Friday, September 08, 2006

ABC tinkers with 9/11 drama - Yahoo! News:
"Further complicating the situation for ABC was a prime-time address to the nation President George W. Bush has planned for 9 p.m. EDT on Monday to mark the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, right in the middle of part two of ABC's miniseries. The network said it would air the first hour of the film, break for 20 minutes to carry Bush's speech live, then broadcast the rest of the movie."

And does anyone think the timing of the address is an accident or coincidence? The interruption of the "docudrama" by real events will lend it even more of an aura of factuality. When I intially read reports of the complaints, primarily by former Clinton staff members, they sounded inconsequential. But it turns out, that was due to inaccurate reporting. In particular the scene suggesting Sandy Berger personally quashed a raid on an al Qaeda camp when agents were moments away from killing bin Laden was reported as being about whether Berger slammed the phone down or not.

Quite a difference.

Now it seems more and more like this film was designed to suggest that it was all Clinton's fault. We have Richard Clarke's account of the Clinton years in his book Against All Enemies and to his mind Clinton actually did more to address the threat from al Qaeda/bin Laden than any previous administration and certainly understood the threat and the need to address it much more than anyone in the Bush administration. Yes, Clinton probably could have initiated many bombing raids in Afghanistan but do you recall the political heat he got for the one he DID authorize? It had been too long since the Cole attack so the political will was very weak and his political capital WAS weakend by the incessant pillorying from Republicans over Monica Lewinsky.

Unless this film goes all the way to September 10, 2001 and shows the Bush staff completely ignoring al Qaeda and concerning themselves with Saddam since day one, it is indeed factually inaccurate and generally misleading.

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