A Random Image

about full disclosure

Many Iraq documentaries have been released over the past five years. Full Disclosure is different from all of them. It provides a long-term view of the US occupation of Iraq from my vantage point, that of a journalist who embedded with First Battalion/Second Marine Regiment (”1/2″) in Babil province in 2004 and 2005, and then in Anbar (2006). Back in the US, over a two-year period (2006 to 2008), a Marine Staff Sergeant I patrolled with in Iraq reveals the damage two Iraq tours did to him. Subsequent research, videotaping, and material obtained through the Freedom of Information Act provide greater context for the continued US political-military enterprise in Iraq.

The essence of Full Disclosure is verité footage of US troops interacting with Iraqi civilians. The Marines - warriors - struggle to execute orders in a nation desperately in need of healing and among people they cannot communicate with. Full Disclosure confronts the paradox inherent in using a blunt and deadly instrument, the US military, to accomplish a foreign-policy agenda that is demonstrably amorphous, inconsistent, and disconnected from local reality. This is not a political argument; it is borne out in the footage and research. Full Disclosure asks hard questions. It examines the sometimes-deadly consequences of the Marines’ actions - and of the US policy that guides these actions. But the film also displays the filmmaker’s compassion, both for the Marines and for the Iraqi people he encounters.

The documentary delves into the fundamental contradiction inherent in the Pentagon’s embedding system: How does a journalist cover, both critically and compassionately, the troops who keep him alive? Does loyalty to the truth-telling mission of the journalist inevitably lead to betraying one’s protectors, the troops?

Full Disclosure was produced with funding from Edith Palmer, the Applied Research Center, and private donations.

The Ford Foundation provided a post-production grant through its Knowledge, Creativity, and Freedom Program that enabled the filmmaker to complete a full-length cut of the documentary.

Pixel Press was the first organization to support this project by publishing Digital Diary: Witnessing the War as part of its Democracy in America project.