Official Secrets

This is just what all of you need to see. This film demonstrates the fraud that led the United States and Britain into the Iraq war in 2003.

Official SecretsOfficial Secrets, directed by Gavin Hood, is an historically important film filled with some great performances. It tells the shocking true story of how Katharine Gun, a British intelligence specialist, revealed classified information to a newspaper that described how the United States and Britain were trying to blackmail certain UN Security Council members into supporting the Iraq war. The movie’s focus is on Ms. Gun’s subsequent criminal indictment and her attempt to defend herself on the grounds that she was doing nothing more than revealing the dishonesty of the United States and Britain.

The movie thrives on numerous wonderful performances, beginning with Keria Knightley as Ms. Gun. Married to a Muslim immigrant, played by Adam Bakri, her actions risked her own freedom as well as the possibility of her husband being deported. Ms, Kightley is a stunning actress as seen in her prior performances in Pirates of Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), this year’s The Aftermath and Atonement (2007).

Additionally, Matt Smith gives a very effective performance as Martin Bright, a British newspaper reporter. He is a very fine actor who elevates the emotional impact of his films as seen in his performance as the husband of Queen Elizabeth II in the brilliant TV series The Crown. It is also worth noting the performance of Rhys Ifans as a rugged, profane newspaper reporter who is passionately committed to showing how President Bush and Prime Minister Blair are hiding the truth to justify a war.

It is important to note that this is a film that needs to been seen by all trial lawyers. Ms. Gun needed effective representation, and the enormously talented Ralph Fiennes embraces that roll as Ms. Gun’s counsel. While he and his colleagues understand that Ms. Gun was solely motivated to expose the truth, they also see that a guilty plea would significantly reduce her jail exposure.

Those of us who have tried criminal cases over the years fully understand those circumstances. Sometimes, you are forced to swallow your professional pride to save a reluctant client from a result that he and his family would come to regret.

Finally, it is heartbreaking to be forced to remember a war that should have never occurred. Led by Prime Minister Blair in England and President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld in our country, they started an invasion based on the false premise that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Over 100,000 Iraqis and 4000 Americans died to remove Saddam and open up the tinderbox that resonates to this very day.