FAHRENHEIT 9/11 -- SCREENPLAY
written, directed and produced by Michael Moore
(transcribed from the movie by Tara Carreon, The Ralph Nader Library Librarian)
Michael Moore: Was it all just a dream?
Al Gore: God bless you, Florida! Thank you!
Michael Moore: Did the last four years not really happen? Look, there's Ben Affleck. He's often in my dreams. And the Taxi Driver guy. He was there too. And little Stevie Wonder, he seemed so happy, like a miracle had taken place. Was it a dream? Or was it real?
Crowd: We want Gore!
Michael Moore: It was election night 2000, and everything seemed to be going as planned.
Newscaster: In New York, Al Gore is our projected winner.
Newscaster: The Garden State is green for Gore.
Newscaster: We project Mr. Gore the winner in Delaware.
Newscaster: This state has voted with the winner.
Newscaster: Excuse me, one second. I'm so sorry to interrupt you. Mike, you know I wouldn't do this if it weren't big. Florida goes for Al Gore.
Newscaster: CNN announces that we call Florida in the Al Gore column.
Michael Moore: Then something called the Fox News Channel called the election in favor of the other guy.
Newscaster: May I interrupt you? Fox News now projects George W. Bush the winner in Florida, and thus it appears the winner of the presidency of the United States.
Michael Moore: All of a sudden, the other networks said: "Hey, if Fox said it, it must be true."
Newscaster: All of us at the networks made a mistake, and projected Florida in the Al Gore column. It was our mistake.
Michael Moore: Now, what most people don't know is that the man in charge of the decision desk at Fox that night, the man who called it for Bush, was none other than Bush's first cousin, John Ellis. How does someone like Bush get away with something like this?
Well, first, it helps if your brother is the governor of the state in question.
George Bush: You know something? We are gonna win Florida. Mark my words. You can write it down.
Michael Moore: Second, make sure the chairman of your campaign is also the vote-count woman, and that her state has hired a company that is going to knock voters off the rolls who aren't likely to vote for you. You can usually tell 'em by the color of their skin.
Then make sure your side fights like it's life or death.
James Baker: I think all this talk about legitimacy is way overblown.
Crowd: President Bush! President Bush!
Michael Moore: And hope that the other side will just sit by and wait for the phone to ring.
And even if numerous independent investigations prove that Gore got the most votes ...
Newscaster: If there was a statewide recount, under every scenario, Gore won the election.
Michael Moore: it won't matter, as long as all your daddy's friends on the Supreme Court vote the right way.
Al Gore: While I strongly disagree with the court's decision, I accept it.
Senator Tom Daschle: What we need now is acceptance. We have a new president-elect.
Michael Moore: Huh! It turns out that none of this was a dream.
On the day the joint session of both the House of Representatives and the Senate was to certify the election results, Al Gore, in his dual role as outgoing vice president. and president of the Senate, presided over the event that would officially anoint George W. Bush as the new president. If any congressman wanted to raise an objection, the rules insisted that he or she had to have the signed support of just one senator.
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings: Mr. President -- and I take great pride in calling you that -- I must object because of the overwhelming evidence of misconduct, deliberate fraud and an attempt to suppress voter ...
Al Gore, The Traitor: The chair must remind members that under Section 18 of Title 3, United States Code, no debate is allowed in the joint session.
Congressman Alcee L.
Hastings: Thank you, Mr. President. To answer your question, Mr.
President, the objection is in writing, signed
Congresswoman Corinne Brown: Mr. President, it is in writing and signed by several House colleagues on behalf, and myself, of the 27,000 voters of Duval County in which 16,000 of them are African-Americans that was disenfranchised in this last election.
Al Gore, The Traitor: Is the objection signed by a member of the Senate?
Congresswoman Corinne Brown: Not signed by a member of the Senate. The Senate is missing.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee: Mr. President, it is in writing and signed by myself on behalf of many of the diverse constituents in our country, especially those in the 9th Congressional District, and all American voters who recognize that the Supreme Court, not the people of the United States, decided this election.
Al Gore, The Traitor: Is the objection signed by a senator?
Congresswoman Barbara Lee: Unfortunately, Mr. President, it is not signed by one single senator.
Congresswoman: Unfortunately, I have no authority over the United States
Senate, and no senator has signed.
Al Gore, The Traitor: Is the objection in writing and signed by a member of the House and a senator?
Congresswoman Maxine Waters: The objection is in writing, and I don't care that it is not signed by a member of the Senate.
Al Gore, The Traitor: The chair will advise that the rules do care, and the signature of a senator ...
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson
Michael Moore: Not a single senator came to the aid of the African-Americans in Congress. One after another, they were told to sit down and shut up.
Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney
Congresswoman Eva M. Clayton
Congressman Earl Hilliard: And it's a sad day in America, Mr. President, when we can't find a senator to sign the objections.
Al Gore, The Traitor: The gentleman will suspend.
Congressman Earl Hilliard: I object.
Newscaster: Inauguration coverage, 2001, on a nasty, but it could be worse, kind of day in Washington.
Crowd: What do we want?
When do we want it?
Michael Moore: On the day George W. Bush was inaugurated, tens of thousands of Americans poured into the streets of D.C., in one last attempt to reclaim what had been taken from them.
Michael Moore: They pelted Bush's limo with eggs.
Cops: Stay back! Get back!
Michael Moore: and brought the inauguration parade to a halt. The plan to have Bush get out of the limo for the traditional walk to the White House was scrapped. Bush's limo hit the gas to prevent an even larger riot. No president had ever witnessed such a thing on his inauguration day. And for the next eight months, it didn't get any better for George W. Bush.
He couldn't get his judges appointed, he had trouble getting his legislation passed ...
BUSH & NORTON: OUR LAND, NOT OIL LAND!
Michael Moore: and he lost Republican control of the Senate. His approval ratings in the polls began to sink. He was already beginning to look like a lame-duck president.
