Michael Moore accuses US government of harassment

Published: Monday June 11, 2007

Firebrand director Michael Moore on Monday accused the US government of harassment over an investigation into a trip he made to Cuba earlier this year for his latest film.

The US Treasury is probing whether Moore broke a 45-year-old US trade embargo on Cuba by taking a group of rescue workers from the September 11, 2001 attacks to the island for medical treatment during filming of “Sicko.”

“This is a form of harassment,” Moore said, adding: “We are going to fight this and we are going to be very aggressive to find who is behind this.”

In a letter to the US Treasury on Monday, Moore’s lawyer David Boies said his client had been unfairly discriminated against and demanded an explanation.

“I am concerned that Mr Moore has been selected for discriminatory treatment by your office,” Boies said in the letter. He further requested the Treasury reveal who took the decision to ask Moore to explain his trip.

“This is an attempt by the government to discriminate against a journalist based on the content of Michael Moore’s journalistic work,” Boies told reporters in New York.

Moore, who won an Oscar for the 2002 film “Bowling for Columbine,” was last month asked to explain the purpose of the trip and give details including departure dates and names and addresses of those who went.

The group of rescue workers were suffering from medical conditions believed to be connected to their jobs clearing debris from the site of the World Trade Center in New York in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

“Sicko,” which looks at the state of the US healthcare system, is due out on general release later this month.

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