Category Archive 'The Path to 9/11'

02 Oct 2006

Clinton Could Have killed Bin Laden

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MSNBC must have been recently acquired by Fox News and the well-known right wing conspiracy that keeps targetting Bill Clinton. They, too, are blaming the Clinton Administration for neglecting to take action that could have prevented the 9/11 attacks when, as the video described below demonstrates, they had Osama bin Laden in their sights.

NBC News has obtained top-secret video shot by the U.S. government. It illustrates an enormous opportunity the Clinton administration had to kill or capture bin Laden — critics say a missed opportunity.

In the fall of 2000 in Afghanistan, un-manned, un-armed spy planes — called Predators — fly over known al-Qaida training camps. The pictures are transmitted live to CIA headquarters, showing al-Qaida terrorists firing at targets, conducting military drills, then scattering on cue through the desert.

Also that fall, the Predator captured even more extraordinary pictures of a tall figure in flowing white robes. Many intelligence analysts believed then and now it is Osama bin Laden.

We showed the video to William Arkin, a former intelligence officer and now military analyst for NBC, and asked him why U.S. intelligence believes it’s bin Laden.

“You see a tall man. You see him surrounded by — or at least protected by — a group of guards,” says Arkin.

Bin Laden is 6’5″ tall — the man on the tape clearly towers over those around him — and seems to be treated with great deference. Another clue — the video is shot at Tarnak Farm, the walled compound where bin Laden is known to have lived. The layout of the buildings in the Predator video perfectly matches secret U.S. intelligence photos and diagrams of Tarnak Farm obtained by NBC News.

“It’s dynamite — it’s putting together all of the pieces and that doesn’t happen every day. I guess you could say we’ve done it once — and this is it,” says Arkin.

The tape proves the Clinton administration was aggressively tracking al-Qaida a year before 9/11. But that also raises one big question — if the U.S. government had bin Laden and the camps in its sights in real time — why was no action taken against them?…

Gary Schroen — a former CIA station chief in Pakistan — says the White House required the CIA to attempt to capture bin Laden alive, rather than kill him.

“It reduced the odds from, say, a 50 percent chance down to, say, a 25 percent chance that we were going to be able to get him,” says Schroen.

A Democratic member of the 9/11 commission says there was a larger issue: the Clinton administration treated Bin Laden as a law enforcement problem.

25 Sep 2006

Michael Scheuer Out and Out Calls Clinton a Liar

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Bill Clinton’s recent explosion of indignation at Chris Wallace has provoked considerable commentary. And the bad news kept on coming, when that Sunday Fox News meltdown produced rebuttal testimony which Clinton does not need. Michael Rule reports that this morning, on CBS’s the Early Show, co-host Harry Smith asked Michael F. Scheuer, former chief of the Osama bin Laden Unit at the CIA Counterterrorist Center whether Clinton has been telling the truth.

Let’s talk about what President Clinton had to say on Fox yesterday. He basically laid blame at the feet of the CIA and the FBI for not being able to certify or verify that Osama bin Laden was responsible for a number of different attacks. Does that ring true to you?”

and Scheuer responded:

No, sir, I don’t think so. The president seems to be able, the former president seems to be able to deny facts with impugnity. Bin Laden is alive today because Mr. Clinton, Mr. Sandy Berger, and Mr. Richard Clarke refused to kill him. That’s the bottom line. And every time he says what he said to Chris Wallace on Fox, he defames the CIA especially, and the men and women who risk their lives to give his administration repeated chances to kill bin Laden.

Windows Media or RealPlayer


12 Sep 2006

Nefarious Rightwing Plot Unveiled

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Max Blumenthal, in the Nation, identifies the secret conspiracy behind ABC’s recent docudrama.

On Friday, September 8, just forty-eight hours before ABC planned to air its so-called “docudrama,” The Path to 9/11, Robert Iger, CEO of ABC’s corporate parent, the Walt Disney Company, was presented with incontrovertible evidence outlining the involvement of that film’s screenwriter and director in a concerted right-wing effort to blame former President Bill Clinton for allowing the 9/11 attacks to take place. Iger told a source close to ABC that he was “deeply troubled” by the information and claimed he had no previous knowledge of the institutional right-wing ties of The Path to 9/11’s creators. He reportedly said that he has commenced an internal investigation to verify the role of the film’s creators in deliberately advancing disinformation through ABC.

Heavens to Betsy! The director of Path to 9/11, David L. Cunningham, comes from an Evangelical family. And its writer, Cyrus Nowrasteh, has an alarming past, involving (writing episodes of Falcon Crest and) some sort of friendship with Mr. Apuzzo and Ms. Murty of the conservative Libertas film blog. And aha! Mr. Apuzzo has an alliance of some kind with David Horowitz.

Mr. Blumenthal, and the editors of the Nation, seem to be operating on the basis of some peculiar cultural and political double-standard which regards the friendships, professional associations, and artistic productions of leftists active in the Entertainment Industry as entirely wholesome, natural, and normal forms of personal association and creative expression; and which, at the same time, considers even a single television production incorporating some conservative perspectives as a major outrage, and any indentifiable ties between conservatives as ipso facto evidence of deep dark conspiracy.

Let’s see here: Hollywood, accusations of secret covert ideological associations & intentional designs to influence public opinion in unsavory directions, efforts to silence members of the industry on the basis of unpopular opinions… Haven’t we all heard of that sort of thing before? Isn’t that… McCarthyism?

11 Sep 2006

Path to 9/11

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ABC’s redacted Path to 9/11 concluded tonight. All sophisticated viewers, I think, agree with John Fund, that, however slightly fictionalized, docudramas based on events within living memory are a fundamentally bad idea. There is simply no legitimate way to combine the needs of theatre with factuality.

Although I’m no admirer of the genre, I thought Path to 9/11 was not entirely a bad thing. It seemed to me that the television mini-series represented our culture’s collective unconsciousness, whispering in our ear a (basically valid) warning about the sclerotic tendencies of large institutions faced with unprecedented challenges. I don’t think any of the purported facts were terribly far off the mark, and the spectacular reaction of William Jefferson Clinton, a number of officials from his administration, and the Democrat Congressional leadership was every bit as entertaining as the program.

11 Sep 2006

What ABC Didn’t Broadcast

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Allahpundit has a side-by-side comparison of both the censored and uncensored versions of controversial scenes from ABC’s Path to 9/11.

10 Sep 2006

Nobody Does It Better

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In her own inimitably acidic fashion, Ann Althouse dead centers the Clinton camp: It’s too late to decide to attack Bin Laden, so let’s attack this TV show.

09 Sep 2006

Are There Any Men Left in Washington, or Are They All Cowards?

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Krempasky at RedState has clips of the scene from ABC’s Path to 9/11 that Bill Clinton, Sandy Berger, and the democrat Congressional leadership rreeally don’t want you to see.


Alternative link

“Are there any men left in Washington, or are they all cowards?” snarls the disappointed Afghani guide, when the attack on Bin Laden is aborted.

There’s a lot of traffic today, but I recommend that you keep trying or come back later.

Hat tip to LGF.

08 Sep 2006

Did the Clinton Administration Fail to Kill Bin Laden?

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There have been loud denunciations of the forthcoming ABC docudrama for falsifying history from a variety of officials of the Clinton Administration, including, in particular, former Clinton Administration National Security Advisor and convicted National Archives records purloiner/destroyer Sandy Berger. A Republican in San Francisco compares Berger’s current statements to the 9/11 Commission Report.

Berger says:

In no instance did President Clinton or I ever fail to support a request from the CIA or US military to authorize an operation against bin Laden or al Qaeda.

The 9/11 Commission says (Chapter 4 – footnote numbers are left below to assist locating quotation):

On May 20, (CIA) Director Tenet discussed the high risk of the operation with Berger and his deputies, warning that people might be killed, including Bin Ladin. Success was to be defined as the exfiltration of Bin Ladin out of Afghanistan.28 A meeting of principals was scheduled for May 29 to decide whether the operation should go ahead.

The principals did not meet. On May 29, “Jeff” (chief of the Counterterrorist Center) informed “Mike” (chief of the Bin Ladin station) that he had just met with Tenet, Pavitt, and the chief of the Directorate’s Near Eastern Division. The decision was made not to go ahead with the operation. “Mike” cabled the field that he had been directed to “stand down on the operation for the time being.” He had been told, he wrote, that cabinet-level officials thought the risk of civilian casualties-“collateral damage”-was too high. They were concerned about the tribals’ safety, and had worried that “the purpose and nature of the operation would be subject to unavoidable misinterpretation and misrepresentation-and probably recriminations-in the event that Bin Ladin, despite our best intentions and efforts, did not survive.”29

Impressions vary as to who actually decided not to proceed with the operation. Clarke told us that the CSG (Richard Clarke’s interagency Counterterrorism Security Group) saw the plan as flawed. He was said to have described it to a colleague on the NSC (National Security Council ) staff as “half-assed” and predicted that 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.30

Hat tip to LGF.

07 Sep 2006

Maybe Sandy Berger Can Steal the Script

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The Clintonistas, including Bill himself, can dish it out, but they certainly can’t take it. Howls of outrage are continuing, and increasing hourly, from an ever-growing assortment of Clinton Administration officials, including the former friend of Monica’s himself.

The Washington Post reports virulent attacks on the ABC program from half the Clinton Administration.

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.”..

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.”

The New York Post even quotes the great man himself demanding that the network change the program:


September 7, 2006 — WASHINGTON – A furious Bill Clinton is warning ABC that its mini-series “The Path to 9/11” grossly misrepresents his pursuit of Osama bin Laden – and he is demanding the network “pull the drama” if changes aren’t made…

The movie is set to air on Sunday and Monday nights. Monday is the fifth anniversary of the attacks.

Of course, if the Clinton Administration didn’t do any of these things, why is it that Sandy Berger was arrested, and convicted, for removing and destroying top secret documents from the National Archives?


Senate Democrats threaten Disney with litigation and legislative reprisal.

And the Network censors the program under pressure.

After much discussion, ABC executives and the producers toned down, but did not eliminate entirely, a scene that involved Clinton’s national security advisor, Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger, declining to give the order to kill Bin Laden, according to a person involved with the film who declined to be identified because of the sensitivities involved.

“That sequence has been the focus of attention,” the source said, adding: “These are very slight alterations.”

In addition, the network decided that the credits would say the film is based “in part” on the 9/11 commission report, rather than simply “based on” the bestselling report, as the producers originally intended.

ABC, meanwhile, is tip-toeing away from the film’s version of events. In a statement, the network said the miniseries “is a dramatization, not a documentary, drawn from a variety of sources, including the 9/11 commission report, other published materials and from personal interviews.”

Cable networks have broadcast more than one Michael Moore film (which really travestied the truth) without the Congressional Republican leadership twisting any arms, as I recall.

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