Movie Review: Fair Game

How can George Bush, Dick Cheney, Carl Rove and their cronies sleep at night? After deliberately starting an illegitimate war, based on fabricated evidence, supported by lies in the State of the Union Address, causing the death of thousands of American soldiers, tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers and citizens and spending a trillion dollars of our and our children’s money.

I came to that conclusion after reading State of Denial by Bob Woodward, and I reached that conclusion again tonight after watching Fair Game.

Ok, State of Denial was a documentary account of a world-famous investigative reporter, and Fair Game was a movie based on true events. Not the same thing. Not everything in the movies is true. Ok, I have never personally met Bush, Cheney or Rove, and I hope I never will, but I have intrinsically more confidence in the veracity of this movie than I do in the integrity of any of  those three men.

Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) was a CIA agent married to Joseph Wilson (Sean Penn), a former ambassador to the African nation Niger. The U.S. government, trying to pin blame on Iraq for conducting a nuclear weapons program, sent Wilson to Africa to find out if Niger shipped 50 tons of uranium to Iraq. Wilson came back and testified that the shipment didn’t happen, actually, couldn’t have happened. The U.S. went to war, citing Niger shipments of uranium. Enraged about the blatant lie, Wilson published a column in  the New York Times, setting the record straight. In apparent retaliation, the government exposed Wilson’s wife in the newspaper as a CIA agent. This made her and her family a subject of ridicule and personal attack. It caused dozens of covert operations around the world getting blown. She had arranged the extraction of Iraqi scientists and her removal from her position caused them to disappear or get killed. Rumors had it that 70 people got killed as a result. The Bush spin masters then leaked a story that Valerie was just a CIA secretary. The Wilsons decided to fight back. Their enemies were the most powerful people in the world, sitting in the Oval Office.

I challenge you: Watch Fair Game and then tell me if you can still consider the Iraq war legitimate.

Rating: ***

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