RUSH: I finished watching The Path to 9/11, and as I told you last week, when they previewed this film in Washington… well, my copy of it is five hours, and that’s without commercials, and I assumed with commercials it would probably be a six-hour presentation, but ABC is going to run this without spots, with no commercials, on September 10th and September 11th. Two nights. It’s really well, well done. Cyrus Nowrasteh wrote it and the cinematography here is blazing. All of it is shot with handhelds. It looks like live action, not videotape. It looks like live action. The lighting is done in an incredible way. It sets moods properly.
It’s just tremendous in that regard. We also heard last week that after they screened it in Washington, Richard Ben-Veniste and a number of Democrats who were at the screening were just outraged at the way the Clinton administration is portrayed, and they were going to do everything they could to raise hell about it. In fact, the liberal blogosphere is going nuts over it. They’re countering it with all these ‘truths’ they say they have about how hard Clinton fought terrorists and so forth. We even heard last week that Bill Clinton was going to call Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, and ask that there be some edits or cuts in the way he and his administration are portrayed.
The Lewinsky situation is referred to three or four times in this piece. We, by the way, ladies and gentlemen, have found something. We came across this. It came in over the transom. I don’t know who gave it to us, but we have found a little bit of a segment of what Bill Clinton was going to present to Bob Iger if he did talk to him about changing some of the scenes in which Clinton and his administration officials are portrayed. These are some of the suggested edits that Clinton was going to present to Iger.
(Playing of Clinton edits spoof.)
As I say, I don’t know if Clinton even called Iger, but I’ll tell you. If he did, I can’t imagine Disney changing this thing, given all this attention, plus they had to preapprove it in order to get it done. They had to see the script after it was done and finished; they had to clear it for air. So I think it would be a real storm if Democrats were able to be get this thing changed. I think the thing that struck me the most about the film — and, by the way, I should tell you, Cyrus Nowrasteh, who wrote it, says he bases this on the 9/11 Commission Report, and in the opening credits it mentions this. And quite a lot of the movie does come from the 9/11 Commission Report. The thing that struck me was the people I disliked the most are the enemy, and that’s as it should be. The people that come under the most harsh criticism, the people that are made to look really evil and bad are the ones who should, and that is Al-Qaeda terrorists and their supporters.
The run-up to the movie starts in the early 1990s with plots hatched in the Philippines to blow up airliners over the Pacific Ocean. It goes through every attack. Well, it actually opens with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. This movie makes it abundantly clear — and you know how people in this country are conditioned now to believe pictures: You see it, you think it’s true. This movie makes it unarguable that all during the nineties, we didn’t do diddly-squat, that nobody took this seriously. There were some people trying to: John O’Neill, who was with the FBI, who later got fired, a number of agents in the CIA. A lot of people were doing their damnedest to get this taken seriously and they were ignored, or they were opposed by various branches of government, various people in government, and it runs the gamut from the administration to the National Security Council, to the CIA and the FBI. George Tenet is portrayed here alternately good and pathetic.
Richard Clarke, as portrayed in this movie, comes across as one voice trying to get everybody to pay attention here. Sandy Berger comes across as gutless. In this one episode where bin Laden in 1998 is surrounded in his digs over in Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance and the CIA team have the house surrounded. They know exactly what building in this complex he’s in. They are ready to go in and either kill him or capture him, and they don’t get the approval from Washington. Berger says (summarized), “Nope, can’t do it. If you guys do it you’re going to do it on your own and if it falls apart you get the blame.” In another incident similar to this where it was possible to take out bin Laden and perhaps other terrorists who were — and this is before 9/11 — planning 9/11, Madeleine Albright and Berger both refused to allow the CIA and the military to take any action whatsoever.
Albright says, “The president is deeply involved in peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis, and if there is an attack on any Muslim or Islamic people right now, it will set that back,” and I’m sitting there watching this and I’m in stunned disbelief because those negotiations never led to anything! It was all about fear. That administration was afraid of failure and what it would mean to their approval ratings, but there were problems throughout. All of the information that the FBI offices in Phoenix and in Minneapolis had that were transferred to New York FBI office and then the CIA, but they couldn’t share the information. The Zacarias Moussaoui case is well gone into.
They had his computer. He was the 20th hijacker. His computer had the data on the plans. It didn’t have the date, but had the plans. The justice department said, “Nope, we can’t open the computer. We don’t have a warrant. We’re not going to get a warrant. We’re not going to violate this man’s rights this way, so forth.” It makes it clear that nobody was serious about dealing with this prior to 9/11. As for the Bush administration, they don’t get off the hook here. They are not let off the hook. They, too, are portrayed as — well, they’re caught up and sort of hamstrung by the existing procedures that are in place. They haven’t had a chance to change them, such as getting rid of the wall and this sort of thing.
The presidential daily brief of August 6th, which the 9/11 Commission and Ben-Veniste made such a big deal out of trying to prove that Bush knew something was coming and wasn’t going to pay attention to it and wasn’t serious about it. Condoleezza Rice is portrayed as diligently studying this and being very, very, very concerned about it, and the scene where she dispatches Richard Clarke and transfers him out of terrorism into something else, that, I think it probably hews pretty well to the 9/11 report. After you watch it you don’t just blame a particular administration or two or three people. You really are hit with the idea that we’ve got such a bloated bureaucracy that can’t communicate with itself, and we have people who were unwilling to deal with this because it was hard, and what happened, happened: 9/11 happened.
In the hindsight, in the aftermath, when you watch the movie, you ask yourself, ‘Does some of this stuff still go on?’ Well, we know it does. There’s a whole party, the Democratic Party, which doesn’t want to take this threat seriously at all. They’re doing everything they can to sabotage any victory over this enemy, for purely political purposes. They are acting exactly as you will see government officials throughout the nineties in this movie act: unconcerned, gun-shy, afraid, political correctness ruling the day. Some of the CIA agents in this movie are really portrayed as frustrated and just beyond belief. Great intelligence came in from the leader of the Northern Alliance, and he had pretty good data on a major attack happening in this country within, you know, 30, 40 days from the time he gave it. He didn’t know what it was going to be or where it was going to be, and nobody in government wanted to take it seriously.
Tenet, none of them wanted to believe it because there weren’t dates, there weren’t times, there weren’t names, and so, ‘Until that, I can’t take it anywhere. I can’t take this to the president! I can’t take this anywhere else. You gotta get me names.’ This is our best ally! This is a guy who has told us everything that’s going to happen, has happened. Nobody want the to deal with it. Nobody wanted to deal with it: hitting the aspirin factory in Sudan is covered. Hitting the empty terrorist camp where bin Laden was supposed to be (Clinton administration moves here), both of those are covered, but you really come away from watching this with the idea that we face an evil enemy that hates our guts, and that’s who you end up disliking the most. It’s a tough call because when you see portrayals of inaction and obfuscation and cowardice and indecision. That’s infuriating as well. Now, we watch this with hindsight knowing full-well what terrorists are capable of.
RUSH: One more thing about this movie, because everybody who knows I’ve seen it says, “Does the Clinton administration get blamed for this?” Not directly, but when you watch this, there is no escaping the fact that all during the nineties and all during his administration — the Khobar Towers, the USS Cole — oh, that one really comes through. The administration wouldn’t do diddly-squat about that. They were just afraid. I think that might have been the incident that Albright refused to do anything about because of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks going on. I’m not quite sure. But from the 1993 World Trade Center explosion and bombing to the Khobar Towers to the embassies that were blown up in Africa, to the USS Cole, it is abundantly clear this country didn’t do anything in retaliation and was hamstrung.
Any time an opportunity was presented to take to take out the people who had done this, hunting down, for example, Ramzi Binalshibh and Ramzi Yousef and so forth — and they did get Yousef, and that required an effort like you can’t believe. It had an informant, but the administration was barely able to pull the trigger, but on that one Yousef and his buddies were sentence to do 240 years in jail. We didn’t even have the death penalty for them and they’re still in jail. But in terms of retaliation for any of it, there was none — zip, zero, nada, for all of those attacks in the nineties. Nothing, and you know full well that after 9/11, we have been mobilized and we have been on the march, not only retaliating but trying to wipe these people out to prevent further attacks and a mixture of other foreign policy objectives as well, such as Iraq and democracy and freedom for these nations and so forth.