With everything going wrong, he did what any of us would do. He went on vacation. In his first eight months in office before September 11th, George W. Bush was on vacation, according to The Washington Post, 42 percent of the time.
George Bush: If I hit every shot good, people would say I wasn't working.
Michael Moore: It was not surprising that Mr. Bush needed some time off. Being president is a lot of work.
Newscaster (August 8, 2001): What about these folks that say you're loafing here in Texas, that you're taking too long of a vacation?
George Bush: They don't understand the definition of work, then. I'm getting a lot done. Secondly, you don't have to be in Washington to work. It's amazing what can happen with telephones and faxes.
Newsperson: What are you doing the rest of the day?
George Bush: Karen Hughes is coming over. We're working on some things. And she'll be over here. We're working on a few things, a few matters. I'm working on some initiatives. You'll see. I mean, there'll be some decisions that I will have made while I'm here, and we'll be announcing them as time goes on.
Michael Moore: The first time I met him, he had some good advice for me. "Governor Bush, it's Michael Moore."
George Bush: Behave yourself, will you? Go find real work.
Michael Moore: And work was something he knew a lot about.
George Bush: Anybody want some grits?
Michael Moore: Relaxing at Camp David. Yachting off Kennebunkport.
George Bush: How you doing?
Michael Moore: Or being a cowboy on the ranch in Texas.
George Bush (August 25, 2001): I love the nature. I love to get in the pickup truck with my dogs. "Oh, hi."
Michael Moore: George Bush spent the rest of August at the ranch where life was less complicated.
George Bush: Armadillos love to dig the soil looking for bugs. And so I went out there the other day, and there was Barney, buried in this hole, chasing an armadillo.
Michael Moore: It was a summer to remember. And when it was over, he left Texas for his second-favorite place. On September 10th, he joined his brother in Florida, where they looked at files, and met important Floridians. He went to sleep that night in a bed made with fine French linens.
LIONS GATE FILMS AND IFC FILMS AND THE FELLOWSHIP ADVENTURE GROUP PRESENT
Donald Rumsfeld: Do you suppose he's pretty confident on those numbers on Iraqi security forces?
A DOG EAT DOG FILMS PRODUCTION
MUSIC: JEFF GIBBS
ARCHIVAL PRODUCER: CARL DEAL
CAMERA: MIKE DESJARLAIS; SOUND: FRANCISCO LATORRE
EDITORS: KURT ENGFEHR, CHRISTOPHER SEWARD, T. WOODY RICHMAN
CO-PRODUCERS: JEFF GIBBS, KURT ENGFEHR
John Ashcroft: Make me look young. Yeah, I've got a little, sort of air noise. Yeah, just don't turn it up too much. I don't want it to blow my head off.
SUPERVISING PRODUCER: TIA LESSIN
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: HARVEY WEINSTEIN, BOB WEINSTEIN, AGNES MENTRE
PRODUCERS: JIM CZARNECKI, KATHLEEN GLYNN
WRITTEN, PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY MICHAEL MOORE
Newscaster: We have something that has happened here at the World Trade Center. We noticed a flame and an awful lot of smoke.
Man: This is horrible.
Man: Oh God, Almighty!
Man: Let's go! Let's go! Come on! Let's go!
Woman: Save their souls!
Michael Moore: On September 11th, 2001, nearly 3000 people, including a colleague of mine, Bill Weems, were killed in the largest foreign attack ever on American soil. The targets were the financial and military headquarters of the United States.
anyone has any idea, or they've seen him or knows where he is, to call
us. He's got two little babies, two little babies.
Teacher: Good morning, boys and girls.
Students: Good morning.
Teacher: Read this word the fast way. Get ready.
Teacher: Yes, "mad." Get ready.
George Bush: Yeah!
Teacher: Okay, get ready to read the words on this page without making a mistake.
Michael Moore: When the second plane hit the tower, his chief of staff entered the classroom and told Mr. Bush, "The nation is under attack." Not knowing what to do, with no one telling him what to do, and no Secret Service rushing in to take him to safety, Mr. Bush just sat there and continued to read My Pet Goat with the children.
Michael Moore: Nearly seven minutes passed with nobody doing anything.
Michael Moore: As Bush sat in that Florida classroom, was he wondering if maybe he should have shown up to work more often? Should he have held at least one meeting since taking office to discuss the threat of terrorism with his head of counterterrorism? Or maybe Mr. Bush wondered why he had cut terrorism funding from the FBI. Or perhaps he just should have read the security briefing that was given to him on August 6th, 2001, which said that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America by hijacking airplanes. But maybe he wasn't worried about the terrorist threat, because the title of the report was too vague.
Condoleeza Rice, National Security Advisor: I believe the title was, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States."
Michael Moore: A report like that might make some men jump but, as in days past, George W. just went fishing.
As the minutes went by, George Bush continued to sit in the classroom. Was he thinking, "I've been hanging out with the wrong crowd. Which one of them screwed me? Was it the guy my daddy's friends delivered a lot of weapons to?
1983: Donald Rumsfeld, Saddam Hussein
Michael Moore: Was it that group of religious fundamentalists who visited my state when I was governor? Or was it the Saudis? Damn, it was them. I think I better blame it on this guy."
In the days following September 11th all commercial and private airline traffic was grounded.
Spokesman: The FAA has taken the action to close all of the airports in the United States.
Newscaster: Even grounding the president's father, former President Bush on a flight forced to land in Milwaukee.
Newscaster: Thousands of travelers were stranded, among them Ricky Martin due to appear at tonight's Latin Grammy Awards.
Michael Moore: Not even Ricky Martin could fly. But really, who wanted to fly? No one, except the bin Ladens.
[Song] We gotta get out of this place if it's the last thing we ever do.
Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota) Senate Subcommittee on Aviation: We had some airplanes authorized at the highest levels of our government to fly to pick up Osama bin Laden's family members and others from Saudi Arabia and transport them out of this country.
