Gere, Theron Bash Bush in Venice

Richard Gere and Charlize Theron added their voices to a chorus of stars taking swipes at the Bush administration at the Venice Film Festival.

"How did we elect Bush twice?" Gere asked rhetorically while promoting his new film, "The Hunting Party."

In the film, Gere plays a reporter determined to track down Radovan Karadizic — who has been hiding for more than a decade and is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity for his role as an alleged architect of the Bosnian war.

"What's interesting to me is how do the bad people among us end up our leaders?" the 58-year-old actor said at a news conference Monday.

In "The Valley of Elah," Theron plays a New Mexico detective drawn into the case of a U.S. soldier who disappears just days after returning from a tour of duty in Iraq.

"The decision-making process for going into Iraq was very hastily done, and I think the facts weren't there, and I just don't think you go to war for those reasons," Theron, 32, told Associated Press Television in an interview. "I think the thing that upset me most was the manipulation that our government did towards our people, manipulating them to believe that if they weren't for the war, they weren't patriotic."

George Clooney has said he made "Syriana" and "Good Night, and Good Luck" out of anger for being considered a traitor for questioning the decision to go to war. He told reporters at Venice last week that he believes Americans are now in the process of fixing the mistakes of the last few years.

The film festival ends Saturday with the awarding of the top Golden Lion prize.


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