Shock and Awe (2017) Movie Script

Continuing today's
hearing on future VA funding...
the Senate Committee on
Veterans' Affairs...
is called back to order.
CHAIRMAN: We'll hear from our
next witness.
Will you please stand
and raise your right hand?
My apologies.
Please raise your right hand.
Do you swear that the testimony
you're about to give...
this committee will be the
truth, the whole truth...
and nothing but the
truth, so help you God?
I do.
Please state your name.
Private First Class Adam Green,
United States Army, retired.
Mr. Green, I understand you've
prepared a statement?
I have, sir.
You may enter it into the record
at this time.
Mr. Chairman, members of the
I want to thank you
for the opportunity...
to speak with you today.
I served in the military f...
I'm sorry, if I could just...
Sure, go ahead.
Thank you, sir.
I've always liked numbers.
Whenever I have a hard time
wrapping my head around...
something, I find that numbers
make things clearer for me.
They help me understand
decisions that are made...
and the impacts of those
So, if it's all right...
I'd like the start with the
number 1.4 million.
That's the number of men
and women...
who are currently serving
in our military.
that's how many days passed
before we invaded one country...
after having been attacked
by another.
19... is how old I was when
I enlisted.
Three is the number of hours
that passed from the time...
I arrived in Iraq to the time
our transport...
was destroyed by an I.E.D.
And then there's six.
That's the number of inches the
piece of shrapnel was...
that severed my spinal cord.
The only problems with numbers
is they can be impersonal.
A decision you made had a
life-changing impact on me...
and a lot of soldiers like me.
Now, I'm not a military expert.
I don't know a whole lot
about geopolitical affairs.
I'm just an ordinary American.
And I understand that you've
asked me here...
because you all have
some questions for me,
but if it's all right, I'd like
to ask all of you a question.
How the hell did this happen?
BUSH: My fellow citizens,
at this hour...
American and coalition forces
are in the early stages...
of military operations
to disarm Iraq, to free...
its people and to defend
the world from grave danger.
BLITZER: The start of the
campaign called Shock and Awe.
BROKAW: Shock and Awe.
- RATHER: Shock and Awe.
- MAN: Shock and Awe, indeed.
REPORTER #1: Air raid sirens
are going off in Baghdad...
REPORTER #2: The massive
military operation...
to topple Saddam Hussein
is now in effect.
Firing 600 Cruise missiles...
and every type of war plane
in the American arsenal.
BROKAW: A fearsome display
of American military might.
The scale of this attack...
is considerably higher than
anything we've seen before.
REPORTER #5: We're taking out
whole buildings...
with these Cruise missiles.
U.S. war planes unleashed...
to promise massive bombardment
of Baghdad.
BLITZER: 3,000 Tomahawk
Cruise missiles...
satellite-guided precision
bombs, laser-guided bombs.
REPORTER #6: I think the
citizens of Baghdad know...
exactly what the Pentagon
means by Shock and Awe.
REPORTER #7: Just over the
Kuwait-Iraq border...
we watched as columns of troops
moved into the country.
RATHER: They're well on their
way to Baghdad.
They have met resistance.
WOMAN: We can't leave the
every tank, every helicopter...
is that my son?
REPORTER #8: Now Baghdad is
within striking distance...
just a few short miles away...
as U.S. troops make their final
push forward.
We want to slaughter
them all...
those invaders, their tombs
will be here in Iraq.
REPORTER #9: If Saddam Hussein
is alive, he is quote...
"Not in control of his military
and of his government."
BUSH: These are opening stages
of what will be a broad...
and concerted campaign.
Could be longer and more
difficult than some predict.
And helping Iraqis achieve
a united, stable...
and free country will require
our sustained commitment.
And you can know that our
forces will be coming home...
as soon as their work is done.
Keep moving! Keep moving!
Let's go!
- Where are they taking us?
- Shut up. Head down.
Keep your mouth shut or I'll
blow your fucking head off.
- All right, all right.
- Are you a soldier?
- Journalist.
- Who do you work for?
- Knight Ridder.
- Never heard of it.
You should read more.
What is your name?
Jonathan Landay.
Goodbye, Jonathan Landay.
Exercise complete.
What you have just engaged in is
called The Gray Man Exercise.
And what you have just
is a colossal failure
of that exercise.
- If a journalist is captured...
terrorists may keep you alive...
in hopes of getting information
or exchanging you for a ransom.
But if you give them a reason
to kill you, they will.
The purpose of this exercise
is to teach you...
how to avoid drawing the
attention of your captors.
Hence the name, Gray Man.
Can you untie me?
This could save your life one
day, you understand?
I do, I've been in 11 war zones,
I've been shot at...
I've been held captive, I take
this very seriously.
But if you don't untie me right
now, I may lose my job.
And I'm fairly certain that
none of this training...
is going to be very useful...
when I'm mopping the floor
at Staples.
Both of the twin towers...
the World Trade Center in New
York's lower Manhattan...
have been struck by planes this
morning within 20 minutes.
First, it was the North Tower
that was struck...
with a gaping hole left in two
sides of that building.
Good God.
20 minutes later, the second
the second tower in that World
Trade Center complex...
I think we should keep Elizabeth
in school.
Yeah, no, I think that's
a good idea.
Why freak her out, huh?
And I'll call Ali and Jennifer
as soon as the phones open up.
- I love you.
- I love you.
We should tell you that...
we have gotten calls from
who live and work around the
Pentagon who have told us...
that they have seen
that they have described
as an explosion.
This is information we have not
been able to confirm.
Get up.
Sorry, Dad.
Monday Night Football went long.
Let's clean this place up.
here in New York...
have been hit by airplanes.
In Washington, there is a large
fire at the Pentagon.
The Pentagon has been
And there is, you can see,
perhaps, the second tower...
the front tower, the top
portion of which is collapsing.
Good Lord.
Lot of people going to need
a drink tonight.
Soldiers drink free.
There are no words.
All federal office buildings
all federal office buildings
in Washington, D.C.
are being evacuated as we speak
to you now.
We are in the middle of an
extraordinary catastrophe.
The most important things to
tell you if you just joined...
in is that what has all the
makings of an extraordinarily..
well-planned terrorist attack
on both Washington and New York
has taken place this morning.
The Trade Centers here
in New York...
the two World Trade Center
towers have collapsed...
after being hit by planes.
Yeah, this is John Walcott
from Knight Ridder.
Is he there?
Yeah, okay, well, tell him
I'll try him back later.
Thank you.
I just spoke with my wife.
She and the kids are
afraid to leave the house.
What are they doing over there?
They're watching the White
To see if it gets hit?
Oh, Jesus. All right, go home
to your family.
And tell your colleagues that
maybe they want to stay away...
from the windows, okay?
- Thanks, John.
- Yeah.
Okay. All right. Okay.
Their working thesis is that
this is overseas terrorism...
not domestic.
Attention will quickly turn to
the bin Laden group...
because it has long
There are very few others that
could have pulled this off.
Are we sending somebody
to New York?
Ken Moore at Suvu was already up
there covering Wall Street.
What's going on over at State?
Powell's in Peru.
They're working on getting
him home as soon as possible.
All right, what we need to do
is track the President.
Track his top people
and find out...
who's responsible for all this.
We need as many sources
at as many agencies...
to go on the record and tell us
all what we know has to be true.
