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More Moore

Jason Menard
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Fahrenheit 9/11 gets help offer from Hezbollah.

I wonder if Moore has a fan club where all his fans from all over the world can get together and discuss all that they have in common? Kind of like a Britney Spears fan club or something.

Anyway, here's a fun Moore site referenced in that article. On that site can be found a link to a translation of a previously mentioned interview with Ray Bradbury, for those that are interested.
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:

I wonder if Moore has a fan club where all his fans from all over the world can get together and discuss all that they have in common?

You could try a theater that plays one of his films...


Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
Jason Menard
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One could try a theater, but usually patrons aren't allowed to bring in their own drinks, food, or explosives.
Gabriel White
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Either that, or just take a trip to WalMart, spend some money on some hollowpoints and blow your brains out.
Chris Mathews
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
One could try a theater, but usually patrons aren't allowed to bring in their own drinks, food, or explosives.

Most people just sneak them in anyways.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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So Moore knew about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners before it was public knowledge but said nothing. I guess he didn't want it to come out before his movie did.
[ June 17, 2004: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]

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Michael Yuan
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
So Moore knew about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners before it was public knowledge but said nothing. I guess he didn't want it to come out before his movie did.


I thought it was the US military that asked the media to withhold the news for a couple of weeks to avoid "endangering the troops".

Plus, Moore does not have the power to stop the torture. The people who had the power knew about it for months and did not do anything. Moore is just greedy. But the other side is ...

But maybe Bush will help Moore keep mooooore of his greed money by giving him another tax cut!


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Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
So Moore knew about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners before it was public knowledge but said nothing. I guess he didn't want it to come out before his movie did.

I think Michael Y. is on an interesting point with you here, Thomas. Where is the line between so-called selfless whistle-blowing and slandering the war effort? After seeing what's happened to everyone else that either a) disputes the Bush Administration's arguments for war in Iraq; or b) denounces the dark underbelly of our 'counter-terrorist' operations, what would you expect?

Anyone here could have claimed the same things 3-4 months ago -- and of course quoted some website of unclear or dubious credibility -- and garnered any number of tin-foil helmet comments from those people who think we should be totally behind this war effort right or wrong, because demonstrating unity is job one.

Is the torture really a surprise? Please; there's a war on. And, as some are quick to point out, I'm a cynic (which is to say a realist with a point of view that makes people uncomfortable). Is taking pictures of these acts, like we're proud of this godawful and need trophies to prove it, a shock? Devastating to the war effort from within and our image internationally? No two ways about it.

Your last sentence implies that Moore knew something about the specific acts that came out in all their glory a month ago, and was hoping no one else would break the story. If that's what you mean, Thomas, it's a lame accusation.
Michael Yuan
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One could try a theater, but usually patrons aren't allowed to bring in their own drinks, food, or explosives.


Oh my god. I hope Ashcroft's patriot squad is not watching this thread. They might detain people here and make major news about "prevented major attacks in American theaters" the next time they are in trouble! But do not worry, there will be no prosecution. The detention is only preventive and it will end once all the evil-doers on this planet are defeated!

OK, I am kidding. Take it easy. Feel free to delete it if anyone thinks it is over the line.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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I think Michael Y. is on an interesting point with you here, Thomas. Where is the line between so-called selfless whistle-blowing and slandering the war effort? After seeing what's happened to everyone else that either a) disputes the Bush Administration's arguments for war in Iraq; or b) denounces the dark underbelly of our 'counter-terrorist' operations, what would you expect?

I would expect that a guy who has film of torture and plans to use it in his upcoming movie would say something about it in order to get it to stop. Personally, I would hold myself responsible for the torture if I knew something about it and said nothing.

Anyone here could have claimed the same things 3-4 months ago -- and of course quoted some website of unclear or dubious credibility -- and garnered any number of tin-foil helmet comments from those people who think we should be totally behind this war effort right or wrong, because demonstrating unity is job one.

Moore had film of the torture. It's in his movie.

