Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fair Game

A brief movie review. I watched Fair Game last night, courtesy of Netflix. It stars Naomi Watts as Valerie Plame Wilson, supported by Sean Penn as her husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson (not R, SC). It strikes me as an accurate account of the events it aims to portray, namely the two outstanding public servants who were nearly obliterated by the Bush Administration because Ambassador Wilson had credibility when he spoke out against the spurious claim by the Administration that Iraq was embarked on a nuclear weapons program.

The movie centers on Mrs. Wilson's situation. She was clearly and without doubt an utterly innocent victim of the Bush Administration, who leaked her identity to the press simply in an effort to discredit and pay back Mr. Wilson for objecting to the statements about Iraq's nuclear program that he was certain were false. There was collateral damage as well, including a number of persons Mrs. Wilson was connected with in her CIA work, who were exposed in various overseas locations including Iraq.

The movie portrays and centers on the Wilsons' personal trials--on the shock of having to battle with large political forces, on the sense of exposure and betrayal and even physical danger, and on the stresses to the Wilsons' personal relationship, which in the end does survive. It is a movie about character. Nothing gets blown up. No one gets shot.

When it was over I turned on the Republican "debate" for a couple of minutes, then played some chess on the computer. The movie reminded me that this next election turns on the question of whether the country wants these same people--the people who were just fine with starting a war on false pretenses and destroying two American patriots who objected--back in power yet again. That's as fair a way to look at the upcoming election as any.

(Photo from

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