Rachel Maddow hosts MSNBC documentary “Hubris: Selling the Iraq War”

Updated March 19, 2013, 11:18am CT

As we approach the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War, journalist Rachel Maddow looks at the key government decisions that led the United States into the war, through a new documentary called Hubris: Selling the Iraq War, premiering Feb. 18 at 9pm ET on MSNBC.

UPDATE 3/19/13: MSNBC will be re-airing Hubris: Selling the Iraq War Friday, March 22, at 9pm ET, followed by Talking Hubris at 10pm ET, hosted by Chris Hayes.

Hubris: Selling the Iraq War is based on the book Hubris, co-written by NBC News National Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff and MSNBC contributor and Mother Jones Washington Bureau Chief David Corn. In the documentary, Rachel Maddow takes viewers through the decisions that led the nation into the conflict, and asks questions about whether the same kind of national deception could happen again.

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Featuring new and original interviews with members of the Bush administration, the CIA, members of Congress and other insiders who were part of the national debate over the ultimately faulty intelligence that led to the invasion of Iraq, Hubris: Selling the Iraq War is timed to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

The documentary includes interviews with: Douglas Feith, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy; Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, White House Counterterrorism Aide; Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense for Policy; Valerie Plame Wilson, former CIA officer; Michael Leiter, President’s Commission on Intelligence Regarding WMD; Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (Ret.), Chief of Staff to Colin Powell; former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson; Sen. Tom Daschle (D), Senate Majority Leader 2001-03; Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC); and Gen. Anthony Zinni (Ret.), Commander US Central Command, among others.

Hubris: Selling the Iraq War, hosted by Rachel Maddow, originally premiered Feb. 18 at 9pm ET on MSNBC.

UPDATE 3/16/13: According to The Maddow Blog, the first airing of Hubris: Selling the Iraq War broke the ratings record for MSNBC documentaries. Hubris will be re-aired Friday, March 22, at 9pm ET, three days after the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq invasion.

UPDATE 3/19/13: An MSNBC release adds that Hubris: Selling the Iraq War was MSNBC’s most-watched documentary in 10 years. On March 22 at 10pm ET, following the re-airing of Hubris, a special called Talking Hubris will air. Hosted by Chris Hayes, Talking Hubris also features Chris Matthews, Alex Wagner, former Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) and co-authors of the book Hubris, Michael Isikoff and David Corn. In Talking Hubris, this panel looks to dig deeper and address topics not explored in the film Hubris: Selling the Iraq War.

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  1. We may never recover from Chaney’s/Neocons’/Bush’s Iraqi war. Every war we ever fought we raised taxes to pay for it, drafted soldiers to fight in it, and sold bonds to Americans so the money stayed in the country. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” war we lowered taxes and sold bonds to the Chinese while our professional army fought the war and Bush told ths rest of us to “Go to the Mall.”And the Zionist Neocons sold the war with the full backing of Israel who wanted access to Iraqi oil. And the cost was 5,000 dead Americans, 100,000 wounded physically and mentally, 100s of thousands of mainly innocent Iraqi dead, and $1T. And the dumb Democrats let the GOP criticize them for the mess we are in. Where is Harry “give ’em Hell” Truman when you need him?

  2. Everything Rachel Maddow discussed during her “Selling the Iraqi War” special already has been presented by PBS in Frontline programs, starting as early as 2004.

  3. I believe that the Tea Party has been shoved into the furthest corner to the right, and as long as that minority insists on ideological purity as defined by them, they will always lose the White House.

    The only hope for the GOP is for its leadership to put the neo-con Wayne LaPierre, Tea Party group in a gag. The neo-cons are outnumbered and as long as they try to make America into their vision, they will remain losers.

    Too bad, so sad…. It’s like watching an alcoholic drinking vodka all day.

  4. Tell me something……..what exactly did any of these ‘liars’ have to gain by this? Seriously, what. They just wanted American deaths?

    And how/why were all those on the Left (Clintons, Kerry, etc, you’ve all seen the quotes) who spoke of WMD duped?

    Before W and his henchman pulled off this monumental hoax.

    • The Neoconservative movement, far too powerful to this day, has the fantasy notion that their agenda can reach out and control the world. Benefit for the few, at the expense of the many. Go to World War One History, which leads you to centuries of exploitation and chaos in the Middle East. The Germans set Afghanistan et al ‘on edge’ in order to create conflict and provide hegemony benefit for Germany, which added to their massive failure. The Neocons dismiss history, being held fast by Machiavelli’s encouragement to get what they want by any means. The Cabal, as Wilkerson named them, all belong in prison. For good. Yet, we have not yet acquired the courage to prosecute and imprison them. The history is there for us to ‘see’ – if we are willing.

      • The NEOCON guru was Leo Strauss whose views are documented in the BBC documentary “The Power of Nightmares” which is on youtube. Strauss came from Germany and is Jewish as many NEOCONS are and he came to the US to escape the holocaust. Who arranged for his escape is interesting. It was Carl Schmitt the German jurist leader during the Third Reich and the personal lawyer for Adolf Hitler. There are many fascists who did not agree with Hitlers hatred of Jews and actually found the principles of fascism attractive. Strauss and Schmitt were of that mind. Schmitt arranged for a Rockefeller grant for Strauss and the Rockefellers were accused of being sympathetic to the fascist cause.

