Having viewed the first part of this miniseries last night — THE PATH TO 9/11 — and anticipating viewing the second part this evening — ABC, 8 / 7 CST — I do now even moreso than I felt earlier conclude that the Democrats in our Senate who have been so ardently critical of ABC for this intended broadcast are quite decidedly partisan politically motivated.
The film does depict the Clinton Administration with clear opportunity to seize Bin Laden but instead declining to do so (out of “fear of collateral damage”) on numerous occasions. And, while the fear that was operative in the Clinton Administration which manifest itself in this honorable reason is noticable, the film does emphasize just to what ongoing and accelerated harms was the suffering inflicted upon others by Bin Laden and his terrorist network made possible because of fear for political damage and the fact that he remained at large as he did then and does now.
Which — after viewing this film’s first part — I see the Democrats (and Bill Clinton himself yet again) in our government are continuing to do that very thing: worry first about their political legacies, how they and their political party are perceived and by that, then presume to declare they are worried about our national defense.
This film is introduced and then interspersed with a clear declaration that it is not a documentary; however, the film should not be rejected or dismissed as not being credible accordingly because another significant statement the film makes is that the 911 Commission Report itself declares that there is room for expansion and revision of their conclusions, and that the conclusions themselves in their Report are not comprehensive, nor exclusionary as to other information yet to be revealed or discovered.
Harvey Keitel does a magnificent acting job in the leading role (as John Patrick O’Neill) in this film by not being overpresent as to distort the character he’s enacting (which means he has provided a great performance here).
The die is cast as to the culpability of Sandy Burger by way of his incompetence or cowardice or both, as also by the Clinton Administration in their concern with political positioning, political reputation (“fallout” and political consequences) versus national security.
I congratulate ABC for broadcasting this film. It’s one I would very much appreciate seeing several times again. An excellent review by Govindini Murty of this miniseries can be found at libertas (“Expanded Review: ACB’s The Path to 9/11“).