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The NYT Attacks Accuracy Of 9/11 Docudrama

In their never ending quest for the truth, the "Paper Of Treason," the New York Times casts aspersions on the accuracy of the upcoming ABC docudrama "The Paths To 9/11":

9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized as Inaccurate and Biased

Published: September 6, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 5 — Days before its scheduled debut, the first major television miniseries about the Sept. 11 attacks was being criticized on Tuesday as biased and inaccurate by bloggers, terrorism experts and a member of the Sept. 11 commission, whose report makes up much of the film’s source material.

The six-hour miniseries, “The Path to 9/11,” is to be shown on ABC on Sunday and Monday. The network has been advertising the program as a “historic broadcast” that uses the commission’s report on the 2001 attacks as its “primary foundation.”

On Tuesday, several liberal blogs were questioning whether ABC’s version was overly critical of the Clinton administration while letting the Bush administration off easy.

In particular, some critics — including Richard A. Clarke, the former counterterrorism czar — questioned a scene that depicts several American military officers on the ground in Afghanistan. In it, the officers, working with leaders of the Northern Alliance, the Afghan rebel group, move in to capture Osama bin Laden, only to allow him to escape after the mission is canceled by Clinton officials in Washington.

In a posting on ThinkProgress.org, and in a phone interview, Mr. Clarke said no military personnel or C.I.A. agents were ever in position to capture Mr. bin Laden in Afghanistan, nor did the leader of the Northern Alliance get that near to his camp.

“It didn’t happen,” Mr. Clarke said. “There were no troops in Afghanistan about to snatch bin Laden. There were no C.I.A. personnel about to snatch bin Laden. It’s utterly invented.”

Former Gov. Thomas H. Kean of New Jersey, the chairman of the Sept. 11 commission and a consultant on the miniseries, defended the program, saying he thought the disputed scene was an honest representation of a number of failed efforts to capture Mr. bin Laden.

“I pointed out the fact that the scene involving Afghanistan and the attempt to get bin Laden is a composite,” Mr. Kean said, adding that the miniseries format required some conflation of events. But, he said, “ The basic fact is that on a number of occasions, they thought they might have been able to get bin Laden, and on those occasions, the plug was pulled for various reasons.” …

ABC said it planned to run a disclaimer with the broadcast, reminding viewers that the movie was not a documentary.

But Richard Ben-Veniste, a member of the Sept. 11 commission, said genre confusion would not be a problem for commission members, several of whom saw part of the miniseries last week.

“As we were watching, we were trying to think how they could have misinterpreted the 9/11 commission’s finding the way that they had,” Mr. Ben-Veniste said. “ They gave the impression that Clinton had not given the green light to an operation that had been cleared by the C.I.A. to kill bin Laden,” when, in fact, the Sept. 11 commission concluded that Mr. Clinton had

And yet the New York Time’s sister news outlet, Al Jazeera, says such a plot was very close to being implemented:

CIA halted a plan to kidnap Bin Laden in 1998

7/27/2004 4:21:00 PM GMT

In 1998 the now-retired CIA head George Tenet called off a brave plan to abduct Al Qaida chief Osama bin Laden from an Afghan compound, fearing that it was too dangerous to implement according to a report into the September 11 terror attacks.

Agents set a plan to kidnap bin Laden from a farm in Kandahar, and then transport him to New York or another place where he could be put on trial.

But Tenet decided to halt the plan amid fears that very dangerous nad might harm many U.S. civilians.

The plan was devised based on satellite imagery and intelligence about a walled compound called Tarnak Farms.

“No capture plan before 9/11 ever again attained the same level of detail and preparation,” the report said.

“Working-level CIA officers were disappointed” when the plan was axed, it added.

The U.S. agreed with the Afghan tribal leaders to raid the compound made up of concrete and mud-brick, near Kandahar Airport.

After that and during the night, Afghan operatives would attack the building where they suspect Bin Laden slept.

A lot of training has been made in 1997 and 1998 to carry out the plan, the commission reported.

By 1998 the CIA was ready to introduce the plan to the White House and get the approval for the raid, and Mr Tenet briefed National Security Adviser Sandy Berger.

The plan was for bin Laden to be snatched by a group of Afghan operatives and handed to a group of tribal leaders in the desert outside Kandahar.

The they would turn bin Laden over to another group of leaders who would then hand him over to the CIA.

But unfortunately the plan was halted, and that for a number of reasons made by Tenet.

The crack U.S. military Delta Force was uncomfortable with the fact of having Bin Laden in the hands of tribal leaders for so long, and Mr Berger was worried about the chances of securing a conviction against Bin Laden were he brought to justice.

