Why We Fight (2005) Script

MAN: From the White House and the office of the President of the United States, we present an address by Dwight D. Eisenhower.

This is the farewell address for President Eisenhower, whose eight years as chief executive come to an end at noon Friday.

PRESIDENT EISENHOWER: Good evening, my fellow Americans.

We now stand 10 years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations.

Three of these involved our own country.

We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.

Three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment.

Now, this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience.

We recognize the imperative need for this development, yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications.

MAN: What are we fighting for?

Why do we bury our sons and brothers in lonely graves far from home?

Our men are dying to preserve a way of life.

These privileges, these rights, if precious enough to fight for, precious enough to die for.

(CAR HONKING)

McCAIN: The United States is the greatest force for good in the world.

And we have, not an obligation to go out and fight and start wars, but to certainly do everything we can to spread democracy and freedom throughout the world.

We shall pay any price, bear any burden, to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

WOMAN: What are we fighting for?

Freedom.

Freedom.

I think we fight because it's necessary and because it's right.

PRESIDENT BUSH SR.: We're not talking simply about the price of gas.

We are talking about the price of liberty.

PRESIDENT JOHNSON: We seek neither territory nor bases.

We fight for the principle of self-determination.

America's strength and, yes, her military power have been a force for peace, not conquest.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: By keeping our military strong, by using force where we must, America is making a difference for people here and around the world.

PRESIDENT BUSH JR.: Our cause is just.

And no matter how long it takes, we will defeat the enemies of freedom.

SEKZER: I was on my way into work and I was taking the subway, which is an elevated subway.

And as the subway heads to New York, there comes a point where it makes a very abrupt left-hand turn, almost--almost a 90 degree turn.

And when it does that, the wheels of the subway always screech loudly.

(SUBWAY WHEELS SCREECHING)

If you look out the window, that's when you can see the World Trade Center.

I was sitting on the subway reading, as I always do.

Train made the left-hand turn, the wheels screeched, everybody in the car jumped up and started to gasp.

(GASPING)

And I look up, and there's the building with smoke pouring out of it.

I didn't know if that was my son's building, because Tower One and Tower Two were in perfect symmetry.

And I didn't know which tower I'm looking at.

And I'm just thinking to myself, you know, how did my son get, get out of there?

Well, I don't know how, but he got out of there.

There's no two ways about that.

He can't be in there, 'cause anybody who's in there is gonna die.

JOHNSON: Blowback. It's a CIA term.

Blowback does not mean simply the unintended consequences of foreign operations.

It means the unintended consequences of foreign operations that were deliberately kept secret from the American public, so that when the retaliation comes the American public is not able to put it in context, to put cause and effect together.

That they come up with questions like, "Why do they hate us?"

MAN 1: The forces of evil declared war on the American...

Not since Pearl Harbor has there been so much national rage.

MAN 2: Freedom and democracy are under attack.

MAN 3: Why do they hate us?

That's the question everybody's asking.

JOHNSON: Our government did not want the forensic question asked, "What were their motives?"

And instead, chose to say they were just evildoers.

And the towers keep falling.

Every five minutes, there go the tower again.

I got on the phone. I called NBC.

"I'm listening to your newscast.

"How many times are you gonna show

"those goddamn towers coming down?

"Don't you have any respect for the people

"who have family and friends in those towers?

"Do we have to keep watching them fall down?

"I watched them fall down 50 times already. When are you gonna stop?

"Please stop.

"You're ripping my heart out."

MAN: ...to win a war against people that hate freedom.

SEKZER: God gave me two of the greatest sons that any parent could ever ask for.

Why he took one back, I'll never know.

(PEOPLE CLAPPING) I can hear you.

The rest of the world hears you.

And the people... And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.

(PEOPLE CHEERING)

ALL: U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

Somebody had to pay for this.

Somebody had to pay for 9/11.

I... I want enemy dead.

I want to see their bodies stacked up for what they did, for taking my son.

*(PEOPLE SINGING)

There was a moment when the entire world was behind us.

There was a million people demonstrating in the streets of Tehran in favor of the United States.

We had the world behind us.

(GUN FIRING)

CIRINCIONE: Now kids are dying.

Billions are being spent every month.

Animosity against the United States is stronger now than it ever has been in history.

What happened here?

Is it just the, the experience of September 11th?

Or is there something else going on here?

When something like this happens, you gotta take stock of this.

You gotta understand what went wrong here.

We live here in the United States of amnesia.

No one remembers anything before Monday morning.

Everything is a blank. We have no history.

MAN: Guatemala, 1954.

The United States intervened unilaterally to protect its vital interests.

Lebanon, 1958.

The United States feels its policy of containment in the Middle East is threatened, responds openly and unilaterally.

The United States intervened in Laos, the Congo, Brazil.

There are so many theories about what happened in Iraq and why we really went in.

But when you look at the history of the United States, almost every president, there is something we don't like somewhere in the world and we've gotta dispense military force.

MAN: Ronald Reagan invaded Grenada in 1983.

Last night, I ordered U.S. military forces to Panama.

LEWIS: This is not about one president or one party.

We fight as a nation because we perceive it is in our interest to fight.

And we then mention words like "freedom" and--and nice common values that...

Who can be against freedom?

When, in fact, much more has been going on privately.

Just completed a meeting with our National Security Team, and we've received the latest, um, intelligence updates.

The deliberate and deadly attacks which were carried out yesterday against our country were more than acts of terror.

They were acts of war.

JOHNSON: September 11th, 2001, provided a group of people deeply committed to the expansion of the American empire the opportunity to implement plans that they had been laying since 1992.

At that time, a young Paul Wolfowitz was working in a subordinate position under Dick Cheney, who was then Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Cheney orders Wolfowitz to write a plan, to write a grand strategy.

That it was now our destiny.

That without the Soviet Union, there is no one who can possibly approach us in military terms.

It says that's the way it ought to be, and our policy must be to maintain and expand that.

That we are the new Rome.

That's their strategy.

On 9/11, they began to implement it.

It's not just simply a matter of capturing people and holding them accountable, but removing the sanctuaries, removing the support systems, ending states who sponsor terror...

The people who came in with the President, or many of them, anyway, were certainly prepared to shift direction, and in, in a r-radical direction.

I think it's fair to say radical.

When September 11th happened, the President and his top advisors said to themselves, correctly I think, "We need to rethink American foreign policy."

And I think that would have happened even without a September 11th, but September 11th was really the event that changed American foreign policy.

KWIATKOWSKI: Well, I was in the Pentagon when we got hit.

You know, I... Yes, it did change.

It was a very, um, dramatic and terrible thing, and it does change your perspective, but the war in Iraq had nothing to do with the war on terrorism.

That was a huge leap, a manufactured leap, in order to implement a very calculated and pre-developed foreign policy.

We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans, and confront the worst threats before they emerge.

The Bush Doctrine is that, uh, preemptive strikes or preemptive conflicts, which were never contemplated in the past, now have to be contemplated under certain scenarios.

If you saw a missile about to be launched and you could kick it over before it could be launched, you'd do it, of course.

If you saw someone about to shoot at you and you thought you could shoot first, you'd do it. It's common sense.

I don't know anybody who doesn't agree with that.

So what's the big fuss about preemption?

March 19th is a night I will never forget.

March 19th is one for the history books.

It's one for my personal history books.

TOOMEY: When we first got the phone call, all we were told was we have a high priority mission.

A high value target was what it was released to us, was...

Yeah, it was gonna... It was a leadership target.

The F-117's an extraordinary machine, and it is only ordered forward uh, on the order of the President or the Secretary of Defense.

The first night of the conflict, the 117 pilots were fully trained.

All they had to do was be briefed, have the weapons put on.

HOEHN: The whole mission up to this point was kept at the top secret levels.

I think they really didn't expect both of us to come back, which is why they sent two jets.

TOOMEY: It's now 3:30.

We have to hit the target at 5:30 or all bets are off.

The President of the United States saw a target of opportunity, and they wanted to take advantage of it and they did.

MAN: It's, uh, quite chilly and cold. I'm looking southward, expecting any attacks to come in from the south.

The choice and the timing is entirely now in the hands of the allies.

