Panicky US intervened in `Fahrenheit 9/11` screening: WikiLeaks

London: Filmmaker Michael Moore`s unpopularity with the Bush administration was never a secret but a Wikileaks cable has revealed that panicky US officials had tried to stop a screening of his documentary `Fahrenheit 9/11` in New Zealand, terming it a "potential fiasco".

On hearing a rumour that a New Zealand cabinet minister was hosting the screening of the controversial film which takes a critical look at the presidency of George W. Bush and the `War on Terror`, US officials quickly intervened.

The classified cable from the US embassy in Wellington in 2003 reports a string of calls to the New Zealand prime minister`s office and to the minister involved, Marian Hobbs, The Guardian reported.

`Fahrenheit 9/11` is Michael Moore`s view on what happened to the US after Sep 11, and how the Bush administration allegedly used the tragic event to push forward its agenda for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

While US officials were going into a tizzy, the report said that New Zealand government was not concerned in the slightest and it can be seen in the puzzled responses recorded by the US deputy chief of mission, David Burnett, to his protests.

Giving a blow-by-blow account, the cable shows that Burnett contacted the prime minister`s office, only to be informed that they knew nothing about a screening. He then called Hobbs and was rebuffed by a receptionist.

Burnett wrote, "The minister`s office declined to make her available to discuss the matter."

Hobbs`s staff later informed the US embassy that the minister was only attending the screening, which was part of a series of Labour party fundraisers in her constituency.

While the cable saw it as a "potential fiasco", New Zealand officials mentioned in the cable remember little about it.

Hobbs, who retired from politics two years back, told the daily that she did not recall the event that merited the intervention of a superpower.

"To be honest I can`t remember anything about it at all. Possibly my staff didn`t tell me because they knew I wouldn`t take any notice," said Hobbs.

PTI

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