"I don't want any lies in there parading as the truth, that's all." With that, on the fifth anniversary of 9/11, former President Bill Clinton (the man impeached by the House of Representatives for lying under oath), struck again.
Before the airing of ABC's docudrama "The Path to 9/11," former members of the Clinton administration and several Democratic senators complained about the docudrama's "fabrications" and "lies" in letters to Robert Iger, CEO of Disney, ABC's parent company.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright urged ABC to cancel its scheduled airing on September 10 and 11. She called a scene in which she alerted the Pakistanis to an impending strike against bin Laden "false and defamatory." Implicitly threatening to yank ABC's broadcast license, several Democratic senators wrote, "Presenting such deeply flawed and factually inaccurate misinformation to the American public and to children would be a gross miscarriage of your corporate and civic responsibility to the law. . . . " Where's the ACLU when you need them?
Okay, the Clintonistas criticize conversations or actions that never took place. And, true, an earlier version of the docudrama -- not aired -- stressed that the research came from the 9/11 Commission. In fact, the docudrama also used a couple of books about 9/11, as well as interviews.
The first attack on the World Trade Center occurred in 1993, Clinton's first year in office. For the next eight years, his administration squandered several opportunities to kill bin Laden. Besides, the docudrama comes down hard on the Bush administration for dawdling during its eight months before 9/11.
In one scene, for example, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice demotes counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, clearly showing the Bush administration's failure to give bin Laden top priority. But did anyone in the Bush administration send letters to ABC demanding revisions -- or else?
What about when Clinton himself, speaking to the Long Island Association in February 2002, admitted that he declined at least one chance to get bin Laden? "He was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1991," said Clinton, "then he went to Sudan. And we'd been hearing that the Sudanese wanted America to start dealing with them again. They released him. At the time, 1996, he had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him, though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America." (Clinton later, in testifying before the 9/11 Commission, called his admission "inappropriate," according to Commissioner Bob Kerrey.)