Al Qaeda! Al Qaeda!
It's Al Qaeda.
It's definitely Al Qaeda.
What the hell are you wearing?
Well, the wifey wanted
to evacuate...
but she locked the cat
and the keys in the cars.
So, I biked in.
We need to know how
they pulled this off.
Anybody needs to go home
to their family...
feel free to do so.
Just came from the family.
Let's get to work.
It's Walcott.
Today, our fellow citizens,
our way of life...
our very freedom, came under
attack in a series...
of deliberate and deadly
terrorist acts.
Adam, hand me the
Jameson, please.
Yes, sir. Here you go.
Thank you, son.
It's on the house, gentlemen.
Dad's saying we're staying open
as late as they want.
They must be scared.
- ADAM: They're Rangers.
- They're boys.
Our military is powerful and
it's prepared.
The search is underway
for those...
who are behind these evil acts.
I've directed the full
resources of our intelligence..
and law enforcement communities
to find those responsible...
and to bring them to justice.
JENNINGS: It's been 33 hours
since the terrible...
and unprecedented attack
on the United States.
There is, as we've said, an
enormous search and rescue...
operation, and enormous and
intense criminal investigation.
And we're just beginning
to understand...
the extents of the catastrophe.
OFFICIAL: I feel like I haven't
slept in a month.
It's going to be a bunch
of zombies running this town.
What do you know about
the preliminary plans...
to go after bin Laden?
I don't have anything to give
you on that yet.
Ok, well, how long before we're
on the ground in Afghanistan...
and how long do they project
we'll be there?
Look, I'm trying to get answers
to the same questions you are.
What I can say is, most of the
talk this morning...
hasn't been about Afghanistan.
Well, what's it been about?
I got it from a source at State
who got it from the Pentagon.
In connection with the attacks?
Crackpot theories from people
who don't know...
what the hell they're talking
It was Rumsfeld.
Yeah, apparently, there's a lot
of people over at Defense...
that think this had to be
I mean, not just Rumsfeld,
there's also that smug...
son of a bitch at the Defense
Policy Board...
the Prince of Darkness?
- Richard Perle.
- Right. Perle.
And that neo-con over at the
for the New American
whatever the fuck...
New American Century,
Bill Kristol.
That giant butthole,
Bill Kristol.
And he's got to be creaming his
little jammies over this.
Yeah, these think-tank boys...
have been trying to push out
Saddam Hussein since '97.
They have this crazy theory that
if they can just stick...
a Western-style of democracy in
the Middle East...
it's going to magically
and wind up protecting Israel.
You got to give them credit
for creative thinking.
It's Ivory Tower crap.
I mean, in what world do they
think that Osama bin Laden...
and Saddam Hussein hatched
this thing up together?
Let's find out if these
are serious about Iraq, okay?
Look, I'm not saying there's
a link to Iraq...
and neither is my boss.
This is just something
we're hearing.
From whom?
Who told me or where is it
coming from?
Take your pick.
Someone at the Pentagon.
In the Vice President's office?
It's just theories.
Are there any Senators talking
to anyone...
saying anything different?
I know Powell's objected...
to going into anywhere other
than Afghanistan.
Go away.
One question and I'm gone.
I'm not talking to you
on the record.
Anonymous source, intelligence
You can't use my name.
Never have, never will.
Or my agency.
Pinky swear.
One question.
Are you looking into an Iraqi
Who's the you in that question?
Are we in the United States?
There are some people.
Are we in my agency?
Not that I'm aware of.
Am I, personally?
No way.
Okay, the second part
to the question.
Thank you.
So, no one you work with at the
Library of Congress has ever...
found a link between Saddam
Hussein and Al Qaeda?
No one I work with
would expect to find a link.
So, as far as you know...
there's nothing substantial to
tie Iraq to bin Laden?
There's nothing even
To lump together a secular
leader like Saddam...
with an Islamic extremist
like bin Laden is simply...
to have no understanding
of the Muslim world.
It's a bit timid.
No one's actually come out and
said anything publicly yet.
Maybe it's just backroom
Pretty dangerous speculation.
Can't we hit it harder than
The attacks were just 10 days
Everyone's trying to play
Got to press our reliables.
I'll reach out to The Italian
You think you can get Loose
Nukes to go on the record?
I'm lucky to get her on deep
Well, double down on the Charm
Buongiorno, this is Warren
I was looking to get your advice
on a critical scheduling matter.
If you could contact me at your
earliest possible convenience...
I would greatly appreciate it.
Thank you.
Yeah, hi, it's Jonathan.
LOOSE NUKES: I don't have
anything for you.
No, I know, I know, but I'm
doing a story...
on the administration's seeming
interest in Iraq.
LOOSE NUKES: Jonathan, we're
not going to talk about this.
No, I know, I know I'm not
talking about this...
because it's off the record, but
can you give me some indication?
LOOSE NUKES: Bye, Jonathan.
What'd she say?
She sends her love.
Across the nation...
flags have been flying off
the shelves.
A wave of patriotism has been
spreading across America.
At times like this,
it's what we do in America.
We the People pull together.
They had a discussion in school
about why America is so great,
Yeah, and what'd you say?
It's a free country.
That's a great answer.
That's Mama's boy.
May I be done now?
Not until I get a big hug.
Okay, after your mom gets a hug.
Oh, whoa!
Proud of you, munchie.
Love you.
They're really pushing this
nationalism thing at school.
What do you expect?
Of course, there's
going to be patriotism now.
Oh, you want to call it
It smells a lot like
nationalism to me.
That's how it started in
Yugoslavia before the war.
Tore my country apart.
You want some help?
No, I'm okay, thank you.
Okay, have a good night.
Good night.
How real is the Iraqi
There's an argument
taking place.
Yeah? Who's winning it?
I couldn't say.
Look, my boss is gonna send me
to Afghanistan, and all I want..
to know is should he be buying
a roundtrip ticket...
or is Afghanistan just a
layover on the way to Baghdad?
I can't tell you anything.
MYLROIE: I believe major acts
of terrorism...
against the U.S. are
So, we asked ourselves,
"Who could have been behind...
the most massive terrorist
assault in human history...
"which state?"
I think Iraq is the state that
most immediately comes to mind.
- This is an idea which in...
is gaining increased
Knight Ridder, it's Strobel.
is going to Europe...
to try to find a link
between Saddam...
and the 1993 World Trade Center
Is he freelancing?
on an official government jet.
Jesus, who sent him?
The deputy defense secretary.
Can you meet for coffee?
I'll be in touch.
Hi, this is Warren
Strobel with Knight Ridder.
I'm working on a story...
about former CIA director James
Woolsey traveling to Europe.
Do you know anything about that?
DIPLOMAT: I didn't have
anything to do with that.
But you're aware that such
a trip has taken place?
DIPLOMAT: I can't be your only
source on this.
All right, stay in touch.
Hey, John.
Woolsey was sent to Europe
to look for evidence...
linking Saddam to the World
Trade Center bombing in '93.
Wouldn't be a fool's errand if
they didn't send a fool.
This came from The Italian Lady?
And a diplomat who can
the trip was arranged by
What the hell is going on
over at Defense?
Question is, are they trying to
figure out...
if there's any truth to their
or are they already convinced
their theory is true?
