Fahrenheit 9/11

2004 film directed by Michael Moore

Fahrenheit 9/11 is a 2004 film about series of events under President George W. Bush in his first term of presidency from controversial Florida recount scandals, the responses on September 11 attacks and lies about the reasons for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Fahrenheit 9/11 is currently the most successful documentary film in history with grossing a record $222 million worldwide.

Directed and written by Michael Moore.
Controversy... What Controversy? taglines

Narrator/Michael Moore

  • While Bush was busy taking care of his base and professing his love for our troops, he proposed cutting combat soldiers' pay by 33% and assistance to their families by 60%. He opposed giving veterans a billion dollars more in health care benefits, and he supported closing veteran hospitals. He tried to double the prescription drug costs for veterans and opposed full benefits for part-time reservists. And when Staff Sergeant Brett Petriken from Flint was killed in Iraq on May 26, the army sent his last paycheck to his family, but they docked him for the last five days of the month that he didn't work because he was dead.
  • Not even Ricky Martin could fly.
  • Not a single member of Congress wanted to sacrifice their child for the war in Iraq. And who could blame them? Who would want to give up their child? Would you? [on George W. Bush] Would he? I've always been amazed that the very people forced to live in the worst parts of town, go to the worst schools, and who have it the hardest are always the first to step up, to defend us. They serve so that we don't have to. They offer to give up their lives so that we can be free. It is remarkably their gift to us. And all they ask for in return is that we never send them into harm's way unless it is absolutely necessary. Will they ever trust us again?
  • On the day George W. Bush was inaugurated, tens of thousands of Americans poured into the streets of D. C. in one last attempt to reclaim what had been taken from them. They pelted Bush's limo with eggs. (Shouting:Stay back! Get back!) and brought the inauguration parade to a halt. The plan to have Bush get out of the limo for the traditional walk to the White House was scrapped. Bush's limo hit the gas to prevent an even larger riot. No president had ever witnessed such a thing on his inauguration day.
  • [on Bush] He couldn't get his judges appointed. He had trouble getting his legislation passed, and he lost Republican control of the Senate. His approval ratings in the polls began to sink. He was already beginning to look like a lame duck president. With everything going wrong, he did what any of us would do. He went... on vacation
  • As the attack took place, Mr. Bush was on his way to an elementary school in Florida. When informed of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center, where terrorists had struck just eight years prior, Mr. Bush decided to go ahead with his photo opportunity. When the second plane hit the tower, his chief of staff entered the classroom and told Mr. Bush the nation is under attack. Not knowing what to do, with no one telling him what to do, and with no secret service rushing in to take him to safety, Mr. Bush just sat there, and continued to read "My Pet Goat" with the children. Nearly seven minutes passed with nobody doing anything.
  • The FBI was coming to see Barry, and they weren't there to jazzercise.
  • I couldn't believe that virtually no member of Congress had read the Patriot Act before voting on it. So I decided that the only patriotic thing to do, was for me to read it to them.
  • Meet John Ashcroft. In 2000, he was running for re-election as Senator from Missouri against a man who died the month before the election. The voters preferred the dead guy, so George W. Bush made him his Attorney General. He was sworn in on a stack of Bibles, 'cause when you can't beat a dead guy, you need all the help you can get.
  • George Orwell once wrote that, "It's not a matter of whether the war is not real, or if it is, Victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or Eastasia but to keep the very structure of society intact."
  • You can understand why the police needed to spy on a group like Peace Fresno. (camera shows the members) Just look at them! (member rolls his eyes) A gathering of terrorists if I ever saw one.
  • Okay, let me see if I've got this straight, old guys in the gym: bad. Peace groups in Fresno: bad. Breast milk: really bad. But matches and lighters on the plane, hey, no problem.
  • The people were afraid so they turn to their leader for help. help from what [Then the politicians sing Let The Eagle Soar].
  • Is it rude to suggest that when the Bush family wakes up in the morning, they might be thinking about what's best for the Saudis, instead of what's best for you or me? 'Cause 1.4 billion just doesn't buy flights out of the country; it buys a lot of love.
  • Afghanistan? Oh, yeah. They had an army; Our army!
  • the terrorist threat wasn't what this was all about. They just wanted us to be fearful enough, so that we'd get behind what their real plan was.
  • Immoral behavior breeds immoral behavior.

George W. Bush

  • I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. [Holding up golf club] Now, watch this drive.
  • Anybody gonna say "nice shot"?
  • [Last lines] There's an old saying in Tennessee. I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee, that says: Fool me once... shame on...shame on you...if fooled, you can't get fooled again.
  • This is an impressive crowd: the haves, and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite, I call you my base.
  • Sure a dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier.
  • [on Saddam Hussein] After all, this is a guy who tried to kill my dad at one time.
  • [on Hussein] He hates the fact, like Al Qaeda does, that we love freedom.
  • [Between peaceful daily life in Iraq and the mass bombings] My fellow citizens... At this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger. On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war.
  • [on the Iraqi insurgency] There are some who feel like that if they attack us that we may decide to leave prematurely. They don't understand what they are talking about if that's the case. Let me finish. There are some who feel like that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is bring them on.
  • [on the insurgency] They're not happy they're occupied. I wouldn't be happy if I were occupied either
  • We wage a war to save civilization itself. We did not seek it. But, we will fight it. And we will prevail.
  • It's amazing what can be done with telephones, faxes...