Your last sentence implies that Moore knew something about the specific acts that came out in all their glory a month ago, and was hoping no one else would break the story. If that's what you mean, Thomas, it's a lame accusation.

We know the first half is true because Moore said so. Moore claims that he didn't make it public because he didn't want to be accused of releasing it for publicity for his movie. That sounds very lame to me. Does anyone really believe that this guy who despises Bush would keep quiet about this because he was afraid people would accuse him of being a publicity seeker?
Warren Dew
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Michael Yuan:

Plus, Moore does not have the power to stop the torture. The people who had the power knew about it for months and did not do anything.

Actually, they started an investigation last year, long before the photos became public - otherwise we would not have had court martial convictions so quickly.

So, either Moore withheld documentary evidence of mistreatment despite the fact that revealing its existence would have made him a hero to many and would have helped to build buzz for his movie - or he didn't actually have such evidence in advance, and slipped it into his movie at the last minute, or faked it like that British tabloid did. Of those two options, the latter seems far more likely to me.
Michael Ernest
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TP: I would expect that a guy who has film of torture and plans to use it in his upcoming movie would say something about it in order to get it to stop.

ME: The presence of cameras inside an presumably illicit military operation speaks to more than one problem.

TP: Personally, I would hold myself responsible for the torture if I knew something about it and said nothing.

ME: I take you at your word on that. Me personally, I'd promise to keep my mouth shut in the short-term if it meant I could document the goings-on in the long-term. It's along the same lines of asking why people take pictures of the starving in Africa when they could be feeding them. Which, ultimately, is the act that could do more?

Which is not to say I think Moore had this idea in mind himself, just that recording such events is sometimes necessarily distinct from reacting to them.

I'm not creating a case for Moore here, by the way, but for journalism. For some, recording the way the world really works is more important than calling attention in the most reactive way available.

TP: Moore had film of the torture. It's in his movie.

ME: Interesting to me is no one has expressed outrage over that point. I haven't heard a single word about that aspect of the film before today. Could it be no one was really surprised by this?

TP: Moore claims that he didn't make it public because he didn't want to be accused of releasing it for publicity for his movie. That sounds very lame to me.

ME: I don't think we can expect a lot of unfettered candor from anyone on this topic now: Moore, Cheney, whomever.

TP: Does anyone really believe that this guy who despises Bush would keep quiet about this because he was afraid people would accuse him of being a publicity seeker?

ME: I'd believe he'd worry the film would be confiscated if he called attention to it too loudly.
Michael Yuan
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Originally posted by Warren Dew:
Actually, they started an investigation last year, long before the photos became public - otherwise we would not have had court martial convictions so quickly. ... ... faked it like that British tabloid did. Of those two options, the latter seems far more likely to me.


Oh, you mean the low level scapegoats who were ordered to do such deeds but were then sold out. I concur. No, I do not have evidence that they were ordered by higher-ups. That just seems far more likely to me.

But seriously, let's say that Moore faked the entire movie including the infamous Bush golf scene. That made him a bad person and a liar (like Clinton!). But is he worse than people who fake stuff in order to go to war in the first place?
Jason Menard
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MY: That just seems far more likely to me

Based on what?

MY: But is he worse than people who fake stuff in order to go to war in the first place?

I'm not sure baseless rhetoric is productive. The only allegations are that the intelligence information was flawed. I doubt many people in the know believe for a minute that it was fabricated, particularly since France, the UN, Russia, Germany, and every other Western nation had the same intel, although interpretations may have differed. I would also point out that someone did post an article on here indicating that recent evidence points to the possibility that the President may have been correct all along. Now if I could only find where that article went to... :roll:
Warren Dew
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Michael Yuan responding to me:

That made him a bad person and a liar (like Clinton!).

Hey, who said anything about "bad person"? I was defending the guy against accusations that he withheld information that the public had a right to know!
Michael Yuan
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
MY: That just seems far more likely to me

Based on what?


