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September 09, 2006

The Disputed "Path to 9-11" Video Clips [AnalogKid]

Thanks to Bugler in the thread below, we know that Red State has the disputed videos available in Quicktime format. As I won't destroy my computer by loading this demon application, I won't be able to watch until somebody gets it in an open format.

RS also links the letters that the Clinton Lawyers sent to Bob Iger, head of ABC. I reproduce chunks of the entire text here because it looks like the site is getting deluged and service is spotty.

Dear Bob,

Despite press reports that ABC/Disney has made changes in the content and marketing of "The Path to 9/11," we remailn concerned about the false impression that airing the show will leave on the public. Labelng the show as "fiction" does not meet your responsibility to the victims of the September 11th attacks, their families, the hard work of the 9/11 Commission, or to the American people as a whole.

How does this work exactly? What should ABC have labeled this? - Shitty Fiction? Is there some categorization for "Making my boss look bad?"

No, what is really being set up here is the moral highground. This is like doing it for The Children ®

At a moment when we should be debating how to make the nation safer by implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, ...

Sorry ... Stop the tape. If I didn't know this was written by Clinton's lawyers, I could have told you that this was written by Clinton's lawyers. This is almost verbatim, "I need to get back to doing the work of the President for the good of this country." The arrogance is astonishing.

..."The Path to 9/11" calls into question the accuracy of the Commission's report and whether fabricated scenes are, in fact, an accurate portrayal of history. Indeed, the millions spent on the production of this fictional drama would have been better spent informing the public about the Commission's actual findings and the many recommendations that have yet to be acted upon. Unlike this film, that would have been a tremendous service to the public.

Of course, no one was that concerned about Reagan or F911. But the real issue is whether any of this would have been a problem if Clinton's team hadn't been portrayed as incompetent and unfocused (allegedly - just like Clinton's team, I still haven't seen the movie either).

As I said earlier, the problem is not the dramatization, it's what's being dramatized. The truth hurts.

More after the bump ...

Updates: Allah has the blogo-perspective on the videos.

And WND has Clinton's aide Buzz Patterson saying that the film is correct (more on this below).


Although our request for an advance copy of the film has been repeatedly denied, it is all too clear that our objections to "The Path to 9/11" are valid and corroborated by those familiar with the film and intimately involved in its production.

QED

You know, I have no clue what my wife is giving me for Christmas, but I'm pretty sure that it's going to suck. And I'll go ahead to file for divorce because I know this thing.

NOT. Because I live in a little place I like to call reality.

-- Your corporate partner, Scholastic, has disassociated itself from this proect.

-- 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean, who served as co-executive producer on "The Path to 9/11," has stated that he raised concerns about the accuracy of several scenes in the film and that his concerns were not addressed during production.

-- Harvey Keitel, who plays the star role of FBI agent John O'Neill, told reporters yesterday that while the screenplay was presented to him as a fair treatment of historical events, he is upset that several scenes were simply invented for dramatic purposes.

-- Numerous Members of Congress, several 9/11 Commissioners and prominent historians have spoken out against this movie.

-- Indeed, according to press reports, the fact that you are still editing the film two days before it is scheduled to air is an admission that it is irreparably flawed.

Rumor, innuendo, PR.

The only two credible sources here are Keitel and Kean. Keitel probably wouldn't have oversight of the production to any workable degree. Kean is listed as an advisor to the movie, I think, but again, I'm not sure that "he is upset" is indicative of anything. That could be an ego thing.

And Scholastic? Given the sequence of events and the fact that they were planning on sending DVDs to schools as recently as Thursday makes their withdrawal sound like either blackmail or executives fearful of bad PR. NTTAWWT.

These sound like shibboleths, and are really not indicative of anything. Again, this is a docudrama that these people still haven't seen. It dramatizes the 9/11 report, which was itself a representation events as they were told to the commission. It was, at best, historical analysis by committee. I'm not sure that I would take it as Gospel on any matter unless it was corroborated by the host of other eyewitnesses that the last 5 years have brought forward.

But interestingly, the people who have seen the movie (Medved, Rush, Patterson, etc.) say this it is #1 Fair insofar as it shows Bush's administration in as bad a light as Clinton's, and #2 a good portrayal of the events outlined in the 9-11 commission's report. But again, it's a portrayal. Drama. TV.

