Monday, September 11, 2006

Sackcloth and ashes -- the Path to 9/11

Guest post by Capt. Fogg

Make my heart as a millstone,
Set my face as a flint
Cheat and be cheated and die: who knows?
We are ashes and dust

-- Tennyson

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If you read the papers today, it's a day of sackcloth and ashes, self-pity and maudlin grief. I wonder how much of that is really a reflection of America's thoughts. More that 150,000 people have died in cars and SUVs since September of 2001. We still drive like incompetent fools. Doesn't America think it's time to do something about Islamic terrorism rather than to rend our clothes in lament for New York and rather than bankrupt the country for a quixotic dream of a Western utopia in Iraq?

The Path to 9/11 -- ABC's propagandistic opus which began last night was a bit less of a singleminded attack on Bill Clinton than I had expected, yet propaganda it was and, as such, it misrepresented many facts while larding the recipe with completely invented dialogues harping on the danger of the Bill of Rights and any squeamish liberal aversions to brutal torture.

The scene where Bill Clinton himself calls off an early attack on Osama's desert hangout was apparently redacted, although the portrayal of exactly who did cancel it seemed ambiguous. Was it Sandy Berger or was it CIA Director George J. Tenet? It was in fact the latter, although the heavy-handed passion play managed to rub sufficient soil on Clinton with background pictures of TV appearances and more fictitious conversations from fictionalized characters.


That the program was fiction and not a documentary was presented to us on screen twice during the two hours, although any motivation behind giving us a fictional account of an important piece of history that is yet to be fully understood by the public was left to conjecture.

ABC did seem to feel that it was necessary to give Richard Clarke a minute or two to explain that it was indeed Tenet who nixed a certain attack and that Osama's hideout was not, as shown in the schlockumentary, an unprotected adobe village out of some John Wayne movie but heavily fortified and replete with tanks and artillery. ABC had just told us that it was fear of shooting Muslim children that has caused the Clinton administration to balk (as though that were weakness). It was also pointed out, much to my surprise, that the Republicans had chastised Clinton when he did fire missiles at the compound and at a plant thought to be producing chemical weapons in Sudan: the famous Monica Missiles.

Of course it remaines to be seen whether ABC's toned-down bit of tendentious historical fiction will mention that upon his ascending to the throne, George W. Bush essentially shut down any effort to study, investigate, or discuss Osama bin Laden, telling the anti-terrorism staff he didn't want to hear about Osama, he wanted to hear about Saddam. Tenet, portrayed as something of a bungler, was, of course, given the Medal of Freedom by George W. "mission accomplished" Bush.

If Clinton did too little and did it too late, and if Clinton was thwarted by the Monica Madness in pursuing and punishing al Qaeda, Bush did nothing and stopped anyone else from doing anything. Will the blame the fictional account places on both presidents be apportioned as it should be: heavily on the cocky shoulders of the "Decider"? Let's see what the Empire of the Mouse has to say about it tonight.

To be continued...

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Postscript

This
website purporting to contain deleted scenes from The Path to 9/11 is interesting. Of course, it seems to attribute the deletions to pressure from leftists, Democrats, and other less than manly groups and to ignore the fact that some scenes were deleted because they were simply unhistorical -- it never happened that way.

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