So many inconvenient truths to keep track of. So many great scenes that could have been dramatized, and weren’t.
Maybe they should pull “Path to 9/11.” Reshoot it, make everything nice and sourced this time. Not only would it enhance the movie’s credibility, it would give super-secret right-wing Rovian gestapo infiltrator operative/screenwriter Cyrus Nowrasteh all the license he needs to really destroy Billy Jeff.
SeeDubya‘s angling to consult on the new script, and has helpfully retrieved this anecdote, as related by Michael Scheuer last year on Hardball, from the memory hole:
Mr. Clinton‘s administration had far more chances to kill Osama bin Laden than Mr. Bush has until this day… [W]e had at least eight to 10 chances to capture or kill Osama bin Laden in 1998 and 1999. And the government on all occasions decided that the information was not good enough to act…
When we were going to capture Osama bin Laden, for example, the lawyers were more concerned with bin Laden‘s safety and his comfort than they were with the officers charged with capturing him. We had to build an ergonomically designed chair to put him in, special comfort in terms of how he was shackled into the chair. They even worried about what kind of tape to gag him with so it wouldn‘t irritate his beard. The lawyers are the bane of the intelligence community.
Is this scene in “Path to 9/11”? If not, why the hell not?
SeeDub’s got more at the link, including an article in WaPo from 2004 that puts the blame for Clinton’s timidity, if you can believe this, squarely on Janet “Barbecue” Reno. But we needn’t worry about that. There’s more than enough blame to go around, as Dan Riehl helpfully reminds us by digging out an op-ed by Mansoor Ijaz from 2001. Money quote:
President Clinton and his national security team ignored several opportunities to capture Osama bin Laden and his terrorist associates, including one as late as last year.
I know because I negotiated more than one of the opportunities…
As an American Muslim and a political supporter of Clinton, I feel now, as I argued with Clinton and Berger then, that their counter-terrorism policies fueled the rise of Bin Laden from an ordinary man to a Hydra-like monster…
Clinton’s failure to grasp the opportunity to unravel increasingly organized extremists, coupled with Berger’s assessments of their potential to directly threaten the U.S., represents one of the most serious foreign policy failures in American history.
Like I said last night, the Internet has a long memory. And it’s getting longer.
Update: Reader David B. has a question:
CBS News showed documents that they knew to be fake showing President Bush in dereliction of duty in order to stage a domestic coup. ABC is showing something that they freely admit contains “dramatized” scenes that are based in reality. Clinton objects that these scenes are not true, which we’ll never know since the truth was shredded by one Sandy Berger.
Which network gets threatened with a license pull?