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Controversy Over 9/11 Film Hits Press -- Here Is Sneak Preview
Editor and Publisher ^ | 09/05/06 | E&P Staff

Posted on 09/05/2006 10:59:10 PM PDT by Pikamax

Controversy Over 9/11 Film Hits Press -- Here Is Sneak Preview

By E&P Staff

Published: September 05, 2006 12:20 AM ET

NEW YORK Just bubbling up from the blogs into the mainstream press – a New York Time article appears today -- is debate over the “The Path to 911” TV movie to be aired on ABC this coming Sept. 10 and 11. Liberal bloggers have said that it reportedly pins much of the blame for the 9/11 terrorist attacks on President Clinton, often citing as their sources conservatives who made this very point after attending screenings.

Meanwhile, at least one real life figure portrayed in the movie, Richard Clarke, has raised factual objections, and it appears that the script has mistaken the Washington Post and the Washington Times at one key moment. ABC, and an adviser to the series – former Gov. Thomas Kean, co-chair of the 9/11 Commission — have said it is balanced and objective, and a docu-drama, not literal truth.

But few critics have actually seen the film. E&P obtained an advance review copy today, and we summarize the first half of the film below, with a look at part II to follow soon. It’s possible that some changes may have been, or will be, made in this cut.

The almost five-hour film, based on a script by Cyrus Nowrasteh, with Harvey Keitel the biggest name actor on board, is ambitious and often striking in execution, relying often on handheld camera, tight close-ups and creative visuals.

Most of the first half – it ends just before the attack on the USS Cole in late 2000 – explores the terrorist threat starting with the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center, and there is little question that President Clinton is dealt with severely, almost mockingly, with the Lewinsky scandal closely tied to his failure to cripple al-Qaeda.

The film opens by noting that the bipartisan 9/11 Commision report stated that it did not seek to place “individual blame” on anyone.

The attention on Clinton’s culpability arrives about halfway through Part I, following the successful prosecution of several men involved in the 1993 WTC bombing. Keitel, a security expert and clearly a tough-guy hero in this story, mentions Osama bin Laden (or “the tall one”) for the first time. Richard Clarke, the White House terrorism expert, agrees “we’re at war.”

After ABC airs an interview with bin Laden— the CIA didn’t know about it – O’Neill gets the okay to “snatch” bin Laden if he can, with a legal okay from the Justice Dept.

U.S. operatives hook up with Massoud, the anti-Taliban leader of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, and he takes them to a village where bin Laden is staying. A 15-man attack team is formed. Meanwhile, back at CIA headquarters in Langley, the nervous Nellies – i.e. Sandy Berger, the Clinton national security adviser, and (off and on) CIA director George Tenet – raise questions, such as how to get money for this program, how covert should it be, aren’t women and children in the village at risk? Besides, Massoud is a drug dealer. A decision is put off.

Clarke, who is a sympathetic figure in Part I, explains to one of the planners afterward that “they are worried about political fallout.” The planner angrily declares, “they are looking to cover their asses,” as usual.

Someone then says that for this administration terrorism is seen as "a law and order problem.” Right away comes a quick cut to Clinton making his famous statement about not having sexual relations with Lewinsky. Clarke tells O’Neill that Clinton won’t give the order to get bin Laden in this climate, with Republicans calling for his impeachment.

O’Neill says: “It’s pathetic.” Clinton, he suggests, wants bin Laden dead -- but not if he has to order it.

Back in Afghanistan, the operatives plan for the snatch or kill job anyway, hoping for approval once it’s clear they have their man. One night, they call Langley—they are ready to get him. “Do we have clearance?” they ask. Berger says he doesn’t have authority, he would have to check, can’t be sure, etc.

A CIA official tells him the president has approved snatches in the past. Berger wonders about the quality of the intelligence. The CIA says it’s never 100%. With that, Berger punts and asks Tenet if HE wants to give the order. Tenet asks: Why does the buck always stop with me, like with the Waco disaster?

At that point, the phone signal dies from Afghanistan – or Berger hangs up, it’s hard to tell -- and the operatives abroad pack up and leave. Massoud asks if they are “all cowards in Washington.” Again there is an immediate cut to Clinton, parsing his sexual terms in his taped testimony on the Lewinsky case – and then a clip of him hugging Monica.

A little later, the U.S. embassy in Nairobi is attacked, with many deaths. A CIA agent in tears yells at Tenet, saying he should have ordered the killing of bin Laden when they had chance.

O’Neill to Clarke: “Clinton has to do SOMETHING.”

