Under pressure about his institutional ties to the conservative movement (see here), The Path to 9/11 screenwriter Cyrus Nowrasteh now claims, the film he wrote had no political agenda. "This project was generated at ABC at the highest network levels," and brought together people from "broadly different backgrounds," Nowrasteh told the right-wing evangelical publication WorldNetDaily. Two ABC flacks, meanwhile, told the New York Times that Nowrasteh's politlcal affiliations had nothing to do with The Path to 9/11's content.
But ABC and Nowrasteh have yet to answer for the admission by Lt Col. Robert "Buzz" Patterson that significant portions of his anti-Clinton attack books were incorporated into Nowrasteh's script.
Who is Patterson? He is a former military aide to President Bill Clinton who exploited his brief, low-level experience in the White House to ingratiate himself with the far-right. In 2003, Patterson wrote "Dereliction of Duty: The Eyewitness Account of How Bill Clinton Endangered America's Long-Term National Security," a polemic rife with distortions about Clinton's record in combating terrorism. A year later, he pumped out "Reckless Disregard: How Liberal Democrats Undercut Our Military, Endanger Our Soldiers, and Jeopardize Our Security," a book that claimed without basis that terrorists wanted the Democrats to win the 2004 presidential election. Both books were produced by the right-wing publishing house, Regnery.
During the 2004 election, Patterson's second book became a centerpiece of the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth's campaign to undermine Sen. John Kerry's military record in Vietnam. The book dubiously asserted that after Kerry charged a Vietcong position, he returned from the battle "armed with a Super 8 video camera he had purchased at the post exchange at Cam Ranh Bay, and reenacted the skirmish on film."
Today, Patterson is a board member of Move America Forward, a right-wing group that mounted a PR campaign claiming that Saddam Hussein did indeed have WMD's, and falsely claimed a photograph that was later revealed to have been taken in Turkey was a snapshot of a Baghdad pacified by US military forces.
On September 1, while Nowrasteh endured scathing criticism of his falsehood-laden script, he called Patterson at home to tell him that he used his book, "Dereliction of Duty" as a source for the film that was about to air. Later that day, Nowrasteh hosted Patterson at his home for a private screening of The Path to 9/11. Patterson told WorldNetDaily a week after meeting with Nowrasteh that he received a personal phone call from ABC senior vice president Quinn Taylor.
When The Path to 9/11 finally aired with only 70 seconds of falsified footage missing, Nowrasteh declared triumph. "To lose only a minute is a success, is a victory," Nowrasteh told WorldNetDaily. "I think ABC stood tall."
Patterson, for his part, will be a headline speaker at David Horowitz's Renaissance Weekend this year.