Filmmaker responds to 'Sicko' probe

The controversy–and the publicity–are gaining traction.

Michael Moore issued a broadside in response to news that the Bush administration is investigating him for possible violation of a travel ban to Cuba. On a lefty Web site, Moore posted a letter accusing the Bushies that, by investigating him, they are once again abusing power for political ends.

The Oscar-winning docu maker took several ailing 9/11 rescue workers to Cuba for medical treatment as part of his latest project, “Sicko,” which bows at Cannes later this month. The Associated Press reported on Thursday that the U.S. Treasury Dept. had opened an investigation into whether Moore violated fed laws against visiting the communist nation.

Moore’s letter, sent Friday to Treasury secretary Henry Paulson and posted on dailykos.com, stated:

“I believe that the decision to conduct this investigation represents the latest example of the Bush Administration abusing the federal government for raw, crass, political purposes. Over the last seven years of the Bush presidency, we have seen the abuse of government to promote a political agenda designed to benefit the conservative base of the Republican party, special interests and major financial contributors.

“From holding secret meetings for the energy industry to re-writing science findings to cooking the books on intelligence to the firing of U.S. Attorneys, this administration has shown time and time again that it will abuse its power and authority.”

Moore listed several reasons why he believes the above. One is that the health care industry, which “Sicko” is said to put under a critical microscope, is a major contributor to Bush and other Republicans. Another is that “this investigation is being opened in the wake of misleading attacks on the purpose of the Cuba trip from a possible leading Republican candidate for president, Fred Thompson, a major conservative newspaper, the New York Post, and various right wing blogs.”

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