It’s now August 1998. In the White House Situation Room, Tenet and Clarke say we need to move on the Taliban, who are protecting bin Laden. A new character, Secretary of State Madeline Albright, says that is too “major” an operaton, “the president is not willing to go that far.” They should focus solely on bin Laden.

Finally Clinton acts. Told that bin Laden is meeting in an isolated location in Afghanistan on Aug. 20, 1998, Clinton orders attacks there, as well as taking out a chemical arms factory in the Sudan. But the chemical warehouse turns out to be a pharmaceutical plant, and bin Laden escapes from the other attacks, only raising his stature among his followers. A reporter notes that Republicans and “pundits” are accusing Clinton of acting only to divert attention from the Lewinsky scandal.

An angry Massoud says that the attacks failed because the U.S. told Pakistan about them in advance. Tenet asks Albright about this and she confirms it, saying regional factors had to be considered. Berger pipes up, saying covert operations usually don’t work or backfire -- look at the Bay of Pigs. Now Tenet is steamed and he goes on a rant.

Cut to O’Neill at a bar, praising Tenet for showing “cojones.”

Part I ends with Khalid Sheikh Mohammad meeting with bin Laden in 1999 to discuss “the plane operation.” Later Mohammad is told that bin Laden approves, but feels 10 planes are too many – they won’t be able to find that many reliable hijackers. He is also told that the target is important, for they need to maximize casualties…..

Part I ends shortly there after, with Part II picking up with O’Neill learning of the bombing of the Cole. Bush is about to become president.

The New York Times story today notes ABC’s claims of objectivity but points out that “some critics — including Richard A. Clarke, the former counterterrorism czar — questioned a scene that depicted several American military officers on the ground in Afghanistan. …In a posting on ThinkProgress.org, and in a phone interview, Mr. Clarke said no military personnel or C.I.A. agents were ever in position to capture Mr. bin Laden in Afghanistan, nor did the leader of the Northern Alliance get that near to his camp.

“’It didn’t happen,’ Mr. Clarke said. ‘There were no troops in Afghanistan about to snatch bin Laden. There were no C.I.A. personnel about to snatch bin Laden. It’s utterly invented.’

“Mr. Clarke, an on-air consultant to ABC News, said he was particularly shocked by a scene in which it seemed Clinton officials simply hung up the phone on an agent awaiting orders in the field. ‘It’s 180 degrees from what happened,’ he said. ‘So, yeah, I think you would have to describe that as deeply flawed.’

“ABC responded Tuesday with a statement saying that the miniseries was ‘a dramatization, not a documentary, drawn from a variety of sources, including the 9/11 commission report, other published materials and from personal interviews.’”

Gov. Kean said the scene in Afghanistan and the attempt to get bin Laden “is a composite.”


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: fifthanniversary; pathto911
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1 posted on 09/05/2006 10:59:12 PM PDT by Pikamax
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To: Pikamax

I thought it had already been proven that Clarke is a lying, disgruntled "whistle-blower" with a book for sale.


2 posted on 09/05/2006 11:04:30 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (The "Peace sign" is the DemocRATS' last act of defiance before they cut 'n' run from the WOT.)
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To: Pikamax

Anti Clinton? Assuming all these docu dramas are slanted for a reason the question naturally arises; What the hell is going on here?


3 posted on 09/05/2006 11:04:40 PM PDT by saganite (Billions and billions and billions-------and that's just the NASA budget!)
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To: Pikamax
What does this mean, Tommy Lee Jones didn't kill JFK?
4 posted on 09/05/2006 11:04:41 PM PDT by msnimje (What part of-- "DEATH TO AMERICA" --do the Democrats not understand?)
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To: Pikamax
Ohhhhh...How loud is their weeping and gnashing of teeth....
5 posted on 09/05/2006 11:06:05 PM PDT by Dallas59 (ISLAMOFASCISM!!!!)
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To: Pikamax
Back in Afghanistan, the operatives plan for the snatch or kill job anyway, hoping for approval once it’s clear they have their man. One night, they call Langley—they are ready to get him. “Do we have clearance?” they ask. Berger says he doesn’t have authority, he would have to check, can’t be sure, etc.
A CIA official tells him the president has approved snatches in the past. Berger wonders about the quality of the intelligence. The CIA says it’s never 100%. With that, Berger punts and asks Tenet if HE wants to give the order. Tenet asks: Why does the buck always stop with me, like with the Waco disaster?
At that point, the phone signal dies from Afghanistan – or Berger hangs up, it’s hard to tell -- and the operatives abroad pack up and leave. Massoud asks if they are “all cowards in Washington.” Again there is an immediate cut to Clinton, parsing his sexual terms in his taped testimony on the Lewinsky case – and then a clip of him hugging Monica.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

6 posted on 09/05/2006 11:07:18 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Pikamax

"pins much of the blame for the 9/11 terrorist attacks on President Clinton"

If the shoe fits.