Richard ClarkeDonald Rumsfeld said, when we talked about bombing the al Qaeda infrastructure in Afghanistan...he said, "There are no good targets in Afghanistan. Let's bomb Iraq." And we said, "But Iraq had nothing to do with this." That didn't make much difference.

Lila Lipscomb:  The ignorance of everyday people killed my son.

Lila Lipscomb: My mother used to tell me all the time: "Why do you always go for the underdog?" It was because the underdog is who needed me. People that don't have anything, that's who I have to fight for. And that's who I have fought for my entire life.

Barry Reingold: Someone said, "Bin Laden's a real asshole for murdering those people." And I said, "Yeah, that's true. But he'll never be as big an asshole as Bush, who bombs all over the world for oil profits."

Britney Spears:  Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that, you know, and, um, be faithful in what happens.[1]

Young male in Michigan:  …I was watching t.v. one day, and they're showing like some of the buildings and areas that had been hit by bombs and things like that, and while I was watching I got to thinking, like "there's parts of Flint that look like that," and we ain't been in a war.

Elderly Woman:  [on the invasion of Iraq] We were duped. We were really duped.

Old businessman: War is always good for certain companies that are in the war, the business of war.

John Ashcroft:  [to make-up artist] Okay, make me look young!

John Conyers:  Sit down, my son.  We don't read most of the bills.  Do you really know what that would entail if we were to read every bill that we pass?

Advertisement line: The reality facing American families is they're not as safe as they used to be. Drug dealers and users looking for their next fix. Gangs who roam the streets in search of their next victim. And the growing threat of terrorists means the need for protection...

Bearded guy in Michigan:  Look at the neighborhood I live in. Most of them are abandoned. You know, I mean... that's not right. You wanna talk about terrorism? Come right here. President Bush, right here. Come right here. He knows about this corner. I e-mailed him.


Narrator: The first time I met him, he had some good advice for me.
Michael Moore: Governor Bush? It's Michael Moore!
George W. Bush: Behave yourself, will ya? Go find real work!

Female Reporter: What about these folks say, and locals here in Texas, that you're taking too long of a vacation?
George W. Bush: They don't understand the definition of work, then. I'm getting a lot done. Secondly, You don't have to be in Washington to work. It's amazing what can happen with telephones and faxes.

Byron Dorgan: We had some airplanes authorized at the highest levels of our government to fly to pick up Osama Bin Laden's family members and others from Saudi Arabia and transport them out of this country.
Narrator: It turns out that the White House approved planes to pick up the bin Ladens and numerous other Saudis. At least six private jets and nearly two dozen commercial planes carried the Saudis and the Bin Ladens out of the U.S. after September 13th. In all, 142 Saudis, including 24 members of the bin Laden family, were allowed to leave the country.

Al Gore: Is the objection in writing and signed by a member of the House and a senator?
Congresswoman: The objection is in writing, and I don't care that it is not signed by a member of the Senate.
Al Gore: The chair will advise that the rules do care...and the signature of a senator...

Bush: [on the hunt for Osama bin Laden] I just don't spend that much time on it, to be honest.
Narrator: 'Don't spend that much time on it?' Just what kind of President was he?
Bush: I'm a war President!

Female Reporter: You've imprisoned the women. It's a horror!
Taliban Envoy: I'm very sorry for your husband. He must have a difficult time with you

Clips: The coalition of the willing, Roll..... The Republic of Palauuuuuuu...The Republic of Costa Ricaaa...The Republic of Icelaaand...
Narrator: None of these countries has an army, or for that matter, weapons. So it looked like we'd be doing most of the invading stuff ourselves.

Moore: Is there any terrorist target around here?
Tappahannock Woman: [Gesturing towards the restaurant behind her] We have a big spaghetti supper in here.

Marine Recruiter: You ever thought about bein' a Marine, man?
Potential Recruit: Uh, thought about it, but I got a wife and kid now.
Marine: Even more reason to join.

Television news anchors: Mike, I wouldn't do this if it weren't big. Florida goes for Al Gore. CNN announces that we call Florida in the Al Gore column.
Narrator: Then something called the 'Fox News Channel' called the election in favor of the other guy....

