By PHILIP SHENON
June 20, 2004
..."After a year spent covering the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, I was recently allowed to attend a Hollywood screening. Based on that single viewing, and after separating out what is clearly presented as Mr. Moore's opinion from what is stated as fact, it seems safe to say that central assertions of fact in "Fahrenheit 9/11" are supported by the public record (indeed, many of them will be familiar to those who have closely followed Mr. Bush's political career).
Mr. Moore is on firm ground in arguing that the Bushes, like many prominent Texas families with oil interests, have profited handsomely from their relationships with prominent Saudis, including members of the royal family and of the large and fabulously wealthy bin Laden clan, which has insisted it long ago disowned Osama. Mr. Moore spends several minutes in the film documenting ties between the president and James R. Bath, a financial advisor to a prominent member of the bin Laden family who was an original investor in Mr. Bush's Arbusto energy company and who served with the future president in the Air National Guard in the early 1970's. The Bath friendship, which indirectly links Mr. Bush to the family of the world's most notorious terrorist, has received less attention from national news organization than it has from reporters in Texas, but it has been well documented."