JOHNSON: The Bush Doctrine is certainly not something unprecedented, unknown in American life.

The statement that we are going to dominate the world through military power, that we reserve to ourselves the right of preemptive war, it is an extreme statement of what has been there in the works for a long time.

(GUNS FIRING)

World War II is, without question, the formation of the American military empire.

MAN: General Dwight D. Eisenhower, supreme commander in chief, Allied Expeditionary Force.

I have complete confidence that the soldiers, sailors, and airmen of the United Nations will demonstrate that an aroused democracy is the most formidable fighting machine that can be devised.

CIRINCIONE: Eisenhower was there and saw it happening.

He had seen the buildup of the American military to fight World War II.

In this war, more than any other in history, we are on the side of decency and democracy and liberty.

SUSAN EISENHOWER: He believed very deeply in the necessity for World War II and felt that Nazism was a terrible tyranny.

And he brought this conviction and drive to defeating Nazi Germany.

MAN: People waited for this moment, the culminating victory, the end of the war.

VIDAL: We were on top of the world.

We were the only un-wrecked major power on Earth.

Europe was bleeding to death.

Japan was gone.

Those paper cities had all been burned up.

So what are we doing?

MAN: At 2:45 in the morning, August 6th, 1945, Colonel Tibbets takes the Enola Gay...

It is an atomic bomb.

It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe.

JOHNSON: The United States bombed the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945.

And three days later, they detonated another atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki.

PRESIDENT TRUMAN: What has been done is the greatest achievement of organized science in history.

VIDAL: I can remember in the Pacific when the word spread that the bombs had been dropped.

99.9% of us were delighted, because we'd been convinced that if Japan was not hit by nuclear weapons, one million of us would be killed.

Drop those bombs and they will surrender.

Well, they were trying to surrender all that summer, but Truman wouldn't listen, because Truman wanted to drop the bombs.

MAN: Why?

To show off. To frighten Stalin.

To change the balance of power in the world.

To declare war on Communism.

Perhaps we were starting a preemptive world war.

Eisenhower hated the dropping of them and thought it should not have been done.

JOHN EISENHOWER: We just thought war was terrible enough as it was.

I cannot, uh, trace evolution in my dad's thinking.

He was complex. He was a five-star general, but he was never a military fanatic, never.

One night in July of '45, that day, the Secretary of War had told my father about the development of the atomic weapon, atomic bomb.

We were sitting up in his bedroom, and he said that his own first impression, his own emotion, had been to, uh, to be feeling down low.

We... He wished we hadn't invented it.

MAN: In the background was the growing conflict between two great powers to shape the post-war world.

Already an iron curtain had dropped around Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia.

VIDAL: You see, we had to fight Communism wherever it was in the world.

So a decision was made that the United States remain militarized, permanently.

MAN: We lack the weapons to defend ourselves.

"Build, prepare," is the cry.

Quickly, the government springs into action and initiates a gigantic rearmament program, a program designed to make America the arsenal of democracy.

VIDAL: From that moment on, the American empire was in every corner of the Earth.

MAN: In Burma and Iceland...

VIDAL: We were going to maintain dominance, not just of Europe and not just of Japan, but of the entire globe.

* Oh, gee, I wish

* That I could be with you tonight *

* Gee, I wish, oh

* And gee, I know

* That everything would be all right *

* Be all right

* The crickets are singing a love song *

WOMAN: What are we fighting for?

Fighting for continued freedom.

T-t-that's the only way we're gonna have it, I think.

Why do we fight?

I think that the...

I honestly don't have an answer for you.

It's just...

It's the people who start the war who know what they're fighting about.

I think we fight for ideals and what we believe in, so...

I hope that's what it is.

(PEOPLE CLAPPING)

Today, we don't have a broad-based American, uh, feeling about why we're fighting in Iraq.

People's confidence in the United States is not what it was 50 years ago.

It's not what it was during World War II.

MAN: Yesterday, U.S.A., precious celluloids, such as the Why We Fight orientation films, familiarizing our soldiers...

KWIATKOWSKI: You know, it's interesting.

Why We Fight was actually the title of a series of World War II films that were done by one of the great directors.

MAN: Master of the art of motion picture entertainment, Frank Capra.

KWIATKOWSKI: The Frank Capra films, even back then, were propaganda to kind of build up a war fever.

MAN: Americans fighting.

KWIATKOWSKI: But given that it was during a global world war, there were a lot of reasons that Americans embrace.

MAN: We're fighting for liberty, the most expensive luxury known to man.

KWIATKOWSKI: Today, if you went downtown to my local town, and you asked five people why we're fighting in Iraq, you'd get five different answers.

Why do we fight? I'm not quite sure, but I think it's, uh, for power and control, for greed.

I'm not sure, uh, if we're fighting for the oil or not.

We could be. We could not be.

The government has more knowledge than I know.

I think everybody has a different idea why we're there, and a lot of people think we shouldn't be.

What we're seeing is a disconnection of our American foreign policy from the citizen, from the average American citizen.

WOMAN: Why do we fight?

Oh, I wish we didn't. I wish we didn't.

Sometimes you have to, though.

(PEOPLE EXCLAIMING)


This is one of my favorite pictures of all time, smiling with his two teeth.

Me and Jason.

What can I do for my son's memory?

I'm not a millionaire.

I can't build schools and libraries.

I'm just a regular cop living on a pension.

I want to be able to do something so that hopefully one day I can go over to my son's grave

and... I can go over to my son's grave and tell him that I've done something in his memory that hopefully will be a step in preventing another attack like that.

The bomb is designed to, uh, be delivered inside a target, so...

My expertise is in explosive technology, um, and so are a lot of my colleagues here at Indian Head.

ANH DUONG: When the Pentagon called, my position then was the head of what we call the payload team.

A bomb... It's--It's the nomenclature for--for "bomb."

I find it sometimes amusing when people ask me, "What do you work in?"

And I would say, "Explosives." And they would...

But our mission was to quickly weaponize what was called a Penetrator.

It basically was a big bomb engineered to enhance its blast effect inside confined structures such as tunnels, caves, etcetera.

MAN: We're going to attack somebody.

We're gonna bomb some place.

There's no question about that.

The question is, where are we gonna do it and why?

Do you think that after an adversary gets nuclear weapons is a better time to engage that adversary than now without?

PRESIDENT BUSH JR.: Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror.

This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.

The invasion of Iraq in 2003 is, to a very considerable extent, about repositioning the United States as the country that must be obeyed.

DYER: It's an easy way to send a signal to the planet that the United States is in charge, and it's going to do what it wants.

And anybody who defies the United States will be punished.

TREADWAY: The decision to attack Iraqi leadership at the opening salvo, it was a bold move, it was a new way of making war, and technology was able to provide our leadership that opportunity.

HOEHN: Uh, we had received this new weapon called the Enhanced Guided Bomb Unit-27.

And it was like the new candy at the candy store.

We needed something that was gonna give us the capability to strike through the weather and not worry about having to bring the bombs home.

MAN: The whole of the city is still lit very brightly, but nobody is moving on the streets whatsoever.

It's like everybody here is holding their breath.

We really didn't know who was there and who was gonna take the, uh, the blow of what we were about to do.

Both Colonel Treadway and I probably had our suspicions about who it was.

We had gotten some indications that it may be the sons.

It may be Saddam himself.

Assassination. People sometimes think with precision weapons that maybe you can now assassinate people from very high altitudes.

I mean, golly.

First of all, if it's a fixed target, like a building, you have the time to understand it, its location.

ROCHE: The next hardest target is one that moves around, and the single hardest target of all is a human being.

Sometimes before you can bring about democratic change, you have to remove the obstacle to democratic change.

You have to remove Saddam Hussein, because there's no hope for democracy with Saddam there.

The point, in many ways, for these guys wasn't just to topple Saddam.

It was to transform the Middle East.

They want to take the U.S. military and go in and shore up American interest in the key area of the world, and that's their vision.

They want to spread democracy around the world on the point of our bayonets.

