News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMine9-11questions — Viewing Item


Abc docudrama blames clinton for bin laden failures { September 7 2006 }

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)
   http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/06/AR2006090601819_pf.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/06/AR2006090601819_pf.html

Clinton Administration Officials Assail ABC's 'The Path to 9/11'

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 7, 2006; A09

Top officials of the Clinton administration have launched a preemptive strike against an ABC-TV "docudrama," slated to air Sunday and Monday, that they say includes made-up scenes depicting them as undermining attempts to kill Osama bin Laden.

Former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright called one scene involving her "false and defamatory." Former national security adviser Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger said the film "flagrantly misrepresents my personal actions." And former White House aide Bruce R. Lindsey, who now heads the William J. Clinton Foundation, said: "It is unconscionable to mislead the American public about one of the most horrendous tragedies our country has ever known."

ABC's entertainment division said the six-hour movie, "The Path to 9/11," will say in a disclaimer that it is a "dramatization . . . not a documentary" and contains "fictionalized scenes." But the disclaimer also says the movie is based on the Sept. 11 commission's report, although that report contradicts several key scenes.

Berger said in an interview that ABC is "certainly trying to create the impression that this is realistic, but it's a fabrication."

Marc Platt, the film's executive producer, said that although it "does contain composite and conflated scenes and representative characters and dialogue, we've worked very hard to be fair. If individuals feel they're wrongly portrayed, that's obviously of concern. We've portrayed the essence of the truth of these events. Our intention was not in any way to be political or present a point of view."

The former Clinton aides voiced their objections in letters to Robert A. Iger, chief executive of ABC's corporate parent, the Walt Disney Co., but the network refused to make changes or to give them advance copies of the movie. They were not interviewed by ABC; it hired as a co-executive producer Thomas H. Kean, the Republican who chaired the Sept. 11 commission, but no Democratic members of the panel.

"In an undertaking this gargantuan," Platt said, "it's impossible to interview every single person available, and we didn't believe we needed to." He said that "maybe I'm naive" in thinking that hiring only Kean would not prompt criticism of a political slant.

The fierceness of the debate reflects a recognition that a $40 million miniseries -- whose cast includes Harvey Keitel, Patricia Heaton and Penny Johnson Jerald -- can damage Clinton's legacy in the anti-terrorism fight on the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Among the scenes that the Clinton team said are fictional:

Berger is seen as refusing authorization for a proposed raid to capture bin Laden in spring 1998 to CIA operatives in Afghanistan who have the terrorist leader in their sights. A CIA operative sends a message: "We're ready to load the package. Repeat, do we have clearance to load the package?" Berger responds: "I don't have that authority."

Berger said that neither he nor Clinton ever rejected a CIA or military request to conduct an operation against bin Laden. The Sept. 11 commission said no CIA operatives were poised to attack; that Afghanistan's rebel Northern Alliance was not involved, as the film says; and that then-CIA Director George J. Tenet decided the plan would not work.

Tenet is depicted as challenging Albright for having alerted Pakistan in advance of the August 1998 missile strike that unsuccessfully targeted bin Laden.

"Madame Secretary," Tenet is seen saying, "the Pakistani security service, the ISI, has close ties with the Taliban." Albright is seen shouting: "We had to inform the Pakistanis. There are regional factors involved." Tenet then complains that "we've enhanced bin Laden's stature."

Albright said she never warned Pakistan. The Sept. 11 commission found that a senior U.S. military official warned Pakistan that missiles crossing its airspace would not be from its archenemy, India.

"The Path to 9/11" uses news footage to suggest that Clinton was distracted by the Republican drive to impeach him. Veteran White House counterterrorism official Richard A. Clarke, who also disputes the film's accuracy, is portrayed as telling FBI agent John P. O'Neill: "Republicans went all out for impeachment. I just don't see the president in this climate willing to take chances."

