Top Bush Counterterrorism Official: ABC’s Path to 9/11 Is ‘Shameful,’ ‘Straight Out of Disney and Fantasyland’

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"Top Bush Counterterrorism Official: ABC’s Path to 9/11 Is ‘Shameful,’ ‘Straight Out of Disney and Fantasyland’"

Last night on MSNBC’s 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.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2006/09/cressy.320.240.flv]

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Full transcript:

SCARBOROUGH: Roger, let me begin with you. There are points of this docudrama that are more drama than fact. But talk about Bill Clinton and the central premise by ABC that he should have done more to get Bin Laden.

CRESSY: Joe, it’s amazing, based on what I’ve seen so far is how much they’ve gotten wrong. They got the small stuff wrong such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed instructing Ahmed Rassam to carry out the millenium attacks. Then they got the big stuff wrong, this fantasy about how we had a CIA officer and the Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Massoud looking at Bin Laden and they breathlessly call the White House to say we need to take him out and the White House said no. I mean it’s sheer fantasy. So, if they want to critique the Clinton administration and the Bush administration, based on fact, I think that’s fine. But what ABC has done here is something straight out of Disney and fantasyland. It’s factually wrong. And that’s shameful.

SCARBOROUGH: But at the same time, doesn’t history show that Bill Clinton had several opportunities to go after bin Laden, but the President and his cabinet were afraid to do so because they may offend some people in the Arab world?

CRESSY: Actually, Joe, that had nothing to do with it. If you read the 9/11 Commission report, it makes it very clear. In most of those cases, George Tenet, the Director of the CIA, said because there was single source intelligence it was his recommendation to the President not to take the shot. There was never a case where we had a clear shot at Bin Laden and the decision to take it wasn’t made.

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