It was great. There was little I hadn't heard, since I followed the story closely as it developed, but even so, I was riveted. The story was told very well - the story being the fact that the Bush Administration (that is, Dick Cheney) had a narrative that it wanted to use to sell the war in Iraq to the American people - that Sadam Hussein was stockpiling nuclear weapons. And they twisted any intelligence information to that aim. Joseph Wilson was asked to investigate the issue of yellow cake uranium in Niger, since he had ties to people there due to his work for the Clinton administration. And he came back with the report that there was no evidence that the Iraqis were acquiring it from Niger.
So Bush used his report to claim the opposite - that Iraq was getting yellow cake from Niger.
Wilson was pissed off at having his words misrepresented and said so in the NYTimes.
The Bush administration retaliated by outing Wilson's wife as a CIA agent.
One of the important points that the movie makes is that Valerie Plame had been trying to help a nuclear scientist in Iraq, and thanks to the Bush administration she could not help him and he disappeared.
Know as "The Plame Affair" you can read about it in Wikipedia.
Sean Penn played Joseph Wilson and this was the role that he was born to play. I was reminded all during the movie of Penn's disgust with the Bush administration, as best represented by his wonderfully over-the-top comments. Read his An Open Letter to the President at the Huffington Post. Here is the key metaphor: "Well, you and the smarmy pundits in your pocket, those who bathe in the moisture of your soiled and bloodstained underwear, can take that noise and shove it."
The BEST part though is that Stephen Colbert invited him on his show, and created one of the funniest, best events in the history of television - the Meta-Free-Phor-All: Shall I Nail Thee to a Summer's Day.
Not only was Colbert and Sean Penn brilliant, but former US poet laureate Robert Pinsky, the "celebrity moderator" was very good on-camera. Watch!
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Meta-Free-Phor-All: Shall I Nail Thee to a Summer's Day?|