The Panama Deception

The Panama Deception

Ratings: 8.10/10 from 40 users.

The Panama DeceptionYears before the US went after Saddam Hussein, the White House had Manuel Noriega, another former ally, in its sights.

In their Oscar-winning documentary, director Barbara Trent and writer/editor David Kasper (Cover Up: Behind the Iran Contra Affair) contrast media coverage of the 1989 invasion with expert testimony.

The filmmakers backtrack to America's turn-of-the-century takeover of the Panama Canal--and volatile aftermath--before flashing forward to the reform-minded Carter era. When the CIA-supported Noriega comes to power, reform gives way to repression, and Reagan calls for the dictator's ouster.

His successor, Bush, brings in the troops. It would be one thing if they only targeted military facilities, but witnesses claim soldiers also fired on civilians and residential property (a Pentagon spokesman denies the accusation).

Depending on the source, casualties ranged from 250 to 4,000. Narrated by Elizabeth Montgomery, Panama Deception was shot on video--and looks it--but content is king.

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3 years ago

The USA and Israel are the biggest terrorists financially strong killing organizations the world. Their time will come. Time will tell.

Tex Shelters
3 years ago

This film should be rated much higher. It's a great exposee on the lies around Panama, it's invasion, and how Noriega used to work for the CIA and when he rested them, the US invaded. Like the US isn't ruthless? Give me a break!

Gus Brunson
6 years ago

I think a lot of the people commenting here didn't actually see the documentary. When they claim that Noriega was ruthless, as if they are presenting a new fact, it clearly shows that they didn't watch the first half hour of the movie. Because the movie talks exactly about this.

Charles Del Campo
7 years ago

Great documentary, very education and informative. I been to Panama several times and you can feel the clandestine influence of Washington DC and its corrupted officials still handling Panamenians as Puppets! Very unfortunate!

8 years ago

The YouTube account is gone along with this vital information. Anyone know where to find another copy?

9 years ago

i can't believe anyone who watched this video could possible be concerned about right or left wind atrocity. call me names if you like but i cried through the unthinkable horror of and destruction unleashed on the people of panama. My son served in desert storm. at the time he or i had no idea of the way our government was falsely presenting information to the people of this country to get our backing to to go to war. it doesn't matter what side of the isle you fall on. there is enough blame to go around several times! i don't think the people of panama and all the other countries we've invaded for similar reasons would much care if we finger pointed. they see us all as one country, so get over yourself and understand we are all to blame for these atrocities no matter what side of the isle we vote.

my son lived through desert storm. i don't think you'll find me passively sitting by if my government comes up with another little war or wants to invade countries as they have done in the past and invites my grandson, great grandson, nephews or your children for that matter to participate. if it happens i hope you agree our children will be staying home and we my fellow country-men and women will marching on washington to take the government back our founders meant for us to have. we must stand up and be counted in this country, in this world, in this universe. may the good force be with us and inside us.

11 years ago

This proves the fact that the Bush crime family care less
about violations of international law and the fact that
no country can invade another unless they pose a direct
military threat, on our shores...

To think that these atrcocities were not condemed by the
UN and World court...
This makes both GHW Bush and his punk son war criminals,
worthy of another Nurembery type trial...
In other countries, their dicators leave to country
and go into exile, here they are given a library...
It doesn't matter that the USA has commited
' Crimes against peace, crimes against humanity '...

11 years ago

The music looks like they took it from Jaws, the introduction makes Panama out to look like paradise, the bias is obvious, how did this win an award for 'Best Documentary' again? It's pathetic.

And from the looks of the posts below people only have problems with human rights abuse when the perpetrator is a right-winger, but when you got a leftist like Noriega, YEAH NO PROBLEM.

11 years ago

the events in this documentary are so consistent with the policies our government takes in every conflict.americans just do not understand, nor do they have the esperiance of having their homeland occupied, bombed, attaked and controlled by a foreign invader..u cannot understand unless u as a people experince your destiny, government, and culture dictated to u by a foreign nation.american media sells bullshit stories..throwing around the same words, freedom,democracy, reminiscent this doc is to grenada,iraq,iran,libya,venezuela etc the list is to long..

11 years ago

Gleaman, while I am and have been 100% behind this position for a long time (no one with national secrets and/or disposition to commit illegal acts be allowed to run for office), exactly WHO do you think would be able to pass (or even suggest) such a law?

11 years ago

The People of the U.S.A should pass law that no leader of the most secret organizations (C. I. A.) ,the F.B.I.or head of the National Security should be ever able to run for political office like George Bush and family. They are to easy corruptable and there by able to fix elections for the 1% to profit as that family has done by killing innocent people all over the world.

12 years ago

This doc shows the side that was not shown in the US media -- thats why it is one sided. To show the other side of what happened. DUH!

12 years ago

Why is this under the history section, it should be placed under politics since many of the points in this movie have no evidence or any historical accuracy to back them up. This is clearly a political sided documentary and when you it call history people start taking it as fact and a history surrounded in myth, is doomed to repeat the same mistakes.