Michael Moore: It turns out that the White House approved planes to pick up the bin Ladens and numerous other Saudis. At least six private jets, and nearly two dozen commercial planes, carried the Saudis and the bin Ladens out of the U.S. after September 13th. In all, 142 Saudis, including 24 members of the bin Laden family, were allowed to leave the country.
Craig Unger, Author, House of Bush, House of Saud: Osama's always been portrayed as the bad apple, the black sheep in the family, and that they cut off all relationship with him in 1994. In fact, things are much more complicated than that.
Michael Moore: You mean Osama has had contact with other family members?
Craig Unger, Author, House of Bush, House of Saud: That's right. In the summer of 2001, just before 9/11, one of Osama's sons got married in Afghanistan, and several family members showed up at the wedding.
Michael Moore: Bin Ladens?
Craig Unger, Author, House of Bush, House of Saud: That's right. So they're not cut off completely. That's really an exaggeration.
Larry King: We now welcome to Larry King Live -- good to see him again -- Prince Bandar, ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States.
Prince Bandar: We had about 24 members of bin Laden's family, and --
Larry King: Here?
Prince Bandar: In America. Students and -- His Majesty felt it's not fair for those innocent people to be subjected to any harm. On the other hand, we understood the high emotions, so, with coordination with the FBI, we got them all out.
Michael Moore: This is retired FBI agent Jack Cloonan. Before 9/11, he was a senior agent on the join FBI-CIA al Qaeda task force.
Jack Cloonan: I, as an investigator, would not want these people to have left. I think, in the case of the bin Laden family, I think it would have been prudent to hand the subpoenas out, have them come in, get on-the-record. You know, get on the record.
Michael Moore: That's the proper procedure?
Jack Cloonan: Yeah. How many people were pulled off airlines after that coming into the country who were what? They were from the Middle East or they fit a very general picture.
Michael Moore: We held hundreds of people for weeks and months at a time.
Jack Cloonan: We held hundreds --
Michael Moore: Did the authorities do anything when the bin Ladens tried to leave the country?
Craig Unger, Author, House of Bush, House of Saud: No. They were identified at the airport. They looked at their passports and they were identified.
Michael Moore: Well, that's what would happen to you or I if we left the country.
Craig Unger, Author, House of Bush, House of Saud: Exactly. Exactly.
Michael Moore: So, a little interview, check the passport. What else?
Craig Unger, Author, House of Bush, House of Saud: Nothing.
Michael Moore: I don't know about you, but usually when the police can't find a murderer, don't they usually wanna talk to the family members to find out where they think he might be?
Dragnet Cop 1: You have no idea where your husband might be?
Dragnet Cop 2: Well, if you hear anything, let us know, will you?
Dragnet Cop 1: Are you willing to come downtown and give us a statement?
Man: How long?
Cop: You've got the time.
Man: Mine's worth money. Yours isn't.
Cop: Send in a bill.
Man: I asked you a question.
Cop: You're going to answer them, not ask them.
Man: Now you listen to me, Cop. I pay your salary.
Cop: Alright, now sit down. I'm gonna earn it.
Michael Moore: Yeah! That's how cops do it. What was going on here?
Senator Byron Dorgan: I think we need to know a lot more about that. That needs to be the subject of a significant investigation. What happened? How did it happen? Why did it happen? And who authorized it?
Jack Cloonan, Senior FBI agent (retired), Al Qaeda Task Force: Imagine what those poor bastards were feeling when they were jumping out of that building to their death. Those young guys and cops and firemen that ran into that building never asked a question. And they're dead. And families' lives are ruined. And they'll never have peace. And if I had to inconvenience a member of the bin Laden family with a subpoena or a grand jury, do you think I'd lose sleep over it? Not for a minute, Mike. No one would question it. It's right. Not even the biggest civil libertarian.
Michael Moore: No one would question it --
Jack Cloonan, Senior FBI agent (retired) Al Qaeda Task Force: You know, you got a lawyer? Fine. Counsel? Fine. Mr. bin Laden, this is why I'm asking you. It isn't because I think you're anything. I just want to ask you the questions that I would anybody. And that's all.
Michael Moore: None of this made any sense. Can you imagine in the days after the Oklahoma City terrorist bombing, President Clinton helped to arrange a trip out of the country for the VcVeigh family? What do you think would have happened to Clinton if that had been revealed?
Witchburners: Burn him! Burn him!
Larry King: Prince Bandar, do you know the bin Laden family?
Prince Bandar: I do, very well.
Larry King: What are they like?
Prince Bandar: They're really lovely human beings. He is the only one I never, I don't know him well, but I met him only once.
Larry King: What was the circumstance under which you met him?
Prince Bandar: This is ironic. He came to thank me for my efforts to bring the Americans, our friends, to help us against the atheists, the Communists. Isn't it ironic?
Larry King: He came to thank you for helping bring America to help him. And now he may be responsible for bombing America.
Prince Bandar: Absolutely.
Larry King: What did you make of him when you met him?
Prince Bandar: I was not impressed too much, to be honest with you.
Larry King: Not impressed?
Prince Bandar: No. I thought he was a simple and very quiet guy.
Michael Moore: Hmm. A simple and quiet guy, whose family just happened to have a business relationship with the family of George W. Bush. Is that what he was thinking about? Because if the public knew this, it wouldn't look very good. Was he thinking, "You know, I need a big, black marker"?
In early 2004, in a speech during the New Hampshire primary, I called George W. Bush a deserter from his time in the Texas Air National Guard. In response, the White House released his military records in the hopes of disproving the charge. What Bush didn't know is that I already had a copy of his military records, uncensored, obtained in the year 2000. And there is one glaring difference between the records released in 2000, and those he released in 2004. A name had been blacked out.
In 1972, two airmen were suspended for failing to take their medical examination. One was George W. Bush, and the other was James R. Bath. In 2000, the documents show both names. But in 2004, Bush and the White House had Bath's name blacked out.
Why didn't Bush want the press and the
public to see Bath's name on his military records? Perhaps he was
worried that the American people would find out that at one time, James
R. Bath, was the Texas money manager for the bin Ladens. Bush and Bath
had become good friends when they both served in the Texas Air National
Guard. After they were discharged, when Bush's dad was head of the CIA,
Bath opened up his own aviation business after selling a plane to a man
by the name of Salem bin Laden, heir to the second-largest fortune in
Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Binladin Group.
Michael Moore: So where did George W. Bush get his money?
George Bush: I'm George Bush.
Michael Moore: One person who did invest in him was James R. Bath. Bush's good friend, James Bath was hired by the bin Laden family to manage their money in Texas, and invest in businesses. And James Bath himself, in turn, invested in George W. Bush. Bush ran Arbusto into the ground, as he did every other company he was involved in, until finally one of his companies was bought by Harken Energy, and they gave him a seat on their board.
8th July, 1976
I, Salem M. Binladen, do hereby vest unto James Reynolds Bath, 2330 Bellefontaine, Houston, Texas, full and absolute authority to act on my behalf in all matters relating to the business and operation of Binladen-Houston offices in Houston, Texas, located at 1405 and 1109 Fannin Bank Bldg., Houston, Texas 72030.
James Reynolds Bath shall have full authority to disburse funds for Company, or Binladen family expenses, and shall have discretion to disburse funds for all other expenses related to the Binladen-Houston office, or the Binladen family, or any other purpose as directed by Salem M. Binladen.
Salem M. Binladen
James Moore, Investigative Reporter and author: A lot of us suspected through the years that there has been Saudi oil money involved in all of these companies: Harken, Spectrum 7, Arbusto Drilling, all of the Bush companies. Whenever they got into trouble, there were these angel investors who flowed money into the companies.
Craig Unger, Author, House of Bush, House of Saud: So the question is, why would Saudis, who had all the oil in the world, go around the globe to invest in this lousy oil company? And the thing is, Harken had one big asset. Harken had one big thing going for it, which is that George W. Bush was on its board of directors at a time when his father was president of the United States.
George Bush (August 1992): When you're the president's son, and you've got unlimited access, combined with some credentials from a prior campaign, in Washington, D.C., people tend to respect that. I mean, access is power. And I can find my dad and talk to him any time of the day.
Michael Moore: Yes, it helps to be the president's son, especially when you're being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Newscaster: In 1990, when Mr. Bush was a director of Harken Energy, he received this memo from company lawyers warning directors not to sell stock if they had unfavorable information about the company. One week later, he sold $848,000 worth of Harken stock. Two months later, Harken announced losses of more than $23 million.
Michael Moore: The James Baker law partner who helped Bush beat the rap from the SEC, was a man by the name of Robert Jordan who, when George W. became president, was appointed ambassador to Saudi Arabia. After the Harken debacle, the friends of Bush's dad got him a seat on another board, of a company owned by the Carlyle Group.
Dan Brody, Author, The Halliburton Agenda: We wanted to look at which companies actually gained from September 11th. It turned up this company Carlyle Group, a multinational conglomerate that invests in heavily government-regulated industries like telecommunications, health care and particularly, defense. Both George W. Bush and George H. W. Bush worked for the Carlyle Group, the same company that counted the bin Laden family among its investors. The Carlyle Group was holding its annual investor conference on the morning of September 11th in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington D.C. At that meeting were all of the Carlyle regulars: James Baker, likely John Major, definitely George H.W. Bush -- though he left the morning of September 11th -- Shafiq bin Laden, who is Osama bin Laden's half brother, and was in town to look after his family's investments in the Carlyle Group. All of them together in one room, watching as the planes hit the towers. And in fact, the bin Laden family was invested in one of their defense funds, which ironically meant that as the United States started increasing its defense spending, the bin Laden family stood to gain from those investments through the Carlyle Group.
UDI Spokesman: Our commander in chief, President George W. Bush.
Michael Moore: With all the weapons companies it owned, the Carlyle Group was, in essence, the 11th largest defense contractor in the United States.
George Bush: Thanks a lot.
Michael Moore: It owned United Defense, makers of the Bradley armored fighting vehicle. September 11th guaranteed that United Defense was going to have a very good year. Just six weeks after 9/11, Carlyle filed to take United Defense public, and in December made a one-day profit of $237 million. But sadly, with so much attention focused on the bin Laden family being important Carlyle investors, the bin Ladens eventually had to withdraw. Bush's dad, though, stayed on as senior adviser to Carlyle's Asia board for another two years.
Dan Brody, Author, The Halliburton Agenda: As unseemly as it seems to know that George H. W. Bush was meeting with the bin Laden family while Osama was a wanted terrorist well before September 11th, it's very discomforting for Americans to know that. George H.W. Bush is a man who has, obviously, incredible reach into the White House. He receives daily CIA briefings, which is the right of any ex-president, but very few ex-presidents actually exercise that right. He does. And I think, in a very real way, they are benefiting from the confusion that arises when George H. W. Bush visits Saudi Arabia on behalf of Carlyle, and meets with the royal family, and meets with the bin Laden family. Is he representing the United States of America? Or is he representing an investment firm in the United States? Or is he representing both?
Elder Bush in Big G.O.P. Cast Toiling for Top Equity Firm
Former President George Bush met with King Fahd, right, on a trip to Saudi Arabia last year as part of his work for the Carlyle Group.
Dan Brody, Author, The Halliburton Agenda: This company is about money, not conspiracies to run the world or engineer political maneuvering, and things like that. It's about making money. And it's about making a lot of money. And they've done very well.
Helen Thomas, White House Correspondent: I could get you on-the-record on this question. In the White House view, there is no ethical conflict in former President Bush and former Secretary of State Jim Baker using their contacts with world leaders to represent one of the most well-known military arms dealers, the Carlyle Group?
Whitehouse Spokesman: The president has full faith that his family will conform with all proper ethics laws, and will act properly in their conduct.
Michael Moore: Okay, let's say one group of people, like the American people, pay you $400,000 a year to be president of the United States. But then another group of people invest in you, your friends, and their related businesses, $1.4 billion over a number of years. Who are you gonna like? Who's your daddy? Because that's how much the Saudi royals and their associates have given the Bush family, their friends, and their related businesses in the past three decades.
George H. W. Bush: Seems like a very nice reunion with friends.
(Song): Shiny happy people holding hands.
Michael Moore: Sooner or later, this special relationship with a regime that Amnesty International condemns as a widespread human-rights violator, would come back to haunt the Bushes. Now, after 9/11, it was an embarrassment. And they preferred that no one ask any questions.
Carol Ashley, mother of 9/11 victim: The investigation should have begun on September 12th. There's no reason it shouldn't have. Three thousand people were dead, it was murder, and it should've gotten started immediately.
Michael Moore: First, Bush tried to stop Congress from setting up its own 9/11 investigation.
George Bush: It's important for us to not reveal how we collect information. That's what the enemy wants. And we're fighting an enemy.
Michael Moore: When he couldn't stop Congress, he then tried to stop an independent 9/11 commission from being formed.
Newscaster: The president's position was a break from history. Independent investigations were launched within days after Pearl Harbor and President Kennedy's assassination.
Michael Moore: But when Congress did complete its own investigation, the Bush White House censored 28 pages of the report.
Newscaster: The president is being pressed by all sides to declassify the report. U.S. officials tell NBC News most of the secret sources involve Saudi Arabia.
George Bush: We've given extraordinary cooperation with Chairmen Kean and Hamilton.
Thomas H. Kean, Chairman 9/11 Commission: We haven't gotten the materials we needed, and we certainly haven't gotten them in a timely fashion. And the deadlines we'd set have passed.
Reporter: Will you testify before the commission?
George Bush: This commission? You know, I don't testify. You know, I'd be glad to visit with them.
Rosemary Dillard, Widow of 9/11 victim: What it will do is, the hole that's in my heart, and has been in my heart since September 11th, I lost my husband of 15 years. I am now by myself. I need to know what happened to him. I know what I got back from the autopsy. That man was my life, and I have no plan. I was taking a class, and they asked me what was I gonna do in the next five years. And if I'm not doing something with this, I don't know what reason I have to live. So it's very important. Very important. Okay. Okay.
Michael Moore: Ignored by the Bush administration, more than 500 relatives of 9/11 victims filed suit against Saudi royals and others.
DID U.S. $$ USED TO BUY SAUDI OIL HELP FUND CARL'S MURDER ??
9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism
Michael Moore: The lawyers the Saudi defense minister hired to fight the 9/11 families? The law firm of Bush family confidante, James A. Baker.
Michael Moore: So we're right here in the center of three important American landmarks -- the Watergate Hotel and office building, the Kennedy Center over there, and the embassy of Saudi Arabia. How much money do the Saudis have invested in America, roughly?
Craig Unger, Author, House of Bush, House of Saud: I've heard figures as high as $860 billion.
Michael Moore: Eight hundred and sixty billion?
Craig Unger, Author, House of Bush, House of Saud: Billion.
Michael Moore: That's a lot of money.
Craig Unger, Author, House of Bush, House of Saud: A lot, yeah.
Michael Moore: And what percentage of our economy does that represent? I mean, it seems like a lot.
Craig Unger, Author, House of Bush, House of Saud: Well, in terms of investments on Wall Street in American equities, it's roughly 6 or 7 percent of America. They own a fairly good slice of America. And most of that money goes into the great blue-chip companies: Citigroup, Citibank, the largest stockholder is a Saudi. AOL-Time Warner has big Saudi investors.
Michael Moore: So I read where, like, the Saudis have a trillion dollars in our banks of their money. What would happen if like one day they pulled that trillion dollars out?
Craig Unger, Author, House of Bush, House of Saud: A trillion dollars? That would be an enormous blow to the economy.
Steve Kimball, Secret Service: Can I speak to you for a moment, please, sir?
Michael Moore: Yeah, sure. How are you doing?
Steve Kimball, Secret Service: Steve Kimball with the Secret Service. We're just ascertaining information. Are you doing a documentary on the Saudi Arabian Embassy?
Michael Moore: No. I am doing a documentary, and part of it is about Saudi Arabia.
Michael Moore: Even though we were nowhere near the White House, for some reason the Secret Service had shown up to ask us what we were doing standing across the street from the Saudi Embassy.
Michael Moore: We're not here to cause any trouble.
Steve Kimball, Secret Service: Okay.
Michael Moore: You know, is that --
Steve Kimball, Secret Service: No, that's fine. We just wanted to get some information as far as what was actually going on.
Michael Moore: What's going on -- yeah, yeah, yeah. I didn't realize the Secret Service guards foreign embassies.
Steve Kimball, Secret Service: Not usually, no, sir.
Michael Moore: No. Do they give you any trouble? The Saudis?
Steve Kimball, Secret Service: No comment on that.
Michael Moore: Okay, I'll take that as a yes.
Steve Kimball, Secret Service: Good. Thank you very much.
Michael Moore: It turns out that Saudi Prince Bandar is perhaps the best-protected ambassador in the U.S. The U.S. State Department provides him with a six-man security detail. Considering how he and his family and the Saudi elite own 7 percent of America, it's probably not a bad idea. Prince Bandar was so close to the Bushes they considered him a member of the family. They even had a nickname for him: Bandar Bush.
Two nights after September 11th, George Bush invited Bandar Bush over to the White House for a private dinner and a talk. Even though bin Laden was a Saudi, and Saudi money had funded al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis, here was the Saudi ambassador casually dining with the president on September 13th. What were they talking about? Were they commiserating or comparing notes? Why would Bandar's government block American investigators from talking to the relatives of the 15 hijackers?
U.S. is reluctant to upset flawed, fragile Saudi ties -- Houston Chronicle, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2001
Michael Moore: Why would Saudi Arabia become reluctant to freeze the hijackers' assets?
The two of them walked out on the Truman Balcony, so that Bandar could smoke a cigar and have a drink. In the distance, across the Potomac, was the Pentagon, partially in ruins. I wonder if Mr. Bush told Prince Bandar not to worry because he already had a plan in motion.
