Did Morgan Spurlock Find Osama bin Laden?
Some minor blog buzz over a two-day-old (ancient in Internet terms) MSNBC report that Morgan Spurlock may (or may not) have found Osama bin Laden.
Rumors are flying that filmmaker Morgan Spurlock of “Super Size Me” fame may have done what the United States government has failed to do for the last six years — find Osama bin Laden.
The speculation first began at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, where Spurlock showed a select group of potential buyers 15 minutes of footage from his new documentary, “Where in the World Is Osama bin Laden?” The film follows Spurlock through the Middle East in his search for the elusive leader of al-Qaida. According to Slashfilm.com, The Weinstein Co. quickly snapped up the picture after seeing the clips.
Given that the speculation has been ongoing (by someone; I certainly wasn’t aware of it) since February and that even the MSNBC report didn’t exactly lead the papers, I’m guessing that this is just really well-done marketing hype. Come to think of it, since it took ten months for the buzz to reach me, maybe it wasn’t all that well done.
Debbie Schlussel weighs in with a detailed analysis which comes down to “Spurlock is a poopy face who doesn’t hate Muslims enough” but there may be more to it that I’m missing. Michael Goldfarb provides similar analysis but he’s at least quick about it.
Jane Hamsher is not entirely without a point when she observes, “Now, in a rational world it would challenge credulity that an indie filmmaker would succeed at a task that the US government had spent hundreds of billions to accomplish — and failed miserably. But given the fact that the administration has been running the country with all the efficiency one would expect in a bad Monty Python film for the past seven years, maybe not.”
Still, if nothing else, you’d have to figure someone at CIA would have seized Spurlock’s tape by now and used it for clues.
Photo credit: Brian Brooks/indieWIRE
There are a couple of different ways in which this can be taken. Presumably what Ms. Hamsher means is that the other side of the aisle would have done a better job. Experience suggests that the problem is the size and remoteness of government itself.
As evidence, may I submit the state of Illinois? Despite being governed by Democrats (and where I live that extends from the lowest office-holders to the city and county as well as the state), there’s no conspicuous display of competence.
Is there such a thing as a “bad Monty Python film?”
A fair question. “The Meaning of Life” was certainly not as good as the first three, especially “Grail” and “Brian.”
I largely agree. The personality of the chief executive has some influence, though, and Bush is certainly more cautious of secrecy and less interested in the views of others than most. But I’m guessing OBL would be at large were Gore or Kerry president now, too.
Something I’ve debated almost endlessly with Dan Nexon of The Duck of Minerva is what would have happened had Al Gore been president in 2001. My own view is that, had Al Gore been president, the attacks on 9/11 would still have taken place, we still would have invaded Afghanistan, and we still would have invaded Iraq. Many political postures would be switched with regular Democrats supporting the wars and regular Republicans opposing them, on similar grounds to those on which the isolationist Republicans of 1940 opposed our entry into the war in Europe.
What the far left would have been doing is anybody’s guess. I think they’d’ve been unhappy.
A pretty safe bet, regardless of scenario.
Really? What do you base this bit of conjecture on?
Who in a Gore WH would have been pushing for war with Iraq?
Gore came out early against the idea of invading Iraq. Did he not really believe any of what he said? Was he just being contrary?
Do you really think that his publicly stated position was just sour grapes?
Maybe that is why he’s always talking about AGW.
Dave Schuler has it right. No matter who was president we would pretty much be where we are.
If Spurlock actually found OBL then why not say it now instead of playing the American people? Withholding this information (if true) will damage him more than help him. If he didn’t find him he has already damaged himself by insinuating he did. He’s in a no win situation with the public if he doesn’t tell all of the truth soon.
and why would anyone quote a mental midget like Debbie Schlussel? I mean come on in what world is “…a poopy face who doesn’t hate Muslims enough” considered cogent analysis?
A sardonic one, perhaps.
I must say, the “Gore would have invaded in Iraq” argument has always struck me as one of the lamest attempts possible to defuse incoming criticism for having supported the war, by those who did so, and now see the error of their ways.
Invading a strictly controlled, secular dictatorship as part of a war against Islamic extremist terror was not, to put it mildly, an obvious path. The logic was convoluted and specious – that Saddam would invest years of time and money to arm himself with the mega-weapons, and then give them away to some shadowy group that he could not control and whose goals were inconsitent with his own.
And even if you could swallow that, and felt that Gore might conclude that disarming Saddam was the key to advancing our interests, and thus a confrontation was necessary, one would also have to claim that Gore would have abandoned the efforts of the inspectors the way Bush did, when they were well on their way to discovering the nothingness that we eventually discovered.
Beyond the mere assertion, I have never heard any convincing argument on these points.
Maybe so but I didn’t support the invasion of Iraq and wouldn’t have done so regardless of who was in the White House.
Fair enough, but the question is can you support your view that Gore would also have invaded Iraq? Why do you think he would have launched an invasion and occupation of Iraq?
BTW do you think that if he did he would have done so with a similarly low level of initial troop commitment? Do you think his aides and allies would have labeled all dissent support for terrorists? Would we have had ads with pictures of Republicans quick cut with images of Osama?
Because he made the case for it himself. Here’s a quote from a speech he made in 2002:
In the same speech he warned about the dangers of short-changing Afghanistan.
I would hope not but I honestly have no idea.
and in that same speech he also said,
Dave, your citation is fundamentally dishonest. Giving the president the authorization to threaten force IF CERTAIN CONDITIONS AREN’T MET is not the same thing as saying “we declare war; send in the troops”.
For one thing, the conditions WERE met, and Bush invaded anyways.