The justification that was made for halting this plan was that bin Laden’s loyalists might kidnap U.S. civilians in Afghanistan as a pay back.

Even the CIA field officer in charge of the operation said the planning – while giving them a 40% chance of success – would not prevent a scenario where “we step back and keep our fingers crossed”.

Referring to Mr Tenet, the commission said: “He alone had decided to ’turn off’ the operation.” By this time the opportunity to snatch bin Laden had started to shrink.

“The tribals’ reported readiness to act diminished,” the report said.

“And bin Laden’s security precautions and defenses became more elaborate and formidable.”

And even PBS’s Frontline program, "Hunting Bin Laden," makes mention of the planned raid:

NARRATOR: The possibility o a terrorist attack was very real in Nairobi. In the fall of 1997, in addition to the discovery of the bin Laden cell, this man, Mustapha Ahmed, said he knew of a plot to detonate a truck bomb in the basement of the embassy building. In the midst of all this, Ambassador Bushnell asked the State Department to move her embassy, but she was turned down.

By the spring of 1998, the CIA had developed a secret plan to send commandos to snatch bin Laden from his mountain retreat in Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, bin Laden was escalating his war on America…

[But] the director of the CIA, fearing too many U.S. casualties, called off the commando raid on bin Laden’s camp.

So who are we to believe? It’s not like the New York Times has never lied to us before. Or have they?

From an abstract of a July 26, 2004 article in the highly guarded New York Times’ archives:


Kidnapping of bin Laden Was Rehearsed in ’98 but Scrapped, 9/11 Report Says

July 26, 2004, Monday

Late Edition – Final, Section A, Page 12, Column 1, 1255 words

DISPLAYING ABSTRACT – Sept 11 commission report claims that Central Intelligence Agency director George J Tenet scrapped heavily rehearsed raid to kidnap Osama bin Laden from his compound in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in May 1998; tale of canceled raid tells of senior CIA and national security officials balancing operation’s potential rewards against concerns about jeopardizing lives of operatives and repercussions that would follow if gambit failed; report states that senior CIA officials ultimately decided that plan was too dangerous; aspects of raid have been described in books by former counterterrorism chief Richad A Clarke and journalist Steve Coll; in addition to CIA concerns, then-national security adviser Samuel R Berger was said to be worried about what would be done with bin Laden if he was captured, since hard evidence against him was still skimpy and there was danger of seeing him acquitted if trial were held in United States courts…

And for the record, the bi-partisan (not "non-partisan") 9/11 Commission’s report (pp. 111-115) describes the CIA’s kidnapping plan very much like how the ABC docudrama is said to portray it. (And no, Bill Clinton did not approve the plan. He never even knew about it, according to the 9/11 Commission.)

Moreover, in a piece for FrontPage Magazine, former Clinton advisor Dick Morris lists this and other opportunities to get Bin Laden that Clinton and his people missed.

But in fairness to The Times, it should be noted that by attacking the ABC  docudrama they are simply doing the bidding of their masters in the DNC.

Behold this email from a lackey of former Clinton lackey, John Podesta. (Podesta now heads the Center For American Progress, which is one of the larger DNC/Soro money funneling 527s.)

From: Judd Legum, Center for American Progress Action Fund [mailto:progress@americanprogressaction.org]
Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2006 12:05 PM
To: xxxxxxxxxx
Subject: ABC: Tell the Truth About 9/11

Dear Robert,

On September 10 and September 11, ABC Television is planning to air a "docudrama" called "The Path to 9/11," billed by the writer as "an objective telling of the events of 9/11." In fact, based on our review, the program is full of inaccuracies and partisan misrepresentations. Put simply, the scenes depicted in the ABC movie are not consistent with the finding of the non-partisan 9/11 Commission Report.

It is wrong for ABC to play politics with 9/11.

The program, written by avowed conservative Chris Nowrasteh, goes out of its way to place blame on the Clinton administration for 9/11. This is inconsistent with the findings of the 9/11 Commission Report. The way Norwrasteh accomplished this was to fabricate what happened during the Clinton years and airbrush the critical intelligence failures that allowed the 9/11 plot to proceed occurred during the Bush administration.

Tell ABC: Fix the inaccuracies in the program or don’t put it in on the air

The fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is an important time for reflection ­ help us make sure the right-wing doesn’t distort 9/11 for partisan advantage.

Thanks for all that you do,

Judd Legum and the entire Center for American Progress Action Fund team

P.S. Keep track of this fight all week on ThinkProgress.org

The DNC says "jump" and the New York Times says, "how high?"

I guess the film cans wouldn’t fit down Sandy Berger’s capacious pants.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, September 6th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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