Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
Narrator: George Orwell once wrote that, "It's not a matter of whether the war is not real, or if it is, Victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia but to keep the very structure of society intact."
Narrator: As Bush sat in that Florida classroom, was he wondering if maybe he should have shown up to work more often? Should he have held at least one meeting since taking office to discuss the threat of terrorism with his head of counter terrorism? Or maybe Mr. Bush was wondering why he had cut terrorism funding from the FBI. Or perhaps he just should have read the security briefing that was given to him on August 6, 2001 that said that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America by hijacking airplanes. Or maybe he wasn't worried about the terrorist threat because the title of the report was too vague.
[cut to 9/11 Commission hearing, where Condoleeza Rice is testifying]
Condoleezza Rice: I believe the title of the report was 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.'
Narrator: A report like that might make some men jump, but as in days passed, George W. just went fishing. As the minutes went by, George Bush continued to sit in the classroom. Was he thinking, "I've been hanging out with the wrong crowd. Which one of them screwed me? Was it the man my daddy's friends delivered a lot of weapons to? Was it that group of religious fundamentalists who visited my state when I was governor? Or was it the Saudis? Damn, it was them."
[an image of Saddam Hussein appears onscreen]
Narrator: [as George W. Bush] I think I better blame it on this guy.
Michael Moore: If you get called up, will you go back to Iraq?
Michael Moore: You're not?
Michael Moore: What repercussions do you face if you don't?
Marine Who Served in Iraq: It's possible jail time. That's one possible thing.
Michael Moore: Are you willing to risk that?
Marine Who Served in Iraq: Yes. Yes, I - I will not let my person... I will not let anyone send me back over there to kill other poor people. Especially when they pose no threat to me and my country.
Marine Who Served in Iraq: I won't do it.
George W. Bush: I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you.
[George W. Bush brandishes a golf club]
George W. Bush: Now, watch this drive.
Narrator: The first time I met him, he had some good advice for me.
Michael Moore: [Calling out] Governer Bush, it's Michael Moore!
George W. Bush: Behave yourself, will ya? Go find real work!
Britney Spears: I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that.
Young African American male in Michigan: And I was watchin' TV one day, 'and they're showin' like some of the buildings and areas that had been hit by bombs and things like that, and while I watchin' I got to thinkin' like', "There's parts of Flint that look like that, and we ain't been in a war."
Jeffrey Tobin: If there was a statewide recount, under every scenario, Gore won the election.
Narrator: It won't matter, just so long as all of your daddy's friends on the Su-preme Court vote the right way.
Narrator: While Bush was busy taking care of his base and professing his love for our troops, he proposed cutting combat soldiers' pay by 33% and assistance to their families by 60%. He opposed giving veterans a billion dollars more in health care benefits, and he supported closing veteran hospitals. He tried to double the prescription drug costs for veterans and opposed full benefits for part-time reservists. And when Staff Sergeant Brett Petriken from Flint was killed in Iraq on May 26th, the army sent his last paycheck to his family, but they docked him for the last five days of the month that he didn't work because he was dead.
Narrator: Of course, not a single member of Congress wanted to sacrifice their child for the war in Iraq. And who could blame them? Who would want to give up their child? Would you?
[Shot of President Bush appears onscreen]
Narrator: Would he? I've always been amazed that the very people forced to live in the worst parts of town, go to the worst schools, and who have it the hardest are always the first to step up, to defend that very system. They serve so that we don't have to. They offer to give up their lives so that we can be free. It is remarkably their gift to us. And all they ask for in return is that we never send them into harm's way unless it's absolutely necessary. Will they ever trust us again?
Narrator: He couldn't get his judges appointed. He had trouble getting his legislation passed, and he lost Republican control of the Senate. His approval ratings in the polls began to sink. He was already beginning to look like a lame duck president. With everything going wrong, he did what any of us would do. He went... on vacation.
Michael Moore: As the attack took place, Mr. Bush was on his way to an elementary school in Florida. When informed of the first plane hitting the world trade center, where terrorists had struck just eight years prior, Mr. Bush decided to go ahead with his photo opportunity.
[Bush enters the classroom]
Michael Moore: When the second plane hit the tower, his chief of staff entered the classroom and told Mr. Bush the nation is under attack.
[Bush picks up a children's book]
Michael Moore: Not knowing what to do, with no one telling him what to do, and with no secret service rushing in to take him to safety, Mr. Bush just sat there, and continued to read "My Pet Goat" with the children.
[the time is measured on a clock in the corner of the screen]
Michael Moore: Nearly seven minutes passed with nobody doing anything.
[to Michael Moore, explaining how Congress could pass the Patriot Act without reading it]
John Conyers: Sit down, my son. We don't read most of the bills.
George W. Bush: This is an impressive crowd: the haves, and the have-mores.
George W. Bush: Some people call you the elite, I call you my base.
[President George W. Bush is a news conference]
George W. Bush: [Regarding the capture of Osama bin Laden] I just don't spend that much time on it, to be honest.
