It isn’t often that Australia takes the lead over America. But in the case of a controversial documentary, Australia has led the way.
Many of you would have watched the 2-part docudrama this past Sunday and Monday evening, entitled “The Path to 9/11”. It was a very powerful and well-crafted film. Yet it almost did not make it in America, at least uncensored. You see, Bill Clinton and the Democrats did not like it because they said it painted them in a bad light.
Well, to the extent that the Clinton administration did little about the terrorist threat, then yes, they should appear in a bad light. Black American columnist Larry Elder writes in the September 14, 2006 townhall.com that the film is closer to reality than the Democrats want to admit.
His article, entitled “Why the Clintonistas did not want you to see ‘The Path to 9/11’” tries to set the record straight as to what the film declares and how it corresponds to the real world. Elder sets the stage:
“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.” But it is not just the Clinton administration that gets hammered in the film. “Besides, the docudrama comes down hard on the Bush administration for dawdling during its eight months before 9/11.”
Elder documents how Clinton time and again refused to take seriously the al Qaeda threat, and let opportunities pass for taking out bin Laden. “Did the former president forget that prosecutors, two years after the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, named Osama bin Laden as an unindicted co-conspirator? Or that our government suspected bin Laden of aiding, financing, training and arming terrorists for several years?”
“Over the rest of Clinton’s term, al Qaeda remained busy. It attacked U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998. It bombed the USS Cole in 2000.” Yet the threat still was not taken seriously. Continues Elder:
“Regarding the Clinton administration’s efforts, the 9/11 Report (pages 350-351) reads: ‘Before 9/11, the United States tried to solve the al Qaeda problem with the same government institutions and capabilities it had used in the last stages of the Cold War and its immediate aftermath. These capabilities were insufficient, but little was done to expand or reform them. . . . At no point before 9/11 was the Department of Defense fully engaged in the mission of countering al Qaeda, although this was perhaps the most dangerous foreign enemy then threatening the United States. The Clinton administration effectively relied on the CIA to take the lead in preparing long-term offensive plans against an enemy sanctuary’.”
Top levels of the government were simply incompetent and unable to effectively deal with threats of terrorism: “Also (page 358): ‘Responsibility for domestic intelligence gathering on terrorism was vested solely in the FBI, yet during almost all of the Clinton administration the relationship between the FBI Director and the President was nearly nonexistent. The FBI director would not communicate directly with the President. His key personnel shared very little information with the National Security Council and the rest of the national security community. As a consequence, one of the critical working relationships in the counterterrorism effort was broken’.”
Concludes Elder, “Bottom line, the Clinton administration treated terrorism as a law enforcement matter. And neither he nor former members of his administration want Americans to understand or remember this. In his Saturday radio address after the first World Trade Center attack, Clinton barely mentioned the attack before beginning a much lengthier discussion about his economic program. No amount of whining letters to ABC can change those facts.”
As a postscript, it is worth noting that the film, based on the 9/11 Commission, was a very good piece of work, and even more of interest, it was directed by a Christian. David Cunningham, son of Loren and Darlene, the founders of Youth With A Mission, had been involved in other documentaries as well, and this film offers a very good blend of drama and fact. It also features Christian values throughout as well. It is a good thing we got to see the whole version here.
The film demonstrates at least two things. Believers can be involved in our culture and make a difference. And our ability to understand what threatens our way of life must be heightened. We dare not remain complacent and lethargic in the face of such hatred from our enemies.