Cyrus Nowrasteh takes on the critics of both the film and him – most notably, the critics who essentially accused him of being a Bush administration shill/right wing nut. He writes in today’s WSJ:
My Iranian parents fled tyranny and oppression. I know and appreciate deeply the sanctuary America has offered. Only in this country could a person such as I have had the life, liberty and opportunity that I have had. No one needs to remind me of this–I know it every single day. I know, too, as does everyone involved in the production, that we kept uppermost in our minds the need for due diligence in the delivery of this history. Fact-checkers and lawyers scrutinized every detail, every line, every scene. There were hundreds of pages of annotations. We were informed by multiple advisers and interviews with people involved in the events–and books, including in a most important way the 9/11 Commission Report.
It would have been good to be able to report due diligence on the part of those who judged the film, the ones who held forth on it before watching a moment of it. Instead, in the rush to judgment, and the effort to portray the series as the work of a right-wing zealot, much was made of my “friendship” with Rush Limbaugh (a connection limited to two social encounters), but nothing of any acquaintance with well-known names on the other side of the political spectrum. No reference to Abby Mann, for instance, with whom I worked on “10,000 Black Men Named George” (whose hero is an African-American communist) or Oliver Stone, producer of “The Day Reagan Was Shot,” a film I wrote and directed. Clearly, those enraged that a film would criticize the Clinton administration’s antiterrorism policies–though critical of its successor as well–were willing to embrace only one scenario: The writer was a conservative hatchetman.
In July a reporter asked if I had ever been ethnically profiled. I happily replied, “No.” I can no longer say that. The L.A. Times, for one, characterized me by race, religion, ethnicity, country-of-origin and political leanings–wrongly on four of five counts. To them I was an Iranian-American politically conservative Muslim. It is perhaps irrelevant in our brave new world of journalism that I was born in Boulder, Colo. I am not a Muslim or practitioner of any religion, nor am I a political conservative. What am I? I am, most devoutly, an American. I asked the reporter if this kind of labeling was a new policy for the paper. He had no response.
The hysteria engendered by the series found more than one target. In addition to the death threats and hate mail directed at me, and my grotesque portrayal as a maddened right-winger, there developed an impassioned search for incriminating evidence on everyone else connected to the film. And in director David Cunningham, the searchers found paydirt! His father had founded a Christian youth outreach mission. The whiff of the younger Mr. Cunningham’s possible connection to this enterprise was enough to set the hounds of suspicion baying. A religious mission! A New York Times reporter wrote, without irony or explanation, that an issue that raised questions about the director was his involvement in his father’s outreach work. In the era of McCarthyism, the merest hint of a connection to communism sufficed to inspire dark accusations, the certainty that the accused was part of a malign conspiracy. Today, apparently, you can get something of that effect by charging a connection with a Christian mission.
“The Path to 9/11” was intended to remind us of the common enemy we face. Like the 9/11 Report itself, it is meant to enable us to better defend ourselves from a future attack. Past is prologue, and 9/11 is merely another step in an escalating Islamic fundamentalist reign of terror. By dramatizing the step-by-step increase in attacks on America–all of which, in fact, occurred–we are better able to see the pattern and anticipate the future. That was the point of the series, its only intention. Call it the canary in the coal mine. Call it John O’Neill in the FBI.
Read it all.
The main intent behind first, the “demand” for accuracy from House Dems, then the switch from merely wanting P2911 altered but actually pulled, the letters to ABC from Clinton’s lawyers, the veiled threats by Democrats in the Senate to pull ABC’s broadcast license, as well as the howls of outrage coming from the left in the blogosphere and opinion media was to keep Clinton’s dismal record on fighting terror swept under the rug. Clinton’s phony ‘heroic legacy’ on fighting terror must be preserved at any cost – including violating the First Amendment in order to do so.
Democrats are the same people who whine day in and day out that the President wants to stifle your rights to free speech because of some controversies over not letting Democrats in to certain speeches he has given in the past. Not that they had a leg to stand on before, but they especially have absolutely zero room to talk now that we’ve seen just how far they’ll go in order to protect the legacy of a man whose legacy is not worth fighting for.
Hat tip: Ed Driscoll