        In 1934 there was a “Business Plot” to overthrow the Federal government and set up a fascist dictatorship. They planned to assassinate FDR and march on Washington with an army of 500,000 veterans. They chose ret. Marine Major General Smedley Butler to lead the army but they did not count on Butlers dedication to his oath to uphold the Constitution and to protect and defend America. Butler was one of the, if not the highest, decorated American serviceman with the Marine Brevet Medal and TWO Congressional Medals of Honor. He exposed the plot and testified to Congress. No prosecutions ever came of it. Some of the plotters were DuPont, Remington and Goodyear and Prescott BUSH. I suspect that FDR chose not to follow up because he could use this high treason to leverage cooperation from them on the New Deal which was in serious trouble at the time.

        There are some the believe that the Great Depression was planned by the same group of Robber Barons as an answer to the growing threat of organized labor at the time which is the reason that many large German corporations back Hitler in Germany. One of those was Fritz Thyssen who financed Hitler rise to power. Thyssen business partner in the US was…Prescott BUSH.

    • I have not yet seen this program … But our son was based at Camp Lejune (Marines) in 2000. They were training for battle in Iraq, and I asked him what THAT was all about. He just said that based upon how the training was being conducted (intensity), he just figured ‘something’ was likely in planning stages. I told him that it was likely part of the still secret Cheney Energy Policy, i.e. access to the coveted Iraqi oil fields! When the Towers fell, I commented to my wife and son that now ‘they’ clearly had an excuse. Not saying there was a clear ‘conspiracy’, just that when the door was cracked, they ‘blasted’ through it, so to speak.

    • Well, I don’t think they got what they wanted. Clearly the Bush Administration was in close contact with the Saudis at the time, both who had interests in ridding the mideast of Sadam and his greedy, butsecular policies. They certainly expected to have control of the oil there. Cheney certainly gained from Halliburton’s role in the role…At the time , he became vp. he had stepped down from his role at Halliburton… He was given quite a bit of money at the time, but also considerable stock from what you can gather from many of the documents on file over this. H’s stock around the time of 9/11 certainly wasn’t stellar. It gained significantly after the profits made from the Iraq War. It has afterall been named as the biggest contractor that received monies after regime change. I don’t know about you, but you don’t have to go to far into the dirty laundry to suspect that Cheney received some benefit from our government’s involvement in Iraq.

  5. Go to:


    Google the movie “THE PROSECUTION OF AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT” It has already premiered and hopefully will be at theaters soon.

    It’s based on the book “THE PROSECUTION OF GEORGE W BUSH FOR MURDER” by Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecutor of Charles Manson.

    Bugliosi is very serious about this. He wants to be appointed Special Prosecutor by any sitting prosecutor who has jurisdiction to convene a grand jury and indict George W Bush for capital murder.

    Any prosecutor whose county or parish has a citizen/soldier who was killed in Bush’s Iraq war has jurisdiction. The war was based on lies therefore the killings of American soldiers were unlawful killings, therefore murder.

    Read Bugliosi’s book and see the movie. You’ll get very angry. Won’t ONE brave prosecutor come forward and do the right thing, despite the fear in the country of the right wing ?

  6. The real said thing is that we have not sent to jail those who lead us in the mess only because if we did we would look so bad to the rest of the world especially to Arab states that we would lose any power to get anything done. In the past we hung the Japanese who water boarded in WW2 the point was to creat a Tax free state where we could get cheap oil the Neo Con,s planed this and they should pay and pay big time

  7. I think there is tension between Maddow and her bosses – not that it’s personal or anything, but rich guys in suits like money, media execs want access to DC bigwigs and network moguls want special favors from regulators and politicians.

    So I wonder if there are limits to what MSNBC woud put in the documentary. There are things in the book that suggest Cheney is a war criminal and all the rest of the accomplices could be prosecuted. More here:


  8. The war is blamed on the lack of, or incorrect intelligence. That is nonsense. There was plenty of intelligence refuting the Iraqi possession of WMD. The facts are that the Bush administration deliberately distorted the information in order to provide a pretext for starting the war. Furthermore, Congress failed miserably in its responsibility for oversight of the intelligence process. Where was the INDEPENDENT evaluation? There was none! Congress, the media and the American people swallowed every lie that came out of the White House.
    58,000 men gave their lives in Viet Nam, and we learned nothing from it.

  9. I am looking forward to watching this program. I have always felt that this war brought so much senseless loss of life and helped cripple our economy to this day. Our great country lost do much moral integrity when we built up a lie about WMD being the reason for invasion. I wish the program was on a non-biased news agency. The topic needs to be reviewed by all Americans. The heavy right and heavy left networks are preaching yto their own constituency.

  10. It took 10 years for the truth to be finally posted by a reputable source by gathering the necessary information and interviewing the most trusted individuals that were close to what is generally referred to now as “America’s Big Lie”—George W. together with his henchmen knew up front that there were no WMD’s in Iraq which was a light weight and had nothing to do with 9/11 and will bring shame to Goerge W.’s administration—at Cheney’s insistance and prodding, Bush schemed to take out the the man that his father didn’t during “Operation Desert Storm”—I’ve always maintained that Bush and Cheney were nothing better than “war criminals” and should be tried as such by an International Tribunal and should face the punishment handed down accordingly which should be, at minimum, life imprisonment

  11. my friends made fun of me when I said this was what was going on. I was against the war before during & still am against ALL wars. We must educate our children so they might not forget. (wishful thinking)

  12. I’m looking forward. I was sickened by the invasion. Because of my sources and connections I knew we were being lied to. I remember too one of the morning press conferences during which Rumsfeld said the invasion would take “4 to 6 weeks, 2 to 3 months at the very most.” Was he lying or was he just totally stupid?

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