"Path To 9/11" Docu-Drama On TV1 Tonight Is Propaganda
Link Compilation / Data Dump
A modified poster for the tele-movie scheduled for world wide release starting tonight in New Zealand.
INTRODUCTION: NZ's state broadcaster Television One is tonight and tomorrow screening an ABC Television docu-drama series called "Path to 9/11". The docu-drama series - starring Harvey Keitel and being released simultaneously around the globe - is currently under attack in the United States because it contains historically inaccurate information but claims to be based on the official "9/11 Commission Report".
Research in recent days in the liberal blogosphere shows it was produced – seemingly in secret – by a shadowy organization connected to the Christian Right. According to those who have seen advance copies of the docu-drama it seeks to attribute blame for the events of 9/11 to failures in counter terrorism under the watch of former Democratic Party president Bill Clinton.
In recent days leading Democrats (including Al Gore, Bill Clinton and John Kerry) and senior US historians have called for the docu-drama to be yanked and a concerted effort to put commercial pressure on Disney and ABC to get the series pulled is also underway. A similar advertising boycott campaign run by Republicans was attributed with getting a miniseries critical of the Reagans pulled last year.
Leading educational provider Scholastic has even circulated a note to School teachers encouraging them to use the show to point out the ways in which propaganda sometimes distorts history for political ends (the full note to social studies teachers is included below).
The following material was all found on the liberal US political forum website DemocraticUnderground.Com where the story has been running hot for several days. Click on the headlines below for more source material and discussion.
background see also...
William Rivers Pitt: Clinton, 9/11 and the Facts.
- Alastair Thompson - Scoop Co-Editor
This morning, an
interview with Harvey Keitel (who stars in "The Path to
9/11") reveals the following:
Keitel: Yea, I had questions about events – material I was given in the Path to 9/11 that I did raise questions about. Yes, I had some conflicts there.
Q: How was that met?
Keitel: With discussion... ummm with argument. When I received the script it said ABC history project – I took it to be exactly what they presented to me. History – and that facts were correct. It turned out not all the facts were correct and ABC set about trying to heal that problem. In some instances it was too late because we had begun.
Yesterday, DUer shewhomustbeobeyed discovered that David Cunningham, director of "The Path to 9/11," is the son of Loren Cunningham, founder of the worldwide evangelical group Youth With a Mission.
Youth With a Mission has an "auxiliary branch" called The Film Institute.
Members of The Film
TFI's first project is a doozy: simply being referred to as: The Untitled History Project, it is already being called the television event of the decade and not one second has been put to film yet. Talk about great expectations!
Our goal is to help filmmakers, actors, technicians, etc. realize their God given potential and purpose in perhaps the most influential sphere of modern culture - film and television.
more information on the "Untitled History
Our next big project is to assist in the development of the new YWAM auxiliary - The Film Institute (TFI). The Film Institute is dedicated to a Godly transformation and revolution TO and THROUGH the Film and Television industry;
TO it, by serving, living humbly with integrity in what is often a world driven by selfish ambition, power an money - transforming lives from within, and THROUGH it, by creating relevant and evocative content which promotes Godly principles of Truth married with Love.
The Untitled History Project Begins Production July 25th.
Mysteriously, the pages containing those quotes - which were freely available on the Internet until yesterday - have been deleted. Here are links to the now-deleted originals:
… to see much more… CLICK HERE
"Whether your broadcast purports to be based on the 9/11 Report in whole - or only in part - is increasingly beside the point. The dramatic impact of a costly but carelessly produced film will invariably overwhelm the impression of any government document.
Amidst alarming reports that irresponsible theories about the events of 9/11 have begun to gain currency with the American people, you should not want to lend your personal reputation to a production which seems likely to instigate new and dangerous falsehoods. And so we ask that you use your influence to persuade ABC to withdraw the broadcast altogether. Failing that, we urge you to sever your relationship with this grossly misleading production."
Under Fire, ABC Mulls Yanking
By WILLIAM TRIPLETT
"The Path to 9/11" is looking a lot like "The Reagans, Part II."
Bill Clinton loyalists are demanding wholesale changes to the upcoming miniseries -- and while ABC is making some snips, the alterations, insiders say, may not please the Dems.
But a bombshell decision may happen anyway: Sources close to the project say the network, which has been in a media maelstrom over the pic, is mulling the idea of yanking the mini altogether.
