Monday, September 11, 2006

Ostroy Report Review: The Problems With "The Path to 9/11" Part 1

Despite a strong desire not to, I sat through ABC's controversial "The Path to 9/11" Sunday, marveling at the incomplete, often fictionalized events that comprised Part 1. For starters, let's set the record straight: terrorism is not a phenomenon that began with the first WTC bombing in February 1993. This new kind of murderous, cowardly warfare has been perpetrated on society for decades. To discount these tragic events--Munich, the Achille Lauro, etc--and the role they've played leading up to 9/11, is irresponsible and ignorant. Bill Clinton was not the first U.S. president forced to deal with this new enemy, which is what the producers of "The Path to 9/11" would have you believe.

Next, it's wrong for the film to trivialize the due diligence, rational, responsible thinking, deference towards diplomacy, and respect for international law exercised by the Clinton administration when contemplating an attack on Osama bin Laden at one point. Factored into team-Clinton's decision was the collateral damage from such an attack: the risk to citizens; fallout over not adhering to no-fly zone restrictions; and concerns about accusations of overreaction were we to use ground troops and/or assassinate bin Laden (remember, this was pre-9/11. The attacks then against the U.S. were much more limited in scope by comparison). To the contrary, the Busheviks acted like wild, drunken cowboys leading up to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. In retrospect, too bad they hadn't demonstrated the same vigilance as the Clinton administration.

Third, the film portrays several key Clinton officials in a highly negative light. For example, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright--a normally affable, charming woman--as a shrill, personality-less robotic bully. Sandy Berger, Richard Clarke and George Tenet don't fare much better either.

Lastly, Clinton himself is portrayed as the face of evil. Scenes of hate-spewing Muslims violently demonstrating in the streets of Afghanistan screaming "Clinton is Satan" casts a highly charged, biased cloud throughout the film. That he is portrayed as a distracted, kinky fool mired in the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal is even worse.

Look, there's culpability all around for 9/11. The Clinton administration certainly could've done a better job at the intelligence, prevention, and law enforcement levels. The same is true for President Bush. And Nixon, Carter and every president since. Muslim extremism has been around a helluva lot longer than Bill Clinton and George Bush.

We won't get into all of the factual problems of the film. Those have been discussed ad infinitum for days now. But one thing should be crystal clear: the tragic events of 9/11 should never be used, misused and exploited for political purposes, but that's precisely what this often fictionalized account does right before a critical election. The most horrific attack in U.S. history deserves to be preserved in history in its factual state. Anything less is a dishonor and disgrace to the memory of those who died on that day, to those they left behind, and to every single American.


Anonymous said...

When the Rebpulicans didn't want the film about Reagan to appear on public TV they fought and won. When the Democrats didn't want Path to 9/11 to appear on public TV they lost. I'm a Democrat and absolutely disgusted that they never fight effectively enough or hard enough to win any battle. They are not only portrayed as losers, they are losers. I will continue to vote Democrat and hope they can get a majority if only because the Republicans are so vicious. Then maybe they can win because there are more of them.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Richard Clarke was portrayed in an extremely positive light in "Path". He and John O'Neill are painted as the voices of reason no one listened to. I'm not sure you watched the entire show. I agree that the portrayals of the other officials you mentioned were a bit negitively overblown.


Wouldn't you call the massive play that "Fahrenheit" got in an election year a "win"? And Fahrenheit was billed as a documentary where as ABC went to great lengths (6 disclaimers) to characterize "Path" as a dramatization.


Anonymous said...

The one quote from the movie that I'll remember:
"Are there any men left in Washington, or are they all cowards?"

Anonymous said...

The Dems didn't win on this not because they are losers, but because they do not control the media. We lost that too no matter how loud the Repubs yell about the "liberal media".

Question: Who paid 40 million to put it on in the first place?

Anyone who believed the lies in the movie are still part of the brain dead 33% who would follow Bush and his minions over a cliff.

But lets see if Americans succumb to fear again.

Cranky Daze said...

Since I did not watch The Path to 9/11, or the Bush speech that apparently interrupted the second half of the movie, I'm not in a position to comment on anything other than what I've read on various blogs and web pages. But it's pretty clear that ABC and Disney are indulging in partisan pandering and Americans who care about the truth, who are concerned about the direction the nitwit in the White House is leading the country should, in my opinion, boycott ABC channels and sponsors until they feel the pinch of their lies. As consumers, we have that kind of power.

Bloggers have the ability to organize just such a boycott, and my own blog, although a very minor blip in the blogosphere, is available to support it if one of the big guys will initiate it.

For every action, they say there is a reaction, and Democrats should use any means at their disposal to show ABC/Disney that we're not going to keep quiet about their lies and attempts to impact the November elections. Our dollars are just as well spent on products not associated with the shameful effort to manipulate the vote. Instead of "applying directly to the forehead" apply a cold compress.

Amy de Miceli said...

where exactly can we find "history [9/11]preserved in its factual state" ?

have you seen 9/11: Press for Truth" ?

watch it, its a far better way to spend your time, i cant beleive you gave them the ratings!

Amy de Miceli said...

"9/11 Press for Truth

try this link the other one isnt working for some reason....

Anonymous said...

Funny you bring up the Achille Lauro in the first paragraph of this OstroyReport. Abu Abbas was the international terrorist that hijacked the Achille Lauro. Anyone want to guess where he was recently found??

If you are thinking 'Baghdad', you are correct. He was found in Baghdad, under George Bush's watch.