12 years ago

My gosh! How proud am I fornot being an USA homosapien "Sub-Spicie"!
I seen so many docs. for which the scheme is quite a bit of the same.
From a little after WWII, the Viet things, war crimes, then the USA Gov. lead CIA murder in Chilie of a democratically elected leader, the CIA drug deals in Nicaragua by the USA idol psychopath Colonel North, now Bush gangster's partner Noriega and Co.
And then, to sum that up, the intentional and deliberate lying scheme of the USA criminal Elite (AKA As the Bush's gang, at the UN regarding the supposed "Hiden WMD" once sold to Saddam by that nation of psychopaths!

And then, who can ever say that the some 3,000 or so fans of these psychopaths who died in the WTC were innocent victims, really?
Not only they'd be typically innocents but also ignorants even though there's a law in the USA that state that it is illegal not to vote?

12 years ago

Jesus Christ! I'm so sorry I didn't know what was happening. Please know that the US people are brain washed. We are not the others.

12 years ago

The Panama Deception is obviously a big embarrassing joke to any sane person (American or Panamanian) who was down there during the '89 invasion. I'm not political, but it's clearly more a left-wing propaganda film than a factual documentary. The film throws out wild accusations against the US military, but gives little or no evidence to back up most of their claims. Some examples are that US soldiers deliberately burned down the El Chorillo slum before attacking Noriega's Commandancia headquarters. Actually a Panamanian priest testified that the Panamanian Dignity Battalions (Ding Bats) set the fires to cover their retreat back to the Commadancia. This makes more sense than US troops setting fires in front of their path of attack. This extremely biased so-called documentary also claims that upwards of 5,000 Panamanians were killed in the invasion and illegally buried in "hidden" mass graves, but again the film provides little evidence for this high death toll and numerous mass interments. The film does a great job of white-washing Noriega and his dictatorial activities. It also omits the fact that the Cuban military (army and navy) were in Panama during the invasion training the PDF and Ding Bats, which resulted in a few Cuban soldiers being killed. Noriega created the situation that "just caused" the invasion and Panama suffered the consequences of his rule and mistakes. The Panama Canal was secured and later turned over to the people as stipulated in Jimmy Carter's 1977 treaty with Panama.

12 years ago

I was there, and this is so ONE sided !!! I see that the DigBat and Doberman uprisings are all left out..and to assume that the Army had ANYTHING to do with the coup attempt is just stupid. I watched it happen, and watched Bn 2000 mow down civilians in the street.

Executions by US troops at Balboia....Please, I was there. It just DIDN'T happen. What are you folks smoking? Well, I guess since you are using the stance of "death rays, and Lazers", that pretty much says it all.

In short, this report, at least the invaision, is just FULL OF S@#$ !!!

I wish all you "secret spy decoder ring" folks could have been there to see what really happened. I was there.

12 years ago

I was not there during the invasion. I got deployed in Jan of 91. Things seemed pretty mellow by then. I did hear stories from buddies about what was going on though and from the sounds of it, you two guys are way more correct then this film was. I also see that Elizabeth Montgomery wasn't much better in her politics then Hanoi Jane Fonda.

13 years ago

I was in Panama with the 1/508 at Kobbe before and during this event. Noriega was a brute and there was a huge groundswell of opposition to him in Panama City (I remember the daily massed protests with banging pans and calls of "la Pina" quite clearly). He had murdered most of his serious political rivals in the most horrific fashion (Hugo Spadafora, anyone?). More than that, however, as US support slipped, Noriega began to try to rally support around him using one of the most tried and true methods ever, demonizing a foreign power as a threat. I didn't see the clip of him beating his machete on the Senate podium while screaming that he was at war with America in this "documentary", but I guess that didn't fit the theme.
I think the real "deception" here is that this was anything close to impartial journalism.

Juan Linares
13 years ago

Not a balanced documentary, very little space is given to the internal opposition to Noriega. The producers were very concerned about due process after the invasion, but not all concerned about due process during the Noriega regime. People like Balbina Herrera who claimed presecution after the invasion, were persecutors of Noriega's opponents while he was still dictator of Panama, Balbina was a notorious member of the dignity batallions, which harassed and attacked opponents to Noriega. Many people died during the invasion because it was an act of war, but how many died under Noriega's regime and how can it be explained. Ms Herrera became a prominent politician in Panama after the invasion and eventually was a presidential candidate, she lost by a great margin, she has never explained or repented from her support of Noriega. Noriega was an opportunistic thug who would play anybody to stay in power, the US goverment, the colombian drug lords and Panama's poor people. Panama today is a lively democracy, where Noriega's supporter during his regime move about freely and act politically, the canal is in Panamanian control, the US troops left, and some compensation was given to the victims of the invasion, Noriega has never compensated any of his victims in any way.If the invasion had not ocurred who knows how many years more Noriega would have ruled, and how many Panamanians would have died or emigrated. Juan Linares, Boquete, Panama

13 years ago

I knew then it was a trick.