(MAN SPEAKING IN ARABIC)

(SPEAKING IN ARABIC)

(WOMAN CONTINUES SPEAKING)

(SPEAKING IN ARABIC)

(MAN SPEAKING IN ARABIC)

I think most Americans don't want to police the world, but I think most Americans understand that if we don't at least help police the world, then no one's going to.

Where the debate and controversy begins is how far does the United States go?

And when does it go from a force for good to a force of imperialism?

KRISTOL: People complain a lot about American arrogance and American power, but the great threat for the future is not American power and American strength.

It would be American weakness and American withdrawal.

DYER: They do believe that this is not only for the long-term benefit of the United States, but it's for the long-term benefit of everybody else as well.

We'll bring them American values, prosperity, peace, all the rest of it.

But the way we're gonna do that is to take over, even more than we did at the height of the Cold War.

MAN: Three, two, one. Fire!

T-zero.

DYER: After the second world war, the United States literally divided the world up into commands, and some American officer was responsible for every region of the world.

There was this domino theory that if any of these places fall to Communism, then the next place and the next place and the next place will fall as well.

And the next thing you know, they're in Missouri.

MAN: Once upon a time, your hometown was safe, but not now.

It is possible for a rocket to strike your home right now, today.

Right now.

And what defense remains?

Strength.

Strength, ready if we need it.

JOHN EISENHOWER: When my dad first became president, he came in at the real beginning of the third nuclear age.

I think we have to put the 1950s into perspective.

We look back today and we think the 1950s was a period of Elvis Presley and poodle skirts, but, in fact, it was a very dangerous period of time.

Defense budgets throughout the western world doubled or tripled in the four years between '48 and '52.

MAN: The Soviets are out-producing America's aircraft factories.

DYER: There is a threat, but we can't measure how much is enough defense spending to stop the Soviet Union.

So by the time Eisenhower is president, there is a huge, new flow of cash into defense industries.

SUSAN EISENHOWER: He was the first to acknowledge that a permanent military establishment would be required during this period.

But then, unless we could find some kind of breakthrough, that, in fact, it would end up creating a terrible cost.

PRESIDENT EISENHOWER: The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

"It is two electric power plants, "each serving a town of 60,000 population.

"It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals."

We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.

"We pay for a single destroyer with new homes

"that could have housed more than 8,000 people."

This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense.

Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

JOHN EISENHOWER: My father, as president, he had strong guiding principles.

He used to say modern weapons take food from the hungry and shelter from the homeless.

And so he was fighting with the Pentagon all the time for asking for too much, and Congress for giving it to them.

I don't think we should pay one cent for defense more than we have to.

CIRINCIONE: Well, Eisenhower saw us starting to build program after program that was just out of control.

And his own ability to shape national security policy was being hemmed in by these forces he couldn't control, and he was the President.

SUSAN EISENHOWER: On at least one occasion, Eisenhower was heard to say by those in the room, "God help this country when somebody sits at this desk

"who doesn't know as much about the military as I do."

PRESIDENT EISENHOWER: My fellow Americans, this evening, I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen.

We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.

Three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment.

The total influence, economic, political, even spiritual, is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the federal government.

We recognize the imperative need for this development, yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications.

In the counsels of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought by the military-industrial complex.

The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

CIRINCIONE: You have to realize this is one of the great presidents, great military leaders, on his way out the door at the end of his second term.

He says, "By the way, watch out

"for the military-industrial complex."

People know that he invented the phrase

"military-industrial complex."

But very rarely do you see the whole thing and realize how utterly strident his warning was.

I think it's one of the most profound statements ever made by an American president.

Just like George Washington gave his warnings about foreign entanglements and things like that, my dad was giving his warning against letting this military-industrial complex get out of hand.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.

*(MUSIC PLAYING)


* I want the good life from now on *

* Come on, baby, from now on *

* I want the bad days to be gone *

* Come on, baby, from now on *

* Tired of working

* He's tired of working

* For my pay

* Tired of working for his pay *

* I want the good life

* I'm going to change just you wait and see *

* I'm going to have a lot of girls chasing after me *

* I'm going to spend every penny that I ever saved *

* When I move downtown to my new place *

(ALL EXCLAIMING)

The President has asked Congress for $401.7 billion for fiscal year 2005.

BYRD: Our country spends more on defense than all of the other 18 members of NATO, plus China, Russia...

From my standpoint, I think numbers almost are distracting.

(HORN BLARING)

*(MUSIC PLAYING)

MAN: This is a medium machine gun, 7.62 millimeter, over 450 rounds a minute.

So I'm here to see the hit-to-kill technology.

I don't know if you're familiar with it.

But it's--it's a missile that goes up and shoots tactical ballistic missiles out of the sky.

These are my two daughters.

McCAIN: President Eisenhower's concern about the military-industrial complex, his words have, unfortunately, come true.

He was worried that priorities are set by what benefits corporations, as opposed to what benefits the country.

Name any playing card that will come into your mind.

One, two, three, name a card. Perfect.

Now, we've never met before.

No collusion, which is really odd because collusion is our business.

Yes, collusion with the military.

CIRINCIONE: You know, people sometimes think of the defense budget as you gotta arm the troops, defend the nation, but for most people that are involved in it, you realize this is business, competition for contracts between very large corporations.

Industry has to have a bottom line that's black, otherwise their shareholders don't like that.

So they have to find ways to interest the government in continuing to buy the product.

TREADWAY: Lockheed Martin and McDonnell Douglas and Boeing.

Throughout America there are factories, there are corporations, that are involved on a daily basis to produce the weaponry, the ammunition, to carry out the American way of war.

I just want to take your driver's license.

Hi. Sorry. Cold hands, cold hands, warm heart.

The overall Raytheon mission, in general, is to be the premier supplier of solutions and meet all our customers' needs.

ELLINGTON: Our job is to provide tactical missiles for all practical purposes, Paveway laser-guided bombs, Tomahawk missiles, Stinger missiles, Phalanx, which is actually a great big gun.

TREADWAY: The American way of war has been described as overwhelming firepower supported by overwhelming logistics.

For every shooter out there, every man with a gun, there are hundreds behind, supporting, providing the ammunition, the boots, the gas for the tanks, the oil.

I don't guess I'm real proud of the fact that I make bombs, you know, for what they're used for.

WOMAN: I think about, when I see something explode over there, "Did my hands actually help make that, you know?"

I'd rather really be helping Santa make toys, is what I'd really rather be doing.

ELLINGTON: We try and connect our people with the actual guy in the field, in the plane.

Some of them are their sons or their daughters.

MAN: Your son is a reservist?

Yes, he is a reservist with the 652nd Engineers.

Sometimes I'm okay, and other times, I could cry a river.

(CLANGING)

You wrap the flag around every weapon system.

Every weapon system is supposed to be for the troops.

Give the soldier the tools they need, but, really, what it ends up becoming is product competition.

SAEGER: If you had the same car year after year, if industry didn't change the car at all, would you buy a different car?

No, but when they come up with something that's got extra bells and whistles on it, that suits what you need it to do, then you'll buy more.

SPINNEY: If you look at the weapons that we're buying, new aircraft carriers, new submarines, F-22 fighters, you know, for an attack that the FBI estimates probably cost, uh, Al Qaeda or Osama 500K to pull off, uh, we are now spending more than we did at the peak of Vietnam.

A lot of what's going on is simply because people don't understand the larger architecture of how the Pentagon operates.

MAN: Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee, I am the U.S. Air Force program manager for the Boeing Company.

Let's use the example of buying a weapon, like a new fighter plane for the Air Force.

SPINNEY: The action usually starts in the Pentagon, maybe at the contractors' initiatives, but, essentially, everybody's working together.

The KC-767A can carry up to 190 troops.

Basically, what you do is you come in and you low-ball the initial estimate.

The actual... Then your cost is about half that estimate.

SPINNEY: You over-promise what it's gonna do, and you underestimate the kind of burdens it's gonna impose.

We separately met with the companies, and both proposals very good...

Once the Air Force buys off on it, then you start flooding money to as many congressional districts as possible, as quickly as possible.

The B-2 bomber has a piece of it made in every single state to make sure that if you ever tried to phase that project out, you will get howls, howls from among the most liberal members of Congress.

