Conservative Author Richard Miniter: ‘There’s Zero Factual Basis’ For Key Scene In Path To 9/11

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"Conservative Author Richard Miniter: ‘There’s Zero Factual Basis’ For Key Scene In Path To 9/11"

Today on CNN’s Situation Room, Richard Miniter — conservative author of “Losing bin Laden: How Bill Clinton’s Failures Unleashed Global Terror” — confirmed that scenes in ABC’s Path to 9/11 are based on “Internet myth.”

Miniter singled out a key scene in the film involving former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger as having “zero factual basis”: “If people wanted to be critical of the Clinton years there’s things they could have said, but the idea that someone had bin Laden in his sights in 1998 or any other time and Sandy Berger refused to pull the trigger, there’s zero factual basis for that.” Watch it:

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

Full transcript below:

BLITZER: Let me ask you about Sandy Berger specifically. Was he defamed by this scene as depicted — none of us, at least I haven’t seen it, you haven’t seen it.

MINITER: I’ve seen the scene. You’ve seen this scene too. This scene is based on an Internet myth. I did extensive reporting into the Clinton years, and as you say, I’m not afraid to take a few shots.

BLITZER: Hold on one second. We’re not hearing you. Start again. Was Sandy Berger defamed in this scene?

MINITER: That’s a legal question. But certainly if I was the producer I wouldn’t have gone with this scene because there’s no factual basis for it. It seems to be drawn from an Internet myth. From a profound misunderstanding of what actually happened. If people wanted to be critical of the Clinton years there’s things they could have said, but the idea that someone had bin Laden in his sights in 1998 or any other time and Sandy Berger refused to pull the trigger, there’s zero factual basis for that.

BLITZER: You’ve heard other 9/11 commission members saying it wasn’t Sandy Berger who pulled the trigger, it was George Tenet the CIA director. Based on what you know, is that accurate?

MINITER: Even that’s not accurate. We just never had eyes on bin Laden in the pre-9/11 situation. The 9/11 commission investigated this. The House and Senate joint committee investigated this and published a 1,000-page report. I looked into it extensively. Most of the sources for my book are Clinton administration officials. There’s just no basis for this at all, none.

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