Friday, September 08, 2006

Dems pressure ABC to censor 9/11 docudrama

Ex-president Bill Clinton and other Democrats have raised a stink with ABC over its docudrama The Path to 9/11. The DNC has gone so far as to call it a, "despicable and irresponsible fraud."

Letters have been written, calls made, angry blog posts -er- posted, all in an effort to censor ABC's historical retrospective on 9/11. Nowhere does the DNC call the scenes fabricated: that's because they are anything but fabricated. Many of the scenes are culled from copious records that ended up in the 9/11 Commission Report or from eyewitness accounts.

Newsbusters reports that four prospective committee chairmen in the House -- prominent Democrats all -- sent a letter to ABC demanding a review of the miniseries. There are no overt threats in the letter, but the subtext is clear: should the Democrats take control of the House in November, ABC better watch out for retribution from Conyers, Dingell, Harman, and Slaughter. The key graphs of the letter complain about:

...a scene in which Sandy Berger, the National Security Adviser to President Bill Clinton, declines to give Central Intelligence Agency operatives the authority to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden, and in which those operatives are outside a house where Bin Laden is located...

The tragic irony? Sandy Berger, a vociferous critic of the film, was convicted of stealing and destroying classified background material related to Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, and 9/11 that could have been used to corroborate or confirm the historical facts. Shockingly, there's no mention of that little burst of criminal activity in the letter.

The would-be Democratic chairmen also whine about:

...a scene in which the Central Intelligence Agency declines to share information about the 9/11 hijackers with the FBI and ascribes that failure to the so-called "wall," limiting information sharing by the Department of Justice in certain circumstances, and established by the Department of Justice in an internal memorandum...

Would that be the same wall that was erected by Democrat Jamie Gorelick? The same wall roundly blamed as blocking information sharing between agencies? And the same Gorelick who also served on the 9/11 Commission, a blatant conflict-of-interest? Why... yes, yes, and yes.

Newsweek reports:

...Clinton’s major beef is over a scene where his security adviser Richard Clarke... stops the CIA from assassinating bin Laden out of concern that the president wants to avoid any political damage should the mission go awry. The movie then cuts to real footage of Clinton testifying that “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” The obvious implication is that Clinton ducked pulling the trigger because he was too preoccupied with his political future, especially since it was undermined by his own personal drama. (And if that implication isn’t obvious enough, the camera immediately cuts from Clinton to a suggestive shot of the looming phallic Washington monument).

Was Clinton too distracted to act? Maybe. Is it plausible to suggest that? Certainly to some people, including the filmmakers. And frankly, that should be enough...

The fact that Berger and Gorelick are used to bolster the Democrats' arguments should tell us all we need to know about this little tiff.

The Democratic tactics of seething, whining, and hissing should be utterly ignored by ABC.

No comments: