ABC's right-wing screenwriting hacks are even under attack from a few honest fellow conservatives. ( And it could have been even worse -- see below.) As the Center for American Progress reports on its blog:
Today on CNN's Situation Room, Richard Miniter -- conservative author of "Losing bin Laden: How Bill Clinton's Failures Unleashed Global Terror" -- confirmed that scenes in ABC's Path to 9/11 are based on "Internet myth."
Miniter singled out a key scene in the film involving former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger as having "zero factual basis": "If people wanted to be critical of the Clinton years there's things they could have said, but the idea that someone had bin Laden in his sights in 1998 or any other time and Sandy Berger refused to pull the trigger, there's zero factual basis for that."
The Center's political arm has already generated 50,000 protest letters, and you should add your voice, using the suggested wording in this letter to ABC here. Also check out the protest options and chronicles of misinformation at the invaluable Mediamatters.org.
And if you think this current ABC version is bad, here's an excerpt from some scenes that almost made it into the finished film from the original screenplay:
INT. DEN AT BUSH'S CRAWFORD VACATION HOME.
Have you seen the memo, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the United States?"
You bet I have, Condi. These are major threats we have to respond to now. Get me Richard Clarke on the phone right now! Then line up Tenet for me.
(Phone rings in Clarke's office.)
Yes, Mr. President?
Dick, I just saw this Bin Laden memo and I've been reading carefully all your other reports on setting up a counter-terrorist response. It's so damn important that I put down my Teddy Roosevelt biograhy to re-read all the material you've developed. You've got a free hand to do what you want -- crack all the heads together you want -- and you have my full authority to make sure we leave no stone unturned in our efforts to stop this monster Bin Laden. Our administration has no other high priority!
I'll get right on it, Mr. President. Also, can we hire some Arabic translators right away to go through the backlog of terrorist memos at the CIA, even if the translators are gay?
We'll do whatever it takes to stop terrorism, Dick!
Acting like an amiable dunce, George Tenet, enters the den to brief the President.
Al-Qaeda could strike at any moment, George. What have you got for me?
We're looking into it, but because of the budget cuts during the Clinton years, we don't have any resources to go undercover in those darn sleeper cells here or abroad. We've got some signit we're reviewing and we'll get back you in about six months, will that be soon enough?
Goddammit, George, we're running out of time! Unless you do your job properly, we'll be vulnerable to an attack of some kind on American soil. Stop at nothing in searching for Bin Laden and his henchmen here and abroad -- and make sure to share whatever you got with the FBI. That's an order. No more turf wars between you guys, got that? If you've got the names of, say, terrorists who were plotting in Malaysia and may be coming here, share them with every government agency, get them on the terrorist watch list, find them at all costs! Take off the gloves! We must protect Americans and keep them safe, politics and political correctness be damned!
FADE OUT TO WHITE WORDS ON BLACK BACKGROUND: Based on the 9/11 Commission Report. Stay tuned for the next riveting episode.