Wednesday, September 06, 2006

"Swaying the Low-Information Voter"

You may have heard by now about the upcoming ABC movie The Path to 9/11 that they plan to air without commercials on Sept. 10 and 11. There may be some things about the movie you haven't heard about, however, like the fact that it's conservative propaganda, about as factual as Team America: World Police:
They got the small stuff wrong such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed instructing Ahmed Rassam to carry out the millenium attacks. Then they got the big stuff wrong, this fantasy about how we had a CIA officer and the Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Massoud looking at Bin Laden and they breathlessly call the White House to say we need to take him out and the White House said no. I mean it’s sheer fantasy. So, if they want to critique the Clinton administration and the Bush administration, based on fact, I think that’s fine. But what ABC has done here is something straight out of Disney and fantasyland. It’s factually wrong. And that’s shameful.

That was from a Bush Administration anti-terror official. Here's more from Digby on that keystone episode of the movie:
As most of you have probably read by now, the movie features an entirely fabricated scene --- and it's a doozy. Here's Rush Limbaugh gleefully describing it:

"So the CIA, the Northern Alliance, surrounding a house where bin Laden is in Afghanistan, they’re on the verge of capturing, but they need final approval from the Clinton administration in order to proceed.

So they phoned Washington. They phoned the White House. Clinton and his senior staff refused to give authorization for the capture of bin Laden because they’re afraid of political fallout if the mission should go wrong, and if civilians were harmed…Now, the CIA agent in this is portrayed as being astonished. “Are you kidding?” He asked Berger over and over, “Is this really what you guys want?”

Berger then doesn’t answer after giving his first admonition, “You guys go in on your own. If you go in we’re not sanctioning this, we’re not approving this,” and Berger just hangs up on the agent after not answering any of his questions."

Richard Clarke vociferously denies that this ever happened and it is most definitely not part of the 9/11 commission report. This is apparently a key scene, perhaps the most important scene in the movie, in that it indicts the Clinton administration for being too soft and weak to take out bin Laden when they had the chance. Rush certainly does seem to love it. Unfortunately, it just ain't true.

Greenwald, who is very quickly becoming my favorite online voice, has a great post exposing the notion of Clinton's inattention to Al Qaeda as demonstrably revisionist. I strongly suggest you read it for yourself.

As the last couple of days have gone on, the story just kept getting weirder and weirder. We found out that ABC sent copies of the movie to Rush Limbaugh and various rightwing bloggers, like Hugh Hewitt, to vet the movie (Rush just luuuuved it, if that tells you anything), yet didn't send it to any progressive voices or bloggers, or any Democrats for that matter. Then we found out that they didn't even vet the movie with any of the Democrats on the 9/11 commission, which the movie claims to be based upon, nor did they show it to President Clinton, Sandy Berger, or Madeline Albright, 3 people ferociously vilified in it. When Clinton's office requested a copy, they refused him.

And when confronted about the gross inaccuracies in the movie, ABC responds that it is "a dramatization, not a documentary, drawn from a variety of sources, including the 9/11 commission report, other published materials and from personal interviews."

In other words, it's not so much the truth about 9/11 as "Law and Order: 9/11." Don't tell that to the kids who are being shown the movie as teaching material, however.

Don't like that ABC is polluting the midterms with pro-Bush propaganda? Then do something about it.

Even just calling your ABC affiliate and raising Hell would do a lot of good.

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