Newscaster: You came in September 12th ready to plot our response to al Qaeda. Let me talk about the response that you got from top administration officials. On that day, what did the president say to you?
Richard Clarke: The president, in a very intimidating way, left us, me and my staff, with the clear indication that he wanted us to come back with the word that there was an Iraqi hand behind 9/11. Because they had been planning to do something about Iraq from before the time they came into office.
Newscaster: Did he ask about any other nations other than Iraq?
Richard Clarke No, no, no, not at all. It was, "Iraq, Saddam, find out, get back to me."
Newscaster: And were his questions more about Iraq than about al Qaeda?
Richard Clarke: Absolutely. He didn't ask me about al Qaeda.
Newscaster: And the reaction you got from the defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, and from his assistant, Paul Wolfowitz?
Richard Clarke: Well, Donald Rumsfeld said, when we talked about bombing the al Qaeda infrastructure in Afghanistan, he said, "There are no good targets in Afghanistan. Let's bomb Iraq." And we said, "But Iraq had nothing to do with this." And that didn't seem to make much difference. And the reason they had to do Afghanistan first was, it was obvious that al Qaeda had attacked us. And it was obvious that al Qaeda was in Afghanistan. The American people wouldn't stand by if we had done nothing on Afghanistan.
Michael Moore: The United States began bombing Afghanistan just four weeks after 9/11. Mr. Bush said he was doing so because the Taliban government of Afghanistan had been harboring bin Laden.
George Bush: We will smoke them out of
Actor: Let's rush 'em and smoke 'em out!
Michael Moore: For all his tough talk, Bush really didn't do much.
Richard Clarke: But what they did was slow and small. They put only 11,000 troops into Afghanistan. There are more police here in Manhattan. More police here in Manhattan than there are U.S. Troops in Afghanistan. Basically, the president botched the response to 9/11, and should have gone right after bin Laden. Our U.S. Special Forces didn't get into the area where bin Laden was for two months.
Michael Moore: Two months? A mass murderer who attacked the United States was given a two-month head start? Who in their right mind would do that?
George Bush: Dang! Anybody say "nice shot"?
Man: Nice shot.
Man: Hell of a shot.
Michael Moore: Or was the war in Afghanistan really about something else? Perhaps the answer was in Houston, Texas. In 1997, while George W. Bush was governor of Texas, a delegation of Taliban leaders from Afghanistan flew to Houston to meet with Unocal executives to discuss the building of a pipeline through Afghanistan, bringing natural gas from the Caspian Sea. And who got a Caspian Sea drilling contract the same day Unocal signed the pipeline deal? A company headed by a man named Dick Cheney. Halliburton.
Martha Brill Olcott, Unocal Project Consultant: From the point of view of the U.S. Government, this was kind of a magic pipeline, because it could serve so many purposes.
Michael Moore: And who else stood to benefit from the pipeline? Bush's number-one campaign contributor, Kenneth Lay and the good people of Enron. Only the British press covered this trip.
Then in 2001, just five and a half
months before 9/11 ...
Protesting Woman: You have imprisoned the women. It's a horror, let me tell you.
Sayed Rahmatullah Hashimi, Taliban Minister: I am really sorry to your husband. He must have a difficult time with you.
Michael Moore (March 19, 2001): Here is the Taliban official visiting our State Department to meet with U.S. Officials. Why would the Bush administration allow a Taliban leader to visit the United States, knowing that the Taliban were harboring the man who bombed the U.S.S. Cole, and our African embassies? Well, I guess 9/11 put a stop to that. When the invasion of Afghanistan was complete, we installed its new president, Hamid Karzai. Who was Hamid Karzai? He was a former adviser to Unocal. Bush also appointed, as our envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad who was also a former Unocal adviser. I guess you can probably see where this is leading.
Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan Gas Pipeline Summit
Michael Moore: Faster than you can say, "Black gold, Texas tea," Afghanistan signed an agreement with her neighboring countries to build a pipeline through Afghanistan carrying natural gas from the Caspian Sea. Oh, and the Taliban? Oh, they mostly got away. As did Osama bin Laden and most of al Qaeda.
George Bush: Terror is bigger than one person. And he's a person who's now been marginalized. So I don't know where he is. Nor [do I care]. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, to be honest with you.
Michael Moore: Didn't spend much time on him? What kind of president was he?
George Bush: I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind.
Michael Moore: With the war in Afghanistan over, and bin Laden forgotten, the war president had a new target: The American people.
Newscaster: We've got an unusual terror warning from the feds to tell you about. Fox News has obtained an FBI bulletin that warns terrorists could use pen guns, just like in James Bond, filled with poison as weapons.
Newscaster: Good evening, everyone. America is on high alert tonight, just four days before Christmas. A possible terror threat.
Newscaster: As bad as or worse than 9/11.
Newscaster: But where? How? There's nothing specific to report.
Newscaster: Be on the lookout for model airplanes packed with explosives.
Newscaster: The FBI is warning ferries may be considered particularly at risk for hijacking.
Newscaster: Could these cattle be a target for terrorists?
Michael Moore: Fear works.
Congressman Jim McDermott (D-Washington), Psychiatrist and Member of Congress: Fear does work, yes. You can make people do anything if they're afraid.
Michael Moore: And how do you make them afraid?
Congressman Jim McDermott: Well, you make them afraid by creating an aura of endless threat. They played us like an organ. They raised the orange, and up to red, then they dropped it back to orange. I mean, they gave these mixed messages, which were crazy-making.
George Bush: The world is changed after September the 11th. It's changed because we're no longer safe.
George Bush: Fly and enjoy America's great destination spots.
Donald Rumsfeld: We have entered what may very well prove to be the most dangerous security environment the world's known.
George Bush: Take your families and enjoy life.
Dick Cheney: Terrorists are doing everything they can to gain even deadlier means of striking us.
George Bush: Go down to Disney World in Florida.
