Sunday, August 27, 2006

Clinton Had Bin Laden?

This can't possibly be true, can it?

I recently attended an advance screening of ABC’s outstanding, epic miniseries "The Path to 9/11" (airing this September 10-11), and I came away enormously impressed. Writer/producer Cyrus Nowrasteh ("Into the West"), director David Cunningham ("To End All Wars"), and the whole production team have done a magnificent job in presenting the complex events leading up to 9/11 with accuracy, fairness, and artistry...

Let me start by saying that "The Path to 9/11" is one of the best, most intelligent, most pro-American miniseries I've ever seen on TV, and conservatives should support it and promote it as vigorously as possible.

This is the first Hollywood production I’ve seen that honestly depicts how the Clinton administration repeatedly bungled the capture of Osama Bin Laden. One astonishing sequence in "The Path to 9/11" shows the CIA and the Northern Alliance surrounding Bin Laden’s house in Afghanistan. They're on the verge of capturing Bin Laden, but they need final approval from the Clinton administration in order to go ahead. They phone Clinton, but he and his senior staff refuse to give authorization for the capture of Bin Laden, for fear of political fall-out if the mission should go wrong and civilians are harmed. National Security Adviser Sandy Berger in essence tells the team in Afghanistan that if they want to capture Bin Laden, they'll have to go ahead and do it on their own without any official authorization. That way, their necks will be on the line - and not his. The astonished CIA agent on the ground in Afghanistan repeatedly asks Berger if this is really what the administration wants. Berger refuses to answer, and then finally just hangs up on the agent. The CIA team and the Northern Alliance, just a few feet from capturing Bin Laden, have to abandon the entire mission. Bin Laden and Al Qaeda shortly thereafter bomb the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, killing over 225 men, women, and children, and wounding over 4000. The episode is a perfect example of Clinton-era irresponsibility and incompetence. (boldface mine--Darren)


Update, 9/1/06 3:47 pm: National Review Online has a couple paragraphs to say about the response to this ABC show, one of which I'll copy here:

Apparently, the documentary recounts the bureaucratic bungling and lack of action against al Qaeda that was pervasive prior to the September 11 atrocities. It is by no means, I understand, pro-Bush. It is, instead, an effort to present history accurately. This evidently has many former Clinton officials and apologists in their default kill-the-messenger mode. Great pressure is being brought to bear on ABC and Disney to reopen the editorial process at this late stage (the documentary is supposed to air on September 10-11) so that the years 1993-2001 may remain forever airbrushed.

We'll see what happens, I guess.


Anonymous said...

And Bush had him within 100 yards at Tora Bora. Our country is making stupid decsions lately.

Darren said...

If anyone had known he was within 100 yards at the time, they wouldn't have called the President for permission to fry the man. Be serious.

Anonymous said...

If that's true, then why did they call Clinton?

Anonymous said...

Thank God you teach Math and not History.

The biggest point you miss (there are many) is that no matter what he did, (and especially if it were botched) the Republicans would have yelled "Wag the Dog". Kind of like they did when Clinton bombed Saddam's factories, saying "He's just trying to distract us from Monica!", (which, of course, was the most important story of the entire decade.)

I can understand why they were especially cautious, frankly, knowing what you all would do.

Perhaps some day your party will consider looking at the President who was actually in office when this happened--the President who ignored the warnings he was given.

I am so tired of scared rabbit Republicans who think that ours was the supreme loss. Like the World Trade Center was the worst attrocity ever committed on mankind. It was bad. But it was no where near what we've done to Iraq...who, according to the President, had nothing to do with 9-11. But, like I said, I'm glad you teach Math.

Darren said...

I hope you don't teach history either, anonymous, because Clinton didn't bomb Iraq's factories during the Monica business. It was Sudan.

And if I understand your rationale correctly, it was OK for Clinton to make the wrong decision here because he feared what Republicans would say??? Is that what you lefties call "leadership"?

Oh, and I didn't miss anything. I merely quoted someone else--someone who actually has seen this ABC show. Have you seen it yet, anonymous? Then shut your piehole.

As for your comment about "nowhere near what we've done to Iraq", I think we've done good work there. I don't see the projection of US power to free people from a dictator as a bad thing. Then again, I'm not a whiny, snivelly shell of a man who hides behind a veil and a computer screen and who attacks those who've actually stood for something in life.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the notice of the upoming mini series. It sounds like it will be worth watching.

I'm somewhat intrigued by the healthy bantering going on by the presumedly left versus right comments. Being a centrist, myself, I smile when the polemics surface between conservatives and liberals.

I don't have a dog in this fight and, quite frankly, I am not sure what the fight's about. Please indulge me and grant to me the liberty of my 2 cents worth.

Darren, you seem to suggest that the mini series you are endorsing embarasses Bill Clinton (as if he needed a mini series to do that) and Anonymous, you plead that those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

I suggest that for any meaningful exchange of ideas to surface both of you should drop the "party line."

