Skip to comments.Controversy Over 9/11 Film Hits Press -- Here Is Sneak Preview
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. Its 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 Clintons 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 were at war.
After ABC airs an interview with bin Laden the CIA didnt know about it ONeill 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, arent 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 ONeill that Clinton wont give the order to get bin Laden in this climate, with Republicans calling for his impeachment.
ONeill says: Its 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 its clear they have their man. One night, they call Langleythey are ready to get him. Do we have clearance? they ask. Berger says he doesnt have authority, he would have to check, cant 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 its 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, its 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.
ONeill to Clarke: Clinton has to do SOMETHING.
Its 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 dont work or backfire -- look at the Bay of Pigs. Now Tenet is steamed and he goes on a rant.
Cut to ONeill 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 wont 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 ONeill learning of the bombing of the Cole. Bush is about to become president.
The New York Times story today notes ABCs 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 didnt 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. Its 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. Its 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.
I thought it had already been proven that Clarke is a lying, disgruntled "whistle-blower" with a book for sale.
Anti Clinton? Assuming all these docu dramas are slanted for a reason the question naturally arises; What the hell is going on here?
"pins much of the blame for the 9/11 terrorist attacks on President Clinton"
If the shoe fits.
The position of clinton's hands! What - did he make himself swallow?
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.
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.
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?
Those liberal scumbags at E&P must be gnashing their teeth.
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.
No, I'm not a book broker.
Finally someone puts the blame where it belongs.
Guess you haven't read his book,
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.
"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.
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.
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