Oh, I was just referring to Warren's earlier comments that it seems far more likely to him that Moore faked the torture footage or added the footage as an after-thought. But anyway, I'd like to think that the military has a chain of command. Otherwise, we have bigger problems than torture.


MY: But is he worse than people who fake stuff in order to go to war in the first place?

I'm not sure baseless rhetoric is productive. The only allegations are that the intelligence information was flawed. I doubt many people in the know believe for a minute that it was fabricated, particularly since France, the UN, Russia, Germany, and every other Western nation had the same intel, ...


To be frank, I am as surprised as you are when they say that they cannot find the WMD. After all, Saddam *used* them before. But that is not the point. Having WMD itself is not a crime. Does France threaten to invade us since we have WMD? What the administration faked was the threat to justify the war. They filtered information that was only useful for them. They even get around the CIA to get their own intel from iraqi exiles so that they can avoid professional scrutiny. It is a deliberate use of fear to ... ... It's all in Moore's film, shall I say.

There was no threat. Bush sr and Clinton did a good job containing Saddam. Yes, UN is corrupted but so is Cheney's Halliburton. The ungrateful Iraqi mobs are better placed under Saddam's harsh rule -- they do not want freedom and probably will not get it in the end.

Bush is lucky that he inherited such a powerful and well-prepared military force from Clinton to defeat both Taliban and Saddam. Too bad that he has ruined it and left us with no capability to respond to another major emergency in Asia or other places when the real threat arises.
Jason Menard
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MY: Bush is lucky that he inherited such a powerful and well-prepared military force from Clinton to defeat both Taliban and Saddam.

Sorry, but I hav eto call you on this one. As someone who served in the military under Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton, I can tell you without fear of contradiction that the Clinton Presidency was highly detrimental to the US military. Clinton and his cronies nearly undid the work Reagan and Bush I did building the strongest military our nation had seen. As soon as Clinton came into office, he did his best to unravel it. He is responsible for the Somalia fiasco that has probably done more harm to the military (and our country's security) than any other act of the late 20th century, and the effects are still being felt to this day. Under his watch he did nothing as military people were killed in the Khobar Towers and on the USS Cole. Nevermind that he placed some US forces under UN control during the early days of Bosnia (at least he was smart enough to rectify that mistake).

MY: Too bad that he has ruined it and left us with no capability to respond to another major emergency in Asia or other places when the real threat arises.

You are making matter-of-fact statements that cannot in any way be supported factually. For one, I challenge you to demonstrate in what way Bush II has "ruined" the military. For another, we have more than enough capability handle another major conflict. Afghanistan is a blip and we only have around 130,000 people in Iraq. That's not all that much. I believe you may be vastly underestimating our forces. I have little doubt we could prosecute a Korean conflict if we needed to, although thanks to Billy Boy, it's tougher than it would have been pre-Clinton.

I can tell you for certain that before Clinton there wouldn't even be this discussion about number of conflicts we can handle, but the Clinton drawdown axed many USAF wings, Army division, and other vital military units. Under Clinton, military personnel were forced out or left in droves. The biggest hit in the force was mid-level NCOs, folks in the 10-15 year group, who are basically the backbone of the military. I was in that group, having served for 12 years when I decided I had enough. Prior to that, it was almost guaranteed that people who were in past ten were in for twenty. So the mid-level NCOs left in droves and the only choice left was to quickly promote the inexperienced lower ranks to fill the void, and this is exactly what happened. For the first time in ages, under Clinton, even the air force couldn't reach its recruitment goals. Never mind all the damage through base closings and unit deactivations, Clinton forced out all the experienced personnel and then ensured that they couldn't be replaced as necessary.

And that doesn't even give an idea what it was like for those of us trying to keep things giong under the oppressive atmosphere of the Clinton regime. For the first time since i had come in, Clinton had slashed our budgets so drastically that it was more difficult to maintain our systems. Prior to this, I as an aircraft maintenance person did not personally have to worry about the cost of a black box I needed to fix a plane, I simply ordered it and it came in. Now we were suddenly being told we were low on money and to cannibalize the part from another aircraft instead. The cost of fixing our nation's weapons systems is in no way something the maintenance people should even have to consider at their level.

Our military was powerful and well-prepared in spite of Clinton. In no way are our military capabilities a credit to his Presidency.

And don't even get me started about Kerry. [snipped: come on Jason, you should know better by now-MH]
[ June 22, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
Jason Menard
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MY: The ungrateful Iraqi mobs are better placed under Saddam's harsh rule -- they do not want freedom and probably will not get it in the end.

While I do not agree with anything else you said in your post, on this point we can agree. My caveat would be to ensure a free Kurdistan in the northern part of Iraq. They are a civilized and well-educated people up there and are quite capable and deserving of peacefully running their own country.
Jeroen Wenting
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
MY: The ungrateful Iraqi mobs are better placed under Saddam's harsh rule -- they do not want freedom and probably will not get it in the end.

While I do not agree with anything else you said in your post, on this point we can agree. My caveat would be to ensure a free Kurdistan in the northern part of Iraq. They are a civilized and well-educated people up there and are quite capable and deserving of peacefully running their own country.


Problem with that is that the Kurds are NOT peaceful people at all. They'd almost immediately start a campaign to conquer the Kurdish parts of Iran and Turkey, where live their kinsmen. Especially the PKK in Turkey have been extremely violent for a long time, only quieting down a bit in recent years because of the massive military presence of foreign forces in the area for operations in Iraq (they wouldn't want to be seen as agressors just when the entire European press thinks they're friendly guys just protecting their way of life against the tyrannical Turks (why you need to murder entire villages to protect your way of life is beyond me)).


42
Joe King
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Originally posted by Michael Yuan:


To be frank, I am as surprised as you are when they say that they cannot find the WMD. After all, Saddam *used* them before.

I'm not really suprised. I saw there being two possible situations:
1) They had the WMD and hid them.
2) They didn't have WMD.

In the first case, I doubt we'll find them any time soon - Iraq is a big country with a lot of sand to hide things under. If this was the case, why didn't he use them in his defence? Maybe he thought (i.e. had been told by his generals) that his army was strong enough that he didn't need the WMD. Maybe he didn't have as many as the world thought.

The ungrateful Iraqi mobs are better placed under Saddam's harsh rule -- they do not want freedom and probably will not get it in the end.


I don't agree with this. The vast majority of Iraqis are relatively peaceful and do want freedom. Its only a small percentage of the population that are actively opposing the opposition, mainly groups that are backed by people attempting to grab power in the post-occupation Iraq, or foreign (i.e. Iranian, Syrian etc) terrorists. I hope, for the sake of the majority of the Iraqis, that they fail.
[ June 18, 2004: Message edited by: Joe King ]
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
that is that the Kurds are NOT peaceful people at all. They'd almost immediately start a campaign to conquer the Kurdish parts of Iran and Turkey, where live their kinsmen. Especially the PKK in Turkey have been extremely violent for a long time, only quieting down a bit in recent years because of the massive military presence of foreign forces in the area for operations in Iraq (they wouldn't want to be seen as agressors just when the entire European press thinks they're friendly guys just protecting their way of life against the tyrannical Turks (why you need to murder entire villages to protect your way of life is beyond me)).


The PKK is a Turkish terrorist group and not generally allied with the Kurdish groups in Iraq. The Iraqi Kurds have been living basically autonomously since Operation Provide Comfort began in early 1991.
Jason Menard
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Regarding the abuse of Iraqi prisoners... For Americans, is the greatest shock due to:

A) That we would abuse Iraqi prisoners in the first place
B) That we were stupid enough to get caught
C) Sympathy for those who were abused

In talking to people and watching and reading the news, I hear a lot of A and B. As far as C goes, not only do I hear that type of response often, I often hear quite the opposite.
Jason Menard
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And on yet another topic... Putin Says Russia Warned U.S. on Saddam.