Narrator: As Bush sat in that Florida classroom, was he wondering if maybe he should have shown up to work more often? Should he have held at least one meeting since taking office to discuss the threat of terrorism with his head of counter terrorism? Or maybe Mr. Bush was wondering why he had cut terrorism funding from the FBI. Or perhaps he just should have read the security briefing that was given to him on August 6, 2001 that said that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America by hijacking airplanes. Or maybe he wasn't worried about the terrorist threat because the title of the report was too vague.
Condoleezza Rice: I believe the title of the report was 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.'
Narrator: A report like that might make some men jump, but as in days passed, George W. just went fishing. As the minutes went by, George Bush continued to sit in the classroom. Was he thinking, "I've been hanging out with the wrong crowd. Which one of them screwed me? Was it the man my daddy's friends delivered a lot of weapons to? Was it that group of religious fundamentalists who visited my state when I was governor? Or was it the Saudis? Damn, it was them." [an image of Hussein appears onscreen] "I think I better blame it on this guy."

[First lines]
Narrator: Was it all just a dream?
Al Gore: God bless you, Florida! Thank you!
Narrator: Did the last four years not really happen? Look, there's Ben Affleck. He's often in my dreams. And the Taxi Driver guy. He was there too. And little Stevie Wonder, he seemed so happy... like, like a miracle had taken place. Was it a dream? Or was it real?

Quotes About

  • John Kerry had intense supporters of his own. Hollywood filmmaker Michael Moore came out with a so-called documentary that was nothing more than campaign propaganda. In return, Kerry said that Hollywood entertainers conveyed "the heart and soul of our country."
  • I find it difficult to forgive George W. Bush a lot of things — mostly having to do with not telling the truth about important public matters, and then pretending it was no big deal that he had misled — and, come to think of it, that's pretty much my problem with Michael Moore, too … although one is a clown who makes movies and the other is, well, President of the United States. … we live in the age of the false dichotomy, an old propaganda trap (and logical fallacy) that says, for example: If you're not for the President's way of fighting terrorism (even if you'd like him to provide more information about what, exactly, that is), you are automatically assumed to be on the side of the terrorists; or, if you find fault with Michael Moore's methods, you must be on Bush's side. Of course, neither of these propositions is necessarily true. … You know how far the level of political discourse in American has fallen when people are asked to take the word of Dick Morris or Michael Moore at face value. So don't. And don't take my word for it. Do your own research.
    • Jim Emerson in a review of Fahrenhype 9/11 FahrenHYPE 9/11: Morris vs. Moore" at Chicago Sun Times (28 October 2004)
  • To describe this film [Fahrenheit 9/11] as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of "dissenting" bravery.
  • We are introduced to Iraq, "a sovereign nation"...In this peaceable kingdom, according to Moore's flabbergasting choice of film shots, children are flying little kites, shoppers are smiling in the sunshine, and the gentle rhythms of life are undisturbed. Then—wham! From the night sky come the terror weapons of American imperialism. Watching the clips Moore uses, and recalling them well, I can recognize various Saddam palaces and military and police centers getting the treatment. But these sites are not identified as such. In fact, I don't think Al Jazeera would, on a bad day, have transmitted anything so utterly propagandistic. You would also be led to think that the term "civilian casualty" had not even been in the Iraqi vocabulary until March 2003...the "insurgent" side is presented in this film as justifiably outraged, whereas the 30-year record of Baathist war crimes and repression and aggression is not mentioned once. That this—his pro-American moment—was the worst Moore could possibly say of Saddam's depravity is further suggested by some astonishing falsifications. Moore asserts that Iraq under Saddam had never attacked or killed or even threatened (his words) any American. I never quite know whether Moore is as ignorant as he looks, or even if that would be humanly possible...Baghdad was the safe house for the man whose "operation" murdered Leon Klinghoffer...In 1991, a large number of Western hostages were taken by the hideous Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and held in terrible conditions for a long time. After that same invasion was repelled—Saddam having killed quite a few Americans and Egyptians and Syrians and Brits in the meantime and having threatened to kill many more—the Iraqi secret police were caught trying to murder former President Bush during his visit to Kuwait. Never mind whether his son should take that personally...Iraqi forces fired, every day, for 10 years, on the aircraft that patrolled the no-fly zones and staved off further genocide in the north and south of the country...And it was after, and not before, the 9/11 attacks that Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi moved from Afghanistan to Baghdad and began to plan his now very open and lethal design for a holy and ethnic civil war.
  • Hasn't that been the norm with such crowd-getters as Fahrenheit 9/11 or Sicko by Michael Moore? They seem to only produce interesting memories, leaving mostly just footprints in the sand.
  • Have you seen Fahrenheit 9/11? Watch it. Theres an interesting scene where Bush thinks and waits seven minutes before acting against 9/11. Don't pay attention to the fact it's biased or "propaganda", just see what's going on in the documentary and notice a man like Moore from a place like Flint has been researching and is trying to open our eyes.
    • Lou Reed interview on Belgian Cable Ketnet giving his views on Bush
  • Moore is making a fortune out of his anti-Americanism. And I don't blame the guy for making a buck, but he's not serious.
    • John Rhys-Davies on Scarborough Country MSNBC (18 May 2004)


  • The temperature where freedom burns!
  • This July the fireworks will fly
  • Your country. Your future. Your movie.
  • This summer Michael Moore turns up the heat.
  • Controversy? What Controversy?


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