As for specific criticisms -- and changes -- the original mini contained a scene in which then-National Security Adviser Sandy Berger declines to give the CIA authority to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, even when CIA operatives know where the al-Qaeda leader is.
By all accounts, “The Path to 9/11″ is riddled with inaccuracies and contains material that directly contradicts the factual findings of the 9/11 Commission. I am deeply concerned that ABC is considering going forward with their plans to broadcast this so-called docudrama. The lessons from the events leading up to that tragedy are too important to trivialize, and it would be fundamentally irresponsible to air such distortions.
The veil is now gone. The pretense that ABC is a news organization is gone. The myth of the “liberal news media” is dead.
Our national corporate news media have been screwing the Democrats and our country for years. They receive free licenses from the federal government and in return they have the responsibility to provide news in “the public interest”. Yet they don’t care at all about that sacred responsibility. Instead, they use their privilege to provide slanted news that ensures that pro-corporate Republicans will stay in power and in return will enact legislation that ensures ever more accumulation of wealth and power to themselves. It now should be evident to all: ABC “News” is not a news organization. Rather, they are a propaganda machine that exists for the benefit of their parent corporation.
ABC’s so-called “docudrama” of the 9-11 attacks, which they intend to air this Sunday, should prove all of this once and for all. They are about to air a film that pretends to be informative and based on facts. Yet it should be abundantly clear by now that ABC’s only purpose in airing “The path to 9-11” is to influence this November’s elections in favor of the Republican Party. Over the past several years they have perpetrated one outrage after another (along with much of the rest of the corporate news media). This time they have hopefully gone too far and unmasked themselves. This should be the end of the great myth of the “liberal media”.
The film’s chief script writer, Cyrus Nowrasteh, is an ultra-conservative political hack and friend of Rush Limbaugh. The film was shown only to a conservative audience. The executive producer of the film is a member of the Bush administration’s PR team. ABC provided right wing bloggers with an advanced copy of the film, while excluding progressive bloggers from participating in a conference call about the film. And when faced with mounting criticism of the file, they yanked the official film blog in an effort to cut off further discussion. The film has been criticized by Richard Clarke, the man in charge of counter-terrorism during the time in question, as being inaccurate and biased. It has been disavowed by Richard Ben-Veniste of the 9-11 Commission. It has been criticized as inaccurate by members of the Clinton administration with first hand knowledge of the matter, and ex-President Clinton’s lawyer has written a letter to ABC that explains in detail how the film deviates from the truth as contained in the 9-11 Commission Report – and yet ABC continues to refuse to let anyone from the Clinton administration view the film. An FBI agent who consulted on the film resigned as a consultant because ABC refused to remove the inaccuracies. And the families of the 9-11 victims have criticized ABC for impairing the ability to compose an historically accurate accounting of the facts surrounding the 9-11 attacks because of their insistence on mixing revisionist history with entertainment.
Yet after all of this ABC remains obstinate. Their lame excuse for continuing to plan to air the film is that it is not a documentary, but a “dramatization”. Yet they still claim that it is based on the 9-11 Commission Report, which clearly is a lie, and they even bill it as a “public service.”
This is just the latest in a long line of abuses of their public trust
Consider how ABC’s daily political briefing, The Note, has handled a series of issues, as described by Eric Boehlert in “Lapdogs”:
They made a great big deal out of the trial of Senator Hillary Clinton’s former campaign finance director, David Rosen, for his handling of a fundraiser during Clinton’s 2000 campaign for the Senate, writing about it for 14 days in one month, including this entry: “The Justice Department case against David Rosen, national finance chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate race, is getting stronger … which could be disastrous for the Senator’s ambitions.” Yet when Rosen was acquitted they didn’t find that news important enough to mention.
When the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” (SBVFT) came out with their transparently phony allegations against John Kerry, right before the 2004 Presidential election, The Note posted nearly a hundred links to the story during one 17 day stretch. And when the New York Times published the results of an investigation which identified the Republican operatives behind the story, as well as many of the contradictions in the stories of SBVFT, The Note mocked the Times story as irrelevant.
But any news unfavorable to
Republicans is either ignored or criticized by The Note.
