Subject: Concerning Disney’s 9/11 show
The ABC television network–part of the Walt Disney corporation–unleashed a promotional blitz in the last week for a new “docudrama” called “The Path to 9/11”. ABC has thrown its corporate might behind the two-night production, and bills it as a public service: a TV event, to quote the ABC tagline, “based on the 9/11 Commission Report”. Part of their promotional campaign was to release the film in advance to right wing bloggers and pundits, like Rush Limbaugh, who have immediately hailed it as an unbiased look at the events leading up to 9/11.
You all know me to be a very careful writer who advocates doing a lot of research. In the area of 9/11 I have done just that, reading tons of books and articles about the history of Islamic Fundamentalism, the intelligence community and the various military and political campaigns waged since 9/11. (Yes, someday I’ll do a book…) I’ve actually shied from the partisan political stuff because I find the shrill rantings from either side too anoying to tolerate. And from my reading, there is no doubt that there were significant problems dealing with Islamic fundamentalism that dated from the founding of Saudi Arabia, and were exacerbated by our opposition to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
In short, there is plenty enough blame to go around, both for politicians and bureaucrats. I’d welcome a show that delves into all of this. A show based on the 9/11 commission report actually should do that. This is certainly what ABC has claimed about their show.
That’s a false claim. “The Path to 9/11” is a bald-faced attempt to revise history. And ust to make things more fun, they even slander Democrats right before Americans vote in a major election. One scene depicts the Clinton administration as refusing to okay a CIA hit on Osama bin Laden–showing CIA agents being outside a house where bin Laden was staying at the time they called for permission. Not only is that scene a complete fabrication, but in the 9/11 report and all of the histories I’ve read, the Clinton Administration repeatedly pushed the CIA for an operation, but CIA Director Tennent never gave his operatives the greenlight. (And for good reason: the closest they ever got to bin Laden was a plan to take out a compound where he was living with cruise missiles strikes, but that strike would have also killed the other people living there–mostly women and children.)
The miniseries, which was scripted by right-wing conservative writers, is the first salvo in the 2006 GOP campaign to terrorism to scare Americans. It irresponsibly misrepresents the facts and completely distorts the truth in an attempt to make you believe that a vote cast for a Democrat is signing a death warrant for your children, your church, you way of life and your nation. This is completely absurd and, as someone who loves the Constitution and hates seeing it being mangled by fear-mongers, I hope you’ll resist the message being pumped out as we approach the election.
But, first things first. Please join me in telling Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger to keep this propaganda off the air. We don’t need the memories and sacrifices of our fellow citizens being morphed into a partisan political event. Don’t let Mr. Iger turn Mickey Mouse into a rat; and don’t let him turn history into a malignant fantasy.
Michael A. Stackpole