In today’s Wall Street Journal, Path to 9/11 writer Cyrus Nowrasteh defends his screenplay as accurate. Nowrasteh writes:
I felt duty-bound from the outset to focus on a single goal–to represent our recent pre-9/11 history as the evidence revealed it to be. The American people deserve to know that history: They have paid for it in blood…Fact-checkers and lawyers scrutinized every detail, every line, every scene. There were hundreds of pages of annotations.
ABC’s claimed inaccurate material was included because Path to 9/11 was a “docudrama.” It’s clear now that was just spin. The people who created the film regard it as “the truth” and it was marketed as such. Nowrasteh doesn’t address the multiple glaring inaccuracies in the film, including:
– A scene where former National Security advisor Sandy Berger pulls the plug on a clear chance to take out Osama Bin Laden. According to the 9/11 Commission report, this never happened.
– A scene where Madeleine Albright overrules military commanders and insists on informing the Pakistanis about a missile strike on a suspected Bin Laden hideout. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, this never happened.
– A scene indicating Bush demanded aggressive action after receiving the August 6 Presidential Daily Brief entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.” According to Condoleezza Rice’s testimony before the 9/11 commission, this never happened.
Nowrasteh dismisses criticism of the movie as “politically driven hysteria.” He doesn’t mention that many prominent conservatives — including Bill Bennett, Bill O’Reilly and Brent Bozell — criticized the film for factual inaccuracies.
Norwasteh also denies he is a “political conservative.” He has a funny way of showing it. He described himself in an interview as “more of a libertarian than a strict conservative.” Last year, Nowrasteh spoke on a panel titled, “Rebels With a Cause: How Conservatives Can Lead Hollywood’s Next Paradigm Shift.” In advance of Path to 9/11 he gave interviews to a variety of right-wing websites.
In short, Nowrasteh’s defense of Path to 9/11 is about as accurate as the film itself.