Morris is especially proud of the film's investigative element. With McNamara saying "we see what we want to believe," the film looks into the much-discussed second attack on American warships by North Vietnam that triggered the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which justified our increasing involvement in Vietnam, and finds that it never happened.
He also deals, at McNamara's insistence, with the man's involvement, under Gen. Curtis LeMay, with the World War II fire-bombing of 68 Japanese cities that killed close to 1 million civilians. It's a record that causes McNamara to suggest, in Morris' words, "that if our side had lost we would have been tried as war criminals. What makes your actions different if you win rather than if you lose? That's a very powerful question."
It is the opportunity to ask questions like these, uncomfortable, almost unanswerable questions about the nature of war and human behavior, about the kinds of pressures that make basically decent people do unsupportable, perhaps unforgivable things, that is the second reason Morris went ahead with this film. "I always wanted to make an antiwar film," he says, "but not one that just somehow tells you that 'war is bad' with the vaguest of generalities."
Speaking of wars, one of "Fog's" most unnerving moments, given that it was shot a year ago, comes when McNamara looks at the camera and says, "What makes us omniscient? I don't believe we should ever apply our power unilaterally. If we can't persuade nations with similar values, we'd better re-examine our reasoning."
"He's ostensibly talking about things that happened 40, 50, 60 years ago," Morris says, "but he could as well be talking about next week."