Unconstitutional" are part of a trilogy I am working on with Earl Katz, one of the great gifts that we have in the progressive movement. Earl is a tireless advocate for what is good and right.
Earl and I are part of a new entity, "Public Interest Pictures," designed to use filmmaking skills to bring this message to a larger public.
BUZZFLASH: You are an award-winning Hollywood producer and co-founder of "Artists United to Win Without War." You are investing a lot of time and money to document how we as a nation are being sold down the river. Why?
GREENWALD: In the words of my grandmother: "What else should we be doing?"
I have four children who affect every decision I make, and the thought of not doing everything I possibly can to affect the most important time in history -- well, I would not be able to look at myself in the mirror if I didnít do all I am capable of to stop the destruction of my country.
BUZZFLASH: Lately, even the mainstream press has been reporting on the confirmed lies of the Bush cartel as they led us into war. But the revelations don't seem "to have legs," as they say. There's little national outrage, and the media and most Democrats in Congress aren't raging about the Bush Cartel campaign of orchestrated deception and how they betrayed the nation. How will your documentary make a difference?
GREENWALD: I think that the film will be a tool for us to use. The evidence is beyond question when you lay it all out and you hear the experts say, "This is not true ... This is not possible." My favorite section of the film is when you see the Bushies try to switch the argument from weapons of mass destruction to programs that might develop WMDs. So now we went to war over a program?
If people take the film and screen it whenever possible for their social and professional networks, we can continue to make a difference. It is one more element we have to use in the ongoing effort to take back our country.