ABC's edited Path to 9/11 still a path to B.S.

It's embarrassingly symbolic that, as John Aravosis noted, the makers of Path to 9/11 didn't manage to get the correct spelling for Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (Geez. For $40 million could these guys have at least hired a copy editor?).

This is one of the few mistakes that can be chalked up to benign laziness. The rest are irresponsible distortions that soil their supporters and shame the Disney name for the foreseeable future. To put it bluntly: this is some embarrassing s**t.

After threats of a libel suit from Clinton, denunciations from public figures portrayed, the resignation of an FBI consultant, and a general outcry from progressives, pro-Bushites, historians and the public, ABC issued a petulant press release chiding critics for irresponsibly jumping to conclusions as they hadn't seen the film and besides, it wasn't even finished.

A lie, of course, but at least it was a lie to save face as it edited out the mangled facts, right? Wrong.

As the two-clip sample here shows, the criticisms simply prompted some lawyerly editing to cut down on the explicit misrepresentations in favor of implicit ones. The fabrications remain but the defamation of Clinton officials is only slightly muted.

In the top clip, the original, in which Clinton's National Security Adviser Sandy Berger refuses to give the go-ahead to an assassination attempt on bin Laden, direct references to bin Laden being in the sights and ready to be taken out are plentiful and emphatic: "It's been confirmed that Osama bin Laden is in the building on the site" and "We're ready to load the package [kill bin Laden]... do we have clearance to load the package?"

Berger passes the buck, leaving bin Laden alive -- we know the rest.

In the bottom clip, the edited version, references to the feasibility of killing bin Laden are toned down, though it's still apparent that that's what's going on, and Berger still refuses to give the go ahead: "...There are women and children near the target..." and "we know enough to try." Watch the clips to get the full effect. It remains abundantly clear what's at stake.

Unfortunately, not only was this meeting a complete fabrication but, as Richard Clarke has noted, "no US military or CIA personnel were on the ground in Afghanistan and saw bin Laden."

Think about what it must be like to be Sandy Berger or Madeleine Albright. Here you have ABC/Disney greenlight this bozo project for $40 million, listening to no independent knowledgeable voice, lying about the contents of the final edit after criticism pours in, and STILL you're accused of allowing the tragedy of 9/11 for your cold and cowardly inability to act... Right wing operatives will always try to salt the media with revisionist BS. But shame on ABC/Disney for biting. And for continuing down the path of embarrassment. You can bet that this thing is far from over.

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