You're sure about
this Woolsey trip?
- Positive.
- You have a third source?
- Yeah.
- Who?
Jim Woolsey.
Hey, it's Walcott,
you up for a field trip?
I figured you'd be calling...
I just didn't think
it would be this soon.
How real is the chatter
about Iraq?
And it's diverting our attention
from the people who attacked us.
How soon before Iraq becomes
the focus?
We need to blow something up.
Not enough targets in
What about bin Laden?
You take out bin Laden...
interest in the war goes right
down the shitter.
REPORTER: A joint offensive in
its sixth day in Tora Bora...
bin Laden's suspected
but still no signs of the
world's most wanted man.
U.S. B-52s pounding Al Qaeda
positions from the air...
while anti-Taliban tanks...
and troops meet strong
cave to cave,
from Al Qaeda fighters.
With yet more conflicting
on bin Laden's whereabouts.
What you got there...
is that your State of the
Union piece for tomorrow?
- Yup.
- You got a lunch today?
Not with you.
I got a one-on-one with Looney
Tunes over at State.
There's a dry hole.
Yeah, well, I figured if I just
let him ramble on...
he'll accidentally stumble
into something newsworthy.
Yeah, well, give my best.
I will. Hot off the presses,
Did you use punctuation
this time?
I even threw in a few semicolons
just for you.
I bet you're the pride of the
University of Missouri.
Terrorists who once occupied
now occupy cells
at Guantanamo Bay.
And terrorist leaders who urged
followers to sacrifice...
their lives are running'
for their own.
Now, the administration's top
priority apart from our own...
security is to ensure
freedom for other countries...
looking to embrace democracy
as a way of life.
Now, we... excuse me... we
understand that we can't...
be the policemen to the world...
but we feel we
have a responsibility to...
Yeah, John Walcott.
DIXIE: John!
DIXIE: John, can you hear me?
Yeah, yeah, I can hear you.
I got a call from one of
our boys downrange today...
asking me what the fuck's
going on.
Are you still in Afghanistan?
Yeah, I'm in Afghanistan...
but nobody knows what the
mission is anymore.
How do you bomb a country back
into the Stone Age...
that's already in the middle
of the goddamn Stone Age?
Our second goal is to prevent
regimes that sponsor terror...
from threatening America,
or our friends and allies...
with weapons of mass
We believe that Afghanistan
is ripe for freedom.
Now, this is a country that has
been struggling to free...
itself from the repressive grip
of the Taliban for years.
We've got bin Laden on the run
and they're diverting my assets.
We may never get him in our
crosshairs again.
Whoa, whoa, wait, they're
diverting your assets to where?
Some of these regimes have been
pretty quiet since...
September the 11th, but we know
their true nature.
You know, it's a country in
desperate need of the kind...
of stability that comes with the
rule of law.
North Korea, Iran, Iraq...
states like these...
and their terrorist allies
constitute an axis of evil...
arming to threaten the
peace of the world.
You'll have to excuse me...
Warren, but I have to prepare
a briefing for Secretary Powell.
Anything else you need from me?
No, no, thank you.
I think you've given me
more than enough to chew on.
And you feel confident that
will accept a Western-style
Oh, absolutely.
Just as confident as
we are about Iraq.
Sounds like the debate on Iraq
is getting serious.
Oh, no, no, no, that debate
is over.
Saddam's got to go,
the only question is how.
Good talking to you, Warren.
Yeah, you, too, sir.
The president
is going to invade Iraq.
You got this from Looney Tunes?
Yeah, and confirmed by a
diplomat who says he met...
with Bush, and a foreign leader
recently who came away with...
"The feeling that a decision has
been made to strike Iraq."
Do you think we can get enough
to run the story?
Unfortunately, I do.
So much for the ceasefire.
Yeah, well, really nice of us...
to temporarily stop shooting
at them, though.
I've been bound up
and wound up
Could barely get a sound up
Been cheated mistreated
Don't even want to
think of it
What are you up to, Smucker?
You know, I tried to chat
with your translator today.
Yeah, how'd that go?
Well, for a guy who gets paid
to talk for a living...
he was unusually quiet.
He only talks to me.
Really? And what'd he tell you?
Dollar, I'll let you read
all about it.
Let me see it.
bin Laden's gone, isn't he?
They missed him, didn't they?
He was here and they fucking
missed him!
REPORTER: A senior U.S.
military official...
tells NBC News "Despite the
crushing defeat...
"of Al Qaeda forces
at Tora Bora...
"it's believed now that Osama
bin Laden has slipped...
"across the border into
Pakistan, seeking refuge...
"in a lawless no man's land...
"ruled by renegade tribal
Oh, it's official...
this is the saddest event
I've ever attended.
I'm going back to my apartment,
drink a bottle of wine...
and put my head in the oven.
Okay, but before you do that...
I really want you to meet the
guy I was telling you about.
Oh! He just walked in!
Forget the wine, I'll kill
myself now.
No, not him... him.
I'll introduce you.
Pam, please don't.
- Warren! Hey!
- Oh, hi.
Glad you could make it,
come on over.
Warren, this is a
good friend of mine, Lisa Mayr.
Lisa, this is Warren Strobel,
he's a journalist...
and I'm gonna get another drink.
Hi, uh, Lisa?
- Yeah.
- Yeah, nice to meet you.
- Hi.
- Uh...
Did you ever make it
into your apartment?
Uh, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah,
no, no, no, I'm sorry.
- Yeah, I made it in okay.
- Good. Good.
So, you're a journalist?
Yeah, yeah, for Knight Ridder.
Oh, is that a magazine
or a newspaper?
It's actually a consortium
of 31 newspapers, actually.
Well, my stories go out to all
of our newspapers...
and each one has the option
to publish or not.
Oh, okay. I've always wondered
how that worked.
Hey, I got married when
I was 22.
And we're only recently
separated, so...
This is a little awkward for me.
It's okay.
I'm a little out of practice.
Why don't you start
by asking me a question?
Sure, yeah.
Are you a Republican
or a Democrat?
Try again.
Yeah, of course, she wants you
to call her.
She gave you her card.
No, maybe she's just trying
to gin up business.
At a singles mixer
on Valentine's Day?
What? So, call her? I should
call her?
What? No, no, no,
actually, let her dangle.
There's nothing a woman in her
30s likes more...
than a guy who takes his time.
I'm fine, Arthur, I'm fine.
It's just that I'm getting a
little tired...
of picking up your paper
every morning...
and seeing that you're not
running our stories.
I mean, last time I looked...
The Philadelphia Inquirer was
a Knight Ridder paper, right?
The point is, there's no point
in being a Knight Ridder paper..
if you're not going to run
Knight Ridder stories.
John, we've been through
this already.
Your stories don't fit...
in with what we're doing
over here right now.
Don't fit? Don't fit with what?
The truth?
What's the matter, Arthur...
the truth doesn't sell
papers anymore?
BROKAW: And today, for the
first time...
the administration provided...
details for what it has always
insisted was a connection...
between Saddam Hussein
and Al Qaeda.
How strong is that case?
REPORTER: Iraqi president
Saddam Hussein says...
he does not have any illegal
weapons of mass destruction...
and accused the United States
of using weapons...
as a pretext to start a war.
Mr. Galloway, how closely did
the movie conform to your book?