Congressman Jim McDermott: It's like training a dog. You tell him sit down or you tell him to roll over at the same time, the dog doesn't know what to do. Well, the American people were being treated like that. It was really very, very skillful and ugly what they did.
George Bush: We must stop the terror. I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. Now watch this drive. All right. Give me another one.
Congressman Jim McDermott: They will continue, in my view, as long as this administration is in charge, of every once in a while stimulating everybody to be afraid. Just in case you forgot. It's not gonna go down to green or blue. It's never gonna get there. There clearly is no way that anyone can live constantly on edge like that.
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Zytech Spokesman: Heck, you can be sitting in here, drinking your finest Bordeaux and enjoying life while chaos is erupting outside.
Zytech Spokesman: Every family in America should prepare itself for a terrorist attack.
Newscaster: Now to escaping from a skyscraper. John Rivers is the CEO of the Executive Chute Corporation. Good morning to you, John.
John Rivers: Good morning, Matt.
Newscaster: Tell me about the product you're bringing to the market.
John Rivers: It's an emergency escape chute. It's an option of last resort.
Newscaster: How high do you have to be in the building for that chute to actually take effect?
John Rivers: You only have to be on the 10th floor or above.
Newscaster: They can put this on themselves?
John Rivers: Right. They can put this on themselves in as easy as about 30 seconds. It's real easy to put on. Here.
John Rivers: That's okay. Real easy to put on, but when you first get this chute, you're gonna wanna put it on and try it on a few times yourself.
Newscaster: Jamie's having a little trouble putting that thing on, I want to mention. I mean, is this something that you honestly think, in a moment of panic, that someone can operate properly?
John Rivers: Oh, yeah. Yeah, it is. This is actually -- Jamie's probably never put this thing on before in her life. So, it's okay. Don't worry about it. It's something that, when you get it, you're gonna wanna put it on several times.
Newscaster: Despite the raising of the terror alert level, residents here in Saginaw are continuing with their Christmas errands. Frances Stroik and her family do some last-minute holiday shopping knowing that al Qaeda is planning to attack America. She says being in Saginaw doesn't make her feel any safer than if she was in New York City.
Frances Stroik: Midland is close by, and I said, "Detroit's not that far away." I said, "That could be something, and Flint could be something, be concerns for people around here."
Mel Stroik: Well, you never know where they're gonna hit. You never know where they're gonna hit.
Newscaster: But one potential target specifically mentioned by the terrorists has security officials baffled. It's tiny Tappahannock, Virginia, population, 2016. Such an attack could generate widespread fear that even here in rural, small-town America, no one is entirely safe.
Roy Gladding, Mayor: On the 6:00 news there was something about a terrorist alert in Tappahannock.
Michael Moore: What did the FBI tell you?
Stanley Clarke, County Sheriff: Well, they contacted me by phone. Basically let me know about this word Tappahannock. That's how it started.
Roy Gladding, Mayor: And their so-called chatter that they pick up, they wasn't sure Tappahannock. There's a Rappahannock County. There's the Rappahannock River.
Woman: There is a Rappahannock, a place called Rappahannock. And they got it mixed up.
Man: This is Tappahannock, not Rappahannock.
Michael Moore: Is there any target around here?
Roy Gladding, Mayor: Not that we can really think of.
Stanley Clarke, County Sheriff: It can happen anywhere.
Roy Gladding, Mayor: We have a Wal-Mart here.
Woman: We have a big spaghetti supper in here.
Man: Wal-Mart, probably.
Michael Moore: Do you feel extra suspicious of outsiders?
Man: Oh, everybody does that. That's just something that happens.
CIA Agent: When I look at certain people, I wonder, "Oh, my goodness. Do you think they could be a terrorist?"
Man: You never know what's gonna happen.
Man: That's right. You never know what's gonna happen.
Man: You never know what's gonna happen. It could happen right now.
Man: Never trust nobody you don't know. And even if you do know them, you really can't trust them then.
Michael Moore: From Tappahannock, to Rappahannock, to every town and village in America, the people were afraid. And they turned to their leader to protect them. But protect them from what?
John Ashcroft: Let the eagle soar
Michael Moore: Meet John Ashcroft. In 2000, he was running for re-election as senator for Missouri against a man who died the month before the election. The voters preferred the dead guy. So George W. Bush made him his attorney general. He was sworn in on a stack of Bibles. Because when you can't beat a dead guy, you need all the help you can get. During the summer before 9/11 Ashcroft told acting FBI director, Thomas Pickard, that he didn't want to hear anything more about terrorist threats.
Senator: Mr. Watson had come to you and said that the CIA was very concerned that there would be an attack. You said that you told the attorney general this fact repeatedly in these meetings. Is that correct?
Thomas Pickard, Acting FBI Director, Summer 2001: I've told him at least on two occasions.
Senator: And you told the staff, according to this statement, that Mr. Ashcroft told you that he did not want to hear about this anymore. Is that correct?
Thomas Pickard, Acting FBI Director, Summer 2001: That is correct.
Michael Moore: His own FBI knew that summer there were al Qaeda members in the U.S. And that bin Laden was sending his agents to flight schools around the country. But Ashcroft's Justice Department turned a blind eye and a deaf ear. But after 9/11, John Ashcroft had some brilliant ideas for how to protect America.
Newscaster: The U.S.A. Patriot Act, adopted by Congress, and signed by Bush six weeks after the attacks, has changed the way the government does business. The U.S.A. Patriot Act allows for searches of medical and financial records, computer and telephone conversations, and even for the books that you take out of the library. But most of the people we spoke to say they're willing to give up some liberties to fight terrorism.
Man: Maybe that's a good thing.
Girl-Child: It's definitely sad, but it has to be done.
Michael Moore: Yes, something needed to be done. These are the good people who make up Peace Fresno. A community group in Fresno, California. Unlike the rest of us, they received an early lesson in what the Patriot Act is all about. Each week, they meet to discuss matters of peace. They sit around, they share stories, they eat cookies. Some have more than one. This is Aaron Stokes, a member of Peace Fresno. The other members liked him.
Woman: He had come to the meetings. He went with us. We'd go out on Friday nights and stand on a very busy corner in Fresno. And he had gone with us, he had handed out fliers. He went with us in June to a WTO protest.
Michael Moore: Then one day, Aaron didn't show up to the meeting.
Woman: My friend Dan and I were reading the Sunday newspaper, and when I picked up the paper, in the local section, Aaron's picture caught my eye. The article said that a sheriff's deputy had been killed. And I saw it had a name that wasn't the right name, that said that he was a member of the sheriff's antiterrorism unit.
Michael Moore: That's right. The photo of the man in the newspaper was not the Aaron Stokes they had come to know. He was actually Deputy Aaron Kilner, and he had infiltrated their group.
Woman: Sheriff Pierce made it very clear that, yes, in fact, Aaron Kilner was assigned to infiltrate Peace Fresno, that he was able to infiltrate organizations that are open to the public.
Michael Moore: You could understand why the police needed to spy on a group like Peace Fresno. Just look at them. A gathering of terrorists if I ever saw one.
This is Barry Reingold, a retired phone worker from Oakland, California. Barry likes to work out in the gym. Somewhere between his cardio and his strength training, Barry got political.
Barry Reingold: We were up in the gym, and it was after we were working out, and a number of us were talking about 9/11 and Afghanistan and bin Laden, and someone said, "Bin Laden's a real asshole for murdering those people." And I said, "Yeah, that's true. But he'll never be as big an asshole as Bush who bombs all over the world for oil profits."
Michael Moore: Barry didn't have to worry about the police spying on him. His fellow weightlifters were more than willing to turn him in.
Barry Reingold: I was taking a nap, and I guess it was 1:30, 2:00 in the afternoon. And they came to my place, and I said, "Well, who's there?" And they said, "The FBI." I said, "The FBI? I mean, why are they here?"
Michael Moore: Yes, the FBI had come to see Barry. And they weren't there to Jazzercise.
Barry Reingold: The FBI said, "Have you been talking to people about 9/11 and bin Laden and oil profits and Afghanistan?" I said, "A lot of people are talking about these things." I feel my rights have been, you know, trampled on. I mean, if you have something to say to me in the gym, well, then, fine. Don't tell the FBI, and they come to my apartment while I'm taking a nap.
Congressman Porter Goss (R-Florida), Chair, House Intelligence Committee: There's nothing to be ashamed of here. There's full transparency. There's nothing about the Patriot Act that I am ashamed of in any way, shape or form. I have a 1-800 number. Call me.
Not really true. But, here's his private office line: (202)225-2536.
Congressman Porter Goss (R-Florida), Chair, House Intelligence Committee: I'm the guy you call if there's a violation or an abuse. If you've got a poster child on this, I wanna see it. That's what I do. I'm hired by the people of the United States to provide oversight. I provide oversight.
Congressman Jim McDermott (D-Washington): Trent Lott said, the day the bill was introduced: "Maybe now we can do things we've wanted to do for the last 10 years."
George Bush: No, I've always -- a dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier. There's no question about it.
Congressman Jim McDermott (D-Washington): I mean, they had all this on the shelf somewhere. Ideas of things they would like to do. And they got 9/11, and they said, "It's our chance. Go for it."
Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan), House Judiciary Committee: There was an immediate assumption on the part of the administration that there had to be a surrender of certain of our rights.
Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), House Judiciary Committee: There's several definitions in the bill that are quite troubling. First of all, the definition of terrorist. And it's so expansive that it could include people who --
Michael Moore: Like me.
Congressman Jim McDermott (D-Washington): No one read it. That's the whole point. They wait till the middle of the night, they drop it in the middle of the night, it's printed in the middle of the night. And the next morning when we come in, it passes.
Michael Moore: How could Congress pass this Patriot Act without even reading it?
Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan), House Judiciary Committee: Sit down, my son. We don't read most of the bills. Do you really know what that would entail if we were to read every bill that we passed? Well, the good thing, it would slow down the legislative process.
Michael Moore: I couldn't believe that virtually no member of Congress had read the Patriot Act before voting on it. So I decided the only patriotic thing to do was for me to read it to them. "Members of Congress, this is Michael Moore. I would like to read to you the U.S.A. Patriot Act. Section 1: ... Section 210 of this code reads as follows ... Section 2703C ..."
George Bush: My job is to secure the homeland, and that's exactly what we're gonna do. But I'm here to take somebody's order. That would be you, Stretch. What would you like?
Stretch: Right behind you.
George Bush: I'm gonna order some ribs.
Michael Moore: We all know you can't secure the homeland on an empty stomach. And in order to remain secure, everyone needs to sacrifice. Especially little Patrick Hamilton. I'm sure each of us has our own airport-security horror story. But here's my favorite. The terrorist threat that was posed by his mommy's breast milk.
Mrs. Hamilton: I thought, well, if I put just a little bit on my lips, then, that would be sufficient, because obviously I'm tasting it. And she looked at me, and I felt like she was telling me, "You need to chug that." She goes, "No, you need to drink more." And of a 4-ounce bottle, I wound up drinking 2 more ounces of breast milk that then, because it's touched my lips, has to be tossed.
Michael Moore: While homeland security was making sure breast milk was kept off our planes, they were also doing everything possible to ensure no one could light a firebomb onboard.
Woman: I can bring that on the plane?
Security Person: Actually, you can, yes, you're fine. Oops -- one too many books of matches. You can have four books of matches and two lighters.
Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), Senate Subcommittee on Aviation: When we already have the experience of Richard Reid, the shoe-bomber, who would have blown up an airplane with his shoe bomb had he had a butane lighter, according to the FBI, why would the Transportation Security Agency say it's okay to take four books of matches and two butane lighters in your pockets as you board an airplane? I'm guessing that somebody put pressure on them ...
Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), Senate Subcommittee on Aviation: to say, "You know, when an airplane lands, people wanna light up pretty quickly, so don't take their lighters away."