Last year during the fifth anniversary of 9/11 ABC televised a mini-series "dramatizing" some of the events which supposed led to attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Now, amid virilent criticism of the accuracy of it's docu-drama, ABC has declined to release the film on DVD and it's writer/creator, avowed conservative activist, Cyrus Nowresteh is now hopping mad. From Today's WSJ.
Left-leaning pundits, politicos and bloggers waxed hysterical about its supposed inaccuracies and anti-Clinton bias, though the vast majority of them had not seen it.
This passive self-censorship is just as effective as anything Joseph Stalin or Big Brother could impose. The result is the same: the curbing of free speech and creative expression, and the suppression of a viewpoint that may be an inconvenient truth for some politicians.
But ABC pulling the DVD had nothing to do with "left-leaning pundits" and everything to do with the film being a pile of lying crap.
More blather from Nowresteh via Raw Story.
Last Wednesday, in a front page LA Times Calendar piece "Clinton and the missing DVD," reporter Martin Miller gave voice to the latest series of charges from the mini-series’ neo-con writer/producer Cyrus Nowrasteh who now claims that out of deference to Hillary Clinton, ABC is shelving the five hour mini-series which was hyper-critical of her husband’s counter-terrorism record.
Oh, so now this is a dastardly plot by the villus Hillary Clinton - do tell?
In his latest FrontPage booking, Nowrasteh whines, "Last year at this time it was a coordinated effort from the Clintons, Sandy Berger, the DNC, and the far-left loony blogosphere to swamp ABC with emails and phone calls and threats to get them to block the broadcast, or recut the movie. Since then it’s been more subtle. I know there have been phone calls to top execs at Disney from President Clinton himself, and friends of the Clintons, of which there are many in Hollywood."
Wow that Hillary sure is powerful. I wonder if she got some help from that dirty bastard George Soros?
Frankly, if this is what happened - if the "far-left loony blogosphere" actually managed to cause ABC to fix the gross errors in this movie, which as a card-carrying member of that loony far-left I blogged about thoroughly here, here, here, here and here last year (and I was far from alone) - I would be impressed.
Yet somehow, I don't think that's what happened.
I think the fact that film essentially defamed John O'Neill, Richard Clarke, George Tenet, Madeleine Albright, Sandy Berger and Bill Clinton by manufacturing failures of inaction on their part which didn't take place and ignoring many successful aggressive anti-terrorist actions that did probably had more to do with it. And then there's also the issue of intellectual theft.
Don't take my word for it, listen to what Peter Lance, author of "1000 Years of Revenge" one of the books that was purportedly a major source for "Path" has to say about it...
.... 1000 Years For Revenge, was one of the three works on which ABC based the mini. They acquired it for a quarter of a million dollars in 2005 under threat of litigation, after they’d lost the book in a bidding war with NBC.
Nowrasteh then proceeded to launder most of my critical findings on negligence by the FBI and the two Bush administrations and give Path a twisted pro-Bureau slant through the eyes of ex-ABC News correspondent John Miller, who now works as Assistant Director of Public Affairs for the FBI.
"Years" documents how various failures under Bush 41 within the NYPD and NY Office of the FBI were critical in allowing Ramzi Yousef, the original WTC bomber to roam free for several years and eventually conceive of the plot which became 9/11 to finish the job he'd started in 1993.
There was a rival book on the bidding table called "The Cell" which was essential a "Disney-ized" version of similar events, but was so white-washed it was " Like telling the story of John Dillinger’s take down without mentioning FBI agent Melvin Purvis"
As it turned out, ABC failed to acquire the rights to "Years" after a fierce bidding war - so naturally Nowresteh simply appropriated parts of it to fit into his fictional narrative and went on his merry way. More from Raw Story.
Now, in July as the cameras began rolling on what ABC first called "the History Project," something told me that I should get a look at Cyrus’s script. When I turned to the first page of "Night One," I saw that Nowrasteh had lifted much of my book, scene by scene, dialogue for dialogue. He’d even titled the first two hours, "The Mozart of Terror," the name I’d coined for Yousef.
