Topics: War / Violent Conflict, Political Institutions / Systems, Media
When MIT Scholar Charles Ferguson was asked why he decided that his first film should be about Iraq, he said he was taught to choose important questions, and think about them hard. Questions like how, in practice and policy, could this have happened in Iraq?
In this Link TV presentation, we explore this question with Ferguson, who is now director and producer of the acclaimed film, No End in Sight: Iraq’s Descent into Chaos. Clips from the film appear alongside a discussion between Ferguson and host Robert Scheer, a renowned journalist who has faced censorship from mainstream media. One of Ferguson’s motivations for making the film was that the media wasn’t telling the entire story of the war. Together Ferguson and Scheer ask: Can’t America do better?
Also joining us is Alex Gibney, director of the Academy Award winning documentary Taxi to the Dark Side, who presents clips from the film and talks about the United States' use of torture.
No End in Sight (clips)
The first film of its kind to chronicle the reasons behind Iraq’s descent into guerilla war, warlord rule, criminality and anarchy, No End in Sight is a jaw-dropping, insider’s tale of wholesale incompetence, recklessness and venality. Based on over 200 hours of footage, the film provides a candid retelling of the events following the fall of Baghdad in 2003 by high ranking officials such as former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Ambassador Barbara Bodine (in charge of Baghdad during the Spring of 2003), Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, and General Jay Garner (in charge of the occupation of Iraq through May 2003) as well as Iraqi civilians, American soldiers, and prominent analysts. No End in Sight examines the manner in which the principal errors of U.S. policy – the use of insufficient troop levels, allowing the looting of Baghdad, the purging of professionals from the Iraqi government, and the disbanding of the Iraqi military – largely created the insurgency and chaos that engulf Iraq today.
Taxi to the Dark Side (clips)
From the director of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Alex Gibney's Taxi to the Dark Side is a gripping investigation into abuses of power perpetrated by the Bush Administration. By probing the homicide of an innocent taxi driver at the Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, the film exposes a worldwide policy of detention and interrogation that condones torture and the abrogation of human rights. This disturbing and often brutal film is the most incisive examination to date of the Bush Administration's willingness, in its prosecution of the "war on terror," to undermine the essence of the rule of law. The film asks and answers a key question: what happens when a few men expand the wartime powers of the executive to undermine the very principles on which the Unites States was founded?
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