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John Dolva

The Siege

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"The Siege"

with Denzel Washington, Annette Bening and Bruce Willis is an interesting movie made in 1998. A mix of CIA, FBI and Army working against each other to counter terrorism.

"After the abduction by the US military of an Islamic religious leader, New York City becomes the target of escalating terrorist attacks. Anthony Hubbard, the head of the FBI's Counter-Intelligence Task Force in New York, teams up with CIA operative Elise Kraft to hunt down the terrorist cells responsible for the attacks. As the bombings continue, the US government responds by declaring martial law, sending US troops, led by Gen. Devereaux, into the streets of New York City."

A lot of the dialogue is apt today in the light of the CIA torture centers dotted throughout the world.

Denzel Washington FBI... Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard

Annette Bening CIA... Elise Kraft/Sharon Bridger

Bruce Willis Army... Major General William Devereaux

Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: But you helped them first.

Sharon Bridger: What do you mean?

Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: You said they were being slaughtered, they needed to get out, they were on the terrorist watch list, so you got them visas, you and Samir.

Sharon Bridger: I promised them we would take care of them, they were working for us!

Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: Doing what, exactly?

Sharon Bridger: I told you!

Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: No you didn't. You told me that you trained them. Tradecrafts, subversion. That's what you said, wasn't it? You're leaving something out, aren't you, Sharon? You taught them how to make bombs. That's why you were looking for the wiring signatures on that blue bus. And now they're here, doing what you taught them how to do. Right?

________________

Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: Are you people insane? What are you talkin' about?

General William Devereaux: The time has come for one man to suffer in order to save hundreds of lives.

Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: One Man? What about two, huh? What about six? How about public executions?

General William Devereaux: Feel free to leave whenever you like, Agent Hubbard.

Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: Come on General, you've lost men, I've lost men, but you - you, you *can't* do this! What, what if they don't even want the sheik, have you considered that? What if what they really want is for us to herd our children into stadiums like we're doing? And put soldiers on the street and have Americans looking over their shoulders? Bend the law, shred the Constitution just a little bit? Because if we torture him, General, we do that and everything we have fought, and bled, and died for is over. And they've won. They've already won!

General William Devereaux: Escort him out.

________________

screams...bang!

________________

Later:

Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: [to General Devereaux] You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to a fair trial. You have the right not to be tortured, not to be murdered, rights that you took away from Tariq Husseini. You have those rights because of the men who came before you who wore that uniform. Because of the men and women who are standing here right now waiting for you to give them the order to fire. Give them the order, General.

General William Deveroux: Do you think that I would hesitate to kill you, or every Federal Agent in this room, if I thought it was in the best interest of my country?

Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: No, no, no, you wouldn't hesitate, I know that. But they might.

[motions to soldiers in room]

Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: [pause]

Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: Give the order. Make murderers out of these young kids, give the order.

[Deveroux is silent]

Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: Give 'em the order, General!

[pause]

General William Deveroux: [Over his shoulder] Stand down, Sergeant.

__________________________

"Belief"

The script writer seems an interesting person who wrote the basis for another film about the US governments tendency to shoot itself in the foot. He admits it was flawed and Oliver Stone was originally going to direct the film but that fell through so he wrote it as a book instead.

"Noriega: God's Favorite" (2000) (Showtime)

"Noriega is portrayed as an absolute despot who despite his claims of being a man of God and a patriot, his deeds reflect the exact opposite: He is a crude womanizer, who takes advice from charlatans and witch-doctors, and whose most important act for his country has been to divert the public funds to his Swiss bank account. Alhtough a completely ludicrous figure who takes every opportunity to make ridicule of himself in public, he is nonetheless utterly ruthless and does not hesitate to crush his opponents with a vengeance." - sounds a little bit like Bush. Though perhaps not the womaniser bit. Possibly one could replace that with substance abuse and cowardice.

Another, "Forgotten Sins" is also a film that deals with a real subject matter, a mix of 'repressed memories', child abuse and the negative aspects of extreme religions.

an interesting interview with the writer where he discusses his interest in the concept of 'belief':

http://www.lawrencewright.com/int-nyu.html

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