Imagine censorship coming to America.
Stop imagining. The most significant of all the post-9/11 movies has never been seen by the public, because it offended the Clintons.
Read the complete article by Howard Hyde at AmericanThinker.com.
Here is the extended version, longer by about 600 words, for readers who prefer excruciating detail:
We will probably never know specifically what was on Hillary's email server (unless, as suggested by the Wall Street Journal, we subpoena China's military intelligence). But if the spell is finally and definitively broken, as the willingness of less-than-right-wing pundits at the New York Times, Time Magazine and others to criticize Hillary without restraint suggests it might be, then we may yet learn many things about the world in which we live that we had no idea were being suppressed out of rapturous worship, or mortal terror, of the Clintons. We may emerge into a world of freedom and democracy that we had almost forgotten existed.
As just one example: Imagine for moment a world in which any of the movies Flight 93, World Trade Center, Zero Dark 30 or American Sniper had been produced but never screened in theaters, because some cabal of politicians had objected to it and seen to it that the film would be censored, censured and suppressed.
Stop imagining. That is exactly what happened to the prime time miniseries 'The Path to 9/11', written by Cyrus Nowrasteh, directed by David Cunningham and featuring possibly the performance of a career by Harvey Keitel as John P. O'Neil (FBI special agent and later chief of World Trade Center security, who was killed in the twin towers on 9/11). This film is arguably the most significant of the post-9/11 set, as it connects the dots between the first World Trade Center attack of 1993, the failure to off Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan despite multiple opportunities, and the ultimate tragedy of September 11, 2001.
Yet this 5-hour docudrama was aired only once on ABC TV in September 2006, with edits and cuts demanded by partisan censors, and then buried under orders of Robert Iger, president of the parent company, Disney. To this day it has not been released to the public on DVD. Why? The ostensible reasons are summarized by Wikipedia as "The film was controversial for its alleged misrepresentation of events and people, that some people called inaccurate, biased and included scenes that never happened." One would be hard-pressed to name a single historically-based or documentary film that couldn't be accused of the same to some degree, except that the bias of most that get produced emanates from the left. Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko and An Inconvenient Truth come to mind. Yet the controversy surrounding these and similar films never remotely caused, or are ever likely to cause, anyone to contemplate the possibility that they might be banned from the public square.
What then made the case of The Path to 9/11 different? Was it a precursor case of Charlie Hebdo Stockholm Syndrome appeasement? Suppress the film out of sensitivity to our Muslim friends, or so as not to provoke our not-quite friends the jihadis into committing murderous atrocities against innocent people?
No. No peep was ever heard from any Islamic organization in objection to the film.
The reason for the unprecedented censorship may be summarized in two words: The Clintons. The Clinton machine, jealous both of Bill's legacy and Hillary's 2008 White House ambitions, saw the film as a right-wing hit piece against them and mobilized all of its heavy artillery to make Disney/ABC offers it couldn't refuse, first to edit and then to completely withdraw the film.
Following a partial pre-screening of the film to the National Press Club (which part did not include the Bush years), Clinton attorney Richard Ben-Veniste spoke out harshly against the film and its producers. Another Clinton attorney Bruce Lindsey wrote directly to Disney president Bob Iger to impugn writer Nowrasteh's alleged political agenda. Keith Olbernan (remember 'The Worst Person in the World'?) interviewed Judd Legum, Research Director for the Center for American Progress and editor of ThinkProgress.org, the latter run by former Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta, to cast aspersions on the writer. The damning evidence, according to Legum: "[Nowrasteh] admits that he's a conservative". Legum later became Hillary's research director for her 2008 presidential campaign.
More 'damning evidence' of a right-wing conspiracy emerged when Rush Limbaugh endorsed the film and called out Nowrasteh personally as 'my friend'. Little mention was made during this time of Nowrasteh's extensive collaborations with other far-right extremists...like Oliver Stone. Nowrasteh's work with Stone on the Showtime film The Day Reagan was Shot had previously earned him charges of liberal bias.
Senators Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Charles Schumer and others wrote to Disney's Bob Iger, threatening legal and legislative sanctions which included jeopardizing ABC's broadcast license. Max Blumenthal, son of Clinton ally Sydney Blumenthal, wrote of a subversive conservative conspiracy, with David Horrowitz as its godfather, infiltrating ABC.
Then they went after director David Cunningham for his shocking ties to a -- gasp! -- evangelical Christian ministry founded by his father. Apparently Youth with a Mission, or YWAM, in between digging wells and running schools and orphanages in the third world, had been a major financier and shadow director of the movie. YWAM had an auxiliary film institute which had once stated somewhere its hope to 'have a positive influence on Hollywood movies'. To Keith Olberman, a The Path to 9/11 was nothing less than 'a stealth attack in the culture wars'.