I believe in this military. I am urging the Senate to support this bill, $66 billion for our men and women in uniform.

Well, I just wanna thank the Chairman for working with me in adding $100 million to upgrade ten additional B-1 bombers.

And that B-1 has been a great asset for the projection of powerful...

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the FA-22 Raptor and...

Because the military-industrial complex is not two links, it's three.

It's the military and the industry and Congress.

For a Congressman, defense spending means jobs.

Humvees are manufactured in my district in Mishawaka, Indiana by...

CIRINCIONE: Losing 100 defense jobs in his district could mean 500 votes.

CIRINCIONE: It's not just 100 workers.

It's their spouses. It's their children.

It's the representative's duty to bring home the bacon.

I am also grateful for the work that the House Armed Services Committee has done to fully fund the FA-22 program this year.

God bless our contractors.

It is our conclusion that the Lockheed Martin team is the winner of the Joint Strike Fighter Program.

*(PIANO PLAYING)

LEWIS: We have a snapshot in time, after September 11th, where at least 71 companies that we were able to identify are starting to get contracts to go in in Afghanistan and Iraq.

All of the top 10 companies had former U.S. officials who had worked in the Pentagon or other parts of the U.S. government, on their boards of directors or as their top executives.

LEWIS: It's known as the revolving door, and people cash in all the time.

Public officials go to work for companies and they make triple, quadruple, ten times, sometimes, as much money as they used to make in public service.

McCAIN: There is too close a relationship, and there is outright, uh... I--I hate to use the word "corruption," but it borders on it, the behavior of some of these individuals, both in--in industry and in the Pentagon.

The number one recipient of contracts was Vice President Cheney's former company, Halliburton, and its subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root.

K-B-R, we're the Army's contractor on the battlefield.

Currently 65,000 KBR people around the world, assisting the troops.

And ten of what?

CIRINCIONE: You know, the military-industrial complex isn't just the people in the Pentagon and the people producing the weapons.

It's now increasingly got a very large service sector.

Ham and eggs.

CIRINCIONE: Things that troops used to do, like peel potatoes and do laundry, you now have contractors doing.

PERLE: Somebody has to do this work.

And the Halliburton thing is just an outrageous effort to associate the Vice President with the activities of a company with which he has no connection, no connection at all.

WOMAN: Congressional critics are questioning whether Dick Cheney helped Halliburton get a billion...

MAN: The FBI has revealed it is expanding its investigation into how Halliburton company billed taxpayers for its contract work in Iraq.

MAN: And it now appears some of those contracts were awarded with the knowledge and approval of the Vice President's office, which would seem to contradict his previous statements.

As Vice President, I have absolutely no influence of, involvement of, knowledge of, in any way, shape or form, of contracts.

We did a report that took two and a half years, $600,000, 33 people, including ten investigative reporters on six continents, looking at private military companies and outsourcing war all over the world.

And we noticed that in 1992 there was a contract of $9 million given out to a company, Kellogg Brown & Root, to study the idea, "Should the Pentagon start using the private sector

"to do some of the support type functions, "like food service, latrine duty, "but even maybe some military things as well?"

And the Secretary of Defense at the time was one Dick Cheney, so Cheney gives the contract out.

Kellogg Brown & Root comes back and says, "This is a terrific idea."

The next 10 years, they get 700 or 800 contracts to do just that.

DICK CHENEY: Well, I ran Halliburton. I'm proud of it.

Halliburton's a quintessential...

LEWIS: This company brought in a Rolodex guy, a former U.S. Congressman, Defense Secretary, Chief of Staff to a President to make sure that he could get doors opened, not only in Washington but in capitals all over the world.

And, yes, he becomes personally wealthy from that.

No question about it.

His net worth went from a million dollars or less to 60 or 70 million dollars in the span of five years.

MAN: Are you ready to take the oath?

I am.

Please raise your right hand and repeat after me.

LEWIS: So we elected a government contractor as vice president.

*(TRUMPET BLOWING) Congratulations, Mr. Vice President.

This could be Indonesia. It sounds like Russia, Nigeria.

No, it's the United States of America, and everything I just said is entirely legal, and it is our system of legal corruption.

If I am sure of anything, I am sure of this.

Vice President Cheney had nothing to do with the award of any contract to Halliburton.

He wouldn't pick up the phone.

He wouldn't whisper in someone's ear.

I know him. He just wouldn't do it.

It looks bad. It looks bad.

And, apparently, Halliburton, more than once, has over-charged the, the federal government.

That's wrong.

(PHONE RINGING)

WOMAN: How would you tackle a problem like that?

I would have a public investigation of what they've done.

WOMAN: So...

(WOMAN CHATTERING)

What's that?

Vice President's on the phone? Okay.

WOMAN: You probably have to take the call, don't you?

SUSAN EISENHOWER: Whenever you get into a situation where anybody's got unwarranted influence, it has the potential to be deeply distorting.

It corrupts our system.

JOHNSON: You don't have to show that he directly came in and hit the cash register button, the door flew open, and he took some money out and put it in his pocket.

It's to say anybody allocating things at the Department of Defense knows who the Vice President is, knows what his connections are in Halliburton.

We have a process that has a seamlessness, where the corporate interests that stand to benefit are so intertwined and interwoven with the political forces that the financial elites and the political elites have become the same people.

You do have to follow the money.

If you follow the money here, it's not so much that Halliburton wanted a war so they told Dick Cheney to go get one for them.

It wasn't that, but you do get a willingness to go to war.

MAN: Ayes are 296.

The nays are 133.

The Joint Resolution is passed without objection.

KWIATKOWSKI: You get a willingness to look at the cost-benefit scenario.

American people who have a son or a daughter that's going to be deployed and maybe shot at, maybe killed or maimed in Iraq, they look at the cost-benefit, and they go, hmm, "I don't think that's good."

KWIATKOWSKI: But when politicians who understand contracts, future contracts, when they look at war, they have a different cost-benefit analysis.

JOHNSON: The defense budget is three-quarters of a trillion dollars.

Profits went up last year well over 25%.

I guarantee you, when war becomes that profitable, you're going to see more of it.

SUSAN EISENHOWER: I don't know how you would want to assess the reasons the United States went to war in Iraq.

But, ultimately, you have to ask yourself at the end of the day, "Does any of this contribute

"to whether or not we are making valid and appropriate decisions

"about our conduct of foreign policy?"

TOOMEY: Why do we fight?

I don't know why we fight.

Being a military officer, I--I really don't sit back and look at who's with me and who's against me.

My job is to make sure that my squadron, my unit, is ready to go to war.

There's always gonna be people that disagree with what we do, and we can't stop that.

That's part of democracy.

HOEHN: From a soldier's perspective and stuff, it gets old, listening to the debates on policy.

But it's not ours to decide.

We do what we're told.

MAN: The first light of dawn is breaking above me.

No explosions yet.

Just the distant sound of low rumbles all across the city.

You can hear dogs are barking.

They know that something is about to happen.

(WOMAN SPEAKING IN ARABIC)

(SPEAKING IN ARABIC)

(SPEAKING IN ARABIC)

MAN: This will be a campaign unlike any other in history, a campaign characterized by shock, by surprise, by the employment of precise munitions on a scale never before seen.

You also have to understand that in trying to take out Saddam during the OIF, we wanted the Iraqi people to have their infrastructure there and not be mad at the coalition forces.

TREADWAY: That's one of the great, great results of the military-industrial complex, the defense industry.

With the advances in the weaponry now, we can destroy the target of our commander's choosing and minimize collateral damage, which is such an all-encompassing term, the risk to innocent life.

TOOMEY: Nobody's out there to just destroy things.

Just because I wear a uniform makes me no different than anybody else, uh, that's, uh, sitting here in this room with me.

Uh, I have the same family.

I get up. I shave, just like everybody else.

Uh, the only difference is there's times when I have to leave my family and go to another country and go to war.

DONALD RUMSFELD: We have the greatest fighting forces on the face of the Earth.

Our nation is blessed to have so many brave men and women who voluntarily risk their lives to protect our country.

* Woke up this morning

* I suddenly realized we're all in this together *

SOLOMON: Hello, my name's William Solomon. I'm 23.

