Michael Moore's Cannes Film Festival winning, record breaking and controversial film exposes ties between the Bush family, Bin Laden family and Saudi government as well as suggests the manipulation of the U.S. public by the Bush administ
The movie begins by suggesting that friends and political allies of George W. Bush at Fox News Channel tilted the election of 2000 by prematurely declaring Bush the winner. It then suggests the handling of the voting controversy in Florida constituted election fraud.
The film then segues into the September 11 attacks. Moore says Bush was informed of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center on his way to an elementary school. Bush is then shown sitting in a Florida classroom with children. When told that a second plane has hit the World Trade Center and that the nation is "under attack", Bush allows the students to finish their book reading, and Moore notes that he continued reading for nearly seven minutes.
Moore then discusses the complex relationships between the U.S. government and the Bush family; and between the bin Laden family, the Saudi Arabian government, and the Taliban, which span over three decades. Moore alleges that the United States government evacuated 24 members of the bin Laden family on a secret flight shortly after the attacks, without subjecting them to any form of interrogation.
Moore moves on to examine George W. Bush's Air National Guard service record. Moore contends that Bush's dry-hole oil well attempts were partially funded by the Saudis and by the bin Laden family through the intermediary of James R. Bath. Moore alleges that these conflicts of interest suggest that the Bush administration does not serve the interests of Americans. The movie continues by suggesting ulterior motives for the War in Afghanistan, including a natural gas pipeline through Afghanistan to the Indian Ocean.
Moore alleges that the Bush administration induced a climate of fear among the American population through the mass media. Moore then describes purported anti-terror efforts, including government infiltration of pacifist groups and other events, and the signing of the USA PATRIOT Act.
The documentary then turns to the subject of the Iraq War, comparing the lives of the Iraqis before and after the invasion. The citizens of Iraq are portrayed as living relatively happy lives prior to the country's invasion by the U.S. military. The film also takes pains to demonstrate supposed war cheerleading in the U.S. media and general bias of journalists, with quotes from news organizations and embedded journalists. Moore suggests that atrocities will occur in Iraq and shows footage depicting U.S. abuse of prisoners.
Later in the film, Lila Lipscomb appears with her family after hearing of the death of her son, Sgt. Michael Pedersen, who was killed on April 2, 2003, in Karbala. Anguished and tearful, she begins to question the purpose of the war.
Tying together several themes and points, Moore compliments those serving in the U.S. military. He claims that the lower class of America are always the first to join the Army, so that the people better off do not have to join. He states that those valuable troops should not be sent to risk their lives unless it is necessary to defend America. The credits roll while Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" plays.
Moore dedicated the film to his friend who was killed in the World Trade Center attacks and to those servicemen and women from Flint, Michigan that have been killed in Iraq. The film is also dedicated to "countless thousands" of civilian victims of war as a result of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.