Narrator: 'Don't spend that much time on it?' Just what kind of President was he?
[Cut to the Oval Office, where Bush is being interviewed]
George W. Bush: I'm a war President!
[a special Taliban envoy is at a news conference]
Female Reporter: You've imprisoned the women. It's a horror!
Taliban Envoy: I'm very sorry for your husband. He must have a difficult time with you.
[Lila Lipscomb, whose son was killed in Iraq, is empathizing with a foreign street protestor when a Suspecting Woman approaches them]
Suspecting Woman: This is all staged!
Lila Lipscomb: My son.
Suspecting Woman: Where was he killed?
Lila Lipscomb: You tell me my son is not a stage.
Suspecting Woman: Where was he killed?
Lila Lipscomb: He was killed in Karbala. April 2nd. It's not a stage. My son is dead.
[Michael Moore is interviewing citizens from Tappahonnock, Virginia, population 2,016]
Michael Moore: Is there any terrorist target around here?
Tappahannock Woman: [Gesturing towards the restaurant behind her] We have a big spaghetti supper in here.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: The targeting capabilities and the care that goes into targeting is...
[as Rumsfeld speaks, images of an Iraqi child having a portion of his head sewn back on appear onscreen]
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: ...is as impressive as anything anyone could see. The care that goes into it, the humanity that goes into it...
Narrator: [on Afghanistan being a part of the Coalition of the Willing] Afghanistan? Hmm... oh, yeah. They had an army. Our army! I guess that's one way to build a coalition: just keep invading countries.
Neil Cavuto: Am I slanted and biased? You damn well bet I am!
George W. Bush: There are some who feel like that if they attack us that we may decide to leave prematurely. They don't understand what they are talking about if that's the case. Let me finish. There are some who feel like that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is bring 'em on.
George W. Bush: [on the Iraqi insurgency] They're not happy they're occupied. I wouldn't be happy if I were occupied either.
American Soldier #16: If Donald Rumsfeld was here, I'd ask him for his resignation.
American Soldier #7: You cannot kill someone without killing a part of yourself.
Narrator: In his first eight months in office before September 11th, George W. Bush was on vacation, according to the Washington Post, forty-two percent of the time.
George W. Bush: [Explaining his extended vacation time] It's amazing what can be done with telephones, faxes...
Lila Lipscomb: The ignorance of everyday people killed my son.
Narrator: Was it all just a dream?
Al Gore: God bless you, Florida! Thank you!
Narrator: Did the last four years not really happen? Look, there's Ben Affleck. He's often in my dreams. And the Taxi Driver guy. He was there too. And little Stevie Wonder, he seemed so happy... like, like a miracle had taken place. Was it a dream? Or was it real?
Unnamed Voice-over: [following Bush's endorsement of the Coalition of the Willing] The Coalition of the Willing! Roll call!
Unnamed Voice-over: [featuring pictures of each nation - mostly children and simple folk] The Republic of Palau! The Republic of Costa Rica! The Republic of Iceland!
Narrator: Of course, none of these countries had an army, so it looked like we'd be doing most of the fighting ourselves.
Narrator: The FBI was coming to see Barry, and they weren't there to jazzercise.
Michael Moore: [referring to the Saudis] Do they give you any trouble?
Secret Service Agent: Uh, no comment on that.
Michael Moore: Okay, I'll take that as a yes.
Michael Moore: I couldn't believe that virtually no member of Congress had read the Patriot Act before voting on it. So I decided that the only patriotic thing to do, was for me to read it to them.
[scene switches to Moore driving around Washington D.C in an ice cream truck]
Michael Moore: [ice cream truck music plays] Members of Congress, this is Michael Moore. I would like to read to you the USA Patriot Act.
Michael Moore: Meet John Ashcroft. In 2000, he was running for re-election as Senator from Missouri against a man who died the month before the election. The voters preferred the dead guy, so George W. Bush made him his Attorney General. He was sworn in on a stack of Bibles, 'cause when you can't beat a dead guy, you need all the help you can get.
Mature woman: Today on the news, Rumsfeld was saying and Wolfowitz was saying: "The Iraqi people are much, much better off. Isn't it better that we got rid of Saddam, and now the Iraqi people can do what they wanna do, and really be free?" Will they ever be free? No, they'll not be free. And where are the weapons of mass destruction? It was a - we were duped. We were really duped. And these poor people, the young men and women who are being killed there. It's unnecessary.
[an Iraqi man is holding a dead, blooded child shortly after the invasion]
Iraqi Man: What's this baby's crime? Was he going to fight the soldiers?
Richard Clarke: [referring to the Bush Administration] They put only 11,000 troops into Afghanistan. There are more police here in Manhattan. More in Manhattan than there are U.S. Troops in Afghanistan. The president botched the response. He should have gone after bin Laden. The U.S. Special Forces didn't get into the area where bin Laden was for two months!