I also am glad to see you point out that Clinton was not the first US President to 'deal' (strong word for Clinton, but I digress) with terrorism. "Death To America" is the chant that was born on Carter's watch. Jimmy Carter, the first weak Democratic president, allowed the current Iranian 'president' and others to attack our Embassy and hold American citizens hostage for 444 days. The only military attempt to get the Americans resulted in a couple of crashed helicopters, the desecration of the bodies of dead American Soldiers, and a military loss for the Clinton administration. Today, Jimmy "the sage" Carter is going abroad to play politics with our soldiers in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

oops... a military loss for the Carter administration, not Clintons.

Oh and by the way, I did not watch the path to 9/11, so I cannot comment on the show.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that what it's all about? The money, I mean? While some like to argue history to some how shore up Bush's track record, others want to defend the dems. But no one goes after the money! Just think how much this latest "little" war has done for the Carlysle Group, Halliburton, and all the associated companies that have war profiteered. What is the thinking? "Quick way to make a buck. So, a few people get killed. What's the big deal? My stock dividends will go up!"

While there may be 30 years of presidental history attached - and, really, more than that - why do we condone US empire building when we rarely reap any benefits? It's not like Daddy Bush, Cheney, Shrub, or the top 1% has handed out any dividend checks to the average joe driving the Nissan Sentra to a cubicle job.

Oh and by the way, those companies you're supposed to be so loyal to don't want to help you out with a pension plan anymore. If your not feeling used and abused you must be dead.

Then they feed you fiction on 9/11 and expect that you'll keep up the lies by agreeing with them.

Better start cranking up a few more brain cells if you don't like the scenario.

Amy de Miceli said...

If your not feeling used and abused you must be dead.

right on 5:37!

Our freedom has been compromised, and only the TRUTH can set us free

Anonymous said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah - but the poor s.o.b. working in the red state small town doesn't like unions. "They take too much money in dues." You people in the "civilized" part of the country have no idea how ignorant and probably fearful these people are. They know and learn nothing. The schools are abominable. They don't read blogs and most don't have computers. But they vote!!!!! I laugh when Move On asks me to hold a "tea party" for the townspeople for political reasons. I'd be run out of town. Those not working in factories have a wife on works "on the books" and the husband is usually a free lance whatever "off the books" Life is hard for everybody. Some political "missionaries" should come this way. But remember history and how hard and most of the times violent forming unions was in the thirties. And that was only one step toware a better life for all Americans. We didn't keep what we worked so hard to get.

Anonymous said...

Red state mentality does seem to cause the most problems when it comes to educating voters. These are the scared ones who are comfortable in their 6-pack cheap beer world. The women put on their lace necked dresses for church and load the four or five blond children in their 10 year old minivans.

How do you motivate ignorance? You tell them that gays and abortion will ruin their small little utopias. As I have to live in a rural red state town at the present time (b/c of famiy matters) after living the majority of life in a large, blue state city, I don't think my depiction is biased. It's pure observation.

They don't think they deserve better as the communities and the churches keep them in a state of oppression.

The lack of critical thinking is evident throughout the fabric of the geographical area.

How can they be reached? Probably through a worst-case scenario, will they wake-up and, then, only to a small degree.

Anonymous said...

7'08 ad 7:33, I too live in a the same kind of backward locale after living in a large city for years. The people in the cities have no idea what's going on in parts of the rest of the country. The problem is not only among these rural folks who by and large are rather self-satisfied, and many have middle-class incomes, but their ignorance, provincialism and uninformed votes create local, state and worst of all, national policy under which we all suffer.

Anonymous said...

Tonight on Scarborough Country Jon Stewart and The Daily Show was "exposed" as being a very bad influence on the young people who watch it and love it because watching it makes them cynical. When has a major network in prime time exposed Rush Limbaugh for the toxic effect he has on listeners? Never. If the Democrats don't learn how to play this game they will never gain control of anything.

Anonymous said...

I have watched several documentaries related to the 9/11 attacks. There is much tit for tat depending upon the political leanings of the american producers, ie Republicans/Democrats are more to blame etc, etc it is sickening and boring. This blog is becoming one such bickering ground too. However, the most serious fallacy that continues with redress is how Muslims mobs can call non-muslims followers of satin and be allowed to believe that and raise their children on such a diet. So long as the Dem/Reps bicker we are all at risk of death by fanatics.

Amy de Miceli said...

So long as the Dem/Reps bicker we are all at risk of death by fanatics

wow, your not too brainwashed.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who did not cry with outrage at M. Moore's ball of crap Fareheit 9/11 has absolutely no business squeeking a pathetic, liberal voice about this film on ABC.

How may of your whiners said that Moore was wrong to make his fiction so close to an election??? I'm guessing that would be a big fat zero.

And for those whining about money being made in Iraq by different companies...again, time for a fact check. The time in history when Halliburton made the most money was under the Clinton administration with all of his wag the dog conflicts, such as Serbia, THAT WERE DONE OUTSIDE OF U.N. APPROVAL!!!!!

Anonymous said...

you may wanna post here!

its been covered.


Anonymous said...

Hey let's all stop bickering, get a six pack and barbecue some chicknens and call ourselves the DemoRepugs. That's sure a strategy all right that will surely keep us all safe. We can lift a can of beer to toast Bush to clinch the newfound agreement. That's what the Repug moles are recommdending. Even at that it's a better plan than Bush's.

Anonymous said...

Hey let's all stop bickering, get cases of beer, barbecue some chickens and call ourselves the DemoRepubs. That's sure a strategy all right that will surely keep us all safe. We can lift a can of beer to toast Bush to clinch the newfound agreement. That's what the Repug moles are recommdending. Even at that it's a better plan than Bush's. There's probably some mystical magic in everybody agreeing to believe the lies.

Anonymous said...

Post a lot ?

Anonymous said...

Post a lot ?