Urbin Report

Friday, September 08, 2006

Attack on Free Speech by democrats summed up

Ace has more.

Isn't it interesting how many times we've heard that Hollywood is all about dramatizations and entertainment when the lesson conveyed is pro-left, pro-Democrat, pro-liberal? "Don't take that seriously," we are admonished, "It's poetic license, darling."

Now we have the 9/11 movie that will air this Sunday. It certainly appears that ABC's head Iger is caving to pressure brought by the Clinton Foundation's Bruce Lindsay. Why? Because the dramatization paints the Clinton Administration accurately. Of course, efforts at "It's just a dramatization" somehow fall on deaf ears when you're trying to tell it to someone who really understands the power of memes and mass communication.

Look, I'm not saying that the portrayal is letter perfect. I'm not saying that in its smallest, parsable details, it is accurate to the nth degree. And I'm not saying that I've seen the movie. But I'm listening to the discussion, and I'm listening to people who have seen the movie (Rush, Patterico's co-blogger). And the portrayal is very likely as accurate as TV can be.

Why do I say this? First, because of the reaction by Clinton's camp. If this wasn't damning and true, then it would be damnably (and provably) false. Second, because all three of the "questionable" scenes in the above article are certainly believable given what we learned over the years about the Clinton Administration. Does it matter whether Berger slammed the phone down or laid it gently upon its cradle? Does it matter if Albright met the head of Pakistan's State Security apparatus in a dark alley or whether she sent a message by a messenger? Does it matter that Clinton didn't exercise leadership on a habitually self-serving, liberal, and disjointed foreign policy?

Yes. Yes it does. And from what I understand, this movie accurately portrays the lack of leadership and the lack of focus that was part and parcel of that foreign policy.

The Texas Rainmaker chimes in with quotes from the 9/11 Commission's report:
Clarke wrote to Berger’s deputy on February 10 that the military was then doing targeting work to hit the main camp with cruise missiles and should be in position to strike the following morning. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert appears to have been briefed on the situation.

No strike was launched. By February 12 Bin Ladin had apparently moved on, and the immediate strike plans became moot. According to CIA and Defense officials, policymakers were concerned about the danger that a strike would kill an Emirati prince or other senior officials who might be with Bin Ladin or close by. Clarke told us the strike was called off after consultations with Director Tenet because the intelligence was dubious, and it seemed to Clarke as if the CIA was presenting an option to attack America’s best counterterrorism ally in the Gulf. The lead CIA official in the field, Gary Schroen, felt that the intelligence reporting in this case was very reliable; the Bin Ladin unit chief, “Mike,” agreed. Schroen believes today that this was a lost opportunity to kill Bin Ladin before 9/11.

On March 7, 1999, Clarke called a UAE official to express his concerns about possible associations between Emirati officials and Bin Ladin. Clarke later wrote in a memorandum of this conversation that the call had been approved at an interagency meeting and cleared with the CIA. When the former Bin Ladin unit chief found out about Clarke’s call, he questioned CIA officials, who denied having given such a clearance. Imagery confirmed that less than a week after Clarke’s phone call the camp was hurriedly dismantled, and the site was deserted. CIA officers, including Deputy Director for Operations Pavitt, were irate. “Mike” thought the dismantling of the camp erased a possible site for targeting Bin Ladin.

and this from 1998
In Washington, Berger expressed doubt about the dependability of the tribals. In his meeting with Tenet, Berger focused most, however, on the question of what was to be done with Bin Ladin if he were actually captured. He worried that the hard evidence against Bin Ladin was still skimpy and that there was a danger of snatching him and bringing him to the United States only to see him acquitted.

National Security Council counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke sent Berger a memo suggesting a strike against al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan. According to the commission, however, in the “margin next to Clarke’s suggestion to attack Al Qaeda facilities in the week before January 1, 2000, Berger wrote, ‘no.’“