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September 11, 2006

Filed under: Left — limewoody @ 4:35 pm

I’M WATCHING “THE PATH TO 9/11” NOW: Ed Driscoll offers an interesting quote from a 2001 New Yorker article:

Soon after Freeh received these reports, he went to Berger’s West Wing office to tell him that they might finally have the evidence necessary to bring indictments. Freeh told Berger that he was looking into whether the United States could take testimony in Saudi Arabia for a grand jury in the States; it was a novel legal concept, and the Saudis had not yet agreed to it. Almost before Freeh could finish, Berger demanded, “Who else knows about this?” Did the press know? This was the last question that Freeh expected from a national-security adviser. Not many people knew, Freeh replied. The information was very closely held. Berger also questioned some of the statements linking the bombing to the Iranian government.

“That’s just hearsay,” Berger said.

“No, Sandy,” Freeh replied. “It’s testimony of a co-conspirator in furtherance of a conspiracy.” Berger, Freeh later thought, was not a national-security adviser; he was a public-relations hack, interested in how something would play in the press. After more than two years, Freeh had concluded that the Administration did not really want to resolve the Khobar bombing.

When I asked Berger about this, he seemed baffled by Freeh’s interpretation.

After the pants incident, its hard for me to respect Berger, and easy for me to see him as overly concerned with how things will play in the press. Read the whole thing and form your own opinions.

UPDATE: Austin Bay is watching it too: “I see why Clinton is afraid of it. The movie serves as a reminder of all of the terrorist attacks and attempted attacks. Clinton went eight years and Bush eight months playing cops and robbers while Al Qaeda was implementing unrestricted warfare.”

Yes, the Democrats have shown their usual instinct for the capillary. While worrying about minor bits, they’ve missed that the real harm is simply the reminder of the terrorist threat, which they’ve tried to downplay, but which they’ve magnified in people’s minds by making a stink. Going on the offensive like this just reminds people that they’ve been downplaying it for over a decade.

If they’d kept their mouths shut, this would be about the terrorists, which would be bad enough. Now it’s about the terrorists and the Democrats.

MORE: Best line so far: “War is about killing the enemy and destroying his property. It’s not about sitting around in a conference room and covering your own asses.” From 1998.

Clinton looks very bad. So does Sandy Berger.

Massoud: “Are there any men left in Washington, or are they all cowards?”

Madeleine Albright looks pretty bad, too, on the question of informing the Pakistanis that we were trying to kill bin Laden in time for him to get away. Easy to see why she’s unhappy. Is that bit true? I’m not sure.

Tenet looks like an ass-coverer. So, so far, I’d say it’s pretty accurate . . . .

Upside for Clinton: Osama’s jihadis emptying pistols into a TV screen showing him, and shouting “Clinton is Satan!”

FINALLY: I’ll try to roundup critiques tomorrow. But I think it was a big mistake for Democrats to draw attention to this film by attacking it and trying to block its broadcast. I wouldn’t have watched it without the hype, and I’ll be that’s true for a lot of people.

Meanwhile, Richard Clarke seems to be ass-covering in the after-show news segment. But George Tenet is getting hammered.

And Hot Air has a side-by-side comparison of edited and unedited scenes.

C.J. Burch emails:

I didn’t watch it, but let me make a bet with you. Over the next couple of weeks the networks will do so many stories “debunking” the show that I’ll feel like I have to see it just to get a fair look at all the facts. And I won’t be the only one. Look for this to be a huge seller on DVD for just that reason. Oh, and Sandy Berger will be on television alot over the next couple of weeks as well which will lead to booming business for the blogs willing to take another look at his pants stuffing incident. Becuase the networks sure won’t. The Democrats have a huge problem here. The problem is that people are beginning to wonder what the hell they’re hiding. With the AP thing and the Rueters photos thing and the Rathergate thing and the Eason Jordan thing and the Censorship for access thing and the staged photos thing the networks have the same problem. Look for some surprises come November.

You think?



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