Friday, September 08, 2006

Path to 9/11

I've read a few short blog posts and some news items about the ABC two part mini-series The Path to 9/11, which the network is airing this Sunday & Monday. Mostly what I've read is right wing commentators praising the 'docudrama' and members of the Clinton White House criticizing it because some of the facts are wrong. So it's a simple case of those on the right 'Yay' and those on the left 'Nay'. Except for John Podhoretz.
Ex-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's anger is unquestionably justified.

… Samuel Berger, Clinton's national security adviser, also seems to have just cause for complaint.

… The one person who has no grounds for complaint is Bill Clinton himself.

"The Path to 9/11" gives the impression that, as president, Clinton never took bin Laden's declaration of war against the United States and the West seriously enough. And that is simply the unvarnished, undeniable truth.

Still, even here "The Path to 9/11" gets it wrong. The real truth about the failures of the U.S. government under both Clinton and Bush is not, as "The Path to 9/11" would have it, that the diabolical nature of the al Qaeda threat was obvious and unmistakable and that it was ignored by fools, charlatans and other downright unpleasant people who refused to listen to the Few Who Knew the Truth (meaning the late FBI official John O'Neill and that legend in his own mind, former counterterrorism official Richard Clarke).

The simple fact of the matter is that, with a million other things going on all at once - all of which seemed more pressing at the time, the threat went uncomprehended.
It's always good when someone breaks out from their 'camp' to write what they consider to be the truth.