Uncovered: The War in Iraq

Uncovered:  The War in Iraq is the umpteenth film to arrive in theaters with a liberal bent.  More specially, it is the umpteenth film to arrive in theaters that is highly critical of the Bush administration.  Director Robert Greenwald must have bone to pick, since Uncovered is sometimes playing as a double feature with Outfoxed:  Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism.  Greenwald (Outfoxed, Steal This Movie) distinguishes himself from the other films of this by his sober, factual method of presenting his arguments.  He avoids puffing up subjects, and avoids showy, flashy things that catch people's attention.  It is more like The Economist than Time.  The problem is that since a whole slew of films made it to theaters before he did, there is some repetition in the interviewees, and a sense of fatigue is building on the material.

Especially as it relates to the War in Iraq.  This has been probably the most controversial aspect of the Bush administration.  First came the administration assertion of a link between Al Queda and Saddam Hussein.  This allowed Bush to link the War on Terror to the War on Iraq, which lead to the invasion of Iraq.  Iraq had dodged United Nations weapons inspectors for years, and supposedly had Weapons of Mass Destruction.  Worse, the United States did not build an international consensus when invading Iraq.  They charged in by themselves, despite the vehement opposition of various countries.  Uncovered looks primarily at the WMD charge, and exhaustively goes through veteran CIA analysts, military officials, weapons inspectors, and government officials.

Some of Greenwald's choices are very good.  He does a great thing by balancing the number or Republicans and Democrats he interviews.  The sheer number of years of combined experience from his CIA analysts is mind numbing.  These are guys that REALLY know what they are talking about.  They voice their frustrations that the CIA began taking over the work they should have done, in most cases giving the administration what it wanted to hear.  Some of these analysts even have actual field experience in the Middle East.  It is hard to say they are not qualified to make these charges.  Joseph Wilson (who also appeared in Bush's Brain) is probably the most interesting interviewee.  He was hired by the administration to examine the link between Iraq and Niger.  When he found none, 'somebody' in the White House retaliated by outing his wife as a CIA operative.  This is highly illegal and morally repugnant.  And, unfortunately, the whole issue has faded away. 

Uncovered is essentially a series of interviews.  Informationally, it does a good job of thoughtfully and sometimes convincingly arguing that there were no WMDs in Iraq, and that the invasion was not justified.  However, the manner in which Greenwald made Uncovered works against it.  Uncovered is like a boring college lecture.  It's clear that everything that the professor is saying is important, but sheesh this guy is boring.  Greenwald parades talking head after talking head, with a minimum amount of stock footage or anything else.  They all make their point, but it is hard to keep one's attention on screen after a constant barrage of facts.

Mongoose Rates It: Not Bad.
1 hour, 23 minutes, Not Rated but would probably be a PG, maybe a PG-13.

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