After a years-long media black-out and a grueling battle to get the film shown in the US, The Prosecution of an American President, the brainchild of the Los Angeles County prosecutor who prosecuted Charles Manson, opens at theaters this week. In its long trek to the American big screen, the movie was originally scheduled to be run on HBO before the channel dropped it at the last minute. Bugliosi then had to go outside the country to find a producer, Windsor Ontario NAFTC Studios.
The Prosecution of an American President, which will world premiere on October 3rd at the Hollywood ArcLight theatre, documents the efforts of Vincent Bugliosi , one of our nation's foremost prosecutors, as he presents his case that former president George W. Bush should be prosecuted for the deaths of over 4,000 American soldiers who died in Iraq . Based on Bugliosi's controversial New York Times bestseller, the movie discloses hidden details of how key Bush officials and President Bush himself systematically lied to Congress and the American people, deliberately taking our nation to war under false pretenses.
In the declassified version of the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate, the critical report which made the Bush administration's case for invading Iraq, two key paragraphs were deleted from the classified version which was given to Bush and which represented the consensus opinion of 16 US intelligence agencies.
Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice were arguing vigorously that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat to the United States and that he might strike the US "in as little as 45 minutes." But the paragraphs which were deleted and thus hidden from Congress maintained that Saddam would likely only strike the US in self defense, if attacked, or if threatened with annihilation.
The deleted paragraphs in the summary called "Key Judgements" read:
"Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or CBW against the United States, fearing that exposure of Iraqi involvement would provide Washington a stronger cause for making war.
Iraq probably would attempt clandestine attacks against the US Homeland if Baghdad feared an attack that threatened the survival of the regime were imminent or unavoidable, or possibly for revenge."
This wording seems to indicate that Saddam feared that if any terrorist attack, or any weapon used in one, were ever traced back to him, it would amount to national suicide.
Bugliosi appeared before the House Judiciary Committee in 2008 to state that, as a result of the deceptions, and as a professional prosecutor, he considered George W. Bush guilty for the murder of over 4,000 US service members in Iraq. Bugliosi gained fame with his successful prosecution of Charles Manson. Bugliosi pioneered an area of law in which culpability could be assigned to someone who had never actually pulled a trigger, but who had directly incited others.
During the course of the film, Bugliosi never allows us to forget that the loss suffered by families of fallen soldiers is still marked by unimaginable grief and pain, and that the void left in a family is one which can never be filled.
The theaters are in which The Prosecution of an American President is opening this weekend are in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. It will be opening at:
Oct. 3, Hollywood ArcLight Theatre (Los Angeles)
October 5, AMC Empire 25 (New York City)
October 5, 2012, AMC River East 21 (Chicago)
A portion of the film's proceeds will be donated to the Lost Soldier Foundation, a charity established to help support Iraq war Veterans, their families, and those who lost loved ones. The film is directed by Dave Hagen and David J. Burke,
National Intelligence Estimate 2002, Classified Version.
National Intelligence Estimate 2002, De-Classified Version.
Version of intelligence Congress was looking at, note goes from "ballistic missile" section to "Discussion"
Version of intelligence Bush was looking at, section in bold at bottom was deleted
The Prosecution of an American President Movie Trailer