9/11 Commission Vice Chair: Path to 9/11 Is ‘Not Good For the Country’

In his first public comments about the matter, former Vice Chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Lee Hamilton, said he was not asked to participate in the production of ABC’s The Path to 9/11, noting it is one of the few instances that he has not been asked to participate with Kean on a project related to the Commission’s work. He condemned the docudrama, saying that to fudge the distinction between news and entertainment “is not good for the country.” Watch it:


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I was not asked to participate in the ABC production. As far as I can remember Tom, it’s about the only time when — you and I were asked to do so many things together — they didn’t ask me to participate in this. I didn’t even know about it. Tom mentioned on one or two occassions that he was advising ABC, and I didn’t pay much attention to it.

After there was a screening on a Sunday night as I recall, which I did not attend, I got calls from several Democrats who objected very strongly to the way in which Sandy Berger and Madeleine Albright and even president clinton were portrayed. As it was described to me then, I thought that the letter signed by Bruce Lindsey and Mr. Doug Band, I think it is, was accurate in their criticisms of ABC. That they portrayed Sandy Berger and Madeleine Albright doing things that they did not in fact do.

Now, ABC presents this as I understand it — I did not see it last night either — as a docudrama. I don’t like the ring of that. It is either a documentary or it is a drama. And to fudge it causes me a great deal of concern and suggests to me that news and entertainment are getting dangerously intertwined. And I do not think that that is good for the country. Because an event of this consequence is very hard to understand, and to distort it or to not present it factually in this kind of presentation I think does not serve the country well.