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ACTION ALERT: Protest ABC's "Path to 9/11"


September 7, 2006
Working for Change / Working Assets

ABC claims that its drama, "The Path to 9/11," is "based on the 9/11 Commission Report." In fact, the film is a deeply-biased account that blames President Clinton for the attacks while whitewashing the Bush administration's approach to terrorism. The events leading up to September 11, 2001 are too important to play politics with the facts. Act now. Tell ABC to tell the truth about 9/11.

http://www.workingforchange.com/activism/action.cfm?itemid=21317&afccode=n69lk1

ABC Docudrama Blames President Clinton For 9/11
ABC: Tell the Truth About 9/11
Working for Change / Working Assets

On September 10th and 11th, ABC — which is owned by Disney — is planning to air a "docu-drama" called "Path to 9/11," which is being billed as "an objective telling of the events of 9/11." In fact, the film was written by an unabashed conservative who twists the facts to blame President Clinton.

In fact, the list of counterterrorism initiatives undertaken by the Clinton administration is lengthy and comprehensive. Regrettably, the record shows that most of these efforts were watered down or abandoned by the Bush administration when they came into office.

History will also record that President Bush was the one who received — and while on vacation, chose to ignore — a Presidential Daily Briefing on August 6, 2001 entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US."

ABC's new six-hour film was apparently screened in advance only to conservative bloggers and journalists — and received extensive praise from none other than Rush Limbaugh. ABC is advertising the film as being "based on the 9/11 Commission report" — yet also admits that it's a "docu-drama," in which writers and producers are free to invent and distort facts.

Former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke has already completely refuted one of the key scenes of the movie.

It's simply stunning to think that as this fall's election approaches, a major television network would devote six hours of prime-time programming to air such a slanted and inaccurate program.

There is simply no way that a conservative writer, with an anti-Clinton axe to grind, should be allowed to use public airwaves to broadcast a gross distortion of the truth — especially on the anniversary of the worst day in our history.

Call to action: Send a message to ABC asking them to cancel the show.

Deadline: September 10, 2006

Send a Letter to ABC
We urge you to personalize the following letter and express your views on this topic in your won words.

Dear ABC

I'm very curious as to why you're airing a Clinton-bashing piece by an awoved conservative activist — a scant two months before a national election in which Republicans have decided to make fear and security the central issues of their campaigns.

According to reports from those who have seen it, the "docu-drama" is also riddled with factual errors. Former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke has already debunked one of the film's central scenes — involving Sandy Berger — as completely false.

Were you aware while making this film that the screenwriter - Cyrus Nowrasteh - is an avowed conservative who has spoken on a panel entitled "How Conservatives Can Lead Hollywood's Next Paradigm Shift?"

There is simply no way that a conservative producer, with an anti-Clinton axe to grind, should be allowed to use public airwaves to broadcast a gross distortion of the truth — especially on the anniversary of the worst day in our history, and two months before an important national election.

I call upon you to pull this slanted "docu-drama" from its scheduled airing on Monday.

I look forward to your reply to my letter. Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

[Note: EAW's webeditor would suggest the further point:

Advanced word is that "Path to 9/11" is both partisan and inaccurate. I would hope ABC would acknowledge that airing this program would be a disservice to the truth and a disservice to the victims of 9/11.

If ABC does air this show, it should be required, as a matter of fundamental fairness, to provide an equal amount of "equal time" for an airing of the many critical questions about the inconsistencies of the "official story" surrounding the tragedy.

ABC could chose to air any one of several documentaries that address these issues.]

• If you would like to also contact your local ABC affiliate and request that they cancel the show, a listing of those affiliates is here.

Democrats Protest ABC’s Fraudulent 9/11 “Docu-drama”
Tom McMahon / The Democratic Party

Does a major national broadcast network want to stain itself by presenting an irresponsible, slanderous, fraudulent, "docu-drama" to the American public?

Not if you and I have the last word — but either way, we're about to find out.

The ABC television network — a cog in the Walt Disney empire — unleashed a promotional blitz in the last week for a new "docudrama" called "The Path to 9/11". ABC has thrown its corporate might behind the two-night production, and bills it as a public service: a TV event, to quote the ABC tagline, "based on the 9/11 Commission Report".

That's false. "The Path to 9/11" is actually a bald-faced attempt to slander Democrats and revise history right before Americans vote in a major election.

The miniseries, which was put together by right-wing conservative writers, relies on the old GOP playbook of using terrorism to scare Americans. "The Path to 9/11" mocks the truth and dishonors the memory of 9/11 victims to serve a cheap, callous political agenda. It irresponsibly misrepresents the facts and completely distorts the truth.

