Wednesday, September 06, 2006

ABC Docudrama Sparks 9/11 Spat

The docudrama that ABC will air next week commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks seems likely to revive some long-running disputes over whether the Clinton or Bush administration has more to answer for in neglecting indications of a pending al Qaeda attack on the United States.

“The Path to 9/11,” a five-hour, two-part depiction of events prior to the attacks, is to air Sept. 10 and 11. And early reviews among veterans of the Clinton White House are decidedly negative: They argue that the show downplays the Bush White House’s culpability while inventing some scenes out of whole cloth to dramatize the supposed negligence of Clinton officials.

That complaint came to the fore at a National Press Club screening of the show late last month, when Richard Ben-Veniste — one of the 10 members of the independent Sept. 11 commission, whose final report producer Marc Platt credits with supplying much of the mini-series’ detail and narrative structure — rose to denounce the veracity of a key scene involving Clinton national security adviser Samuel R. Berger.

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