I've decided to enlist in the United States Regular Army, and I'm gonna be shipping out January 26th.

A lot of the stuff that I've been going through recently with my mother's death, um, my financial hardships, and my inability to complete my education, those three main problems are all gonna, um...

Are plain and simple, just gonna be solved by my enlistment in the military.

VALENTINE: When Will first came in, he was actually talking to the Air Force, but he asked me a question about the Army aviation.

A-and once he asked me the question, I told him about it.

When they showed me the brochures, some of the helicopters, I...

And then like the RAH-66, that's a stealth helicopter.

I was like, "Wait, they got this?"

At that point in time, you know, I explained to him our Warrant Officer Flight program.

VALENTINE: You can take somebody right off the street, as long as the person has a high school diploma, can come in, get a--a good job guaranteed to them.

I think once Will found out about that, he was pretty much locked in.

SOLOMON: He was completely unlike what I expected of a recruiter when I first spoke with him.

...outside of that stadium we used to train in.

'Course that's an Apache attack helicopter there.

SOLOMON: 'Cause he told me that Army recruiters, quote, "Got the bad reputation of car salesmen."

The toughest part about recruiting is, is gaining a person's trust.

Whatever we say we back up with black-and-white regulations, so, um, there's no smokes and mirrors around here.

Y-you fixed up my life real good, man. You're gonna make...

Because of you, I'm gonna retire real nice, 'cause I'm thinking of it as a career thing.

SOLOMON: Every little bit of strife I've gone through in my life, every little inconvenience, I've always, or since I signed the papers, anyway...

I just looked at this as something that'll make basic training that much easier.

* Gonna build a fire

* Lead the choir

* In my song

* Once MAN: We are an army of one.

One team, one mission, one goal.

* It was around my schoolboy days *

* New lines were drawn

* And rules were made

* I wear the scars *

SPINNEY: You know, the whole idea of you can be all you can be if you join the Army.

Look at how we appeal to them. You're gonna learn a skill.

You're gonna get a trade. You'll be able to go to college.

Give you all these benefits if you go and serve your country.

SPINNEY: We appeal to people's self interest and then put them into a situation which is based on self-sacrifice.

SOLOMON: I didn't really have much of a blood family.

(CELL PHONE RINGING) My mom was the only blood, me and my mom...

Hold on.

Hello.

Hello? Yeah, Jimmy.

SOLOMON: I mean, I got real good friends, and they've been just as good as a blood family, but they're not that supportive of me going in. They say...

They, you know, try and give me boogieman stories about what's gonna happen in basic.

Um, as rough as basic can be, it--it can't be as bad as they say.

I'm not worried.

Right now, you have more of a separation between the military and particularly the middle class and the upper middle class in this country than existed even under the draft era.

SPINNEY: If you go back to Vietnam, basically, the inequity of the draft helped prolong the war.

As long as the poor and unrepresented were dying, people went along with it.

You know, we got out of Vietnam effectively when the lottery started and middle class kids were getting killed.

First thing that happened was they went to this all-volunteer army, and that solved the draft inequity problem, because everybody is a volunteer.

This is supposedly a stealth helicopter, which hopefully will go into service by the time I become a pilot.

And that makes the military much easier to use, uh, because, you know, "You guys are fucking volunteers.

"Screw you. You signed up for this."

You know, the, uh, objections don't carry as much water.

MAN: In a period of increased tension, the advantage gained by flying men into position quickly might represent the difference between success or failure in a military operation.

SEKZER: I arrived in Vietnam in July of 1965.

I was part of the buildup to 50,000 troops.

I remember saying to one of my buddies, "You know, this keeps up, "they're gonna have 100,000 troops over here."

And he laughed. He said, "What, are you nuts?

"They'd have to declare war for 100,000 troops."

PRESIDENT JOHNSON: My fellow Americans, renewed hostile actions against United States ships on the high seas in the Gulf of Tonkin have today required me to order the military forces of the United States to take action in reply.

I was assigned to a helicopter company, 13th Aviation Battalion.

I was a, uh, door-gunner on one of the helicopters.

It was quite an experience for, you know, a 21-year-old kid.

You're involved in taking people's lives.

From the perspective of a helicopter, you're up X-number hundreds of feet and you're shooting at little dots that are running around.

You're not shooting at somebody face to face.

MAN: Okay, there's a blue shirt on a trail down here. He's coming in right!

Okay, there's our tank.

SEKZER: It's almost like they're not real human beings.

They're objects.

They're objects.

ANH DUONG: As a refugee of war, I think I understand firsthand the suffering, the pain that war could cause.

I came here when I was 15.

We left Saigon on the 28th of April, 1975, right before the downfall of Saigon.

I was very lucky to made it here intact.

I always was very much aware of why I'm here.

It's because of a strong thirst for freedom that brought me here, and the sacrifice of other people that brought me here.

MAN: A full-scale evacuation had been ordered.

ANH DUONG: But I do remember the desperation.

A lot of South Vietnamese indeed felt that the Americans have left them fend for themselves, that, in the end, America deliberately withdrew all the support.

But I separate that from the American people.

SEKZER: I grew up knowing that, should the situation arise, you were expected to answer the call when your country made the call.

There was no such thing as, "Well, I wonder if my country's right.

"Is anybody lying to me about this?"

You--You don't, you don't grow up thinking that.

You grow up saying, "If the bugle calls, you go."

SEKZER: Well, as, you know, as time went on, and we found out, well, this whole Gulf of Tonkin thing was BS and nobody was really attacked.

So you say to yourself, "You know what?

"That's really crap, man.

Why--Why--Why did, why did somebody lie to us?

"There was no need to lie."

We have been lied to in every military escapade, um, frankly, over the last 50 or 60 years, uh, without exception.

LEWIS: There's no better example, probably, than Vietnam, where you had the President of the United States and the top generals in the Pentagon, out-and-out lying about the Gulf of Tonkin incident and got us into the war, about the casualties, about how the war was going.

Anyone who has ever looked closely at the Vietnam War can see that the public and the media were manipulated, uh, substantially.

LEWIS: We don't like to think of ourselves as a militant nation, but we are, in fact, an incredibly militant and militaristic nation.

It's not a view of ourselves that we wanna carry around, but the fact is, we are.

If the President and the military-industrial complex, the defense establishment, if they all have decided that suddenly there's a problem somewhere and we need to drop some bombs or even put land forces somewhere in some country, this is a ritual that we have been seeing for decades.

We've toppled governments.

We've done coup detats.

We've used intelligence services for covert purposes and done horrible things around the world.

And we have put up with the most heinous human rights abusing countries.

We have propped them up.

We've even trained them how to commit human rights abuses.

Today's demon was yesterday's friend, all in the name of either the Cold War, or for commercial reasons.

It's basically, uh, economic colonialism.

LEWIS: No one uses the colonialism word, but instead of just taking over the countries, we have a better way.

We just go in and have free markets.

Whether we're trying to sell our products to their citizens or we're trying to mine their resources, we need to be in that country for some reason.

And, therefore, we're gonna talk about free markets, free trade.

But what's really going on is, we want our companies to get rich in your country.

MAN: There she is.

That's what all the fuss is about, oil.

It's kind of pretty, isn't it?

Oil coming up out of the ground to make life a bit more easy for all of us.

JOHNSON: The United States is the world's largest consumer of fossil fuels.

Oil is what drives the military machine of every country.

That is, it provides the fuel for the aircraft, for the ships, for the tanks, for the trucks.

Control of oil is indispensable.

When you run out of it, your army stops.

JOHNSON: There is a direct connection between events that happened more than 50 years ago and the war in Iraq today.

In 1953, the Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh, became extremely irritated.

The British were ripping off his country's national resources.

He wanted a greater share in it.

The British came to the new president, Eisenhower, and asked for help on this.

Eisenhower very conveniently declared Mossadegh to be a Communist, and we then set the CIA to, uh, overthrow him.

MAN: Three days of bloody rioting, culminating in a military coup...

JOHNSON: The result was we brought the Shah to power, and he created an extremely repressive regime that within 20 years had led to a revolution against him.

The Ayatollah Khomeini creates a government that is violently anti-American.

