"The Path to 9/11" was intended to remind us of the common enemy we face. Like the 9/11 Report itself, it is meant to enable us to better defend ourselves from a future attack. Past is prologue, and 9/11 is merely another step in an escalating Islamic fundamentalist reign of terror. By dramatizing the step-by-step increase in attacks on America--all of which, in fact, occurred--we are better able to see the pattern and anticipate the future. That was the point of the series, its only intention. Call it the canary in the coal mine. Call it John O'Neill in the FBI.
Despite intense political pressure to pull the film right up until airtime, Disney/ABC stood tall and refused to give in. For this--for not buckling to threats from Democratic senators threatening to revoke ABC station licenses--Disney CEO Rober Iger and ABC executives deserve every commendation. Hence the 28 million viewers over two nights, and the ratings victory Monday night (little reported by the media), are gratifying indeed.
"The Path to 9/11" was set in the time before the event, and in a world in which no party had the political will to act. The principals did not know then what we know now. It is also indisputable that Bill Clinton entered office a month before the first attack on the World Trade Center. Eight years then went by, replete with terrorist assaults on Americans and American interests overseas. George W. Bush was in office eight months before 9/11. Those who actually watched the entire miniseries know that he was given no special treatment.
Monday, September 18, 2006
From The Wall Street Journal: