RUSH: Now, to The Path to 9/11. I know that some of you have been eagerly reading the Web today, various websites trying to figure out what was cut, what was butchered, what was edited out. I watched the thing on the plane ride home from Los Angeles last night, eager myself to see exactly what had been cut out, and I read the AP report today. There are others — Steve Gorman — no, this is Reuters. There’s an AP out there by our old Buddy Bob Taum or Tom Raum or whatever his name is. “The ABC network on Sunday debuted a newly edited version of its controversial miniseries about events leading up to the September 11 attacks, toning down parts that drew the most fire from leading Democrats who called the film propaganda… The network and producers also insisted they were continuing to edit the film up until its broadcast.”
Ladies and gentlemen, take it from one who has seen both versions: Yeah, they took some things out. They took out the scene, the National Security Counsel, got George Tenet in there, Madeleine Albright, Sandy Burglar, a couple other people and the CIA and the Northern Alliance on the ground in Afghanistan, make a phone call. “He’s there. Can we go in?” You know, they’re just hamstrung at the national security. “You mean women and children could die? Oh, my God. Well, hell. Gee…” and in the original uncut version Berger hangs up on the CIA agent. They edited that out. They didn’t edit out the meaning of the whole thing. The Northern Alliance commander, after getting the word that it was a no-go operation, said, “Wow. Are there any men left in Washington or are they all cowards?”
I thought they’d take out Clinton’s, “I’m going to say this one more time. I did not have sex with that woman.” They left that in. One of the other changes was minor, I think. You know, you gotta view this in the whole context. I think it’s Clarke and John O’Neill riding around in a limousine in the original version, Clarke I think it is, might have been O’Neill, but Clarke says I can’t be sure this whole Lewinsky thing is not going to be a problem distracting the president. The edited version has Clarke saying, “The president assured me that this is not going to distract him from this effort,” but overall, these cuts were very minor. The little graphics that they threw in there, “This is a fictional piece, some of these scenes have been made up.” Irrelevant.
Those little changes they made could not and did not — and I’ve done focus groups, my own little focus groups, had the flight crew watching this thing. Dawn watched it last night. Brian wanted to watch it. Brian’s a big football guy and he could not tear himself away from this to watch the Manning Bowl, and people that watched this have come to the conclusion that I did. The whole presentation and context is devastating to the people in power at the time. It is clear that they couldn’t pull the trigger. One thing this scene about Berger hanging up on the CIA agent in Afghanistan and Burglar is out there saying, “Well, that never happened, never.” Well, there’s a guy who wrote a book called The Dereliction of Duty.
He carried the nuclear football for Clinton for a number of years. The name is Buzz Patterson and he said not only did it happen, it happened numerous times. The way it happened more often than not was that Berger would get a phone call from somebody, said, okay, we got bin Laden in our sights, and Berger would try to reach Clinton but Clinton wouldn’t answer the phone. If his cell phone showed that it was Berger calling, he wouldn’t answer the phone, until the window of opportunity had passed. Just didn’t want to deal with it. Now, the Clintonoids out there can say all this stuff never happened all they want, but the guy that carried the football has written a book, and he’s been all over radio and TV lately being interviewed about it. WorldNetDaily has a story. I’ll give you the details of what he says that’s even more devastating than that as the program unfolds.
RUSH: Now, I hope after watching The Path to 9/11 last night, you understand some of the comments I made last week about how flimsy the Clinton legacy is built, that this movie was so devastating to them that they had to try to get it killed. Berger said yesterday, or late on Friday, you can’t save it, you can’t fix it, you just have to yank it. It was unfixable, he said. As to the Democrat Party, I think they’ve got a different view about this. The Democrat Party’s view on this is not so much oriented toward Clinton’s legacy as it is the November elections, and this movie last night clearly establishes that we are still at war and that it’s serious and that these people that we are fighting are serious, and the Democrats have done everything they can to say, “Ah, Bush has screwed it up. Bush has created the terrorists. Bush made them who they are. Bush is making a mess of this. We gotta get out of Iraq,” blah, blah, “We can’t be dealing with this.”
They want to create the pre-9/11 world in as many minds as possible. Now, there’s a new poll out, and you know how I feel about polls. But I also know that political parties live and die by them. Actually it’s not just one poll. It’s a CNN poll and a couple of others. “Several polls show that the No. 1 issue heading into the election season is not the war in Iraq or the terrorist threat, but the performance of the U.S. economy, which has gotten poor marks from voters despite steady growth and lower unemployment. But pollsters conducting election surveys for Republicans say persistently sour voter attitudes about the economy have begun to improve recently,” and I wonder why. Could it be the decline in gas prices?
“Twenty-eight percent say the economy is the number one issue going into the elections; 25% say it’s Iraq; 18% say it is terror. The gasoline price drop is lifting a sour mood out there amongst the populace and making a sour mood among the Democrat Party.” So the Democrats, what are they going to do now with this polling data? What, are they going to shift their agenda once again to focus on the economy and start talking about the affordability crisis that we all have out there? The actual movie itself, folks, makes it clear from 1993 on, we didn’t do anything. The administration didn’t. We had some courageous characters trying to stop it, but there was just an attitude of, “You know, it’s not that serious a threat. We don’t want to get the American people that worried about it. We can fight it as a law and order issue. We don’t have to deal with this as a war. This is not that kind of big a deal.”
This is the way the administration sort of played it. In fact, there’s an interesting story about this that I found at Spectator.org, and here’s the money quote from the piece: “The point is not that Clinton completely ignored the threat of terrorism. More accurately, Clinton confronted it in much the same manner that today’s liberals urge Bush to approach it. The Clinton administration didn’t overreact. It made sure Americans were not too fearful of terrorism. It was conscious of international law. It limited itself to low-scale military operations and was also actively involved in mediating a negotiated peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” and I think that’s pretty much on the money.
That is the way the Clinton administration dealt with it. The movie last night fairly well indicated that, portrayed that, and it’s how they think we ought to fight today. There is no need for a war. There is no need for all this. It’s crazy! These are just mere episodic, unrelated events — and that’s how they want it viewed. Now, more on the movie. Last night, by the way, ABC did a little Nightline after the first part of the miniseries aired, and George Tenet was thrown under the bus by the Clinton administration. Richard Clarke was on there. He’s a paid employee of ABC, by the way. He’s one of their paid commentaries, and he said something to the effect that three out of four of these events it was Tenet that wouldn’t pull the trigger.
The movie itself came down pretty hard on Tenet, made Tenet look like the bad guy, and you have to ask yourself, if you were an engaged human being and you’ve got chances to take out this terrorist or that terrorist or bin Laden, is it George Tenet’s decision to make? Don’t forget here, folks — and I thought this was just masterful. I think this thing is so well done, I think the cinematography, the writing, the acting, the depiction of the squalor and the wackiness and the backwardness of these people that we are fighting, it was just perfection as far as I’m concerned. I would no more know how to do that, and that’s why I have great admiration for it, among other things, including the content.
But the composite CIA agent known as Mike played by Donnie Wahlberg, there’s a meeting, and I know John O’Neill goes in and wants permission to take somebody out or take action to do something and gets shut down, and Wahlberg says, “Well, what are we fighting, a law and orderly war?” And it made the point brilliantly that the administration was fighting this as a law and order circumstance, a legal situation, as opposed to a war. There weren’t a whole lot of references to the wall in the movie last night. Do you remember any of them, Mr. Snerdley? Those probably got excised or exorcised as well. That’s undeniable. I mean, the fact that there was a wall and these agencies couldn’t share data with one another, maybe that’s in the second episode. I may be jumping the gun on that.
There are some people claiming that the scene with Ambassador Bodine over in Yemen has been cut. I’m not sure that happens in the first three hours. Might be cut, don’t know. She wrote a big editorial about it. Overall, the administration, the policy of the Church committee in ’75 and the CIA was we couldn’t assassinate anybody. No assassination of foreign leaders, which bin Laden was said to be or considered to be, and so they needed a presidential finding to take out bin Laden and that’s what they couldn’t get. Clinton just wouldn’t come forth with it, and they had to drop the whole plan again and, and this led to the comment, “So we’ve got a law and orderly administration.” It was not kind to these people, and the Clintons making so much noise about this, created a lot of tune-in factor for it, but people who did watch it paying far more close attention to it than they otherwise would have. Of course, the Democrats have their own problem with it because it totally just wrecks their attempt to portray the world in a different light today than it actually is.