(WOMAN CHATTERING)

MAN: Khomeini said, quote, "I pray to God to cut the hands of all those foreign advisors..."

In the After Action Report by the CIA on what they had done in Iran in 1953, they said, "We're going to get some blowback from this."

We then made a puppet out of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, who was a friend of ours.

He was an asset in the CIA's computers.

We did so because he was anti-Iranian.

He was very fearful that the revolution in Iran would spread into his country.

He, therefore, went to war with Iran.

The war was extremely bloody, went on throughout the 1980s.

Unfortunately for Saddam Hussein, he began to lose the war.

At that point, in comes the United States in the form of Donald Rumsfeld, sent to Saddam Hussein by President Reagan to tell him, "We will supply you with intelligence.

"We will supply you with the weapons you may need through covert means."

It is why cynics in Washington say, "We know Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

"We have the receipts."

JOHNSON: This is what we mean by blowback.

He remained a friend of ours right up to his invasion, in the summer of 1990, of Kuwait.

We became alarmed when he invaded Kuwait, that he could also go on and invade Saudi Arabia itself, the largest reserves of oil on Earth.

We've stationed troops in Saudi Arabia.

It was a mistake in every sense of the term.

JOHNSON: Remember, Osama bin Laden had said, "I resent the government of Saudi Arabia

"for using Americans to defend Saudi Arabia against Iraq."

At that point, we began to fear that we were going to lose our position in Saudi Arabia.

Well, the second largest source of proven reserves on Earth are in Iraq.

This leads us now to demonize our previous ally and to prepare the American public for the thought that we must take him out.

(DOG BARKING)

KWIATKOWSKI: I'm a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, retired from the military after 20 years.

I initially started in the Air Force.

Then they trained me as a communication electronics officer, and I did that for about 15 years.

And once I joined the Pentagon, I became a political military affairs officer for sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East.

Things were strange from the very beginning of my assignment.

Within a week or so, it became clear to me that war was gonna happen.

This toppling was going to happen.

It was just a matter of bringing the American people up to speed and getting them behind this effort.

A number of people from outside of the Pentagon, political appointees, were flowing into our office, and they were working Iraq issues.

These political appointees that we had came from a very small set of think tanks.

DYER: As Eisenhower said, the military-industrial complex is really three components.

There is the military professionals... there is defense industry and there is Congress.

There is now a fourth component, and that is the think tanks.

CIRINCIONE: You know, one of the little known secrets of Washington is that policy isn't really generated very much within the policy apparatus.

A great number of the ideas come from outside the government, from various think tanks, like the Project for the New American Century.

KRISTOL: Saddam Hussein, here's the man.

Here he is, in his box.

I wouldn't exaggerate the influence of the Project for the New American Century.

It's a very small think tank, but, in some respects, we argued for, I suppose you might say, elements of the Bush Doctrine before the Bush Doctrine existed or before George W. Bush became president.

JOHNSON: The group included principals like Rumsfeld, but it also included a large number of people more or less unknown to the American public.

And these people all know each other.

CIRINCIONE: They had all worked together before the Bush administration.

I used to write speeches for Don Rumsfeld in the Pentagon.

And we came up with this phrase that, "Weakness is provocative.

"Strength deters."

KRISTOL: Our report on rebuilding America's defenses said, even before September 11th, the defense budget was too low.

It looked ahead to the kinds of wars that we've now ended up fighting in Afghanistan and in Iraq.

DYER: What think tanks do is come up with new rationalizations and new threats.

That's what they're paid to do.

Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, was a terrorist state.

I think Iran is a terrorist state.

North Korea is, uh, a very special problem.

PERLE: They can build nuclear weapons and they are perfectly capable of exporting them, and we cannot allow that.

These are states that not only host but in a way fund international terrorism, encourage international terrorism.

They have to be eliminated.

This was almost completely adopted by the administration in part because the people who wrote this had all been brought into the administration.

We must prevent the terrorists and regimes who seek chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons from threatening the United States.

It is not at all accidental that when the President names our enemies in the 2002 State of the Union message in the axis of evil, that it includes Iraq, Iran, and North Korea.

So, in a real way, we have this new phenomenon where think tanks are now an integral part of what we used to think of as the military-industrial complex.

KWIATKOWSKI: Eisenhower may well have been predicting these people when he talked about, if we didn't keep an eye on the military-industrial complex, we would see what he called a disastrous rise of misplaced power.

People making policy who have zero accountability to the voter.

So throughout the summer something was operating in the Pentagon that was unique.

In August of 2002, it was announced to us that all of those folks that had come in and made up this expanded Iraq desk would be called the Office of Special Plans.

JOHNSON: The Office of Special Plans was created in the Rumsfeld Department of Defense in order to produce the intelligence that the President and the Vice President wanted making an enemy out of Iraq.

KWIATKOWSKI: The Office of Special Plans had one primary job and that was to produce a set of talking points on the topic of Iraq, WMD, and terrorism.

And we were to use them in any document that we prepared exactly as they were written, in their entirety.

We were, all of us, myself included, very familiar with what the intelligence was saying about Iraq.

KWIATKOWSKI: But the problem was when you'd look at what was in these talking points, you could tell it was designed to convince the reader that Iraq and Saddam Hussein, specifically, constituted a major, serious, terrible, evil threat to not just his neighbors but to the United States.

His regime has the design for a nuclear weapon, was working on several different methods of enriching uranium, and recently was discovered seeking significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

And that would be the statement.

"He's actively seeking it.

"And this is... This means that he's a danger."

But the intelligence actually said that Saddam Hussein in the '80s, in the late '80s, actively sought fissionable materials in Africa, but he hasn't done anything like that in the past 12 years.

The statement, we act like he did it yesterday.

Taking bits of intelligence out of context, without the qualifiers, without the rest of the story, and placing it as a bullet, and presenting it as if it's a factoid.

There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.

And this was given to us, action officers, to use in, in papers that we would prepare for our higher-ups, to include guys like Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld.

The United States knows that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.

The U.K. knows that they have weapons of mass destruction.

Any country on the face of the Earth with an active intelligence program knows that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.

These guys were manipulating public opinion, okay, creating, uh, falsehoods and fantasies to inspire fear in the American people so that they could have their war.

The President of the United States.

(PEOPLE CHEERING)

If war is forced upon us, we will fight with the full force and might of the United States military, and we will prevail.

(ALL APPLAUDING)

Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody, reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qaeda.

SEKZER: I remembered when I was in Vietnam, we used to get requests, "Can you put my father or my son's name

"on the side of the helicopter? Can you put it on a rocket?"

I said, "You know what?

"That's--That's a good idea. I'm gonna do that.

"I'm gonna try to do that."

SEKZER: So I sent out emails to the Secretary of all the Armed Forces.

"I'm a retired New York City Police Department Sergeant, "and a proud Vietnam veteran.

"I lost my son on 9/11.

"I can't tell you in words what his loss means to me.

"I would respectfully request

"if you could put his name on some piece of armament

"in the Iraq war."

You know, we haven't caught bin Laden, but, you know, let's do something here.

Who is responsible?

Come on. Let's hit him.

Iraq was responsible. Good, let's go.

You say Iraq? Let's go. Let's get in there.

Let's kick the hell out of them.

It turns out it's not that hard to get a country to go to war.

CIRINCIONE: That even in a country like the United States where there is freedom of information and multiple media channels, that an administration can just dominate the debate, dominate the argument.

LEWIS: We have this idea that we have lots of information available.

There's so much that's not available, and so much of the "truth" is obscured by political actors who don't want the world to see what they're doing.

Needless to say, the President is correct.

(ALL LAUGHING)

But what's going on, I'm sorry to say, is a belief that the public doesn't need to know.

WOMAN: ...policy is?

I'm--I'm working my way over to figuring out how I won't answer that.

(ALL LAUGHING)

RATHER: Limiting access, limiting information to cover the backsides of those who are in charge of the war is extremely dangerous and cannot and shouldn't be accepted.

And I'm sorry to say that up to and including the moment of this interview that overwhelmingly it has been accepted.

KWIATKOWSKI: The Pentagon for many years now, since Vietnam, has worked extremely hard at shaping news and how the media reports that news.

