The 9/11 story, already mythologized and told and retold from a thousand different angles, will now be used as the latest propaganda tool by those who would rewrite history.  According to some who have viewed and reviewed the series, it innacurately depicts some critical events and tends to place more blame on the Clinton administration for failings that might have led to the attack.  One scene that presents the Clinton administration in a bad light is, by the producer’s own admission, completely fabricated.


According to the NY Times, Richard Ben-Veniste of the 9/11 commission reviewed part of the movie along with other commission members and stated:

As we were watching, we were trying to think how they could have misinterpreted the 9/11 commission’s finding the way that they had . . . They gave the impression that Clinton had not given the green light to an operation that had been cleared by the C.I.A. to kill bin Laden.

Richard Clarke, who knows better than anyone what actually happened, is apparently upset about the depiction.  According to Think, President Clinton’s, Madeline Albright’s, and Samuel Berger’s office have been denied advance copies of the film or script, but copies of the film have been given to Rush Limbaugh and a variety of bloggers and other folks, apparently for the purposes of promoting it.  While ABC emphasizes that the miniseries is a “docudrama,” not a “documentary,” thus exculpating it from charges of inaccuracy, it apparently plans to widely distribute it to schools.  One hopes that every schoolteacher who shows this series in his or her classroom will know all the facts and be able to place the depiction in its proper context, but that is a lot to hope for.  The 9/11 Commission report is so thick and detailed, the best reader would never remember all of the facts that are outlined in it, and five or ten or more years from now, collective memory may rely almost solely on sources such as this program.  Thus the importance of accuracy in popular and mass-marketed depictions of the events.


If all of this is correct, it smells pretty bad.  Think Progress, which has reviewed the film, has posted an action alert on its website, asking people to use their form to send a message to ABC. The letter requests that ABC fix the inaccuracies in the program or not air it.  Personally, I’m opposed to censorship, and that’s what asking ABC not to air this would amount to, in my opinion.  Particularly if you have not seem the film yourself.  How can you object to something that you have not even seen?  This is what right-wing fundamentalists do all of the time. 


But it doesn’t hurt to send a letter to ABC, criticizing their decision to air and distribute an inaccurate program.  It might be even more effective to contact the program’s sponsors and tell them you will boycott them.  This is a little bit different than telling ABC that they should not air the program.  It’s more like saying, because you have shown something inaccurate and propagandistic, I’m not going to support you.  That’s a decision that someone might make on their own, after viewing the program.