ABC To Show The Path to 9/11

Here’s a show that could be extremely interesting if it gets out the full story. ABC has announced a miniseries entitled The Path to 9/11 to air September 10 and 11:

The miniseries will take viewers behind closed doors at the CIA, the FBI and the White House and into the world of Richard Clarke, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, Sandy Berger and CIA Director George Tenet, among others. Viewers will follow the international manhunt for elusive bomber Ramzi Yousef (Nabile Elouahabi, Eastenders) and meet several key players in the 9/11 saga, including: John O’Neill, the career FBI agent who spent years zealously chasing bin Laden; then-ABC newsman John Miller (portrayed by Barclay Hope, Stargate SG-1), who interviewed bin Laden; Emad Salem and other key Muslim informants who aided the U.S.; and Ahmed Shah Massoud, commander of the Northern Alliance, a crucial American ally and the person bin Laden feared most.

Let’s hope they tell the full story of all the warnings the Bush Administration ignored, how ineptly they responded at the time of the attack, and how they chose to play politics rather than act to keep the country safe. It would be disappointing if they stick with the Republican mythology and show us pictures of Bush with the bullhorn after the fact as opposed to Bush reading My Pet Goat after receiving word of the attack.

Update: Apparently they do stick to the Republican mythology. Salon gives a run down of several shows planned on 9/11. Here’s what they wrote on this one:

This extremely detailed dramatization of the events leading up to 9/11 moves very slowly, but provides a vivid (if somewhat biased) picture of our repeated, thwarted attempts to stop Osama bin Laden. The six-hour film plays like a 9/11 version of “Syriana” or “Traffic,” replete with ultra-close-ups and so much shaky, hand-held footage it can feel like being led around the world, half-drunk and half-blind.

Of course, the FBI and CIA might as well have been half-drunk and half-blind, given how absurdly ineffective both agencies were in communicating and coordinating efforts to handle terrorist threats. We already know about the countless warning signs, but somehow this reenactment really pounds home just how many chances we had to stop 9/11 from happening. When CIA agents show FBI agent John P. O’Neill (played by Harvey Keitel) photographs of terrorist operatives, but then refuse to identify them for him, the sickening idiocy of the moment is almost too much to bear.

More disturbing, though, is the way the filmmakers seem determined to link the Clinton administration’s missteps to the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Instead of offering us some indication of President Clinton’s earnest efforts to stop Osama bin Laden, we’re repeatedly treated to his most uneasy moments in the hot seat over Lewinsky, painting the president as a buffoon more interested in blow jobs than terrorists. Meanwhile, Condoleezza Rice gets that fated memo about planes flying into buildings, and makes it very clear to anyone who’ll listen just how concerned President Bush is about these terrorist threats — despite the fact that we’re given little concrete evidence of the president’s concern or interest in taking action. Maybe my memory fails me, but the only person I remember talking about Osama bin Laden back in 1998 was President Clinton, while the current anti-terrorist stalwarts worked the country into a frenzy over what? Blow jobs. In the end, “The Path to 9/11” feels like an excruciatingly long, winding and deceptive path, indeed.

Update II: Media Matters debunks right wing claims about 9/11 being spread in anticipation of this miniseries. More at Think Progress.

Update III: Democrats Protest Inaccuracies in “The Path to 9/11”

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  1. 1
    Dave from Princeton says:

    Sorry but unfortunately no. It apparently will be the opposite.

    From what I’ve read about it so far it’s another made for GOP 9/11 movie. The guy producing it is a partisan republican and Bush supporter and so the movie basically blames 9/11 almost solely on the Clinton administration. Basically it sounds like it won’t be much better than the ridiculous Bush sycophant 9/11 movie that was shown on TV or year or so after 9/11 showing how great the Bush admin and particularly Bush, behaved during 9/11(one review I read about that one basically indicated Bush, our hero, was almost ready to parachute into Afghanistan himself to singlehandedly bring Osama to GOP justice.

    To give you an idea, right-wing sites I have read where someone indicated seeing a preview are raving over it as a surprisingly accurate accounting of what allowed 9/11 to take place. Meaning, it “correctly” places almost all of the blame completely on the Clinton administration for ignoring the threats, not taking out Osama when they could have and the the wall of separation between sharing of intelligence data “created by Jammie” etc etc.

    To make it worse, it will be marketed to the public as a documentary based on the 9/11 commission’s findings.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    I started to lose hope for this after reading the Salon review. Just what we need–more fiction spread about 9/11

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