According to Carol Felsenthal, author of Clinton in Exile, Bill Clinton personally phoned Bob Iger to demand the suppression of the film, and asked former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, then chairman of the board at Disney to do the same. Another Clinton attorney (how many do they have?), Floyd Abrams, demanded that references to Clinton's impeachment and other scandals be edited out.
Samuel ("Sandy") Berger, the National Security Advisor to Bill Clinton who had been convicted in 2005 of stealing classified documents from the national archives by stuffing them into his underwear for the express purposes of preventing them from being seen by the 9/11 Commission, was given 30 minutes on CNN to denounce the movie and question the producers' honesty, in an interview with Wolf Blitzer. Berger was an advisor to Hillary's presidential campaign.
One of the most colorful and yet chilling demonstrations of the left's spirit of censorship came from New York congresswoman Louise Slaughter (a major Hillary Clinton ally) in an outdoor press conference: "We demand that ABC run a disclaimer in every single frame. Saying up front 'this is not true' is not good enough. It's gotta be in every frame, 'don't believe this!'"
Very few of the Clintonite critics had actually seen the film. As a result, while making the charge that the film was historically inaccurate for depicting scenes that never happened, many of them were reduced to making straw-man arguments against scenes that didn't exist in the movie.
No free-speech, civil libertarian or professional guild organization came to the producers' defense; not PEN America (even though Nowrasteh was a 2-time award winner) not the Director's Guild of America, nor the Writer's Guild of America nor the Screen Actor's Guild, nor the ACLU. Participant Productions, producer of the anti-McCarthyism movie Good Night and Good Luck and others, posted a letter in support of the miniseries on its website, but quickly took it down under pressure from ex Vice President Al Gore.
All of this happened within the last two weeks before the planned air dates of September 10th and 11th, 2006. Prior to that time, no one, including the executives at ABC and Disney, the attorneys that had vetted every scene of the heavily footnoted script, and the many liberal Democrats and Clinton voters who had senior roles in the production (this is Hollywood, after all) had expressed anything other than the greatest enthusiasm for the project and for its prospects as an annual commemoration broadcast. Members of the Bush administration, who didn't come away much less scathed than the Clintons in the movie, never protested.
In the end, all of this pressure may have been overkill. Bob Iger and the Disney political action committee were donors to Hillary Clinton's campaigns for several years. Iger forbade his employees from talking to anyone and pulled the plug, putting political considerations above his fiduciary duties to the Disney shareholders, going so far as to refuse to sell the film to prospective buyers. (Incidentally, if a corporation takes a $100-million loss for the sake of a political candidate, does that count as a campaign contribution for purposes of campaign finance laws? Just asking.)
Nowrasteh, Cunningham and their crew have done an adequate job of responding point-by-point to their critic's more rational challenges to the film's historical accuracy, including explaining the obvious point that squeezing 70,000 hours of historical time into a 5-hour movie requires some amount of compression and amalgamation. It's doubtful that the Clintons would have been happier if the producers, instead of condensing ten missed opportunities to take out Osama bin Laden into one composite 'scene that never happened', they had presented every episode in exhaustive detail, extending the film's duration to 10 hours, of which a much greater percentage would have been focussed directly on Clinton's failures.
But the bottom-line reason this film should be released is not because it is accurate, fair or true, or least of all because conservatives like it, but because we are a free society of mature adults governed, among other things, by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, in letter, in principle and in spirit. Conservatives who are sick of Michael Moore's Sicko are free to make their own documentary on health care starring Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz. Those who find An Inconvenient Truth mendacious are at liberty to produce their own blockbuster Climate Change Is Just Hot Air flick starring Senator James Inhofe, geologist Ian Plimer and indicted denier Mark Steyn. No one is saying that Nowrasteh's and Cunningham's Path to 9/11 has to be the last word -- unless, on the merits and in the marketplace, no one else is able to do a better job. Competition? Bring it on!
So when Hillary is finally out of the running sometime in the next three to nineteen months, will Bob Iger or his successors at Disney finally relent and release the film? (Or will they persist for Chelsea's sake? -- follow the money.) Maybe if they feel enough heat in a different direction, including the direction of their own self-respect.
The suppression of this film is only one example of the latent effects of the Clinton intimidation machine. To combat it we will need the courage of Barbara Olson, author of Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who died in American Airlines flight 77 on that fateful day. Once the fear is lifted, there's no telling what other revelations may be made to the American public. We might yet be able to shine a brighter light on how much of HillaryCare, thought to have been defeated in 1994, actually made it into the Clinton-Gingrich budget act of 1997. Price controls, caps on the number of medical student residencies (already under the bureaucratic control of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and never since increased), interference in the patient/doctor relationship, backed by the full might of the tax and criminal justice system, were all piled on. The resulting healthcare market dysfunctions contributed to renewed calls for the government to solve problems of its own making via a socialized medicine scheme in 2009.
But that's a topic for another article. As with everything else Clinton, the horror stories never seem to end. Until now? We can only hope.
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