The movie was about 80% accurate
and 20% bullshit...
which I guess by Hollywood
standards is an accomplishment.
What inspired you to write
the book?
Being shot at by the North
Vietnamese army.
What was the biggest difference
between experiencing...
the Battle of Ia Drang in person
versus watching it in a theater?
The popcorn in Ia Drang was
Last question.
Can you draw any comparisons
between Vietnam...
and what's happening today
in Afghanistan?
It's very different, but I think
it is appropriate...
that before we start dropping
bombs, we think long and hard...
about the greatest lesson
we got from Vietnam.
Which is?
When the government fucks up,
the soldiers pay the price.
To what do I owe this
unexpected visit?
Well, I was hoping I'd get
an autograph...
from the world's most famous
war correspondent.
I hate this part. Reporters are
not supposed to be the story.
Reporters are not supposed to be
awarded the Bronze Star, either.
How do you like the job
at State?
I love working for General
and I hate working
for Uncle Sam.
You miss reporting?
After 42 years, I thought...
I should take some time
away from it.
So, I went to work at the State
Department on September 10th...
and the next day the biggest
story of my life broke.
I'd say there's a little bit
of a tug.
We're working on something
important, that's why I'm here.
To make me envious?
To make you an offer.
HANNITY: If he gets weapons
of mass destruction, Jerry.
What does that mean
for the world?
What does that mean
for the Middle East?
- Can you turn it down?
- I'm trying to watch the news.
Stop calling it that.
Hey, son.
Adam, what's the matter?
I met with a recruiter.
HANNITY: A lot of people
are gonna die, Jerry.
You know once you sign up...
there's no changing your mind,
I know.
What do you know?
You're just a kid.
Whose country was attacked.
Adam, I know you want to do what
you think is right...
but war is not a video game.
You have no idea what
you're getting into.
I know exactly what
I'm getting into.
Show me where Afghanistan
is on this map.
Show me.
They're gonna send you halfway
around the world to fight...
people you didn't even know
existed a year ago.
If you know what you're
getting into...
show me where Afghanistan
is on this map.
Did anyone ever shove a map
in Dad's face...
and ask him to find Vietnam?
CHENEY: We now know that
Saddam has resumed...
his efforts to acquire
nuclear weapons.
Among other sources, we've
gotten this from firsthand...
testimony from defectors.
Many of us are convinced
that Saddam Hussein...
will acquire nuclear weapons
fairly soon.
Simply stated, there is no
doubt that Saddam Hussein...
now has weapons of mass
They're dialing up
the rhetoric on Iraq.
Let's see if we can nail
them down, okay?
Twenty bucks, whoever gets
the best quote.
No, no, no, you're such a child.
You're such a pussy.
I'm not taking your money.
You get all bent out of shape
when you lose.
I don't care. I'm just the same
when I win or lose.
I'm not... it's not a bet,
all right, fine.
Warren Strobel for Senator
Biden, please.
Son of a bitch.
Biden told Bush, "There's a
reason your father didn't go...
"to Baghdad. He knew he would
have to stay...
"for at least five years."
I got Michael O'Hanlon
at Brookings saying...
"You definitely cannot
count on it being a cakewalk."
We gotta hit it harder
than that.
All right, well, hang on. I got
an official at the U.N...
that says, "There's widespread
"that this will destabilize
the whole Middle East."
Let me see what you have.
Well, wait, I got... I got...
Just give it to me,
give, give, give.
All right.
Let's see here... all right.
You guys are smart.
You know what's unfolding here.
Our readers need to know what
we've learned.
"In the best case scenario, U.S.
troops could be stuck in Iraq...
"for years trying to teach the
inner workings of democracy...
"to a nation that has never
known it. In the worst case...
"scenario, an invasion could
cause Iraq's fractious ethnic...
"groups to break off into their
own mini-states...
"trapping American combat forces
in the middle...
"of a bloody civil war
for decades."
Boss man's got balls.
Were those for me?
No. Yes.
But I thought it might be
a little, I don't know...
a little too soon to be giving
each other gifts.
It would've been all right.
Well, I think they landed
on my car...
so if you want to grab them
on the way to dinner...
maybe we can do that?
- Great.
- Great.
Okay, so what was the most
embarrassing thing...
you did to prepare for tonight?
All right.
I will admit, that to prepare
for tonight...
I did kind of a cram session
on Iraq...
and the history of the Muslim
Now I know that 1400 years ago,
after the death of Muhammad...
Muslims fought over who was to
be his rightful heir...
and that caused a split
into two factions...
the Sunnis and the Shiites.
And they've been at war
ever since.
Then, at the end of World War I,
the British and the French...
arbitrarily divided the Arab
world into countries...
putting the Sunni majority
in charge.
But the country that became Iraq
is made up of only 20% Sunni.
So, Saddam Hussein, a Sunni,
with an iron fist rules...
the majority Shiite
and the 20% Kurdish population
in northern Iraq.
But if Saddam Hussein were
removed, it could possibly...
reignite that 1400-year-old
sectarian war.
Now, after reading your
I know that Iran is the top
sponsor of terror, not Iraq.
That a man named Ahmed Chalabi
seems to be a con artist...
who wants to replace
Saddam Hussein.
That the neo-cons in the Bush
are pushing for an invasion.
And you are quickly becoming
my favorite writer.
Um... I guess it's my turn.
Give it to me.
Okay, I will admit that...
This is a little embarrassing.
I asked my ex-wife to watch
my two sons tonight.
Why is that embarrassing?
Because a babysitter would
expect me home...
at the end of the evening and...
Should we get the check?
Tell your boss we're gonna run
it whether he comments or not!
Actually yes, it is a matter
of life and death!
We're talking about going
to fucking war!
I'm guessing that was
a no comment?
What are you grinning
What? I'm not grinning.
- You're grinning.
- I'm not grinning.
- I'm not...
- What have you got over there?
Relax! Don't worry about it.
Oh my God, she could
do my taxes.
- All right, relax.
- Strobel, Knight Ridder.
- Of course.
All right, I'll be right there.
Let's go, this could be
So, how does this work?
Do you ask me questions or do
I just start talking?
Why don't you just begin...
and we'll ask the questions
when we have them.
If it's off the record,
I have to say so, right?
Do you want it to be
off the record?
I want people to know what
I know, but not who I am.
It'll be background.
You'll be referred to
as a U.S. official.
So, whatever you feel
comfortable telling us.
I believe your prediction about
what could and will happen...
if we go to war is spot on.
And we're a lot closer
than you think.
How close?
A secret war planning group
with a parallel intelligence...
operation has been set up
to bypass...
the rest of the
intelligence community.
How do you know this?
They meet in the building
where I work.
And which building is that?
The one with the five sides.
But you're not a part
of that unit?
So, how do you know about this?
My desk is across the hall.
What office do you work for?
Near East South Asia division,
but you can't disclose that.
You're an analyst?
Yes... but you can't disclose
that, either.
I'm speaking to you because
I'm an American citizen...
and I don't like what these
people are doing.
Half a dozen men, most of whom
have never served...
in the military are making
based on shoddy intelligence,
and those decisions...
will impact our men
and women in uniform.
And as someone who has worn that
uniform, I can't remain silent.
You said shoddy intelligence.
What do you mean by that?