ABC/Disney executives need to hear from the public and understand that their abuse of the public trust comes with a cost. Tell Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger to keep this right-wing propaganda off the air — we'll deliver your message:
http://www.democrats.org/pathto911

This story is breaking quickly. The bias of the "docudrama" only became known when ABC began circulating previews recently. Less than two weeks ago, 9/11 Commission member Richard Ben-Veniste confronted a lead writer of The Path to 9/11 after watching the first half of the miniseries at a screening, but most of what we know amounts to bits and pieces because ABC chose to screen the miniseries to conservative bloggers and right-wing media outlets exclusively.

Almost none of the Democrats portrayed in the film have even been asked for their thoughts.

But we still know enough, thanks to news accounts and crack research, to fact check "The Path to 9/11" as a biased, irresponsible mess. Here's what you need to know:

• Richard Clarke — the counterterrorism czar for the Clinton administration, now himself a consultant to ABC News — describes a key scene in "The Path to 9/11" as "180 degrees from what happened." In the scene, a CIA field agent places a phone call to get the go ahead to kill Osama Bin Laden, then in his sights, only to have a senior Clinton administration official refuse and hang up the phone.

• Sandy Berger, President Clinton's National Security Advisor, called the same scene "a total fabrication. It did not happen." And Roger Cressey, a top Bush and Clinton counterterrorism official, said it was "something straight out of Disney and fantasyland. It's factually wrong. And that's shameful."

• Another scene revives the old right-wing myth that press reporting made it impossible to track Osama bin Laden, accusing the Washington Post of blowing the secret that American intelligence tracked his satellite phone calls. In reality, responsibility for that blunder — contrary to "The Path to 9/11" — rests with none other than the arch-conservative Washington Times.

• The former National Security Council head of counterterrorism says that President Clinton "approved every request made of him by the CIA and the US military involving using force against bin Laden and al-Qaeda," and the 9/11 report says the CIA had full authority from President Clinton to strike Bin Laden. Yet chief "Path to 9/11" scriptwriter Cyrus Nowrasteh, a friend of Rush Limbaugh, says the miniseries shows how President Clinton had "frequent opportunities in the '90s to stop Bin Laden in his tracks — but lacked the will to do so."

• ABC asked only the Republican co-chair of the 9/11 Commission, Tom Kean, Sr., to advise the makers of "The Path to 9/11". The producers optioned two books, one written by a Bush administration political appointee, as the basis of the screenplay — yet bill the miniseries as "based on the 9/11 Commission Report."

This is a picture of bias — a conservative attempt to rewrite the history of September 11 to blame Democrats, just in time for the election.

Tell Walt Disney president Robert Iger that you hold his company responsible — and that this community demands that ABC tell the truth: http://www.democrats.org/pathto911

ABC is trying to use of the airwaves — airwaves owned by you and me, and loaned to broadcasters as a public trust — to slander Democrats and sell a slanderous, irresponsible fraud to the American people, and they're shamefully doing it just weeks away from Election Day.

The Walt Disney Corporation could have given Americans an honest look at September 11. Instead, the company abandoned its duty to the truth — and embraced the fiction known as "The Path to 9/11."

But ABC isn't the only company pushing this gross revision of history. ABC has enlisted the reputable education and children's entertainment company Scholastic, Inc. to send 100,000 letters to high school teachers, urging them to show students "The Path to 9/11".

Scholastic has also created a discussion guide for teachers to use to encourage students and their families to watch this irresponsible fraud and then discuss it in school. The discussion guide does not in any way point out the concerns and criticisms that have been raised about the validity and accuracy of the film.

We've got to stop this now.

ABC/Disney must face an accountability moment. You can ratchet up the pressure on ABC by sending your own letter to Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger — tell him to keep this propaganda off their air.

Tom McMahon is Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee


Demand ABC Correct Their 9/11 Film Hon. John Conyers, Jr. / US House of Representatives

ABC is planning to air a two-part mini-series entitled The Path to 9/11 this Sunday and Monday.

In spite of its claim to be based on the 9/11 Commission Report, the film reportedly includes numerous inaccuracies and lays the blame for the September 11 tragedy on the Clinton Administration. One scene reportedly depicts a senior Clinton Administration official calling off the capture or killing of Osama bin Laden. This depiction of events has been refuted by former Bush Administration anti-terrorism chief, Richard Clarke.

It also has been reported that the film blames the intelligence breakdowns on bureaucratic obstacles allegedly created by the Clinton Administration, even though Republican 9/11 Commissioner Slade Gordon has previously refuted that claim.

Because of my concerns that false and inflammatory information would be widely disseminated to the American public, I, along with Representatives John Dingell, Jane Harman and Louise Slaughter, asked ABC to correct the film before airing it.

The more people the network hears from, the more likely they are to correct the errors in the film. But we do not have much time. Contact them now to let them know they should not politicize this tragic event in our nation's history.

Thank you again for your commitment to a stronger democracy. Sincerely, John Conyers, Jr. website: http://www.johnconyers.com/



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