First off, Darren to suggest that the mini series promotes pro-American values and thus should be limited to support only by conservatives is naive and silly. Every intelligent American enjoys honest and informative journalism regardless of political affliation. Conservatives don't own a monopoly on patriotism.

Second, your reporting of the facts revolving around that particular "bungled" capture of OSB is somewhat misleading and disingenuous. If it's the incident I'm thinking of it wasn't the fear of political fall-out if the mission should go wrong and civilians are harmed that was the issue but that children might be casualties during the assault. It seems that reliable intelligence identified swing sets and children's play grounds equipment at the location where OSB was residing. Perhaps a ruse, but would you chance it?

To me there is a major difference in making a command decision that might involve collateral damage to civilians versus to children. Sure children are civilians and technically your claim is true but as I mentioned based on the facts it is disingenuous. And, please, don't mentioned that the terrorist don't have the same concern. Thank heaven we can ascertain definitve lines that separate us from them.

Anonymous, personal insults distract from your point and much of your diatribe was not warranted by anything Darren intially said.

Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, I've enjoyed this brief missive.

Good night and good luck!

Darren said...


I think you're putting some words into my mouth. I haven't seen this series; I only lifted directly from the link that's in my post. Outside of the title, I wrote only 8 words in the post. The "pro-American values" statement is one I lifted, not one that I myself made. Again, not having seen the show myself, I can't comment on whether it's pro-American or not. Same goes for the story about potentially capturing OBL--I'm just reporting what someone else said.

Actually, I thought that indenting and italicizing what I copied from the frontpagemag site was a clear delineation between what was my own writing and what was not.

As for killing children, I recommend this post:
I didn't write the italicized indented stuff!

Darren said...

Oh, and even though I call myself a conservative, every internet quiz I've taken on the subject places me just right of center. Well, almost every one. The one by the libertarians places me just left of center! So go figure.

Anonymous said...


My apologies for misunderstanding your posting format. My own style when I post someone else's comments is to give notice of the author prior to the posting and putting quotation marks around the comment. Perhaps that's old school.

This is my first serious visit to this blog and I'm impressed so far wuth the wide range of participation on many compelling subjects.

Many only critism is that it gets rather boring reading polarized views that seem to be based on simple knee jerk reasoning that follows dogmatic viewpoints.

I prefer a broader view of the world and will always resist narrow mindedness regardless if it is from the left or right.

I found interesting an interview about an upcoming movie at
I'd be curious about your impression of it.

Tashi Deleks!

Darren said...


I comment on, and respond to, events and comments with my own views, which may or may not be the views of any particular political party or stripe. In other words, I don't do knee-jerk conservative responses, as my views don't always coincide with the conservatives. Since they often do, you may think I'm merely mouthing someone else's words; when that happens, I'll tell you whose words they are--as when I post comments from other blogs or articles I've read! Polarizing? You bet! I take this stuff seriously, or I wouldn't spend so much time writing about it.

As for the Aaron Russo film, that viewpoint has been shot down so many times in so many courts that it's sad that people still hang on to such invalidated beliefs. He may as well argue that that *any* restrictions on free speech are a violation of the 1st Amendment. He'd have a better shot arguing the 2nd Amendment. But arguing over an income tax that was approved around 90 years ago--and the people *then* knew exactly what they were approving--is silly. I'm curious as to why you brought this particular video to my attention.

I appreciate your visits to my site and hope you'll come back again to leave comments.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Miller—
You're a lot less conservative than you make yourself out to be in class.

I try not to dwell too much on the mistakes of previous presidents. Clinton made mistakes—is that to that we have any right to bash on him because of a military mistake that he made? Yes, of course we do. As we should.
In my opinion, every single one of those deaths is directly related to a military mistake——the illegal invasion of Iraq. That's 40,000 innocent deaths. And some film wants to "depict how the Clinton administration repeatedly bungled the capture of Osama Bin Laden?"

Alright yes, Clinton fumbled that one—if the "repeatedly" part holds water, then he make several fumbles. But the deaths of over 40,000 innocent civilians, just because of some misinformation/ignorance [of the presence of WMD's in Iraq]? I'd like to see a documentary about that one next.

Darren said...

Defending Clinton by whining, "Well, Bush is worse!" isn't a very strong argument.

Darren said...

And what are you talking about? I claim to be just right of center. In California I'm a conservative wacko, in Utah I'd be a flaming liberal. I should just move to Nevada :-)

Anonymous said...


To paraphrase the great Dan Ackroid, “You ignorant student!” :)

“You're a lot less conservative than you make yourself out to be in class. “

In my neck of the woods, he would be a liberal. FYI, Houston TX.

“Thankfully. I try not to dwell too much on the mistakes of previous presidents.”

Just the president’s you don’t like.

“Clinton made mistakes—is that to that we have any right to bash on him because of a military mistake that he made? “

Anon, you need to do a little growing up, which Bill Clinton refused to. When you take a position of leadership (a football team coach, a military commander, the President of the United States) it is not bashing him by pointing out and holding him responsible for his failures. That way we know how not to handle something in the future. To quote a great president named Truman, “You can’t handle the heat, say out of the kitchen.”

BTY Anon, I have every right to question Clinton’s (or Bush’s for that matter) judgment and policy. I’m an American.

“Yes, of course we do. As we should.”

Anon, I just spent 9 months in the Middle East. I had a greater chance of dying while I was deployed to New Orleans for a year in 2003-2004. If this is your standard, the worst president in history would be Lincoln. Under his watch 600000 men died fighting each other.

“In my opinion, every single one of those deaths is directly related to a military mistake——the illegal invasion of Iraq. “

Anon, define illegal. The US Congress passed multiple use of force resolutions, a declaration of war in everything but name. How is it illegal?

“That's 40,000 innocent deaths.”

Just curious, where do you get the numbers?

“And some film wants to ‘depict how the Clinton administration repeatedly bungled the capture of Osama Bin Laden?’"

Yes, this producer has the right to question what Clinton. Just as you have the right to question Bush…and as I have the right to question your judgment.

“Alright yes, Clinton fumbled that one—if the "repeatedly" part holds water, then he make several fumbles.”

Anon, you’re being generous.

“But the deaths of over 40,000 innocent civilians, just because of some misinformation/ignorance [of the presence of WMD's in Iraq]?“

Anon, there have been over 500 canisters of chemical weapons found in Kuwait in the last six months. For some reason, the same people (ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN/MSNBC/NYT, etc) have not seen proper to scream this from the mountaintop. Or the translated documents that show Saddam was preparing to restart his NBC program in earnest as soon as the sanctions were lifted. BTY Anon, will you hold Clinton, Gore, Kerry et all responsible for the “misinformation” of WMD in Iraq? Clinton spoke of it multiple times in the last three years of his administration.

“I'd like to see a documentary about that one next.”
I thought that was what Michael Moore put out in Fahrenheit 911?

Anonymous said...

The incident Conservative Teacher posted about never happened. It was made up and CT is taking it as gospel.

They never had men surrounding Osama, waiting to blow him away. They were thinking of using a cruise missle, but George Tenent stopped it, not the White House. He stopped it because the information was single sourced.

On "Scarborough Country" Roger Cressey — a top counterterrorism official to Bush II and Clinton — blasted ABC’s docudrama “The Path to 9/11.” Cressy said “it’s amazing…how much they’ve gotten wrong. They got the small stuff wrong” and “then they got the big stuff wrong.” He added that a scene where the Clinton administration passes on a surefire opportunity to take out bin Laden is “something straight out of Disney and fantasyland. It’s factually wrong. And that’s shameful.”

Darren said...

Anonymous, don't get your panties in such a bunch. I didn't "report" anything. Did I *not* make it clear that I quoted from elsewhere? Did I not give the link so you could judge the credibility for yourself? Did I not hint that even I had trouble believing it, by saying "This can't be true, can it?"

Now having said that, of course Clinton's people are going to jump all over this. They come off looking like the idiots that they are. I listened to the filmmaker on the radio this afternoon--he's certainly no friend of Republicans!

But let's go back to Fantasyland. What about Sudan's offer to give us bin Laden, but the Clinton Administration didn't believe them because they were a state sponsor of terror or something like that? Widely reported, very true--and very damning.

Darren said...

Hey, look what I just read on Instapundit. (note to anonymous: all the rest of this comment is cut/pasted from
They are *not* my direct words.

THE CLINTONISTAS are freaking out Sandy Berger is quoted, though his pants aren't mentioned.

It seems to me that all this protest is merely drawing attention to the subject of Clinton's treatment of terrorism, which had previously not gotten a lot. They'd be wiser to stay silent, I think.

UPDATE: Dean Barnett, however, notes the importance of factual accuracy, even in docudramas, on topics of this sort.

And on Sandy Berger, a reader emails: "Now we know what he slipped into his pants and why."

Heh. Indeed.

Darren said...

Oh look, here's more:

ED MORRISSEY debunks efforts to rehabilitate the Clinton Administration's terror record.

Factual errors aside, I'll just note a contradiction in simultaneously claiming that today's surveillance programs are Big Brother incarnate, and claiming that the mean old Republicans blocked Clinton's efforts to deploy such programs in the 1990s.

Darren said...

Oh look, here's more:

HOWARD KURTZ ROUNDS UP Clintonite complaints about the ABC 9/11 docudrama. Call me crazy, but I don't regard Sandy Berger as trustworthy on the historical record here, as given his document-removal activity I think he had something to hide.

This response, of course, will only add to that impression.