They've designed a process
that doesn't conform...
to any basic tenet
of intelligence gathering.
In what way?
A decision is made,
then the intelligence...
is sought to support
that decision.
How do you know this?
They have no interest
in Arabic speakers.
Israelis come in without
without even being entered
into a security log.
And for years the government has
been funding a group...
of exiled dissidents called the
Iraqi National Congress.
Led by Ahmad Chalabi, we know.
Who they want to install
as the new leader of Iraq.
Yeah, we've been trying to get
a meeting with him.
Do you know who set up
this operation?
Donald Rumsfeld.
Is there any evidence to
indicate that Iraq...
has attempted to or is willing
to supply terrorists...
with weapons of mass
The reports that say that
something hasn't happened...
are always interesting to me
because as we know...
there are known knowns, there
are things we know we know.
We also know there are known
That is to say, we know there
are some things we do not know.
But there are also unknown
The one's we don't know
we don't know.
We're working on a theory that
the administration...
has already decided to go
to war...
and is now focused on how
to justify it.
It's not a theory.
We've also been told by a number
of individuals that...
Rumsfeld's the one spearheading
this intelligence gathering.
I wouldn't exactly
call it intelligence gathering.
It's more like
intelligence cherry picking.
And if they don't find
any cherries...
they just grab a piece
of shit...
and they paint it red, and they
stick it in a Shirley Temple.
You seem irritated.
I'm out there looking for
weapons that might not exist...
to justify a war that might
not be wise.
And have you found any evidence
of WMD?
No, sir.
But Saddam is looking to acquire
nukes, right?
Yeah, and I'm trying to fuck
Jennifer Lopez, but I have...
a sinking feeling that neither
of those things is gonna happen.
So, we won't use your identity,
but can we get a quote?
Have you found anything to
support the administration's...
theory that Saddam is close to
or has acquired nuclear weapons?
We've searched every cave...
and looked up every camel's ass
in Iraq.
So, here's your quote,
"no fucking way."
Might have to clean
that up a bit.
Quite colorful, though.
Uh, honey, I think someone...
is stealing our New York Times.
VLATKA: I canceled it.
Why would you do that?
It's propaganda.
I need that for my work.
It's packaging press releases
from the White House...
the State Department, and the
Sorry, that's not a real
How was your day?
Warren and I met with some
from the intelligence community
who confirmed that...
there's no real evidence
to support...
the administration's
claim on WMD.
What have I been telling you?
Well, unfortunately, I can't use
your gut as a reliable source.
You know, this is what they do.
They lie.
Yeah, and we try to hold
them accountable.
I hope I'm wrong. I really,
really do.
But the Bush Administration,
they don't care about the truth.
They don't even respond to your
If they want a war, they're
gonna get one.
And there's nothing that you
or the first amendment...
is gonna do to stop them.
Extra, extra, read all about it.
"Over the past 14 months, Iraq
has tried to buy thousands...
"of specially design aluminum
tubes, which American...
"officials believe were intended
as components...
"of centrifuges to enrich
Well, one thing's for sure.
What's that?
We can't both be right.
Who're you calling?
Loose Nukes.
If she wouldn't talk to you
about going into Iraq...
what makes you think she's gonna
go on the record on WMD?
Charm Offensive. Watch and
learn, son.
- It's Joe Galloway.
- Wow.
Man even walks like he has
a Bronze Star.
Oh, hi, yeah, it's Landay.
Hello, Jonathan.
Hi. Crazy weather we're having,
You're calling me to chat
about the weather?
No, no, yeah. Actually, I wanted
to ask you about WMD.
It'll be deep, deep background.
Goodbye, Jonathan.
No wait, don't hang up.
That Charm Offensive...
that's formidable.
Listen, we need you here.
You've developed sources over
the years that have access...
that Landay and Strobel
just can't get.
I'll make it easy on you.
I'll give you a column...
and your name doesn't have to
appear on anything else.
Whatever else you want to write
on the side, you can...
and of course, there won't be
any glory, but...
Glory's for young men.
Let me percolate on it.
Let me turn to the issue
of Iraq.
You have said that it poses...
a mortal threat to the
United States.
How? Define "mortal threat."
Well, this'll take some time,
but it's important for us...
as I mentioned earlier...
to remember that the world
has changed, that prior to...
I'd forgotten the world
had changed.
So did I. I'm so happy he
mentioned that.
What, specifically, has he
obtained that you believe...
would enhance his nuclear
development program?
Well, in the nuclear weapons
you've got specifically
aluminum tubes.
There's a story in The New York
Times this morning...
this is and I want to attribute
to The Times.
I don't want to talk about,
specific intelligence sources,
but it's now public that...
in fact he has been seeking to
acquire, and we have been...
able to intercept and prevent
him from acquiring...
through this particular
the kinds of tubes that are
to build a centrifuge.
And the centrifuge is required
to take low-grade uranium...
and enhance it into highly
enriched uranium...
which is what you have to have
in order to build a bomb.
Lucky for him, someone leaked
that to The Times.
Avoids the pesky nuisance
of being arrested...
for revealing classified
One can only wonder how Judy
Miller and Michael Gordon...
got that information.
Does it bother you, bug you...
that you have not captured
Osama bin Laden in over a year?
I'd like to see him on
television in handcuffs...
if I can put it
into those terms.
I think all of us would.
But I don't lay awake at night
concerned about that.
There's one school of thought
that says he's already dead.
We haven't heard anything
of him in many months.
RUSSERT: What do you think?
I don't know, I really
don't know.
I can argue it round or flat.
I didn't know we were still
debating the shape of the earth.
I've got sources on both sides.
But the U.S. military would be
enormously effective...
in this circumstance.
And I don't think it would be
that tough a fight.
That is, I don't think there's
any question...
that we would prevail and we
would achieve our objective.
We are right, aren't we?
Everybody, listen up.
We're not NBC.
We're not ABC. We're not CBS.
We're not FOX. We're not CNN.
We're not The New York Times.
We're not The Washington Post.
We are Knight Ridder.
We have readers who live in
towns with military bases.
Fort Benning, Fort Bragg,
Fort Jackson...
and over 40 other military bases
throughout this country.
If every other news organization
wants to be stenographers...
for the Bush administration,
let them.
We don't write for people who
send other people's kids to war.
We write for people
whose kids get sent to war.
So, when the government
says something...
you only have one question
to ask.
Is it true?
I'm through percolating.
Let's get to work.
Administration officials spanned
out on the Sunday talk shows...
to make the case for an invasion
of Iraq.
Who else is involved in
The Office of Special Planning?
Wolfowitz, Feith, couple others.
Instead of listening to people
who have spent their careers...
evaluating threats, they're
streaming questionable intel...
from unreliable sources and
taking it...
directly to the White House.
George Tenet, Director
of Central Intelligence...
told Senators, he could not
rule out cooperation...
between Osama bin Laden
and Al Qaeda.
I've seen the specs on those
aluminum tubes.
They're too small to be used
for enriching uranium.
What does that mean?
They can't be used
for a nuclear bomb.
REPORTER: The President
of the United States...
said we're not going to permit
nations to develop...
weapons of mass destruction...
as they're gonna supply those
weapons to a network...
of terrorism that could attack
the United States.
Cheney is trying to shut
out Powell.
Where'd you get this stuff?