With regard to the Iraq war, they lost interest after things
began turning sour, and they mocked the Downing Street Memo
(“The left is unappeasable on the issue of the Downing
Street Memo”) and Cindy Sheehan. They dismissed stories of
Ken Starr’s conflict of interest during his investigation
of Bill Clinton. They ignored the Jeff Gannon story and the
news of Karl Rove’s role in the CIA leak investigation.
They put positive spin on Bush’s handling of the Katrina
disaster. And as the story of Tom DeLay’s corrupt
activities began to emerge, The Note had this to
There is an iron triangle of liberal interest groups, Democratic congressional staffers, and media jackals… who have never identified with or liked Tom DeLay (and what he stands for) and are enjoying every minute of their conspiring to bring him down. Almost every accusation swirling around DeLay involves actions by him that have exact analogues among other members of Congress of both parties.
The list goes on and on. The main difference between ABC and FOX News would appear to be that ABC does a better job of pretending to be a real news organization, rather than a propaganda machine for the Republican Party.
I am so happy to see the Democrats responding aggressively to the outrage that ABC intends to start propagating on Monday. After years of being subjected to all means of abuse by the corporate news media, this may be the closest thing to open warfare between them and the Democratic Party that has yet occurred.
I believe that that is a good thing. The Democrats have undergone the torture of a thousand cuts by the corporate media over the last several years. They are in a terrible dilemma because, given the great power of our corporate news media, attacking them poses great risks.
Yet, Democrats may have no reasonable alternative choice other than to come out swinging against the corporate media. If not for consistently biased news coverage the Democrats would now control both Houses of Congress and the Presidency, and be represented by a much more progressive U.S. Supreme Court (by at least two seats) than we now have. The Democrats are the Party of the people, and the Republicans are the Party of the corporations, the wealthy and the powerful. A great deal of their power rests with the slanted news of the corporate news media, without which they would either have to begin to adopt a pro-people agenda or they could not win another election.
It may be that Democrats now have an opportunity to go over the heads of those who provide biased news to our country, directly to the people, to expose our corporate media for what they are. I pray that they can do that.
Today, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean called on ABC/Disney to reveal who poured $40 million into the slanderous 9/11 propoganda film they plan to start airing starting Sunday, and issued the following statement:
"It's deeply disappointing that ABC would put something on the air that has been proven to have factual inaccuracies about one of the most important events in our nation's history. ABC should not air this distortion of history.
"The fact that the writer/producer of the piece is a well known conservative raises additional concerns and questions. The American people deserve to know who funded this $40 million dollar slanderous propaganda. Use of the public airwaves is a privilege conferred upon broadcasters in the public interest. It comes with a responsibility to the American people and a responsibility to the truth."
Historian's Letter to ABC chief Robert Iger
Dear Robert Iger:
We write as professional historians, who are deeply concerned by the continuing reports about ABC’s scheduled broadcast of “The Path to 9/11.” These reports document that this drama contains numerous flagrant falsehoods about critical events in recent American history. The key participants and eyewitnesses to these events state that the script distorts and even fabricates evidence into order to mislead viewers about the responsibility of numerous American officials for allegedly ignoring the terrorist threat before 2000.
The claim by the show’s producers, broadcaster, and defenders, that these falsehoods are permissible because the show is merely a dramatization, is disingenuous and dangerous given their assertions that the show is also based on authoritative historical evidence. Whatever ABC’s motivations might be, broadcasting these falsehoods, connected to the most traumatic historical event of our times, would be a gross disservice to the public. A responsible broadcast network should have nothing to do with the falsification of history, except to expose it. We strongly urge you to halt the show’s broadcast and prevent misinforming Americans about their history.
Arthur M. Schlesinger,
Sean Wilentz, Princeton University
Michael Kazin, Georgetown University
Lizbeth Cohen, Harvard University,
Nicholas Salvatore, Cornell University;
Ted Widmer, Washington College;
Rick Perlstein, Independent Scholar;
David Blight, Yale University;
Eric Alterman, City University of New York.
Dear Teacher of Social Studies, grades 9-12
As you know, Scholastic has provided to teachers and students information, background, and explanations of current U.S. and world issues since our first Scholastic magazine was published in 1920 by my father, M.R. Robinson, the founder of our company.
