Review: ‘The Inspection’ is a strikingly personal portrait of the military under ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’
The first half of Clint Eastwood’s “The Inspection” begins with the protagonist, Major-General Richard Dreyfuss (Eastwood), telling a reporter from Newsweek magazine that he is in Afghanistan to find a single American soldier dead. “Why do all of the other soldiers think there’s a cover-up?” asks Dreyfuss, referring to the Taliban-run Kandahar base where the dead soldier was said to have gotten his legs blown off by a land mine. “Because I’m an idiot,” the reporter replies. That’s not a particularly provocative statement. It’s essentially an observation that we’ve all made many times in the wake of one of those stupid “cover-up” events. We know, for instance, that the 9/11 Commission report documented how there was an absolutely massive cover-up of the circumstances of the terrorist attacks. (And remember, the 9/11 Commission itself was made up of a bunch of Democratic appointees! But that’s a story for a later day.)
And yet, the comment does seem kind of odd, when you consider that the soldier who died in Afghanistan was, in fact, the same soldier killed on September 8, 2006, by “friendly fire” during the Army’s Blackhawk Down raid in Iraq.
Of course, while it does seem odd, the truth is that there really is a huge cover-up of the circumstances of the Blackhawk Down incident in the US military. So there’s absolutely no point in criticizing the comments of a man who’s being completely honest with himself when he admits that he knows he’s an idiot whenever he hears the phrase “cover-up.”
That said, what does the “inspection” of Dreyfuss’ reaction to the Newsweek reporter mean? In the case of the Blackhawk Down incident, it was determined by the Army after the fact that the soldiers who were under fire