Clinton Impeachment Precluded Forceful Response to Terrorism, Filmmaker Says
President Clinton failed to move aggressively against Osama Bin Laden and other terrorists in 1990s because he needed to keep his approval ratings high to avoid impeachment, a new documentary on the 9/11 attacks suggests.
A detailed historical account of the tepid U.S. response to terrorist activity throughout the 1990s that lead up to the terrorist strikes on the American homeland in 2001 has been withheld from the public until now thanks to the "Clinton Machine," John Ziegler, the film's writer and director, maintains.
In 2006 the Disney/ABC television network was set to broadcast a two-night, prime time mini-series entitled: "The Path to 9/11" on Sept. 10 and Sept. 11. The critically acclaimed production was based in part on the 9/11 commission report and presents viewers with a dramatization of the events that lead up to the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C. in 2001.
The film highlights the U.S. government's ineffective response to terrorism in the 1990s and in the first few months of the Bush administration.
In its original form "The Path to 9/11" offers up a compelling historical narrative highly critical of U.S. government officials who were unwilling to move aggressively against Bin Laden, Ziegler points out. Unfortunately, the version that did finally air was greatly diluted and edited down in an effort to protect the Clinton legacy, he argues.
"Blocking `The Path to 9/11': The Anatomy of a Smear"
features scenes from the original film that were never broadcast and reinserts a number of edits made at the behest of Clinton operatives, Ziegler said.
The connection between the first attack on the World Trade Center (WTC) in 1993 and 9/11 is one of the major themes explored in the new documentary that went untouched in the mini-series.
The 1993 bombing should be properly viewed as a declaration of war against America that was designed to extract a maximum amount of carnage, according Andrew McCarthy, a former U.S. attorney who successfully prosecuted some of the terrorists responsible for the attack.
Unfortunately, a forceful response that recognized the 1993 WTC bombings and other attacks for what they were was not in the cards because Clinton was hobbled by impeachment proceedings, Ziegler contends.
"I always felt this connection was pretty obvious and there is this great fear on the part of Clinton that people would eventually connect his unwillingness to resign with the fact that our government was unwilling to do what was necessary in the 1990s," he said.
"The bottom line is our ability to prevent 9/11 was greatly reduced by Clinton's impeachment."
When the "Path to 9/11" was originally conceived the intention was to have the mini-series aired each year and even show in schools, but it is now being censored Ziegler claims.
Disney's unwillingness to make the film available on DVD suggests Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger is working to advance his own political interests at the expense of shareholders, Tom Borelli, a portfolio manager with the Free Enterprise Action Fund suggests. He points out that Iger has been a consistent and steady contributor to Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).
"This not a matter of suppression," he said. "I think Disney is in collusion with the left wing of the Democratic Party. The company is essentially working against its own profits for political purposes, while also silencing free speech."
Borelli, who appears in the new film, is sending a DVD copy to every board member. The Free Enterprise Action Fund has also filed a shareholder proposal with Disney that calls for the company's political contributions to made more transparent.
Investors stand to lose $40 million on what could be a profitable enterprise because the "Path to 9/11" was shown without corporate sponsorship and because Disney will not release the film on DVD, Borelli explained in a letter addressed to Iger earlier this year.
He raised the issue again at subsequent shareholder meeting.
For his part, Iger denied there was any type of suppression at work and said Disney had decided against a DVD for business reasons. The Disney CEO also characterized "The Path to 9/11" as being "highly controversial."
Borelli responded by saying Iger's answers were "confusing" because Disney helped finance Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11, which was also controversial.
The exchange between Borelli and Iger is available here:
With a new generation coming of age that has no living memory of the 9/11 attacks documentaries like "The Path to 9/11" now have a heightened importance, Ziegler said. But he wonders if other filmmakers will now be willing to plow into the subject matter in light of Disney's treatment of the documnentary and the long reach of the "Clinton Machine."