O'Neill responds: "So it's okay if somebody kills bin Laden, so long as he didn't give the order. . . . It's pathetic." The Sept. 11 commission found no evidence that the Monica S. Lewinsky scandal played a role in the August 1998 missile strike, but added that the "intense partisanship of the period" was one factor that "likely had a cumulative effect on future decisions about the use of force against bin Laden."

Clinton allies have complained that advance copies were sent to a number of conservative commentators, including Rush Limbaugh, but not to liberals. Limbaugh, saying that the screenwriter, Cyrus Nowrasteh, is a friend of his, told his radio audience that the film "indicts the Clinton administration, Madeleine Albright, Sandy Berger. It is just devastating to the Clinton administration. It talks about how we had chances to capture bin Laden in specific detail."

ABC said copies of the film were sent to media organizations and commentators without regard to ideology, and that Democrats and Republicans were invited to a screening in Washington. At the screening, Richard Ben-Veniste, a Democratic member of the Sept. 11 commission, assailed the film as inaccurate.

Nowrasteh, who has described himself as a conservative, told Frontpage magazine that the movie illustrates "the frequent opportunities the administration had in the '90s to stop bin Laden in his tracks -- but lacked the will to do so."

Nowrasteh drew criticism from Reagan administration officials for his Showtime movie "The Day Reagan Was Shot." He told the Los Angeles Daily News then that he "made a conscious effort not to contact any members of the [Reagan] administration because I didn't want them to stymie my efforts."

The assault on "The Path to 9/11" assumed the trappings of a campaign yesterday. Four senior House Democrats -- John Conyers Jr., Jane Harman, John D. Dingell and Louise M. Slaughter -- have written Iger to demand that the inaccuracies be corrected. Spurred by the Center for American Progress, which is headed by Clinton chief of staff John D. Podesta, 25,000 people have sent letters of protest to ABC.

2006 The Washington Post Company


bush-on-911
charlie-sheen
citizens-question
flight-77-no-arabs
insider-job
israelis
jersey-widows
planted-weapons
remote-flying
scholars
stocks-trades
vreeland
25 inconsistencies
9 11 facts
9 11 truth movement picks up in 2004 { February 21 2006 }
9 reports
911 myths coverups { October 20 2001 }
Abc docudrama blames clinton for bin laden failures { September 7 2006 }
Accuracy questioned anti terror efforts
Arizona creates contraversial 911 memorial { December 16 2006 }
Assassination too complex for intelligence to not know { October 20 2005 }
Bill clinton tells heckler 911 not inside job
Blind eye springman ins { November 6 2001 }
Coincidental 911 excercise
Coverup and conspiracy
Enron and 911 { May 31 2002 }
Fbi admits no evidence
Fbi oklahoma 911
Fbi stole 911 flight controller black boxes { December 19 2005 }
Fbi whistle blower backed for terror committee
Ghost riders in the sky { December 5 2002 }
Graham blames nations { December 11 2002 }
Hijacked jets almost collided
Homeland sec before 911 { January 31 2001 }
In 1998 zelikow predicted and planned for 911
Indications add up to government conspiracy { September 8 2006 }
Israeli daniel lewin shot on AA11 { September 15 2001 }
Missed offers for binladen
Mohamed atta terrorist emails
Muhammad claims ashcroft inolved in 911 attacks { April 29 2006 }
New york mag ground zero grassy knoll
Npr covers 911 conspiracies { August 9 2006 }
Npr show guest says 911 truth linked to terrorism { July 10 2006 }
Pipeline atta
Points to 911 inside job
Senator leahy asks why bush let 911 happen { September 29 2006 }
Sf mayor warned 911
Television show depicts 911 as bush plot
Trade Center warning baffles police [htm]
Trade center warnings turn out true
War pre planned { September 18 2001 }
Who knew 911 { May 16 2002 }
Zbigniew brzezinski and 911 { December 23 2001 }

Files Listed: 41



Correction/submissions

CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Archives
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple