The director of the new film "Fair Game" - released Friday - is either blatantly dishonest, or astoundingly lazy. The movie, starring Sean Penn as former U.S. diplomat Joe Wilson and Naomi Watts as his embattled wife, CIA agent Valerie Plame, makes a number of claims on controversial issues that are demonstrably false.
The Daily Caller's Jamie Weinstein did the legwork in demonstrating just how far from the truth some of the film's central claims are. Chief among them, perhaps unsurprisingly, is that Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, and other White House officials exerted political pressure on intelligence officials to cherrypick intelligence favorable to claims that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
In fact, not only did Libby do no such thing, but according to the Robb-Silbermann Commission, which investigated the intelligence behind the Iraq war, "The analysts who worked Iraqi weapons issues universally agreed that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments."
Weinstein asked "Fair Game" director Doug Liman if he had read the Robb-Silbermann report. He had not.
But other blatant falsehoods pervade the film that could be disproven with a simple Google search. For instance, it is near-common knowledge by now - except among politically interested Bush-bashers - that neither Libby nor then-White House advisor Karl Rove leaked Wilson's wife's name to the press. In fact, State Department official Richard Armitage dropped the name to the late columnist Robert Novak, setting off a political firestorm.
But according to Weinstein,
You wouldn’t know this by watching Liman’s “Fair Game,” since Armitage is nowhere to be found — except in script at the very end. The narrative that Karl Rove and Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff Scooter Libby were nefarious behind-the-scenes players intent on destroying innocent reputations while pushing the nation into war on false pretenses fits too nicely into Liman and Hollywood’s leftwing vision. You can’t, after all, let facts spoil a cinematic anti-Bush diatribe.
And true to form, the film goes on to push more falsehoods about Iraq war intelligence. It implies that Joe Wilson's work in Niger disproved President George Bush's infamous claim that "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”
According to Weinstein, the fictional Wilson "suggests his report to the CIA definitively debunked the Iraq-Niger claim." In fact, Bush's statement was accurate: British intelligence had discovered just that. A bipartisan report from the Senate Intelligence Committee found in 2004 that Wilson's report "did not refute the possibility that Iraq had approached Niger to purchase uranium” and "did not change any analysts’ assessments of the Iraq-Niger uranium deal."
In short, the film is a left-wing, Bush-hating fantasy. The only question is why the director allowed such untruths to remain throughout the film. Allow me to suggest three potential reasons:
1. Liman is being dishonest in order to push a left-wing agenda.
2. Liman is being dishonest because the factual story is far less interesting than the fictional account released Friday.
3. Liman is completely ignorant of the facts, and too lazy to do even a little research.
Or maybe it's a bit of each. What do you think? Let us know in the comments..