For at least a month before the recent release of The Men who Stare at Goats, George Clooney and Grant Heslov's movie was promoted with taglines like 'inspired by a top secret true story' and 'a story so unbelievable it has to be true'. Even in the film's opening sequence there is the seductive line 'More of this is true than you would believe'. It is hardly surprising then that previewers, reviewers, and critics alike also joined in with phrases like 'the real life true story' or 'based on a true story'.
It has been 12 days now since I was given the opportunity to publicly question why my central role in unearthing this remarkable true story was completely erased. In this time however, there has been no word at all from anyone involved in the movie and the silence grows louder by the day.
There has, on the other hand, been a tremendous outpouring of private support, and in public comments. Thanks especially are due to Human 23 for articulating the position so eloquently, and to others of the real Goat men who have also been in touch in the meantime. They particularly have reminded me how much more there is to be told than that revealed in what is otherwise an entertaining movie, and how much that could contribute to our understanding of the wars of this past decade.
Copies of my letter to Mr. Clooney - close in substance to the Post post linked above - were first distributed to key figures in the production (including BBC Films executives) in the second week of October 2009, and again in the first week of November.
Though there is evidence that several were received, it's quite possible that Mr. Clooney himself was not informed of the situation until the day of the Post's publication.
As mentioned before, I have no issue with the creatives on the movie, but in the absence of any other response, and in the context of a story about unearthing a truth that is based on relationships of trust and integrity, I and many others believe it's perfectly reasonable to once more appeal to George Clooney, as both star and producer, for some form of adjudication - even if that comes privately.