Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore, in a July 27 interview with CNN's Larry King,
compared the suspected WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning with witnesses
of Nazi atrocities testifying at Nuremberg.
"He essentially followed the Nuremberg principles," Moore claimed, "which is when you see something going on like this, when you see war crimes being committed, when you see lies being told in order to bring a country to war, you have to speak out against it."
Moore thought that Manning "is exactly who we want in our armed forces," and deserves the Profile in Courage award for helping to make the WikiLeaks public knowledge. "You can't just line up and be a good German and do what you're told to do," Moore said in defense of Manning's audacity.
The liberal filmmaker appeared on King's show last Tuesday, and the news hour was re-aired Sunday night. Moore answered questions from King and from viewers themselves on topics ranging from the BP oil spill to the Arizona immigration law to the WikiLeaks scandal.
Moore thought the Arizona immigration law "disgusting," and added that he planned to boycott the state, by not having his films screened there, until the law is changed. When King pointed out that most of the immigrants in the past, including his own ancestors, immigrated legally to America, Moore had the audacity to challenge his assumption.
"Well, I don't know about your [ancestors]," Moore told King. "Can you prove that Larry?" King then deflated his challenge. "Yes, I got the documents. They came on a ship. They registered. I've been to Ellis Island. Yes, they did."
When King asked him about the BP oil spill, Moore attacked the oil companies and then maintained that oil should not be owned by private corporations.
"I don't think any corporation, any oil company, should be able to own this precious and disappearing resource," Moore claimed. "This stuff belongs to the people, just like the air belongs to the people, the water belongs to the people, the resources under the ground, the minerals - all of that belongs to the people, not to any one company."
A partial transcript of the segment, which aired on July 27 at 9:06 p.m. EDT and re-aired on August 1 at 9:06 p.m. EDT, is as follows:
LARRY KING: Let's move to some other areas, and we'll mention the Traverse City Film Festival again. Now what's your reaction to the WikiLeaks, the Afghan War documents?
MICHAEL MOORE: Well, I think - I think that we have this "war machine" that was built on a lie a number of years ago - incredible lies - that have cost thousands of lives, billions of dollars. And one brave soldier by the name of Bradley Manning decided that the truth had to be told. And he said that he was willing to do it regardless of the consequences - and he essentially followed the Nuremberg principles which is when you see something going on like this, when you see war crimes being committed, when you see lies being told in order to bring a country to war, you have to speak out against it. You can't just line up and be a good German and do what you're told to do.
So, this brave soldier put up on the internet, through Wikileaks, footage that was just absolutely incredible and sad and pathetic to watch. And for that, now, he's been arrested, he's in jail. This is - the opposite should be happening. He should be rewarded for saying "I witnessed a lie and I'm going to tell my fellow Americans the truth."
KING: Wikileaks will not confirm the source, though. He's been arrested, but the assumption is that he's the source. It is not yet a fact.
KING: All right. You see him as a hero. How do you see the leaks affecting the Obama administration which has condemned them?
MOORE: Well, that's - that's a bit of an Orwellian moment because - because you have the Obama administration essentially defending the cover-up and the lying that took place, primarily during the Bush years. And, so, for the Obama administration to take this position as just, you know, he should be saying, "Look, this is exactly who we want in our armed forces. We want men and women of conscience, and people who will stand up and fight for the things they believe in."
And that's what this soldier, this young soldier, 22 years old, has done. And he deserves our support, our gratitude. His legal defense fund now deserves our help, whatever we can do. I'm just disappointed the Obama administration doesn't give him a profile in courage award, as opposed to the way he's being treated right now.
KING: Alright. Another question would be, and this is a Twitter, if you were the new CEO of BP, you were taking over, what would you say to the American people?
MOORE: I would, um - wow. I would apologize. And I would say that Americans, we left your shores back in 1784, made a little return visit in 1812, sorry about that. But the Gulf and the natural resources that surround your country belong to you and to the people of the world, not to a corporation. Frankly, Larry, I don't think any corporation, any oil company, should be able to own this precious and disappearing resource. It's a fossil fuel, and there's only so much of it. We're not really doing anything about what the real issue is, which - that is the real issue.
And, I mean, if I were - if I were in Congress, if I were President, if I were Prime Minister of Great Britain, I would get together and say, "You know what? This stuff belongs to the people, just like the air belongs to the people, the water belongs to the people, the resources under the ground, the minerals - all of that belong to the people, not to any one company." By letting them make the decisions, we are on a ruinous path that has consequences far, far greater than the oil that's leaked in the Gulf.
KING: We're back. Michael, Arizona's anti-illegal immigration law takes effect this week. Polls show a solid majority of Americans support it, although a large degree of people favor the idea, it's okay if you're illegal if you're working and paying taxes, but it's the rest that bother most. What do you make of the law?
MOORE: I think the law is just absolutely disgusting. You know, we are all the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren of immigrants. Unless, you're a Native American or if you're African- American, you were either here originally or you were forced to come here. Everybody else is here as a result of being the children of immigrants. For us to have this attitude toward people coming here, now that we're here, slam the door, it's a huge country. There's lots of room. I mean, have you ever driven across Kansas? It goes on forever.
KING: Michael, most of our - most of our ancestors came legally.
MOORE: Well, I don't know about yours. Can you prove that, Larry?
KING: Yes, I got the documents. They came on a ship. They registered. I've been to Ellis Island. Yes, they did.
MOORE: OK. All right. You came the right way. Some of our people didn't. Listen, you know - and what was legal then, of course, is different from what it is now - but my point is that, look, yes, there needs to be some rhyme and reason to all this and we need to come up with a solution, but not the sort of bigoted solution that Arizona's come up with. And in fact, when my next film comes out, I'm going to try and have it as part of my deal with the studio that, unless this law changes, I don't want my films being shown in Arizona. I'm boycotting the state. I've joined the boycott with a lot of musicians and others who will not support the state as long as they have this attitude.
-Matt Hadro is News Analysis intern at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here .