And guess who’s been opposed to it at every stretch other than when they first voted for it, and that’s been the Democrats. So if you watch this for an informed position, as those of you who are regular listeners of this program will be doing, you’ll be able to see immediately. You can’t escape the conclusion that the administration did nothing in the nineties to retaliate for any of this. So when you say, “Could you blame Clinton for it, the Clinton administration?” you’re going to see a lot of things like the terrorists living under their real names in San Diego going to flight school. They’re not picking it up, even though there were suspicions all over the place. The FBI was told, “My God, these guys are learning to fly planes; they don’t care about landing or taking off!”
It’s crazy. Moussaoui’s computer not being opened and so forth. That was in mid-August of 2001. If somebody would have gotten a warrant or just said, “The hell with it” and opened the computer, they would have found the plans. They would have found the exact plans for what 9/11 was. They would have found everything but the date. But we couldn’t share information, and we couldn’t violate civil liberties law, human rights law and so forth. There was not one, not one effort at retaliation. If you want to take it that that means you can blame the Clinton administration, feel free. But you should know there were people in the Clinton administration urging a hard line, at least as portrayed by the movie and they just weren’t listened to. Lewinsky’s circumstance is brought up three or four times (not dwelled upon, but mentioned). There are tapes of Clinton’s. In fact when Clinton said, “I want to tell you I never once had sexual relations with that woman. I never lied. I never asked anybody to lie, not a single time,” that part is in the movie, as is his grand jury testimony trying to explain that a BJ is not “sexual relations” in the context in which he’s always understood it — and I can see why. (Laughing) And Berger is portrayed as hapless and worthless, and Albright not much better. George Tenet doesn’t come off too well either. I mean, it’s not a pretty picture. It’s not going to make you proud regardless the players.
RUSH: Here is Mary in Houston. Mary, welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you, Rush.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: One of my main concerns about having the Democrats back in power is that the Democrats see the courts and the legal system and the attorneys as part of the solution, when in fact they have been part of the problem.
CALLER: It was a judge who allowed them to shut down looking at Moussaoui’s laptop. It was attorneys at the Pentagon who put the lid on Able Danger, when had used the techniques of mining the telephones to turn up Mohammed Atta’s name and ID and photo and everything, one year before 9/11 — and so they shut it down. They didn’t want any bad PR like Waco. It was an attorney at CENTCOM in Florida who put the kibosh on taking out Mullah Omar when they found him.
RUSH: Oh, oh, hold it! Hold it! You just reminded me of something else in the movie. When it’s time to take out bin Laden in ’98 and the CIA and the Northern Alliance have them surrounded, I think Albright and Berger are just, “Nope, we’re not going to do it.” Berger ends up hanging up on the CIA agent in the field, ends up hanging up on him after he’s asked for an answer and then somebody — it might be George Tenet, might be somebody in the meeting at the National Security Counsel — says, (paraphrased) “Oh, I see. I knew what happened. You called Janet Reno and I find out when Waco happened they passed the buck. I’m not going to have the buck passed to me on this if it doesn’t go right.” What they were saying was if it didn’t go right, Clinton would blame everybody but himself. So as a result of Clinton being unwilling to make the decision himself and punish anybody else who did if it went bad, nobody was willing to take the gamble — and that’s apparently in the 9/11 Commission Report, because this movie is based on it.
CALLER: At every turn, even when they prosecuted Ramzi Yousef in New York, White — what was she, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York? — she said in her remarks that everything got locked up in grand jury testimony, could not be shared with the CIA or the FBI.
RUSH: Right, right.
CALLER: It meant that they didn’t have critical information to a national threat, and even the US attorney herself said, this is a grave danger to us. We should stop this, but they want to treat everything as a criminal action and not as a war action, and it is putting this country in great danger. The last thing we need is more court oversight.
RUSH: Oh, exactly, but that’s what the libs want. In fact, I mentioned earlier today that the justice department is getting some heat. They’ve just released a report, and it says that prosecution of terrorists is down, and the liberals are up in arms. Isn’t that missing the point? Prosecution of terrorists? Do we actually think we’re going to win the war on terror by catching ’em all and bringing ’em here for trial? Isn’t the objective, in a war, to kill the enemy because they’re trying to kill us? They’ve already brought us before their so-called judge and jury, and they’re now meting out the sentence. I mean, this is a total waste of time. That’s why they can’t be trusted running this stuff.
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