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The lefty outrage over ABC’s upcoming docudrama “The Path to 9-11” is still raging out of control. There has been a blog created specifically in an attempt to refute claims made by the movie. Clinton admnistration officials are assailing it. Bubbinski is beside himself with rage, demanding that the docudrama be ‘pulled’ if changes aren’t made.
Not surprising, because once details began filtering out about what the two part series portrayed, it was very obvious which side was going to feel that they had been unjustly ‘attacked’ and ‘misportrayed’: the Clinton adminstration.
This morning I read that a couple of conservative bloggers have taken issue with a particular reported scene from P2911 (I’ll refer to it in the future as such to save time). Dean Barnett, blogging at Hugh Hewitt’s blog, takes issue with the following scene (as described by him):
THE CONTROVERSY ABOUT “The Path to 9/11″ centers on one scene where CIA operatives and Northern Alliance irregulars under the leadership of the awe-inspiring Ahmed Shah Massoud have the opportunity to kill bin Laden. They phone NSA chief Sandy Berger for authorization to make the hit. Berger refuses to make the decision and in the scene actually hangs up on the operatives.
Barnett goes on to compare the scene to the faked memo CBS tried to tout in 2004 about Bush’s National Guard service:
YOU MIGHT NOTE THAT the defense of the scene offers a rationale that Dan Rather would probably be comfortable with â€“ fake but accurate. I’m uncomfortable embracing such a rationale, and I suspect most other bloggers who have rushed to tout the film will feel the same way once they think it through.
Dale Franks at QandO echoes a similar sentiment in a post titled “Fake but accurate isn’t good enough”:
“Fake, but accurate”, however, is not a high enough standard. Obviously, some dramatic license is necessary for storytelling purposes. But a film that purports to be a docu-drama—especially about such an important event—and that purports to tell the story of that event, has to make a clear distinction between forgivable artistic license and factual inaccuracy. In at least this scene, which is the one that’s primarily causing the uproar, that distinction was blurred.
Both have understandable concerns, but the labeling of this particular scene as ‘fake but accurate’ is, in my view, faulty. First, the CBS memo was a complete fabrication. The defenders of that memo stated, essentially, that even though the memo itself was fake (or, ahem, that it was ‘unable to be authenticated’), that the contents of it were true. However, they offered no evidence of this. They couldn’t, because they didn’t have it.
The same can’t be said regarding P2911 scene. MacRanger reminds us:
Among those I personally know who have given me the low down on Clarke over the last few years, there is also a more visible figure who knows about the wasted efforts to capture Osama Bin Laden, and he’s no fan of Clarke. From a Weekly Standard article in 2004, speaking of former Bin Laden unit commander Michael Scheuer who had these thoughts on Clarke:
“Scheuer thinks Clarke is a risk-averse poseur who didn’t do enough to fight bin Laden prior to September 11, 2001. At his breakfast with reporters, Scheuer said that on 10 separate occasions his unit, codename “Alec” provided key policymakers with information that could’ve lead to the killing or capture of Osama bin Laden. “In each of those 10 instances” Scheuer said, “the senior policymaker in charge, whether it was Sandy Berger, Richard Clarke, or George Tenet” resisted taking action, afraid it would result in collateral damage or a backlash on the Arab street.
Which is precisely what the 9/11 Commission Report tells us. The Berger/Clarke/Albright sideshow was afraid to pull the trigger. Ops who were there – and yes they were on the ground in Afghanistan in spite of Clarke’s insistence they were not – and got their hands tied by “hand-wringing” by the Clinton Administration and especially the doofus duo of Albright and Berger, who didn’t make a move without getting “The Boss” to nod.
Well, pages 110 through 115 of the 9/11 Commission report quite disagreed. In this section, subtitled “The CIA Develops a Capture Plan” the commissioners chronicled a 1997 â€“ 1998 strategy to capture or kill bin Laden in Afghanistan:
A compound of about 80 concrete or mud-brick buildings surrounded by a 10-foot wall, Tarnak Farms was located in an isolated desert area on the outskirts of the Kandahar airport. CIA officers were able to map the entire site, identifying the houses that belonged to Bin Ladin’s wives and one where Bin Ladin himself was most likely to sleep. Working with the tribals, they drew up plans for the raid. They ran two complete rehearsals in the United States during the fall of 1997.
By early 1998, planners at the Counterterrorist Center were ready to come back to the White House to seek formal approval.
Does it sound like Nowrasteh “completely made up” this plan? As to who stopped this covert action, the Commission wasn’t sure:
Impressions vary as to who actually decided not to proceed with the operation. Clarke told us that the CSG [Counterterrorist Security Group headed by Clarke] saw the plan as flawed. He was said to have described it to a colleague on the NSC staff as “half-assed” and predicted the principals would not approve it. “Jeff” thought the decision had been made at the cabinet level. Pavitt thought that it was Berger’s doing, though perhaps on Tenet’s advice. Tenet told us that given the recommendation of his chief operations officers, he alone had decided to “turn off” the operation. He had simply informed Berger, who had not pushed back. Berger’s recollection was similar. He said the plan was never presented to the White House for a decision.
Hmmm. So, the 9/11 Commission wasn’t really sure who was responsible for putting the kibosh on this plan. However, given Clarke’s lack of credibility, and the fact that Sandy Berger was so intent on covering up the missteps of the Clinton administration that he actually stole documents from the National Archive just prior to testifying before the Commission, their take on this matter seems easily discounted.
