The Panama Deception

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The Panama Deception
Studio: Docurama
WorkNameSort: Panama Deception, The
Originally released in 1992 and never before available on DVD, The Panama Deception is an unapolgetic look at the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama. The timing of its re-release is certainly not accidental, as the Reagan-led (and Bush-implemented) campaign against Noriega has more than a few similarities to the current neo-con’s assault on Iraq. Hearing Elizabeth Montgomery narrate this string of condemnation is somewhat surprising, but in comparison to the many blame-heavy docs that have emerged after our incursion into Iraq, the tone here is considerably more measured than many of the films being made now. That’s not to say that bombs aren’t thrown; the film bluntly describes the tangled web of drug policy, arms trading, dictatorial convenience and media complicity behind the whole affair. Likewise, the connections between Noriega, the Reagan/Bush C.I.A. and Iran-Contra are drawn brightly. It all combines for a devastating look at a heavy-handed attempt at “spreading freedom” that’s just as venal and ineffective as the one in which we’re currently engaged.

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