But beyond the hijacking of 1000 Years, what was most galling, was how Cyrus, hungry for some book on which to hang his story, had now embraced The Cell, the very book he’d bad-mouthed to me and elevated John Miller, who was about to take a job as chief FBI flak, to a lead character.
Worse, he’d taken the hapless Det. Lou Napoli – who had ignored Ronnie Bucca’s warnings and failed to follow the WTC bombers – and turned him into a lead member of the FBI posse out to stop bin Laden, a bullpen of real and fictional characters now led by John O’Neill.
Unable to legally acquire my book, Nowrasteh had simply appropriated it and used what he wanted from it and then set up The Cell with its pro-FBI slant as the "based on" underlying work for his re-telling of "History."
Nowresteh's unauthorized lifts from "Years" led to a lawsuit which was eventually settled for $250,000 and gave ABC the rights to the material that Nowresteh stole prior to it's airing. The settlement also included a gag-order to keep Nowresteh's theft and distortion of history and facts from becoming public - an order which Peter Lance has now knowingly breached in order to get the facts out.
Facts such as these which were not included in the film.
- Bill Clinton personally authorized each and every aggressive action suggested to stop and/or contain Osama Bin Laden (Roger Cressey)
- Under Clinton the CIA had standing orders to Kill Bin Laden (9/11 Report Page 199)
- No U.S. military personnel were ever on the ground in Afghanistan prior to 9/11 and ever had visual contact with Bin Laden (Richard Clarke)
- Bill Clinton specifically ordered Joint Chiefs Chairman Hugh Shelton to develop a plan to put Special Forces on the ground in Bin Laden's camps, but it was the Pentagon who balked - not the White House. (Richard Clarke)
- The Development of the Armed Predator, under Clinton, to address the logistical problems which plagued Special Forces in Afghanistan
- Richard Clarke's urgent Jan 2001 warnings about Al Qeada to Condi Rice and call for an immediate Principles Meeting which was ignored for 9 months.
- The Bush Administration doing nothing in response to the U.S.S. Cole bombing once Al Qaeda had been confirmed as the culprits in early 2001.
- The Midnight Ride to Condi's Office by Tenet, Cofer Black and Clark to warn that something big "10 on a scale of 1 to 10" was coming, which was ignored.
- The August 6th PDB.
- George Tenet's personal briefing of Bush in August at the Crawford ranch to reemphasize the PDB and make clear that "They're Coming Here"
- The fact that the Armed Predator, though ready, was not even discussed for deployment by the WH until Clarke's "urgent" meeting finally took place on Sept 5th.
- Sept 11th, G.W. Bush and the seven minutes of "My Pet Goat".
In the Nowresteh retelling of events, the failures of both Bush 41 are Bush 43 are completely white-washed - while any missteps by Clinton are magnified and many are completely fabricated. Clinton did everything wrong, Bush did everything right.
But how could we expect this film to give the Clinton Administration a fair and accurate shake when it was first announced and publicized triumphantly by Rush Limbaugh?
"The film really zeros in on the shortcomings of the Clinton administration in doing anything about militant Islamofascism or terrorism during its administration. It cites failures of Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright and Sandy Burglar."
The fact is that this film was never conceived of, and never will be considered a "documentary" or for that matter true. Numerous members of the 9/11 Commission have spoken up to point out that it fails to reflect their findings. It well past time that people like Mr. Nowserteh learned a) Censorship is something the Government does, not Private Companies and b) Freedom of Speech is not Freedom to Lie.
I myself regret that "Path to 9/11" won't be available on DVD since I actually missed it's original airing - I also love a good comedy.
Ok, ok... a really bad unintentional tragic hypocritical paranoid propaganda-laced bullshit black comedy (if you look at it from a Heathers-like perspective of "This is what some people actually think happened? Fuck Me Gently with a Chainsaw!" - but still a comedy.