Broomfield Fakes It

May 6, 2008

Nick Broomfield has changed his story. Nearly a year ago, he touted “The Battle for Haditha” as an “unflinching true story”. But in the current issue of Premiere magazine, Broomfield says he flinched after all:

Q. The execution-style killing of the five men in the car that was pulled over just before the killings is graphic. Did you ever think: maybe I should not show this, pan away, censor myself? Perhaps for the families involved?
A. Well the killing was much, much worse. All of it’s much, much worse.

When Premiere asked Broomfield why the Marines in his film high-five each other after they shoot a man, he responded:

It’s just how it went down. And they don’t see anything wrong with it at all. For them it’s like you shot someone who might be an insurgent. And that’s what they’re there for. So yeah, they do high-five it. They did watch it through the scope. That’s all based on exactly what happened. But if you really get into it, it’s a thousand times worse. You might call it harrowing, but it’s a very diluted form of what happened.

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Why the change? Broomfield has declined numerous requests for an interview with this website so we can only guess. By saying the reality was worse, he’s still bitterly trying to inflict damage on the Haditha Marines and their families.

In an interview posted today on, there’s this exchange…

Q: Obviously when you have a movie based on a real incident where you have to maintain the facts and all the known information, is there a certain amount of conjecture involved, because you want to try and keep it balanced?
A: Well yeah. I mean if you’re talking about the actual incident, we went through all the government reports and stuff. We looked at all the witness statements and pretty much put it together from there.

CS: For instance, some of the things that happened before the bombing…
A: Yeah, there was a certain amount of license taken there, but once the Humvee blows up, that’s all very much drawn from… I mean we changed the name of the characters and the characters are slightly different, but what happened, for example, with the guys in front of the taxi, the the kind of taxi it was and where the taxi pulls up, and the clearing of the houses. The to and fro of the radio calls and stuff, right through to the insurgents filming the witness, it’s all based on what happened.

Broomfield is lying and he knows it. He read the statements by SSgt Wuterich, LCpl Sharratt, and LCpl Tatum. He just chose to ignore them when he made his movie, relying instead on more sensational, and dubious, second and third hand stories about Haditha. Forensics and witness testimony have established that the shootings were nothing like he depicted in his movie. Broomfield’s depiction is wanton murder. The reality was combat.

Fortunately for Broomfield, the media is easily suckered. Media critics don’t follow the news about the Haditha. One typically clueless NPR reporter, Scott Simon, recently referred to Thaer Thabit al-Hadithi, the insurgent sympathizer who shot the video tape of the aftermath in Haditha, as a ‘journalist student’. NPR doesn’t read Time magazine’s own corrections.

“The Battle for Haditha” is opening tomorrow at the Film Forum in New York City. A great film could be made based on Haditha, but not by someone who puts anti-war ideology before the truth.

David Allender
Defend Our Marines
6 May 2008


Related story “People died because it’s war”, an interview with BATTLE FOR HADITHA star, Elliot Ruiz, Defend Our Marines, April 12, 2008.