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The Docudrama That's A Whole Lotta Drama
The Bush lovers can't defend their man who took us into Iraq anymore? Never mind that, let's attack the Clinton administration! There's an ABC "docudrama" airing Sunday and Monday that's not quite true to the facts, according to them Clinton administration officials it bashes, writes Howard Kurtz:

Among the scenes that the Clinton team said are fictional:

* Berger is seen as refusing authorization for a proposed raid to capture bin Laden in spring 1998 to CIA operatives in Afghanistan who have the terrorist leader in their sights. A CIA operative sends a message: "We're ready to load the package. Repeat, do we have clearance to load the package?" Berger responds: "I don't have that authority."

Berger said that neither he nor Clinton ever rejected a CIA or military request to conduct an operation against bin Laden. The Sept. 11 commission said no CIA operatives were poised to attack; that Afghanistan's rebel Northern Alliance was not involved, as the film says; and that then-CIA Director George J. Tenet decided the plan would not work.

* Tenet is depicted as challenging Albright for having alerted Pakistan in advance of the August 1998 missile strike that unsuccessfully targeted bin Laden.

"Madame Secretary," Tenet is seen saying, "the Pakistani security service, the ISI, has close ties with the Taliban." Albright is seen shouting: "We had to inform the Pakistanis. There are regional factors involved." Tenet then complains that "we've enhanced bin Laden's stature."

Albright said she never warned Pakistan. The Sept. 11 commission found that a senior U.S. military official warned Pakistan that missiles crossing its airspace would not be from its archenemy, India.

* "The Path to 9/11" uses news footage to suggest that Clinton was distracted by the Republican drive to impeach him. Veteran White House counterterrorism official Richard A. Clarke, who also disputes the film's accuracy, is portrayed as telling FBI agent John P. O'Neill: "Republicans went all out for impeachment. I just don't see the president in this climate willing to take chances."

O'Neill responds: "So it's okay if somebody kills bin Laden, so long as he didn't give the order. . . . It's pathetic." The Sept. 11 commission found no evidence that the Monica S. Lewinsky scandal played a role in the August 1998 missile strike, but added that the "intense partisanship of the period" was one factor that "likely had a cumulative effect on future decisions about the use of force against bin Laden."

Posted by aalkon at September 7, 2006 2:13 AM

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Apparently, we knew what tent binLaden was in....and we didn't lauch on him because there was some Saudi Prince paying him a visit and they didn't want to kill him too....

Posted by: Rob at September 7, 2006 11:23 AM

Why do you take Sandy "docs in my socks" Berger's word on this? He was caught taking highly classified documents out of an archive and got a slap on the wrist. What else did he take and destroy that we will never know about?

Posted by: Jon at September 7, 2006 3:31 PM

Jon, it's sad that Berger can't be as ethically exemplary as those Bushies, like Scooter Libby and Karl Rove, huh?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 7, 2006 3:58 PM

Now, now, Amy - two wrongs don't make a right.

And no one in the Clinton Administration has more veracity than the current gang. In fact, there are huge similarities between the fans of each Administration: both groups ignore Constitutional and legal issues to support "their" guy, no matter what.

I gauge supporters of each by how eager they are to call the other side names. It's sad how many people who claim some kind of moral "high ground" do that.

Posted by: Radwaste at September 7, 2006 6:57 PM

I agree Radwaste. I have plenty of venom for both sides of the aisle.

For example, Pres Bush has been in office six years and has been fighting religious fundamentalists for four years (half-heartedly and with many errors of course). And of the thousands of pages of laws written by Congress, the only thing he decides isn't fit for us plebes in all that time is medical advancement via stem cell research. Islamofascism evidently isn't doing enough damage, he has to foist his own religious fundamentalism on us. Great.

But to quote the Clinton administration's attacks on ABC as if they were above reproach and that we should accept their claims of having made no mistakes defies belief.

Worse, now Senate Dem's Reid, Durbin, Stabenow, Schumer and Dorgan sent a letter to Disney threatening their broadcast licence saying ABC's dramatization is "...a gross miscarraige of their corporate and civic responsibility to the law..."

Free speech is great, but only when the Dem's (and Rep's) agree with it. Unfortunately typical.

Posted by: Jon at September 8, 2006 9:10 AM

Unfortunatley, the Disney corperation has never been concered with the truth, just look at their films "The Road to El Dorado" or "Pocohantas"

Why show the truth when you can get more ratings with ficion?

Posted by: lujlp at September 9, 2006 12:01 AM

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