Stephen Gaghan's screenplay for Syriana was based on a combination of independent research and Robert Baer's memoir, See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism. In Gaghan's mind (as well as those the Writers Guild of America, who nominated the film in the adapted category, and of the folks at USC, who give out their Scripter award to the year's best adapted screenplay), his work relied on Baer's book enough to render it an adaptation, and Baer received screen credit. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, however, thinks otherwise, and has listed Syriana as an original screenplay on its ballots. Though the decision to make the switch was reportedly made last month, no one bothered to tell Gaghan, who's a little nonplussed. "I'm in shock," he said. "I have no idea how they make these decisions."
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