Documentary Slams U.S. Companies Working in Iraq
Sept. 4, 2006 — -- He's tackled Wal-Mart and Fox News with his scathing documentaries. Now, filmmaker Robert Greenwald is releasing a documentary which argues that private companies helping to fight the war in Iraq don't have the nation's best interests in mind.
"Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers" debuts in limited release this week, and presents an assault on companies that provide the kinds of services in Iraq that the military once handled itself, such as supplying food, water and mail delivery for the reconstruction.
In the film, former KBR/Halliburton water purification specialist Ben Carter is interviewed and says when a motor went out on a truck, they would "buy a new truck … and bill the government."
Greenwald also interviewed relatives of four Blackwater Security guards who were mutilated in Fallujah in March, 2004. One mother claimed her son died because the company cut corners, failing to supply armored vehicles or maps.
"My son is not walking the earth because people he trusted and worked for did not care about him," said Donna Zovko, whose son Jerry Zovko was among the four Blackwater employees killed by insurgents in 2004.
Greenwald requested interviews with the contractors he is criticizing, but they turned him down.
Blackwater told ABC News it couldn't comment on the Fallujah incident because it's the subject of a lawsuit, and Halliburton offered a statement saying the film includes "yet another rehash of inaccurate, recycled information."
Critics of these kinds of documentaries remind viewers not to expect balance from left-leaning documentaries, such as Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" and former Vice President Al Gore's global warming film, "An Inconvenient Truth."
"Finally, the left has figured out their answer to talk radio -- and it's documentaries," said Prof. Richard Lichter of George Mason University.
"Iraq for Sale" was produced more like a political campaign than a traditional movie, largely funded by 3,000 small donations made on the Internet.
It's being released on a small scale this week and will then be screened in thousands of homes, union halls and churches in time for the November elections.