ASTANA, Kazakhstan (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin, in comments sure to help President Bush, declared Friday that Russia knew Iraq's Saddam Hussein had planned terror attacks on U.S. soil and had warned Washington.

Putin said Russian intelligence had been told on several occasions that Saddam's special forces were preparing to attack U.S. targets inside and outside the United States.

"After the events of September 11, 2001, and before the start of the military operation in Iraq, Russian special services several times received information that the official services of the Saddam regime were preparing 'terrorist acts' on the United States and beyond its borders," he told reporters.
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Regarding the abuse of Iraqi prisoners...For Americans, is the greatest shock due to:

A) That we would abuse Iraqi prisoners in the first place
B) That we were stupid enough to get caught
C) Sympathy for those who were abused

In talking to people and watching and reading the news, I hear a lot of A and B. As far as C goes, not only do I hear that type of response often, I often hear quite the opposite.

A. That the abuse appears to have been both systematic and pointless makes it disgusting.

B. Getting caught? How about taking pictures and footage of the events? This doesn't speak so much to daftness in the moment as reckless disregard.

C. This kind of thing is almost never about the abused. It's about our ability to respect what rights or protections we have agreed to, despite how we feel. And it's about the spirit of those protections, not the tightest possible reading of the letter of the law. It's about how those who have power treat those who do not. It's also about giving an unthinking enemy actual reasons to hate, and giving substance to every vile thing they ever said about you.
[ June 18, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
And on yet another topic... Putin Says Russia Warned U.S. on Saddam.

Nothing like a timely, fact-filled news story to capture the national consciousness.
Warren Dew
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Joe King:

I don't agree with this. The vast majority of Iraqis are relatively peaceful and do want freedom. Its only a small percentage of the population that are actively opposing the opposition, mainly groups that are backed by people attempting to grab power in the post-occupation Iraq, or foreign (i.e. Iranian, Syrian etc) terrorists. I hope, for the sake of the majority of the Iraqis, that they fail.

Very true, and I hope so too. Unfortunately, the small terrorist minority are getting all the headlines.

I'm not really suprised. I saw there being two possible situations:
1) They had the WMD and hid them.
2) They didn't have WMD.


That article that someone recently posted a link to here indicated that the U.N. thinks they exported a lot of their nuclear equipment as scrap. Getting rid of the evidence that way might have worked for bio labs as well, though probably not for nerve gas warheads.

Clearly they had some "WMD", given that one nerve gas warhead has already been used, albeit apparently mistakenly, in one of the roadside bombs. The only question is how much.

Maybe he thought (i.e. had been told by his generals) that his army was strong enough that he didn't need the WMD. Maybe he didn't have as many as the world thought.

Maybe he knew that his only chance was in getting the U.S. to give up the attack before reaching Baghdad. If he used gas, that would only have strengthened U.S. resolve.
Bert Bates
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I'd say we should be a lot more worried about our leaders than about Michael Moore. At the very top of our chain of command, the consistent policy approach is one of deception, lies, stonewalling, and secrecy. That's inevitably going to "trickle down" through the ranks.

Are we really complaining that whistle blowers aren't playing fair in this sort of environment?


Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
And on yet another topic... Putin Says Russia Warned U.S. on Saddam.

One quote left out:

"This information was passed on to our American colleagues," [Putin] said. He added, however, that Russian intelligence had no proof that Saddam's agents had been involved in any particular attack.

State Department spokesman Adam Ereli told reporters he did not know anything about the information that Putin said Russia passed on. No such information was communicated from Russia through the State Department, he said.

Did you read all the way down, Jason?
Jason Menard
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Did you read all the way down, Jason?

If it was Russian intelligence passing the information along, there is no particular reason to believe it would necessarily be through the State Department. I don't know the correct chain of these things any more than anyone else here, but I would think that there are liasons between our mations' militaries and intelligence services at some level or another.