Old friend.
REPORTER: We're starting to
see a consensus from within...
the administration for the
removal of Saddam Hussein.
administration has pointed...
to a secret meeting in Prague
between Iraqi intelligence...
and 9/11 hijacker,
Mohamed Atta.
Bush administration is pressing
the United Nations...
Security Council for
a resolution...
to put pressure on Iraq.
President Bush will address
the United Nations today...
in hopes of putting together
a multi-national coalition...
to disarm Saddam Hussein.
The White House is lobbying
Congress to authorize...
the use of force in Iraq.
The minute these guys get
their hands on anything...
remotely resembling evidence...
they leak it to
The New York Times.
Now, I understand the position
you're in...
but please don't hang up on me.
Okay, the vice president
of the United States...
went to the V.F.W. and said that
Saddam Hussein...
is on the threshold of
developing a nuclear weapon.
Then he goes on national
and says the same thing.
Your question?
Ask the question.
What I want to know is,
is Dick Cheney ignoring...
good intelligence that
contradicts his assumptions...
or is he just getting bad
The vice president is lying.
Thank you, thank you so much.
What? What, what, what?
What'd she say?
He's lying.
- He's lying.
- Cheney is lying.
- Cheney's lying!
- Cheney's lying!
- He's lying! John!
- He's lying!
Where the hell is he?
Here we go. Here we go.
- He's lying.
- He's lying.
Cheney's lying.
Where did this come from?
Loose Nukes.
Now, we know what's being talk
about, we got to get inside...
those meetings and find out if
there's a dissenting opinion.
I may have a guy.
Anybody we know?
The Usual Suspect.
You didn't want to do
this in a parking garage?
If there was one that served
Pad Thai, I would.
How's civilian life?
My retirement lasted about
four hours.
You're with Knight Ridder?
I don't even have a desk yet.
How the hell do you know that?
I have my ways.
You been following what we're
doing over there?
Yes, I have.
You two may be singlehandedly
the Fourth Estate from
Mainstream media hasn't picked
up a thing we been running.
Should be all the confirmation
you need...
that you're onto something.
What can I do for you?
We need some help with the
higher ups.
How high?
High as you can get us.
You've been around a long time,
I doubt there's anything there
that'll surprise you.
I was married one time
to a woman who thought...
New Hampshire was the capital
of Massachusetts.
There's always something you
don't see coming.
What do you want to know?
Everything the administration
doesn't want us to know.
You and I are going to be eating
a lot of Pad Thai.
What kind of time frame
are we looking at?
Next month, Congress
is scheduled to vote...
on whether or not to give
the president...
the authorization to go to war.
Are the votes there?
The administration thinks so.
Mr. President, 38 years ago,
I, Robert C. Byrd...
voted on the Tonkin Gulf
The resolution that authorized
the president to use military...
force to repel armed attacks...
and to prevent further communist
aggression in Southeast Asia.
A joint resolution to authorize
the use of United States...
armed forces against Iraq should
be brought to a close.
The clerk will call the roll.
CLERK: Mr. Biden, aye.
Mrs. Clinton, aye.
It was this resolution that
provided the basis...
for American involvement
in the war in Vietnam.
Mr. Kerry, aye.
Mr. Lieberman, aye.
Mr. Lott, aye.
It was this resolution...
that lead to the deaths
of 58,000 Americans.
Mr. McCain, aye.
Mr. McConnell, aye.
After all that carnage, we began
to learn that in voting...
for the Tonkin Gulf
we were basing our votes
on bad information.
And history is repeating itself.
Mr. Santorum, aye.
I urge senators to go down
on the Capital Mall...
and look at the Vietnam
Nearly every day, you will find
someone at that wall...
weeping for a loved one.
Mr. Sessions, aye.
I will always remember the words
of Senator Wayne Morse.
Mr. Specter, aye.
He stated, "The resolution will
pass and senators...
"who vote for it will live
to regret it."
We got K-10, we got Dixie,
we don't need another source.
You know we got this.
Look, when you're accusing the
secretary of defense...
of running a shadow
intelligence unit...
out of the Pentagon, it's nice
to have a little insurance.
That's all I'm saying.
All right, let's share it
with the rest of the class.
You want to tell them?
Earlier today, I was summoned
to the Pentagon.
By whom?
Rumsfeld, Ol' Limp Dick
sent a message saying...
"All your sources are retired
And I said, "All due respect,
"80% of my sources are
active military."
"Some of them are working
in this building...
"and some of them are actually
working on your staff."
"And hell, one or two of them
might even be in this room."
Did you actually have sources
in the room?
No, but it was fun watching him
sweat like whores in church.
How close are we to getting
something we can run with
on the Office of Special Plans?
Well, we already got...
No, we're just gonna check
with a couple more sources.
What's wrong with the sources
you have?
Well, we just want to be
You know, you sit on a story
like this, the dam bursts.
Let's just move on this,
okay, boys?
When are you gonna be finished?
Just a few more minutes, baby.
I can't sleep with the computer
light on.
Actually, I'm done.
So, what are you working on?
Rumsfeld has a secret Intel
group that's going...
around the CIA to manufacture
a case for war.
What the fuck, Jonathan?
Have you been talking about this
on the phone?
Yeah, of course.
So, what?
- They will hear you.
- Vlatka.
You're writing about infighting
between spy agencies.
They're spy agencies, Jonathan.
They listen to your calls,
they read your emails.
They probably bugged this house.
You're being paranoid.
You're being naive.
This isn't Yugoslavia,
this is America.
America has changed.
War is big business for them.
You get in their way,
they're gonna kill you.
Honey, you are being ridiculous.
All right? Come on.
Don't you get it?
You know what these people
are capable of?
You have a family!
Vlatka. Vlatka!
Oh, somebody's struggling.
What's the matter?
Oh, Vlatka kept me up all night.
All right!
No, not that like that. It was
conspiracy theories.
About what?
Oh... she thinks the government
is monitoring us.
I mean, it's ridiculous.
Check your email.
John, you got to see this.
Oh, hold on a second.
Arthur, I really don't want to
have this conversation again.
He hung up. What is it?
What do we do?
- You're such a wuss.
- You're a wuss.
You're a much bigger wuss.
Shut up, will you stop it,
you're being a child.
- You're being a...
- Shut up!
REPORTER: Today's UN Security
Council resolution...
can be boiled down to four
words, the clock is ticking.
Iraq's only alternative to full
compliance, President Bush...
made clear today, is
of military confrontation.
BUSH: The full disarmament of
weapons of mass destruction...
by Iraq will occur.
The only question for the Iraqi
regime is to decide how.
Son of a bitch.
They beat us.
But they missed the whole point
of why the unit was set up.
It doesn't matter, they got
the scoop.
With what?
There's nothing about
cherry picking intelligence.
There's nothing about bypassing
other agencies.
We can still run ours.
John, no one's gonna pay
to a second story explaining
all that.
We had it.
Goddamn it, Walcott's gonna be
Maybe he hadn't seen it yet.
How is it possible he hasn't
talked to us all day?
He's giving us the silent
Oh, shit, here he comes.
Oh, Jesus.
You had the story.
Don't ever forget how
it feels to get beat.
The only information Congress
is getting...
is coming directly from the
Iraq is a huge country about
the size of France...
if they want to hide their
weapons of mass destruction...
they're going to be able
to do so.
