- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Senior officials from the Clinton administration are demanding changes to an upcoming ABC miniseries on the September 11 attacks, saying it “asserts as fact things that are not fact.”

“The Path to 9/11” depicts what it calls the Clinton administration’s failed, stalled or aborted efforts to capture or kill al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright said in a letter to Disney, ABC’s parent company, “The drama depicts scenes that never happened, events that never took place, decisions that were never made and conversations that never occurred; it asserts as fact things that are not fact.”

Mrs. Albright urged Disney President Robert Iger to “have the facts right” before the film is broadcast.

In one scene, Mrs. Albright is shown insisting that the Pakistani government be forewarned about a cruise missile strike against bin Laden and then issuing the warning over the objections of the military.

“Neither of these assertions is true,” writes Mrs. Albright, calling the scene “false and defamatory.”

The missiles narrowly missed bin Laden, according to some reports, because he was warned of the strike and left the Afghan training camp at which it was aimed.

The September 11 commission report says that because the missiles had to cross Pakistani air space, the vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff met with Pakistani military officials “to assure [them] the missiles were not coming from India.”

“Officials in Washington speculated that one or another Pakistani official might have sent a warning to the Taliban or bin Laden.”

ABC’s five-hour dramatization lays out the history of the September 11 plot, beginning with the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. ABC Television will air the show over two nights on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attack.

A disclaimer shown at the film’s start says it “is not a documentary” and “contains fictionalized scenes, composite and representative characters and dialogue, as well as time compression.”

ABC spokeswoman Pat Preblick reiterated the disclaimer yesterday when asked about the complaints.

Former New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean, the chairman of the September 11 commission and a consultant to the production, said the miniseries is “balanced” and shows “a colossal failure of government.”

“If you portray that accurately,” he added, “people from both [the Clinton and Bush] administrations will complain.”

Samuel R. Berger, national security adviser to President Clinton, called the scenes involving him “complete fabrications.”

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