Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fair Game Movie

Fair Game, the movie, is directed by Doug Liman, starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.  It's a chilling political drama. I found myself checking the Wikipedia on Ipad as the movie progressed.  Sure enough,  Joe Wilson was the ambassador to Niger. His wife was Valerie Plame.  They had 2 small children. The movie is based on Valerie Plames memoir, "Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House."
Her husband Joe Wilson had been sent to investigate a story that Iraq had yellowcake.  He returned to say they didn't.  Apparently there was also a dubious Weapons of Mass Destruction suggestion that some aluminum pipes were for a weapons factory. When America invaded Iraq and based it's invasion on this information, Joe Wilson said it was a lie and wrote a 2003 article for the New York Times saying "what i did not find".  It was a critique of the Bush Administrations manipulation of intelligence information to justify their invasion of Iraq.
To silence and discredit Joe Wilson, an ambassador who had been heralded as an American hero before this all began, Secretary of State Armitage 'leaked' his wife's name and position as a CIA spy. The movie states this resulted in countless deaths of her operatives in foregin countries.  It also resulted in daily threats against her life and her childrens life. The CIA refused to offer her protection.  Eventually lawyer "Scooter" Libby was found guilty of felony and disbarred. He was the adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.  In 2005 he was indicted by a federal grand jury for leaking the covert identity of Valerie Plame Wilson.
The movie speaks to the misinformation and deceit in high places in government.  Joe Wilson argues that the Republic can survive if citizens continue to tell the truth.  It is hard to consider such a sacrifice personally and professionally has to be made.  In Canada a whisteblower is persecuted, villified,  marginalized, and institutionalized.    The democracy of America shines forth in the example of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame. There justice is done.  The cost is excruciating.  .
But if a former ambassador and US Congressman of Joe Wilson's stature with a wife who is a senior CIA operative face this much persecution, how little democracy is left in America, the once great republc.  There is no freedom in China. There is no freedom in Africa. There is no freedom in South America.  What freedom is left in Europe.  There is no freedom in the Middle East.  Is there freedom in France yet, that country where once "J'Accuse' rang out for democracy? Is there in Britain which like Canada, Australia, and the other former countries of the great British Empire are strangled by beaurocracy, political correctness and the greivance society.
As we appear to devolve politically to feudalism and the reign of warlords and gangsters, I can't help but think that Caesar and Caligula didn't even bother explaining their invasion of other nations.  They did it for individual profit.  Certainly the Hillary Clinton's  and Dick Cheney's gain immensely,  But are Clinton and Bush complicit or duped?.  Does Harper or Ignatieff know what's going on?  Are we all at the mercy of the lawyer advisoers like Scooter Libby?  Do special interest groups manipulate the media and other intelligence sources including the CIA to play us and our leaders like puppets?
I pray that democracy will flame from the coals that appeared in this movie.  On a good day I think of Athens,Britain's Magna Carta, the French Revolution,  the American Revolution and cheer for the young man in Teineman Square and those who fought Mubarek in Freedom's Square.  Mostly  I pray for Canada, that we might again be  the "true north" and 'free'.
Fair Game is a great thought provoking, inspiring and moving movie.

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