They're not going to rethink
their positions...
unless they are provided
with independent intel.
No one who's supported the
authorization for war...
in Congress, in Iraq, not the
I am sure would go to war just
because he wants to go to war.
Rumsfeld's been trying to sell
this idea that an Iraqi...
intelligence officer offered
bin Laden safe haven in '99.
Well, if that offer actually
had happened...
bin Laden would have told Saddam
to go fuck himself.
What do you make of the
statement made...
by the Iraqi government that
Iraq has no weapons...
of mass destruction
and is not developing?
They're lying.
Your daughter is lovely.
Well, I wish I could take
She gets it from her mother.
Dad, can I get you
- Oh, no, thanks, sweetie.
- Mr. Strobel?
- I'm fine.
- All right.
Just real casual.
Tom and I were just talking
about your latest article.
Oh, yeah?
Seems like you don't trust
Well, that's a pretty solid
rule of journalism.
Even when they're talking
about war?
Especially when they're talking
about war.
You really believe there's
no WMD?
Our names are on the article.
They don't say that
there's no WMD.
They just said that the
hasn't offered any proof of WMD.
And you don't think
they'll find any?
No, I don't.
You don't know that.
No, we don't.
But before we send our kids
to their possible deaths...
don't you think the
has an obligation to provide
proof of their rationale?
What if that proof comes in the
form of a mushroom cloud?
Okay, you've been watching
Fox News again?
Rice, Cheney, and President Bush
have all said the same thing.
Oh, well, then it must be true.
You kids are too young
to remember...
how close we came to nuclear war
in '62.
Hell, Warren, you were born
the very day...
President Kennedy ordered the
blockade against Cuba.
The most powerful enemy we knew
was gonna put nuclear weapons...
90 miles off our coast.
The president had to demonstrate
And the next day, Kennedy sent
Adlai Stevenson to the U.N...
to offer proof that the missiles
It's not just Fox News.
It's the Washington Post.
It's The New York Times.
Hell, proof is coming from every
major media outlet...
in the country, except yours.
Uh, I think I forgot the
hamburger buns, excuse me.
I'm going to grab a beer.
Jesus, Dad.
Are you okay, bro?
Are we good reporters?
I mean, are we doing anything...
other than practicing good
No, we're doing exactly what
we're supposed...
Then, why the fuck are we
the only ones...
running these fucking stories?!
He just wanted you to see
all sides to him...
before you take it to the
next level.
Almost three months ago,
the United Nations...
Security Council gave
Saddam Hussein...
his final chance to disarm.
Our intelligence officials
that Saddam Hussein had the
materials to produce...
What's the point of having
U.N. weapons inspections...
if Bush and Cheney are just
going to ignore the results?
Well, when you're creating
your own reality...
it's pretty easy to ignore
the facts.
And so what? Due diligence is
too inconvenient...
for the mainstream media
at this point?
When news is a profit center...
Access becomes currency.
I'm proud of you, John.
For not wavering.
It's got to be tough.
It's not that tough.
I know who their sources are and
I know who our sources are.
"Iraqi Dissidents Reassured
in a Talk with Bush...
"About the Post-Hussein Era."
By Judith Miller.
She'd quote a carnival
fortune teller...
if he was willing to say
Iraq had WMD.
We gotta dig into the
national intelligence
and find out if there are any
gems in there.
Yeah, I'd love to see...
what they redacted from the
classified version.
WALCOTT: Oh, what's going
on with Chalabi?
We're on it.
I'm gonna keep an eye
on my old boss.
- I got a feeling.
- Yeah...
Colin may be the last person
standing between peace and war.
Goddamn it!
ARTHUR: Angela, did the mayor
set a date...
for the fundraiser yet?
Hey, Arthur, I was totally
Your head isn't literally
up your ass.
It's always a pleasure to see
you, John...
but would you please wait
You know, it's bad enough you're
ignoring all our work...
but the fact that you're running
these bullshit...
Judy Miller pieces is
Not in here, John.
Okay, please?
Let's take it in my office.
Excuse me.
Look, as painful as this
might seem...
I don't answer to you, John.
Yes, as evidenced by the fact
that you still have a job.
You know what, my responsibility
is to my readers.
They're citizens who are
they're citizens who support
our troops.
And how do you do that, Arthur?
By going down on
The New York Times?
I don't have time for this.
No, you don't have time.
You don't have time.
You know, one day,
The New York Times...
is going to apologize
to its readers.
And when that day comes, are you
gonna write your own apology?
Or are you just going to run
Have a nice day, John.
It is beginning to look more
and more as though...
war with Iraq is inevitable.
The Showdown with Iraq and the
countdown to a speech...
by Secretary of State
Colin Powell...
that could move the world
closer to war.
There's not much left for the
soldiers to do but wait...
for orders to attack, Ryan
Chillcoat reports...
That's so frustrating.
I don't know that I could
do what you do.
You know, I once got it
in my head...
that I should hike the
Appalachian Trail.
Thought that it would just be a
good challenge for myself.
Then I look at it on a map
and it's like 2200 miles.
I realized...
That it would take a lifetime?
Or we could walk it together.
I'm gonna hold you to that.
REPORTER: Worldwide resistance
is mounting...
against America's military
intervention into Iraq.
From US cities to Europe and
the Middle East...
demonstrators have taken to the
streets in opposition...
to the United States'
threat to invade Iraq.
Mr. Strobel, Mr. Landay,
how do you do?
- Hello.
- I'm Entifadh Qanbar.
- Hi.
- Now, please, follow me.
Who's this dude?
Guy who used to deliver pizzas.
I'm not kidding.
Minister Chalabi,
Mr. Jonathan Landay...
and Warren Strobel from Knight
Ridder News.
Gentlemen, welcome.
Hey. Thank you for finally
agreeing to meet with us.
I've been very busy.
Talking to our competitors.
I speak with whomever wishes
to speak with me.
After all, I have nothing
to hide...
which is more than I can say
for Saddam.
Okay, well, since you brought
him up...
I thought we might talk
about what...
you know about his weapons
and how he might be hiding them.
He has WMD and he's hiding them,
that I know.
Right, and you know that how?
I know everything that's
happening in my country.
Even though Iraq hasn't been
your country for over a decade?
I may be an exile, but I'm still
an Iraqi.
Well, I think the point my
colleague is trying to make...
is how would you, an enemy
of Saddam, in exile...
have access to such valuable
I maintain close
with dissident intelligence
Is there a way we can
verify that?
See, that's kind of a problem
for us...
because we can't write a story...
I want what America wants,
a free and democratic Iraq.
With you as its leader?
If the people of Iraq wish
for me to return, yes.
I want the opportunity to help
rebuild my country...
the way Mandela did
in South Africa.
But Mandela didn't ask the U.S.
to invade his country.
He wasn't fighting terrorists.
With all due respect, that's
where the red flags...
start to go up for us.
Are you implying that I've
created a false narrative...
for my own pursuits?
Is there another reason why
you'd create a false narrative?
I don't lie!
Saddam Hussein has mobile
and biological weapons labs.
He has a nuclear program.
He has ties to terrorists.
And if you don't believe me,
just ask the many other...
defectors and hear
what they say.
They will all tell
you the same thing.