Since then, Scholastic has explained the contemporary world in a clear, understandable way that is balanced and free of bias. Our mission is well-captured in our credo and editorial platform which includes the statement: “Good citizens may honestly differ on important public questions. We believe that all sides of the issues of our times should be fairly discussed—with deep respect for facts and logical thinking—in classroom magazines, books and other educational materials used in schools and homes.”
We also strongly believe that students should discuss the important issues of the day in classrooms so that they may gain the critical thinking skills which will help them become participating citizens and voters.
In that context, because the ABC docudrama The Path to 9/11 will be watched by many people in the U.S., including some of your students, we believe we should provide you with teaching ideas and background information on this series which will provide a “teachable moment” for an important issue of our time.
This program is highly controversial because:
As a docudrama, it contains imagined scenes that some of the political figures who lived through the period say are misleading and inaccurate.
It is an emotional portrayal of a period leading up to one of the searing events of our time—one which I personally witnessed first-hand from our Scholastic offices (less than a mile from the World Trade Center site). Several of our employees’ family members died in the attack.
It is being broadcast in a period just before the 2006 elections. A major election issue is the relationship between terrorism, the war in Iraq, and other conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan. As such, The Path to 9/11 is viewed by some as political and partisan.
The events leading up to 9/11 are important issues of our time. The docudrama, which covers the background of the period 1993-2001, is said to be largely based on the 9/11 Commission Report, and former Governor Tom Kean, Chair of the 9/11 Commission, is an advisor to the series.
We posted a discussion guide on Wednesday, August 23, which we believe was not in keeping with our high standards—and we took down that guide on Wednesday, September 6. We have rewritten this guide to focus more sharply on the issues of the docudrama as well as the background events.
The guide helps teachers to discuss these important questions:
What are the matters of dispute in the docudrama? What are the scenes that were altered or did not happen? How do these scenes affect your understanding? Are the changes part of an effort by the producers to shape your beliefs about these events? In your view, is this an appropriate way to treat an event such as this?
What are the different views of the relationship between the attacks of 9/11, the Iraq War, the war in Afghanistan, and the unrest in the Middle East? Many people believe that there is no connection between Iraq and the events of 9/11. Others believe that the broadly defined “War on Terror” justified the invasion of Iraq. As you study the background of events leading up to and following 9/11, what do you think?
There is a long history of conflict in the Middle East. How well do you understand each of the countries involved and what influences their behavior?
We believe that the rewritten discussion guide presented herewith will help your students interpret the ABC docudrama, The Path to 9/11, and hope that you will find it helpful in understanding the relationship between facts and drama, and the background of the different views about 9/11 in the U.S. and around the world.
Chairman, President and CEO
Instead of the fiction written to excuse the invasion of Iraq by exploiting the 3,000 mothers and fathers, sons and daughters who were lost that day — they were attacked and killed not by Saddam Hussein but by Osama bin Laden – we need the truth.
Here’s a little truth: The President pretends Iraq is the central front on the war on terror. It is not now, and never has been. His disastrous decisions have made Iraq a fuel depot for terror – fanning the flames of conflict around the world.
The terrorists are not on the run. Worldwide, terrorist acts are at an all-time high, more than tripling between 2004 and 2005. Al Qaeda has spawned a vast and decentralized network operating in 65 countries, most of them joining since 9/11. The Taliban now controls entire portions of southern Afghanistan, and just across the border Pakistan is just one coup away from becoming a radical jihadist state with nuclear weapons. The Middle East is more unstable than it has been in decades. Hezbollah flags fly from rooftops in Shiia slums of Sadr City and Iran is rebuilding Southern Lebanon. We have an Iraqi Prime Minister sustained in power by our forces, who will not speak against the Hezbollah terrorists, who will not say that Israel has a right to exist, and who will not condemn the Iranian nuclear program, who will not even as a national leader support the national army over the Shiite militia. In other words, the Iraq government that the administration cites as the front-line force in the fight against terrorism won’t even take our side when we are fighting terrorists. No American soldier should be asked to stand up for an Iraqi government that won’t stand up for the values and interests that draw them into battle every day. Oh, and the 9/11 commission recently gave our government a failing grade on implementing intelligence reforms.
I love watching movies, but with the world looking the way it is right now I think this is a good time to stick with just the facts. After Iraq, we’ve all had enough fiction to last a lifetime.
Senator John Kerry