By Robert J. Nebel
In this post-9/11 environment, the Bush administration has
been silencing its dissenters and critics through shameful
When former Secretary Paul O'Neill wrote a critical tome
on his former boss, Karl Rove and his right-wing PR machine
went into full force labeling this rather conservative Alcoa
executive as a disgruntled, whacko former employee.
Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward released an
excellent book exposing the inner-workings of The White House
and the making of the war in Iraq. Rove and his attacks dogs
have been let loose on Woodward.
Now "The Karl" and his band of PR henchmen are after Ambassador
Joseph Wilson with his new book, The Politics of Truth.
Wilson's wife's name was leaked to the press after Wilson
acted as a whistleblower on the administration for exposing
the 16 untruthful words about uranium in Niger in a State
of the Union address.
Karl Rove feels justified in his tactics in the name of
national security. He has been most successful in frightening
America after September 11th, which justified the war in Iraq.
How many more will come forward?
The bullying continues in the world of entertainment. Filmmaker
Michael Moore, who is no fan of the Bush administration with
his highly critical book Stupid White Men, and the
Oscar-winning Bowling For Columbine, is at it again with his
new film, Fahrenheit 9/11. From press reports, this film is
a lightning rod for its portrayal of the links between the
Bush administration and the bin Laden family.
The film's distributor, Disney, refused to release Fahrenheit
9/11. The links back to The White House are uncanny. Disney
World in Florida receives tax breaks from the president's
brother, Jeb - another nemesis of Mr. Moore.
Is Moore's film a threat to security? Is it treasonous?
I and many Americans feel that the public should be the
judge, not the Disney corporation that blocked its release.
Thankfully, Mr. Moore has distributors, but the blockage in
the first place is disturbing.
While many may disagree with Moore's politics and style,
he has a right to be heard and now it is great that he has
a chance to screen the film. However, it is unconscionable
that at every turn, attempts are made to silence him and I
feel that this administration has fomented this culture. It
is shameful that President Bush and its supporters in the
conservative media have taken September 11th to crush dissent
and start unjustified war rooted in deception.
When Stupid White Men was to be released, Moore was
asked to tone down the rhetoric against President Bush in
the aftermath of September 11th. His refusal threatened the
book's release. With the help of librarians throughout the
country, Stupid White Men was released and climbed
up the New York Times bestseller list.
Speaking of protest, upon receiving his Oscar for Bowling
For Columbine, Moore made an anti-war/Bush speech at the 2003
Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. While some in the
audience cheered, others attempted to drown Moore out.
Moore persevered and did not back down. His books and films
have been wildly successful in the wake of these attacks.
Government and art have been strange bedfellows since the
beginning of the Republic. Nevertheless, the recent episodes
of O'Neill, Wilson and Moore, conjure up images of McCarthyism
and that is what is most disturbing. Challenging and controversial
art is a necessity to our progress. It may offend some and
enlighten others, but its presence is what we ought to fight
for. If we are supposedly fighting for freedom in Iraq, then
we ought to practice it at home.
If we are not free under the Bush administration, we need
regime change this November.
Robert J. Nebel is a writer from Atlanta who has reviewed
Mr. Moore's Stupid White Men and has interviewed the
director/author. His site is http://bobnebel.tripod.com