Narrator: [referring to homeland security] Okay, let me see if I've got this straight. Old guys in the gym: bad. Peace groups in Fresno: bad. Breast milk: really bad. But matches and lighters on the plane? Hey, no problem.
Narrator: This is where the Pacific Ocean meets the shores of Oregon. Over 100 miles of beautiful, open coastline on our border. And, thanks to the budget cutbacks, the total number of state police protecting it? One.
Narrator: Part time.
American Soldier: The United States was planning on walking through here like it was gonna be easy and all. But it's not that easy to conquer a country, is it?
Dr. Sam Kubba: I've been getting complaints from Iraqi firms and American firms. The lack of transparency, the corruption. I think the profits American companies are making, the main companies are so overwhelming. I mean, when you have a line item for a million dollars and you subcontract it out for 50 or 60 or $ 70,000, that's a huge profit. It's the American taxpayer that's gonna pay for that. War is always good for certain companies that are in the war. The business of war. If it wasn't for the oil, nobody would be there. Nobody would worry about it.
Narrator: Okay, so let's say one group of people, like the American people, pay you $400,000 a year to be president of the United States. But then another group of people invest in you, your friends, and their related businesses, $ 1.4 billion over a number of years. Who are you gonna like? Who's your daddy? Because that's how much the Saudi royals and their associates have given the Bush family, their friends, and their related businesses, in the past three decades.
[scene cuts to George H. W. Bush shaking hands with a member of the Saudi Royal family]
Himself - Former U.S. President: Seems like a very nice reunion with friends.
Narrator: Is it rude to suggest that when the Bush family wakes up in the morning, they might be thinking about what's best for the Saudis instead of what's best for you or me? Because 1.4 billion just doesn't buy a lot of flights out of the country. It buys a lot of love.
Congressman Jim McDermott: You can make people do anything if they're afraid.
George W. Bush: There's an old saying in Tennessee. I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee, that says: "Fool me once... "
George W. Bush: [pause]
George W. Bush: "... shame on... ".
George W. Bush: [pause]
George W. Bush: "Shame on you... "
George W. Bush: [pause]
George W. Bush: "If fooled, you can't get fooled again."
Narrator: For once, we agreed.
[President Bush is on vacation and is bird hunting]
George W. Bush: Somebody gonna say "nice shot"?
Aide: Nice shot.
Marine Recruiter: I'm sure you know who Shaggy is, right?
Kid in Parking Lot: Yeah.
Marine Recruiter: Do you know anything about him?
Kid in Parking Lot: Yeah, he's the Jamaican singer?
Marine Recruiter: How about a former marine.
[Ober is the president of a company that makes armored vehicles]
Blaine Ober: Unfortunately, at least for the near term, we think it's going to be a good situation. Er, a dangerous situation. Good for business, bad for the people.
[Sheimi is a businessman speaking at the "Rebuilding Iraq" conference]
Youssef Sheimi: Once that oil starts flowing, it's gonna be lots of money. Whatever it costs, the government will pay you.
Katie Couric: I just want to say, I think Navy SEALS rock.
Byron Dorgan: We had some airplanes authorized at the highest levels of our government to fly to pick up Osama Bin Laden's family members and others from Saudi Arabia and transport them out of this country.
Narrator: It turns out that the White House approved planes to pick up the bin Ladens and numerous other Saudis. At least six private jets and nearly two dozen commercial planes carried the Saudis and the Bin Ladens out of the U.S. after September 13th. In all, 142 Saudis, including 24 members of the bin Laden family, were allowed to leave the country.
Iraqi Man: [after expressing anguish that it was a small child instead of himself that had to die] Those that don't fear death don't die.
[TV host Larry King is interviewing Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan]
Larry King: [on Osama bin Laden] What were the circumstances under which you met him?
Prince Bandar bin Sultan: This is ironic. In the mid-80's, if you remember, we and the United States were supporting the Mujhadeen to liberate Afghanistan from the Soviets. He came to thank me for my efforts to bring the Americans, our friends, to help us against the atheists, in other words the Communists.
Larry King: And now he may be responsible for bombing America.
Prince Bandar bin Sultan: Absolutely.
Larry King: What did you make of him when you met him?
Prince Bandar bin Sultan: I was not impressed, to be honest with you.
[on Saddam Hussein]
George W. Bush: After all, this is a guy who tried to kill my dad at one time.
George W. Bush: [on Saddam Hussein] He hates the fact, like Al Qaeda does, the we love freedom.
Marine Recruiter: You ever thought about bein' a Marine, man?
Potential Recruit: Uh, thought about it, but I got a wife and kid now.
Marine Recruiter: Even more reason to join.
George W. Bush: We wage a war to save civilization itself. We did not seek it. But, we will fight it. And we will prevail.
John Ashcroft: [Preparing for an on-camera appearance] Make me look young!
American Soldier: I make anywhere between two and three thousand a month. A Halliburton employee out here driving a bus can make between eight and ten thousand a month. Explain that one to me. For 40 hours a week. Driving the same two-and-half-mile route. Go figure. Where's the justification in that?