Doesn’t sound like that scene could be described as ‘fake but accurate’ does it? Because it’s not.
Like many others, I was disappointed that the bipartisan 9-11 Commission seemed to think that because they were a bipartisan commission, that their findings had to be bipartisan, too. Anyone with a brain in their head knows that the person who had 8 years to deal with the threat of OBL versus the person who only had 8 months should have taken a lot more heat for his failure to deal quickly and decisively with the emerging threat presented by OBL and Al Qaeda. Yet the 9-11 Commisson report decided to effectively play the whitewash game, giving ‘equal’ amounts of blame to both the Clinton adminstration and the Bush adminstration.
There is a reason Sandy Berger got caught with taking highly classified documents on the thwarted Y2K terrorist attack from the National Archives and intentionally destroying them. There are things that the Clinton administration did not do that they don’t want you to know about. The 9-11 Commission report mentioned some of them, but how many people actually read it? I believe the Clinton admin knows more people will watch this docudrama than read the 9-11 Commission report, and that’s what’s got them (and the Clinton faithful on the left) so fired up. They were content with their inaction being documented in the commission’s report because of two things 1) because the report put equal blame on both admins and 2) only diehard political junkies would read it.
It’s my understanding that this docudrama will also anger conservatives, as it supposedly portrays Condi as treating the threat from OBL and Al Qaeda with almost casual indifference early on in Bush’s first term. I don’t see any howls of outrage coming from the right over that, do you? No, because most conservatives realize that the admistration didn’t do everything it could prior to 9-11 to take care or the big problem OBL and Al Qaeda presented (note: that is not to suggest that I think Bush could have prevented 9-11 – I don’t). But most conservatives also realize that the guy who should have received the bulk of the criticism over his handling of the emerging threat from OBL and Al Qaeda was Bill Clinton himself. Clinton has even had the audacity to claim in the last several years that he was ‘obsessed’ with OBL, which is a total lie, because he had opportunities to snag him, and his adminstration did not take them. That is what it sounds like the scene in question, questioned even by some conservatives, encompasses. It’s not ‘fake’ – it is accurate.
Every time I see the below picture, my blood boils, because it’s a stark reminder of the Clinton administration’s approach to terrorism:
It’s about high time the Clinton adminstration finally took some significant heat for their failure to respond forcefully to the growing threat of OBL and AQ. I’m looking fwd to watching the docudrama, which, by the way airs on ABC Sunday and Monday at 8 pm Eastern Time.
Hat tip for some of these links: The Anchoress
Update I: Here’s more on the Clintonistas request to have ABC pull or revise the P2911.
This, said by yours truly yesterday, is – I think -worth repeating again today:
Usually when I see this much liberal handwringing about how â€˜unfair’ or â€˜inaccurate’ something is, that means whatever it is they’re flipping out over is well worth seeing/reading/hearing. So consider the panic-stricken cries of â€˜unfair!’ and â€˜inaccurate!’ as a ringing endorsement of “The Path to 9/11â€³.
Update II 12:25 PM: Brian at Iowa Voice is on the ball again, and points out that executive producer of P2911 (Marc Platt) has a history of contributing money to Democrats – including Bill Clinton himself.
Update III 2:55 PM: Major update on the controversy over this scene, via Noel Sheppard’s posting at Newsbusters. It’s too long and detailed to quote here. Read it all.
Update IV 3:04 PM: Another major update, via Allah: ABC has agreed to ‘tone down’ the scene in question, thanks to a call from Bubbinski. From him, I saw this link to a ChiTrib article that essentially confirms this:
ABC toned down a scene that involved Clinton’s national security adviser, Samuel “Sandy” Berger, declining to give the order to kill bin Laden, according to a person involved with the film who declined to be identified. “That sequence has been the focus of attention” the source said.
The network also decided that the credits would say the film is based “in part” on the 9/11 panel report, rather than “based on” the report, as the producers originally intended.
Clinton and his minions are hoping to restore the whitewashing on their miserable record on combatting terrorism. We know why.
ABC succumbs to the pressure and bows at the altar of Clinton.
Update V 3:39PM: John Hawkins nails it:
Having the Clinton Administration complain that they look bad in this mini-series is like a football team that lost a game 56-0 griping that the highlight reel on the news that night made them look bad.
Update VI 4:22 PM: Jason Smith blogs about the continuing attempts at a coverup of the Clinton administration record on terrorism. Lots o’ links there.
Update VII 4:29 PM: ABC alters 9/11 show under pressure
Update VIII 9:59 PM: Allah’s latest post on this at Hot Air: Thugs for life: Dems threaten ABC’s broadcast license over “Path to 9/11â€³
I like Greg Tinti’s response to this threat from Democrats:
And let me just say this to all the good folks at the GOP: you’ve just been handed a huge gift by the Democrats. Turn this into a campaign ad now and let the American people know how Democrats would use their power if they were given back control of Congress.
Update 9 – 10:42 PM: *Please* watch this video clip from the 9-11 Commission hearings (it’s about two and a half minutes long):
“Fake but accurate”? I don’t think so. (Hat tip: Tammy Bruce)
Update 10 – 11:40 PM: Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters is continuing the great NB coverage of this story by noting one prominent liberal blogger’s response to the Democratic threat … and the response is not one of a condemnatory nature, if you catch my meaning. Shouldn’t be too surprising, considering that the far left are all for free speech, as long as it’s speech they approve of. If they don’t, look out.
(original posting 10:57 AM)