Don't they all get their
information from you?
If you were wondering why
it took so long for me...
to meet with you, it's this
smug attitude.
You have no intention of
reporting anything I've said.
Do you want us to just be your
All right, I think we
should go.
Thank you for your time.
Now I see why no one reads
anything you write.
I am an advocate for the removal
of a vicious dictator...
for a free Iraq, an Iraq that
will one day be a close ally...
to your country, to Israel, and
to all of the Western world.
And exactly how will this happen
after Saddam Hussein is gone?
All right, come on, Landay.
No, no, no, he says the world
will be better off...
but he doesn't say how.
How would the removal
of Saddam Hussein...
not plunge Iraq into a bloody
civil war?
Tell us something that makes
anything that makes sense, and
we'll write that story today.
You can't!
Because you have no
idea what happens next.
- And neither does anyone else.
- John. John!
I would rather go back and write
for my high school paper...
than to be used by you...
to sell the American public
your bullshit.
All right.
By the way, it's Knight Ridder.
Secretary of State Colin Powell
will make the case...
against Iraq in a nationally
televised address...
to the UN Security Council.
Looks like they're bringing
in the closer.
REPORTER: Mr. Secretary,
are you confident...
you will make your case, sir?
You'll see.
What the hell game have we've
been playing?
All we did is piss into the
We did our jobs.
I should never have become
a reporter.
Damn that Woodward and
They took down a president
whose biggest crime...
was trying to cover up some
dirty political tricks.
This president's about to do the
worst thing any president...
could do and he'll probably
get re-elected.
To the democratic experiment.
Thank you, Mr. President.
My colleagues, every statement
I make today...
is backed up by sources,
solid sources.
The gravity of this moment is
matched by the gravity...
of the threat that Iraq's
weapons of mass destruction...
pose to the world.
It was a set up, the whole damn
thing was a set up.
Tenet sent Powell a stack
of files this high...
that supported the invasion.
Saddam Hussein is determined...
to get his hands
on a nuclear bomb.
Cheney sent Scooter Libby...
to push three main arguments
in those files.
One: Saddam's human rights
which everybody knew about.
Two: his links to al Qaeda,
which Powell...
of course, threw right
in the trash.
And the third focused
on Iraq's WMD.
Leaving Saddam Hussein in
possession of weapons...
of mass destruction for a few
more months or years...
is not an option, not in a
post-September 11th world.
Over a four-day period, Powell
made every single CIA officer...
defend every so-called piece
of evidence in those files.
He threw out 80% of them.
At the end of the four days...
Powell looked Tenet right
in the eye and said...
"George, can we stand
by every word of this?"
And Tenet said, "Everything in
there is gold, I promise you."
To which Powell replied, "Well,
that's good, George.
"I'm glad you feel that way,
'cause you're going to be...
"sitting right behind me when
I present this to the world."
We must not fail in our duty
and our responsibility...
to the citizens of the
that are represented
by this body.
Colin took one for the team.
Always the good soldier.
Has the Iraqi regime fully...
and unconditionally disarmed?
The only acceptable outcome is
the one already defined...
by a unanimous vote of the
Security Council.
Total disarmament.
Great Britain, Spain and the
United States have introduced..
a new resolution stating that
Iraq has failed to meet...
the requirements
of Resolution 1441.
This is a fact, it cannot
be denied.
REPORTER: And what harm
would it do to give...
Saddam a final ultimatum?
A two or three day deadline
to disarm or face force?
September the 11th changed
the strategic thinking...
at least as far as I was
for how to protect our country.
My job is to protect the
American people.
Used to be that we could think
that you could contain...
a person like Saddam Hussein...
that oceans would protect us
from his type of terror.
September the 11th should say
to the American people...
You need to pack your bags.
In the hands of a terrorist
could be deployed here at home.
King, John King. This is a
Thank you, Mr. President.
Sir, how would you answer your
critics who say that they...
They think this is somehow
As Senator Kennedy put it
he said your fixation
with Saddam Hussein...
is making the world a more
dangerous place.
And as you prepare the American
people for the possibility...
of military conflict, could you
share with us...
any of the scenarios your
advisors have shared...
with you about worst-case
You make sure the... this country
knows what's going on out there.
- Yeah?
- I will.
I swore to protect and defend
the Constitution.
He has weapons of mass
and he has used weapons
of mass destruction.
He has trained and financed...
al Qaeda-type organizations
I take the threat seriously,
and I'll deal with the threat.
I hope it can be done
They hate what we stand for.
We love freedom, and we're
not changing.
REPORTER: Mr. President,
millions of Americans can...
recall a time when leaders from
both parties set this country..
on a mission of regime change
in Vietnam.
50,000 Americans died.
The regime is still there in
Hanoi and it hasn't harmed...
or threatened a single American
in 30 years...
since the war ended.
What can you say tonight, sir,
to the sons and daughters...
of the Americans who served in
Vietnam to assure them that...
you will not lead this country
down a similar path in Iraq?
BUSH: That's a great question.
No doubt, there's risks with
any military operation.
I know that.
It's a good thing he can draw
on all that experience he got...
while not serving in the
National Guard.
But it's very clear what we
intend to do.
And our mission won't change.
It could last, you know, six
days, six weeks...
I doubt six months.
There's a lot of money to pay
for this...
that doesn't have to be
U.S. taxpayer money.
We're dealing with a country
that can really finance...
its own reconstruction,
and relatively soon.
There will always be some
about how quickly he can
acquire nuclear weapons...
but we don't want the smoking
gun to be a mushroom cloud.
RUSSERT: Do you think the
America people...
are prepared for a long,
costly, and bloody battle...
with significant American
I don't think it's likely
to unfold that way, Tim...
because I really do believe we
will be greeted as liberators.
BLITZER: Six weeks after the
war had begun, the President...
is set to deliver a very
carefully worded speech...
on a carrier in the Pacific.
BUSH: My fellow Americans,
major combat operations...
in Iraq have ended.
In the battle of Iraq,
the United States...
and our allies have prevailed.
I want to go down there.
They were the first to die.
Were you there?
Thank you.
Thank you, son.
Jonathan, how did it feel,
to be the lone holdouts in this
pursuit of truth and fact?
It was very lonely and what
made it actually one...
of the ironies is...
that every time we would write
the White House would say
nothing, because we realized...
after a while that that would
have been the best...
advertising for our stories we
could have possibly asked for.
There's a problem with
in Washington, which is access.
And The New York Times and
others had access to the top...
officials who were spinning
this line.
We talked to those people,
as well...
but most of our reporting,
was with intelligence,
and diplomatic mid-level...
- Lower level?
- Lower level.
The types journalists don't
normally talk to or go after.
Can I just give a little
credit, also, to the man...
who was our boss at the time,
John Walcott.
Higher levels of
must depend even more
on a conscientious respect for
the importance of honesty...
and clarity in reporting the
facts and out of stubborn...
concern for accuracy in
determining what the facts are.
We need to find some way
to cover the world so that...
we know what's happening
out there...
that we know the truth
about it...
so we can avoid mistakes...
mistakes like Iraq.
The intelligence was
what it was.
You know, people like me
couldn't make it up.
STEWART: The intelligence
wasn't what it was...
and not everybody got it wrong.
Almost everybody did,
except for Knight Ridder.