As a nation, we need to be focused on preventing another attack, not fictionalizing the last one for television ratings. "The Path to 9/11" not only tarnishes the work of the 9/11 Commission, but also cheapens the fith anniversary of what was a very painful moment in history for all Americans. We expect that you will make the responsible decision to not air this film.

Sincerely,

Bruce R. Lindsey
Chief Executive Officer
William J. Clinton Foundation

Douglas J. Band
Counselor to President Clinton
Office of William Jefferson Clinton

This is telling. "Not fictionalizing the last one"? Really? I'm not sure there's any fictionalizing of the attacks on 9-11 going on here. What is at issue is the portrayal of three specific scenes that paint the Clinton Administration as incompetent, unfocused, and potentially irresponsible.

There are two points to make here. For context, here's a quote from the Miniseries' website:

The 9/11 Commission Report instantly became a national bestseller when it was published in July 2004. Writer Cyrus Nowrasteh ("The Day Reagan Was Shot") uses this historic document as the basis for a powerful story with action as gripping and far reaching as the source material itself. Shot in Toronto, Morocco, New York and Washington, DC, actors portray the famous and infamous, along with the formerly anonymous and often heroic people thrust onto history's stage.

Beginning with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and ending on the morning of 9/11, the miniseries draws on detailed information from the Report and other sources to take viewers on an unforgettable journey through the events that presaged that fateful day -- to understand what went right and wrong, and what can be learned from this crucial eight-year period.

First, if the report made a point to show that there were breaches of conduct on the part of the Clinton Administration in its handling of Terrorism and Terrorists, then this is fair game, regardless of how bad it makes someone look. Look, it is clear that the problem of terroism was not handled well up to and including the events of 9-11.

Because 9-11 happened.

Second, the issue is now past whether the docudrama is fiction, fact, accurate, or not. Because the Clinton Team are seeking to get the miniseries pulled. Again, this is an ex-president seeking for the Congress to effect an arbitrary application of power for the purposes of ... what exactly? Because it's Shitty Fiction instead of Clinton-approved-Bruce-Lindsey-approved fiction?

Once again, and despicably, Clinton and his team are getting the Democrats to rally around him for a real fiction to hide the real issue to make the Boss look good. This letter is a regurgitation of the whole "Why are we impeaching him because of sex?" It wasn't about Clinton's sex life then; it was about a sitting President committing perjury. This movie, if it is accurate and fair (and by all accounts it certainly is after the revisions), deserves to be shown, be damned who it offends. We deserve better than fictionalizing the fiction to protect Clinton's legacy and/or the Democrat's chances in November.

What's really at stake here is that the Democrats are terrified of how they will look if events are portrayed accurately. If Demorats really did have a great track record for dealing with this, if people on their team had the quals, this would have become apparent, at least to the extent that National Defense wouldn't be such a weak point for them in National elections. With elections right around the corner, this movie could crystallize the vision of Democrats as essentially incapable of handling Terrorism with the focus and seriousness that it demands.

But the flip is true as well. I would welcome this movie serving as a focus for the electorate as we head into November, because our efforts now must be geared against the enemy that is clearly taking shape. A Democratically controlled Congress will only serve to punt the issue - again.

So if this movie has been edited to the extent that it does make the Democrats look competent, maybe I would prefer that it not be shown at all. From what we've learned in the last 12 years about Democrats and National Defense, that would be a real example of Shitty Fiction.

Who has seen this Update: Isn't it interesting how there are people who Clinton's teamcould have gotten the video from? The more I hear about how they haven't seen it, the more I think that this is sour grapes, that they're being kept out of the Hollywood inner circle, which has to be rare. But I wonder just how hard they've tried?

As this unfolds, I suspect that it will become clear that Clinton and his team are going to try to paint this as a deliberate attempt by the right wing attack machine to pull a fast one. Which is just one more notch in the "This is anti-Clinton" belt.

This is not about Clinton, and the more that we let them define it that way, the more this movie will be diluted by herring juice.

digg this
posted by Ace at 10:43 PM

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