This the story about the hunt for Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in Iraq. Matt Damon plays the lead character of Chief Miller who heads a team tasked to investigate supposed locations of the WMDs that have been gathered from US intelligence efforts. Miller's team, arrives at a site on his list that needs to be investigated. The place is in complete chaos. Looters are running everywhere. There is a sniper shooting at soldiers who try to enter the site. Miller's team takes the sniper out. When they enter the site, there is nothing there. He complains this is the third time they found nothing at all, at sites supposedly where WMDs are stored.
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Clark Poundstone (played by Greg Kinnear) is a Pentagon Intelligence officer in charge of organizing the civil government transition to new democratic rule. He has leaked information to Lawrie Dayne (played by Amy Ryan) who reports for the Wall Street Journal. Her articles are one of the main reasons there is so much US support for the war, but she has gotten all of her information from him. She has not be able to confirm any of his reports with any other sources. CIA Intelligence officer Martin Brown (played by Brendan Gleeson) does not agree with Poundstone's agenda. Brown has been on the ground in Iraq for quite some time. Brown knows that unless they get the help of Saddam's old guard to get the country under control they will have no chance in organizing a transition to the new government structure. He also complains that they have not been able to find any proof of WMDs and this is a big problem. Poundstone doesn't pay much attention to him. Miller comes back loudly complaining of the bad intel that leads him on dangerous missions to find nothing at all. Brown overhears this and gives Miller his card with his phone number on it asking him to call him later.
At another location, the senior officials of the defeated Iraqi army meet in secret. An Iraqi civilian notices this. He comes to tell Miller about this. Even though it is not their direct mission, Miller acts on the information because the man says General Al Rawi is at the meeting. Al Rawi is an extremely high-value target being the “jack of club” in the deck of wanted persons that every soldier knows about. They attack the house, but Al Rawi escapes being captured. However; Miller does get a book of safe house locations and learns that Al Rawi is the high-level source that knows the locations of any WMDs that might exist. Al Rawi is the same source that Poundstone has been using when he was feeding information to the reporter. Poundstone attacks the CIA office to get the book of information. He needs to elimimate all the Iragis who know the truth, especially Al Rawi. The truth is that the WMDs do not exist and that the whole story about WMDs has been nothing more than a fabrication made up to justify a war that is being fought for an entirely different agenda.
The hunt for Al Rawi becomes a race with Miller trying to capture him first to be able to disclose the truth and Poundstone trying to eliminate him to cover up the truth. Miller is captured by Al Rawi who tells him the truth, that Al Rawi was promised a position in the new government if he made up the stories about WMDs that could be sold to an unsuspecting public. Before Miller can get them both safely away, Al Rawi is shot by the Iragi man that first told him about the secret meeting. Miller escapes back to base. On the way going home he submits an intel brief that tells the whole truth, that there are no WMDs in Iraq, copying the document to all the newspapers.
Best part of story, including ending:
This film is about deception at the highest levels and how those in power will do almost anything to advance their agenda. It is good to see that one man, Miller, has enough integrity to stand up and take a stand against this wrongdoing.
Best scene in story:
The scene when Miller finally has the proof from Al Rawi and wants to take him in, but Al Rawi is shot by the Iraqi guy that is seeking vengeance for what the Iraqi Guard did to him. It is a very surprising twist in the plot that is unexpected.
Opinion about the main character:
Miller seems to almost become a super hero, risking everything to uncover the truth. He is a great guy, doing what he knows is the right thing to do.