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Let’s Go With Fiction…


Yesterday I asked a question regarding the upcoming ABC mini-series "Path to 9/11:"  Fact or fiction?  Let’s go with fiction:

In a posting on, 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.”

Mr. Clarke, an on-air consultant to ABC News, said he was particularly shocked by a scene in which it seemed Clinton officials simply hung up the phone on an agent awaiting orders in the field. “It’s 180 degrees from what happened,” he said. “So, yeah, I think you would have to describe that as deeply flawed.” …

“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. …

But…but…Rush Limbaugh met the 9/11 movie screenwriter on the set of the teevee show "24."  Tom Kean thinks it’s peachy keen. 

Here’s a reality check:  showing something that is not true in a fictional "dramatization" that is being shilled out to schools across America as a fact-based show worthy of study, with handy study guides provided by Scholastic, and that will be broadcast with a weaselly disclaimer including the name of the 9/11 Commission as some justification for all the "fact-esque" pretend bits they’ve inserted into the mini-series — it’s called lying to the public.  Period. 

Fiction should be clearly labeled as such.  And no amount of tap dancing by ABC, the people involved in making the film, or the entire wing-nut scream-o-sphere makes it okay to shill out untrue things THAT DID NOT HAPPEN to the American public about the events leading up to 9/11 excusable.  This is not some fictional episodic weekly show spoon fed to the public as "loosely based on real events" — this is a mini-series that ABC and the filmmakers were trying to pass off as based on the 9/11 Commission Report and other real world events — and now we find out that it’s a whole lot of fiction with the occasional fact stuck in to make it appear legitimate. 

Label it clearly as non-fact-based fiction, or take out every factually inaccurate scene.  It’s that simple.

UPDATEAtrios reports that President Clinton’s office asked for a copy for his review, and were refused by ABC.  Can someone explain to me why Rush Limbaugh and Hugh Hewitt and crew all got a review copy, but President Clinton — whose presidential Administration is featured in the film — is not allowed to see a copy?  Has the Bush Administration received review copies? Inquiring minds want to know…

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com