We train people to say certain things in a certain way.

Our defeat and humiliation in South Vietnam...

JOHNSON: What they learned from Vietnam above all was that they lost the war because they couldn't keep it private from the American public.

LEWIS: After the Vietnam War, the Pentagon began studying how can we make sure there are no more body bags in American living rooms?

And we must find a way to no longer allow reporters in the field to actually see death.

JOHNSON: You get to the Iraq war when they're discovering this new typical Pentagon jargon called "embedding."

Heavy gunfire coming from the tops of the building.

We've gotten to know these Marines very well.

We--We do live with them.

We eat with them. We travel with them.

But I--I have, I think, remained objective.

LEWIS: Embedded coverage had flags and banners, but no one was actually finding out the truth about the reasons, the rationales, for going in.

I have great respect for the media.

I mean, our, our society is a good, uh, solid democracy because of a good, solid media.

But I also understand that a lot of times there's opinions mixed in with news.

We won't disagree with that, sir.

LEWIS: Let's just really be honest.

Reporters and news organizations need access to power.

LEWIS: They need the President.

They need the Defense Secretary.

They need these people to speak, to be on camera, to do interviews.

What you have is a miniature version of what you have in totalitarian states.

They produce films about how great the great leader is and how he's getting greater in every way, every day.

PRESIDENT BUSH JR.: There will be a day of reckoning for the Iraqi regime, and that day is drawing near.

(PEOPLE CHEERING)

MAN: Ladies and gentlemen, the United States Army Chorale.

* Another day is dawning

* In America

* From coast to coast, our spirit shines right through *

Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours.

PRESIDENT BUSH JR.: Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict commenced at a time of our choosing.

* So don't stop

* Believing in what we stand for *

* What we stand for

* Don't stop

* Believing in America

* Believe

* Believe

* Here's to America

* We truly are the land of the free *

* Of the free

* The free, the free, the free *

* Here's to America, our spirit will be free *

* It will be free

* It's in the hearts of people everywhere *

* The true American dream

* Here's to America

* Here's to America

* Here's to America

* Land of the free *

SOLOMON: I've only got nine days left, and I, I'd rather spend as much time with my friends as possible.

Get all my stuff in storage, 'cause there's still a few items I gotta put in storage.

Except for this TV, a couple of weights there, and this right here, this hammer and this Snoopy soap thing I've had since before I can remember.

That's just stuff I wanna put in storage

'cause of its sentimental value.

I never really had that many feelings for the place except for the fact that my mom lived in it for a while, but my mom ain't here anymore.

So all the, all the feelings I had associated with that place went away along with my mom.

There was a point where I almost blamed myself for my mom's passing.

I'm handing over the keys.

SOLOMON: Because she so didn't want me to go into the service.

I had spoken with her about it.

And said, "If anything goes wrong, "I'm gonna have to go into the service."

I told her. I told her that.

If anythings go wrong... If anything goes wrong, if you pass away, I'm gonna have to go into the service, because, as it is, I can't take care of myself, normally, in the civilian world.

But what I'm gonna miss the most, like, just a normal day sitting down with your friends, 'cause that's not what I'm gonna get for months on end at a stretch.

That I'm gonna miss, and this view right here.

This view looking outside the window, I been seeing this since, like, 1990.

I used... You know, I used to hate this view. I think somehow I still do, but it's strange to think I might actually miss it. Probably not.

It's just buildings. It's my friends that I'm gonna miss.

KWIATKOWSKI: I have two sons, and I will allow none of my children to serve in the United States military.

If you join the military now, you are not defending the United States of America.

You are, uh, helping, uh, certain policymakers pursue an imperial agenda.

(CROWD CHANTING)

JOHNSON: In February of 2003, 10 million people around the world marched to demonstrate against the war in Iraq, the largest demonstrations in British history.

Two million in London, 400,000 in New York City, a million each in Berlin, Madrid, Rome.

BYRD: On this February day, as this nation stands at the brink of battle, every American on some level must be contemplating the horrors of war.

And yet this chamber is, for the most part, ominously, ominously, dreadfully silent.

You can hear a pin drop. Listen.

There is no debate.

There is no attempt to lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war.

KWIATKOWSKI: We have a Congress that failed in every way to ask the right questions, to hold the President to account.

Our Congress failed us miserably, and that's because many in Congress are beholden to the military-industrial complex.

CIRINCIONE: I would think Eisenhower, you know, must be rolling over in his grave.

In some ways, the military-industrial complex may have become so pervasive that it is now invisible.

This is about, you know, ideas and influence and what's safe for your career.

Being seen in opposition to strong defense policies is a liability, not just for a politician who wants to run for president but for an expert who wants to make a name in town, for a journalist who wants to get his or her story on the front page of the paper.

In this way, restricting the level of discussion to this, this rush for war.

Mr. Vice President, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle?

I don't... I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe we will be greeted as liberators.

TOOMEY: I was just starting to--to see the creepings of the sun coming up.

As we approached the city, a low deck of clouds showed up.

Uh, in the past that had been a bad thing, 'cause in the F-117 we drop laser-guided bombs.

So if you can't see your target, you can't drop a bomb on it.

Uh, this day I had the Enhanced GBU, and now I was kind of happy.

They couldn't see me. I couldn't see them.

But my bombs could find a spot on the ground.

MAN: But still, extraordinarily, people heading towards work.

One or two cars are actually racing past me.

They know things are going to happen now.

TOOMEY: The target area was called Dora Farms.

It was a presidential-type palace along the side of a river.

I see the river. I know I'm in a right part of the town where I was told that I need to deliver the bomb.

WOMAN: Let's just have a look at the, uh, scenes live from Baghdad.

MAN: Air raid sirens.

WOMAN: Air raid sirens are being sounded in the Iraqi capital.

TOOMEY: Pressed in across the target, I think, our time over target was about 0530.

HOEHN: And so I let the bombs go, let them rip.

MAN: You can hear those air raid sirens howling...

(EXPLOSIONS)

MAN: So now things do seem to be heating up.

We dropped four enhanced GBU 2,000 pound bunker busters, satellite-guided.

(EXPLOSIONS)

MAN 3: There's a large explosion.

They both came off, seemed to come off.

I didn't notice anything adverse about it.

I'd dropped bombs before.

When the weapons fell out of the airplane, I realized that this is the opening strike of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

And I said, "Well, if we did our job tonight, "this whole thing might be over tomorrow."

(PEOPLE CHATTERING IN ARABIC)

(SIREN WAILING)

(ALL CHATTERING)

(HOWLING)

(SPEAKING IN ARABIC)


There's no question but that the strike on, on that, um, leadership headquarters was successful.

We have photographs of what took place.

MAN: The mystery of what happened begins here at a palace compound called Dora Farm.

One weapon clearly missed.

Others landed just outside the wall, destroying other buildings.

(SPEAKING IN ARABIC)

(SPEAKING IN ARABIC)

SEKZER: I think I was reading something about the bombing in Iraq, and, uh, I get this email.

SEKZER: To Major Thomas V. Johnson from Lieutenant Commander Stephen Franzoni.

The private to the corporal to the captain to this, all...

Must have been, like, 42 emails, and some of them were saying, "Oh, I don't know if we can do this."

SEKZER: "Sirs, normally we do not take personal requests."

"Son died on 9/11, wants to know if we could put name on bomb."

Passing it up, "Harry, this is Jerry.

"Do you think we can do something like that?"

"Joe, Fairly easy, don't you think?"

SEKZER: "Well, we'll look into it. Let me go ask Harry."

And you read this whole list of emails.

SEKZER: "Sorry for the delay, but business is booming.

"The weapons don't stay still long enough to write on them."

And finally, it goes to uh, this Marine, uh, Air Division.

"Can do. Semper fi."

Boom, boom, boom.

I get back the pictures.

SEKZER: I'm looking at the picture, I'm saying, "Holy smokes."

There's a picture of a bomb and then a close-up of the same bomb and on the side of it...

"In loving memory of Jason Sekzer."

And the story that this is a 2,000-pound guided bomb and that it was dropped on April 1st, and it met with, uh, 100% success.

