Proponents of ballistic missile defense - worried that support may be waning in Congress -- are hoping to make their point with lawmakers and the public through a documentary film.
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative-leaning Washington think tank, has bankrolled the documentary, called 33 Minutes, to bolster their case for supporting missile defense in an uncertain world. They hope to create an awareness for missile defense similar to the buzz for climate concerns touched off by former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’
The film’s creators plan to release it in February, but an eight-minute theatrical trailer is available on the Website: www.33minutes.com
James Jay Carafano, a national security expert at the Heritage Foundation, says the film was timed for release after the election, to avoid partisan arguments.
Polls show 95 percent of Americans worry about a ballistic missile attack and the majority support a missile defense program, Carafano says, but ‘Congress has been incredibly ambivalent about missile defense.’
The fast-moving trailer'- with coming attractions-style sound effects and'images of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Il and Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- outlines the threat from rogue nations and terrorists - but makes no specific program recommendations.
Interviewees'in the film include former Reagan administration Attorney General and Heritage Foundation distinguished fellow Edwin Meese III; Petr Kolar, the Czech Republic’s ambassador to the U.S.; former British Prime Minister Lady Margaret Thatcher, former high-ranking Bush administration State Department officials and Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry ‘Trey’ Obering III, the departing director of the Missile Defense Agency.
Another speaker on the film is Kenneth Alibek, a biodefense consultant who was a Soviet bioweapon developer before he defected to the U.S. in 1992.
The high definition video gets its name from the time experts say it would take a ballistic missile launched from North Korea or Iran to reach U.S. shores. ‘When there is a missile in the air, you have to have the ability to destroy it. The only other ability you will have is to apologize to those that died,’ Obering says near the end of the movie’s trailer."