Understanding It– the Path to 9/11 TV mini-series

Path to 9/11 TV: I’ve been watching this series the last two evenings on tape and this has cut a bit into my reading/blogging time. The series is six hours long without commercial interruptions. It’s a powerful piece of TV. There has been political controversy concerning the show, but I see both parties’ members being criticized in the film. Of course the Clinton Administration was in power from the first WTC bombing in 1993 through 2000 and so has more opportunities to be seen as indecisive when it came to the terror threat during that longer era than the pre-9/11 Bush administration (nine months or so).

Here are the themes I have noted in the four hours (of six) that I have watched so far.

1) portions of the US government worked at odds with other divisions prior to 9/11

2) the FBI and CIA did not adequately share intelligence on terror threats (e.g. foreign Muslims at flight schools)

3) The Clinton Administration was unwilling to act to capture or kill Usama Bin Ladin when it had the opportunity

4) The US was not supportive enough of Afghan opposition groups to the Taliban–not providing the arms and material they needed

5) There was resistance in the US to acknowledging the threat to the US, even after the first WTC, even after the trial of the blind sheikh from Jersey City, even after the attack on the US Cole in 1998. A ‘war footing’ was never achieved prior to 9/11.

6) The State Department’s attitude hindered our investigator’s ability to look for al Qaeda in Yemen and elsewhere. The State Department is often too focused on the foreign nation, rather than our own national interests.

7) Our moderate Arab “allies” repeatedly failed us, hindered us, or supported terror groups–indirectly or directly.

8) Our focus on civil liberties, political correctness, and domestic ‘due process’ hindered our ability to deal with this new kind of threat from both aliens among us and US citizens who had gone to the other side.

9) Muslim informers, often morally driven, played a key role in the little good intelligence that we did have.

10) Observant Customs officials, police officers, and Border officers played a crucial role in some of the successful, even lucky, arrests that were made (e.g. Millenium Bomber).

While the series is a docudrama, not a documentary, I think the above points are important ones. If further issues arise, I’ll comment on this again. If you have comments, click below on “no comments” and share your own.

Victor Hanson has a ‘post-mortem’ on the series. He holds no punches, as usual.


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