At worst, they had the information but did not pass it along as they state. Although I wouldn't be surprised if the thought is that Putin is making this up for some reason in order bolster Bush. If that's the case, Putin must be very scared of what a Kerry White House would mean to the war on terror, which Russia has a deeply vested interest in.
[ June 18, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Joe King
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Although I wouldn't be surprised if the thought is that Putin is making this up for some reason in order bolster Bush. If that's the case, Putin must be very scared of what a Kerry White House would mean to the war on terror, which Russia has a deeply vested interest in.
[ June 18, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]


Would Putin really lie that publicly though? When he is faced with a public relations disaster in Chechnya, he surely needs the Russian people to trust their intelligence service as much as possible. If it were to come out that this information was false, it could cause all sorts of problems for him. Mind you, having a large amount of influence over the Russian media would be useful for negating this somewhat.
Michael Ernest
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Lies. Such naivete around matters of statesmanship. I think the point is it's the kind of statement that seems plausibly truthful and deniable at the same time. Putin has decided it's best if he weighs in on Bush's behalf to help control political around a) the findings and reports of the comission on 9/11 and b) defuse some of the s*storm that Moore's film might generate.

Although I have to say, you're probably just flat out scared if you need leaders of other countries to campaign for you.
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
defuse some of the s*storm that Moore's film might generate.


I don't think this will be a factor. I'd be quite surprised if anyone takes what Moore has to say seriously. He's already proven to play fast and loose with the truth.
Michael Ernest
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"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public" -- H. L. Mencken
Jason Menard
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9/11's Moore Calls Bradbury

Legendary SF author Ray Bradbury told the Associated Press that filmmaker Michael Moore called him to say he was "embarrassed" after Bradbury complained that Moore's upcoming political documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 improperly co-opted the title of Bradbury's classic SF novel Fahrenheit 451. Bradbury is demanding an apology from Moore and wants the new documentary to be renamed.

...

Bradbury said he would rather avoid litigation and is "hoping to settle this as two gentlemen, if he'll shake hands with me and give me back my book and title."


Note the original source is the AP, and presumably in English so it may be easily translated.
Michael Ernest
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That story is more in line with the Variety article that came out quite a while ago, which pre-dated the "Bradbury gets pissy and resorts to name-calling" furor discussed a while back.
Jason Menard
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Everyone's favorite source editorializes:

"The 'no Saddam link' story is getting so much play because it fits the broader anti-war, anti-Bush narrative that Iraq was a 'distraction' from the broader war on terror. So once again the 9/11 Commission is being used to tarnish the Iraqi effort and damage President Bush's credibility in fighting terror."

...

Anti-Bush zealots are hurting the fight against terror by misleading Americans about what's actually happening. That puts all of our lives in danger.

...

In a CIA letter to the Select Committee on Intelligence dated October 9, 2002, then CIA Chief George Tenet writes, "We have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda going back a decade...We have credible reporting that Al Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD capabilities."

...

Now we have posted that entire CIA letter on billoreilly.com if you want to read it. Also, just today, Russian President Putin said he himself gave the Bush administration intelligence, after 9/11, that Saddam was preparing to launch terror attacks inside the USA. That report comes from the Associated Press.

Now all of this information "Talking Points" is giving you is solid. It is fact, not opinion. President Bush was told by the CIA and foreign intelligence outfits that there was immediate danger to America. But those facts will not matter to the anti-Bush fanatics, who put partisan politics ahead of both truth and national security.
Michael Ernest
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I was hoping someone would dignify O'Reilly by taking the time to repeat him.
Warren Dew
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Michael Ernest:

Although I have to say, you're probably just flat out scared if you need leaders of other countries to campaign for you.

I think there's plenty of evidence that Putin is, if not flat out scared, at least a little bit desperate.
Mapraputa Is
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What is Putin so desperate about?


Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
Bert Bates
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I'd guess that if there were "anti-Bush zealots", they probably became that way after years and years of consistently being lied to, patronized, and withheld from.

Or maybe they just don't like his haircut...
 
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subject: More Moore