THE BLOG

Why You Want to See "Path to 9/11"

I have been watching with increasing curiosity the rage that has erupted over ABC's two-part miniseries, Path to 9/11, and once again I am shaking my head at how those who don't know what they're talking about (just Google "Path to 9/11" and take your pick of blogs) are working against their own best interest.

Trust me: You want this movie to air. I saw it. All six hours. Back in July.

Yes, the sections that portray the Clinton Administration bungling the capture and/or murder of Osama bin Laden are unconscionably irresponsible and historically inaccurate (just ask Madeleine Albright, or Sandy Berger, or President Clinton himself -- they were there); and certainly ABC should excise these egregiously reckless portions of the movie before it airs -- which I presume they are doing, even as I write this post. (Oh, what I'd give to be the owner of the Starbucks outside the ABC editing studios at this very moment.)

But the reason the film itself should not be cancelled is because it includes scene after scene that those of us who deplore this Administration will want the rest of America to see.

It shows how former White House anti-terror adviser Richard Clarke's complex strategy for dealing with Al Qaeda was arrogantly spiked as the Clinton Administration moved out of the White House, and the Bush posse moved in.

It shows how Condoleezza Rice patronizingly blew off those who'd work tirelessly for years on end dealing with the terrorist threat, and how the narrow-minded and insular officiousness of the incoming Administration helped lead us down the road to that awful day in September 2001.

It shows how middle management muddle at the FBI and CIA (all paid for with our tax dollars, thank you very much) effectively buried a memo from an FBI field officer in Phoenix, warning that Arabs who were under watch were suspiciously enrolled in flight training schools.

And it shows how FBI Agent John O'Neill -- arguably the man front and center in the fight against terrorism -- was so consistently hobbled by political infighting within the agency and the government, that with the arrival of the Bush presidency, he left his job (or was squeezed out of it) and took a new assignment as chief of security at New York's World Trade Center -- where he died on September 11, 2001.

These and many other scenes in Path to 9/11 are the reason it's important for America to see this movie. As long as ABC deletes the controversial passages -- which it would be wise to do -- the rest of the film makes a convincing case why the Bush regime should be sent packing, beginning this November.