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An Info Op

ABC’s upcoming five-hour docudrama “The Path to 9/11” is quickly becoming a political cause célèbre.

[…] After a screening of the first episode in Washington last week, some audience members attacked the film’s depiction of the Clinton administration’s pursuit of Osama bin Laden. Among those unhappy was Richard Ben-Veniste, an attorney and member of the 9/11 commission whom some conservatives have dismissed as a Democratic attack dog. Richard A. Clarke, the former counterterrorism czar, has criticized the movie for suggesting that the Clinton administration was in a position to capture Bin Laden in 1998 but canceled the mission at the last minute. […]

After much discussion, ABC executives and the producers toned down, but did not eliminate entirely, a scene that involved Clinton’s national security advisor, Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger, declining to give the order to kill Bin Laden, according to a person involved with the film who declined to be identified because of the sensitivities involved.

Bias? Truth to Power? Chill-wind? What other term applies?

There are others who are handling the political aspects of this far better (or worse) than I, so I won’t tread there. We do need to give Sandy Berger credit where it is due: at least he is consistent in his desire to correct alter history correct the record. As far as Dick Clarke goes, all you need to understand is that he went from being the White House actual terrorism guy to the White house cyber terrorism guy.

It is a docu-drama, which means it is fact-based, but not necessarily historically accurate (as opposed to fake but accurate). Even still, it is probably more true to life than say Fahrenheit 9/11, which used facts albeit in a most curious way. That one end of the spectrum would go to such lengths to alter such a production tells you more than you need to know about what they think of intelligence and national security. As a wise man once said:

The security of the nation and the safety of her people are not pork-barrel projects to be bargained for.

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.