7 posted on 09/05/2006 11:10:28 PM PDT by Names Ash Housewares
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To: martin_fierro

The position of clinton's hands! What - did he make himself swallow?


8 posted on 09/05/2006 11:14:53 PM PDT by geopyg (If the carrot doesn't work, use the stick. Don't wish for peace, pray for Victory.)
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To: Pikamax

The only difference between the 1993 bombing and the 2001 bombing was that the latter succeeded. The '93 bombing called for exactly the same response as President Bush made after 9-11. Only it wasn't forthcoming, because Benedict Clinton had other fish to fry.


9 posted on 09/05/2006 11:15:18 PM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: Pikamax

So I see that Richard Clarke didn't turn in his knee pads ... how can anyone expect truth from the family of lies? ... And democrats want to be seen as religious ... since when is embracing degeneracy and lying continually considered a religious posture? Oh, never mind, the islamofascists do it too.


10 posted on 09/05/2006 11:16:02 PM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: Pikamax

I always thought Clinton was a really tough dude,fighting with Hillary and all...what was the Clinton foreign policy anyway? If it moves, nail it?


11 posted on 09/05/2006 11:17:03 PM PDT by woofie
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To: FlingWingFlyer
I think I remember, Clarke had a 700K personal investment in some movie about how to deal with Iraq, and then we invaded before it hit the screen, making his investment a total loss I think.

He can't stand that he lost his chance to make big money IMO. He used to be a tough inspector who would testify about how they would try to come and inspect in the front door and he'd see in Iraq they would be running away with stuff out the back door. Eventually he made some profitable Middle Eastern connections and changed his tune about everything. That is what I think I remember about him.
12 posted on 09/05/2006 11:18:14 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Dallas59

Those liberal scumbags at E&P must be gnashing their teeth.


13 posted on 09/05/2006 11:23:40 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Pikamax

I take it from this review that the 9/11 Commission and ABC completely ignored the role of Jamie Gorelick, who heightened the "wall" between domestic and foreign intelligence operations in order to protect Clinton from the emerging "Chinagate" scandal, thereby enabling the 9/11 attacks to succeed.

Oh yeah - - Gorelick was a member of the laughingstock commission.
Nevermind.


14 posted on 09/05/2006 11:29:10 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Names Ash Housewares
Read the book. Every voter should read it. Also Unhinged by Michelle Malkin is good. And Coulter's books.

No, I'm not a book broker.

15 posted on 09/05/2006 11:31:22 PM PDT by Cobra64 (All we get are lame ideas from Republicans and lame criticism from dems about those lame ideas.)
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To: Pikamax

Finally someone puts the blame where it belongs.


16 posted on 09/05/2006 11:33:48 PM PDT by beckysueb (KOmmies are really nothing but DUmmies with better PR.)
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To: woofie
I always thought Clinton was a really tough dude,fighting with Hillary and all...

Guess you haven't read his book,


17 posted on 09/05/2006 11:33:56 PM PDT by Cobra64 (All we get are lame ideas from Republicans and lame criticism from dems about those lame ideas.)
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To: Pikamax
Mr. Clarke...said...‘It’s 180 degrees from what happened,’ he said. ‘So, yeah, I think you would have to describe that as deeply flawed.’

Uh huh. This from the guy who said that Condoleezza Rice looked at him like she didn't know who Osama bin Laden was.

Now YOU know how it feels...Dick.

18 posted on 09/05/2006 11:44:13 PM PDT by L.N. Smithee (Angelides vs. Schwarzenegger = Hillary vs. Gore)
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To: Pikamax
Bookmarking and waiting for Part II in case the Clinton's and Sandy Burglar 'get' to ABC for a massive........ re-write before airtime.

"Massoud asks if they are "all cowards in Washington."

Yep.. and still are for the most part.

So I guess the question is...

Can today's Pubbie's and RINO's truly grow a spine and some nuts in only 60 days??

One can only hope and pray for a better America right now I guess.

AND VOTE!

19 posted on 09/05/2006 11:47:26 PM PDT by ElephantinTexas (But IF the Islamofascists win their war, they have no PLAN. Kinda like the DemokRATS.)
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To: Pikamax

Heard on radio about 7:00 pm pac time that ABC had caved in to Clinton's request to do some editing.

None the less, it appears to be powerful evidence for what is in store, should democrats get back in charge of our National Security.

Maybe this film is our "Swift Boat" gift. No doubt the last has not yet been heard about this.


20 posted on 09/05/2006 11:52:52 PM PDT by truth_seeker
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