Our good friend Robert Greenwald testifies before Congress about war profiteering. He brought a four minute clip from "Iraq for Sale" and Republicans refused to let him show it.

Check out the exchange between Robert and the insufferable Jack Kingston, after Robert asserts that it's hard for US soldiers to work next to private contractors doing the same job for much more money:

KINGSTON:  The contractors are making a lot of money.  Now I have the honor of representing four military installations and spend a lot of time there. It's actually somewhat of an insult if I go down to Fort Stewart and tell them they're underpaid because they're really not motivated by pay as much as they are by patriotism.  Now similarly I know producers make a lot of money. Do you know what kind of money you made on any of these movies like For Sale:  The War on Iraq? Can you share that?

GREENWALD:  I'd be happy to.  I volunteer my time because I feel so strongly about the issue so I take not one penny.  And I'm fortunate to be able to do that.

KINGSTON:  Who makes the money on there, though?  Somebody's got to be getting some money.  I've always been told you've got to follow the dollar.  That's why I'm asking that question.   And I know that with the very productive resume you have that somebody's been getting paid somewhere.

CONGRESSMAN:  The corporations that have been doing this work are the ones who are getting paid.

KINGSTON:  So you work for a corporation, a dastardly capitalistic corporation that would be paying you?  Or they would be getting profit?

GREENWALD:   No let me be very clear.  These films are not about maximizing dollars.  So I go out and I spend three quarters of my time trying to fund raise.  Iraq for Sale, 3,220 people — patriotic Americans — gave twenty five and fifty dollars each because they wanted the story of war profiteering told.  They wanted to get that out.  

When he can't trap Robert into admitting his only motivation is making a buck, he twists his words around and claims that Robert is saying "profit is evil."  It is one of the most remarkable displays of cynicism and bad faith you're likely to see in a while.

The irony of a member of a committee investigating war profiteering saying "I've always been told you've got to follow the dollar" to a guy who's doing just that is pretty much the limit.

As Robert tells C&L:

Though I was not able to share clips from the movie with the Committee, I  very much look forward to taking Rep. Kingston (Republican – Georgia)  up on his offer to take a trip with me to speak with U.S. soldiers about the issue of private contractors.

It would be nice to be there and watch Kingston explain to soldiers that their patriotism precludes them from taking as much money as their civilian counterparts.  Hope Robert puts a camera on that. 

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
Subscribe in a reader