The weapons that are being used today have a degree of precision that no one ever dreamt of in a prior conflict.

(SPEAKING IN ARABIC)

JOHNSON: For a long time the American military has been emphasizing this idea of precision-guided munitions, that we can now wage war and prevent casualties to civilians.

JOHNSON: It simply isn't true.

The bombs aren't that reliable.

The precision guidance isn't that good.

I would say, is there a personal computer owner on Earth who has not had his machine bomb on him or lose his work that day?

There's not a one who hasn't had that experience.

Now the military-industrial complex has handily provided these guys with all sorts of weapons and, basically, a level of technical arrogance that, "We can go do anything we want 'cause we got smart weapons

"that do the job with a minimum of collateral damage."

But it's BS as far as I'm concerned.

(MAN SPEAKING IN ARABIC)

(SPEAKING IN ARABIC)


(SPEAKING IN ARABIC)

(SPEAKING IN ARABIC)

TOOMEY: It still seems like a dream to me.

I mean, we tell the story about it, and we'd sit down and talk with your kids, and, uh, you get some tough questions.

You get asked by your daughter, "Did you go out and, uh, and try to kill Saddam Hussein?"

And that's a tough one to answer to a little kid.

When we saw him on TV, sure, one side of me said, "You know, I guess we didn't get him." But in the end we got him.

How many times in a lifetime does an individual get the opportunity to take the opening shots in a conflict that will liberate a people?

Two minutes till death and destruction!

* Shadows are falling

* And I've been here all day

* It's too hot to sleep

* The time is running away

* Feel like my soul has turned into steel *

MAN 1: He's faking he's fucking dead!

(GUN FIRES) MAN 2: Yeah, he is playing...

* I've still got the scars You got a weapon?

* That the sun didn't heal Jesus Christ! Fuck!

* There's not even room enough *

Get up! Stay on there.

* To be anywhere So let there be no doubt that the liberation of Iraq...

* It's not dark yet

* But it's getting there MAN: ...how we defend our country in the 21st century.

MAN: Four more U.S. troops lost their lives today in Iraq.

The only son I had.

RATHER: With U.S. casualties mounting in Iraq...

* It's not dark yet WOMAN: Smart bombs exploded and too much blood was shed there today on a horrific scale.

* But it's getting there *

MAN: Under fire from critics who charge he's been blurring the lines between Iraq and 9/11, President Bush was forced to clarify yesterday.

W-W-We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September the 11th.

Now, what the Vice President said was, is that he has...

SEKZER: What did he just say?

I mean, I almost jumped out of the chair.

"I don't know where people got the idea

"that I connected Iraq to 9/11."

What is he, nuts or what?

What the hell did we go in there for?

SEKZER: We're getting back for 9/11.

Well, if he didn't have anything to do with 9/11, why are we going in there?

I--I was mad.

I was mad.

My first thought is, you know, "You're--You're a liar."

SEKZER: I'm--I'm from the old school.

Certain people walk on water.

The President of the United States is one of them.

If I can't trust the President of the United States, I don't know.

It's a terrible thing when American citizens can't trust their president.

You begin to wonder what the hell is with the whole system.

There's something wrong with the entire system.

The government exploited my feelings of patriotism, of a deep desire for, uh, revenge for what happened to my son.

But I was so insane with wanting to get even, I was willing to believe anything.

Undoubtedly, there are people who may listen to my statements and think that I'm no good, that I'm an SOB, I'm a warmonger, I'm this, I'm that, whatever.

I should never have put my son's name on it.

I should be ashamed that I put my son's name on it.

(SIGHING)

Am I sorry I asked for my son's name to be put on the bomb?

No.

Because I acted under the conditions at that time.

Was it wrong?

Yeah, it was wrong, but I didn't know that.

So is it regrettable?

(SIGHING)

(SOLDIER CHATTERING)

(SHOUTS)

KWIATKOWSKI: The reason we're in Iraq, first off, has, has not honestly been told to the American people.

It certainly had nothing to do with the liberation of the Iraqi people.

It was never part of the agenda, and it's not part of the agenda now.

JOHNSON: We know we did not have an exit strategy in the invasion of Iraq, because we didn't intend to leave.

We are in the process, right now, of building 14 permanent bases in Iraq.

LEWIS: There is this incredible hubris, right now, that we are invincible and we are the pre-eminent power on planet Earth.

American power and American empire is actually flaunted in people's faces around the world, where we rub our--our shoe in their face and tell them that we are top dog.

MAN 1: Get down now! MAN 2: Head down!

LEWIS: And you will work with us, because you sure as hell don't wanna be against us.

The world has changed, and we're not going back to where we were.

I--I find one of the sillier ideas is the notion, and you hear it all the time, uh, American policy has been hijacked by a handful of people, and as soon as they're out of there, we're gonna go back to the way it was.

They're wrong about that, because we are not the same people we were before.

JOHNSON: We are walking on thin ice.

We are treading the same path taken by the first democratic regime ever created in the Western world, namely the Roman republic.

The Roman republic inadvertently acquired an empire around the world, and they then discovered that to maintain, expand, protect this empire, they required standing armies.

Standing armies is what George Washington warned us against in his farewell address, that they will destroy the structure of government that we tried to create in our Constitution to prevent the rise of an imperial presidency.

(ALL APPLAUDING)

JOHNSON: The single most important article in our Constitution is the one that gives the right to go to war exclusively to the elected representatives of the people, to the Congress.

Our Congress, in October of 2002, voted in both houses to give this power to a single man, including the use of nuclear weapons, if he so chose.

And, of course, less than, uh, six months later, he did choose to exercise it in Iraq.

For too long our culture has said, "If it feels good, do it."

Now America is embracing a new ethic and a new creed.

Let's roll.

(PEOPLE APPLAUDING)

LEWIS: I think the history of the United States, as a work in progress, and our attempt at democracy here, is a, a constant struggle between capitalism and democracy.

And there have been ebbs and flows where democracy looks like it's winning.

You rein in those powerful forces, but the fundamental reality is that most of the government's decisions today are substantially dictated by powerful corporate interests.

Clearly, capitalism is winning.

(PEOPLE SHOUTING)

(MAN SPEAKING IN ARABIC)

JOHNSON: In my lifetime, I have seen the collapse of the Nazi, of the imperial Japanese, of the British, French, Dutch, and Russian empires.

They go down pretty easily.

What I want Americans to understand today, the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

And we have not been vigilant since Dwight Eisenhower issued his warning to us back in 1961 about the dangers of unauthorized power in the form of the military-industrial complex.

EISENHOWER: We should take nothing for granted.

Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.

KWIATKOWSKI: You gotta realize, 20 years in the military, you're trained always to respect authority, to be a team player.

When the war started in Iraq, I hit a turning point in--in where my values as an officer, diverged.

KWIATKOWSKI: Hey, buddy!

KWIATKOWSKI: I had to basically remove myself.

So, um, why we fight?

I think we fight 'cause, uh, too many people are not standing up saying, "I'm not doing this anymore."

* I fought in a war

* And I left my friends behind me *

* To go looking for the enemy *

* And it wasn't very long

* Before I would stand

* With another boy in front of me *

* And a corpse that just fell into me *

* With the bullets flying round *

* And I reminded myself

* Of the words you said

* When we were getting on

* And I bet you're making shells back home *

* For a steady boy to wear

* I fought in a war

* And I left my friends behind me *

* To go looking for the enemy *

* Of the decade gone before

* I reminded myself of the words you said *

* When we were getting on

* And I bet you're making shells back home *

* For a steady man to wear

* Round his neck

* Well, it won't hurt to think of you *

* As if you're waiting for

* This letter to arrive

* Because I'll be here quite a while *


* I fought in a war

* I didn't know where it would end *

* It stretched before me infinitely *

* I couldn't really think

* Take me home now

* Keep your head down, pal

* There's trouble plenty

* In this hour, this day

* I can't see hope, I can't see light *

* I reminded myself of the looks you gave *

* When we were getting on

* I bet you're making shells back home *

* For a steady man to wear

* Round his neck

* Well, it won't hurt to think of you *

* As if you're waiting for

* This letter to arrive

* Because I'll be here quite a while *