RUSH: Here’s another observation about the movie last night. I don’t know whether it’s ironic or not. It’s just a little frustrating when you watch this. You tell me if I’m not right about this. That the Democrats and the liberals have been able to make the Bush administration’s inability to get bin Laden a major issue. When this movie last night clearly illustrates and that the Drive-By Media today and the liberal Democrats today all know that bin Laden is only alive today — if he is, and I still have doubts about that. I’m still not buying into the fact that he’s alive. But nevertheless, he is only alive today because the entire Clinton administration was a bunch of kids, a bunch of children. They created a mess. They did not deal with the mess, which we’ve been struggling to clean up for five years — and the gall to go out there and to blame Bush for not getting bin Laden is part of the Clinton legacy rewrite effort.
That’s what was so threatening to Clinton about this movie. Now, I’ve got an idea for Bob Iger, a friend of mine — well, an acquaintance of mine. Bob, consider this an open letter from me to you. First, Bob, I want to say, “Way to hang tough.” Even though there were edits, some will think the movie has been butchered (and I’m getting to this here in just a second. Hang with me here, folks), Bob, I think you hung tough. When the Democrats threatened your broadcast licenses of your owned and operated television stations, you could have caved — and I don’t know this to be the case, Bob, but I’m betting, I would wager that sort of made you mad and made you stick with this when you may be, as was reported, was on the verge of wiping the whole thing off the slate.
So I want to thank Bob Iger for sticking with this, even though they did respond to some of the Clinton complaints, the things taken out of there were vanity pieces that Clinton didn’t want people to see about him, but they didn’t take any of the meaning out of the movie. They were unable to do that; they would have had to scrub the whole thing, but, Bob, here’s how you deal with this. As a consumer of DVDs, I happen to know that the DVD business is sort of flailing right now. Sales have sort of tapered off in recent years, and that’s why the new competing formats in blue ray and HD DVD are out to try to revive the DVD business. I have a way that ABC Disney can single-handedly do it. And, Bob, you have to do this just to protect your own property.
There are 900 copies of the uncut version of the movie out there in the hands of media pundits — pundits and powerhouses like me, reviewers and so forth. Nine hundred copies are out there. Bob, old buddy, you know that before all is said and done, it’s going to be on the Internet. The uncut version is going to be on the Internet, as much as artists and creators and lawyers try to keep it from happening, it’s going to happen. So what do you do, Bob, old buddy? What do you do to stanch this? It’s real simple. Very soon now you produce an entire DVD package. It has both versions in it, the original version that was going to air, and the version that did air, and then in the bonus DVD you have discussion groups and you invite Clinton and Albright and Burglar to come on and discuss what was wrong about it.
Then you have the writer and the director and the producer discuss how they put it together. In this way, Bob, you’re satisfying everybody and you’re providing information everybody wants to know and you’re letting the critics have at it. You can even put last night’s little version of Nightline on it. You can do whatever you wanted to do. But you think this wouldn’t revive the DVD business, at least at Disney or whatever company they put their DVDs out? What a fabulous idea this is, both versions, make it a special boxed collector set, whatever they call it, both versions — and with compression, Bob, of five hours — well, you’d be close. You’d be hard-pressed to put both of them on two DVDs, but it would be close. But you could do a three or four DVD set and a lot of bonus material on there and have all the people that had a problem with this, people that threatened your broadcast license, let Harry Reid come on there, and let all these other Democrats have a say, if they’ll do it.
Invite President Clinton in! Put him in a studio; ask him what problems he had with it. He’ll be interviewed by somebody, even sympathetic to him. You know, and let it stand on its own, and let the DVD buying public see both versions, because, Bob, you’re about to be pirated out there. I mean, I know the Internet, and with 900 versions of this thing out, the original version, one of them is going to end up somewhere. If nothing else, the edited scenes are going to end up out there, and people are going to be able do an A/B, side-by-side comparison. If you want, let Richard Clarke narrate or host. There are any number of ways. Have Richard Clarke and Buzz Patterson host. Make sure both sides are covered, Bob, old friend, because I think it’s time to make as much as you can off of this and serve the public interest at the same time, and this would be a service, and I’m serious. (interruption) No, no. Snerdley, does it sound like I’m kidding? I am not. He’s in there laughing. I am not kidding. Let me say it with a solemn and straight face. I think it would be a tremendous idea, ladies and gentlemen, something the American people are clamoring for, both versions, one specially priced super boxed set with commentary from all of those who either liked one version or not, or vice-versa.
RUSH: During the top-of-the-hour break, I got on the phone with a good friend intimately involved in the movie, The Path to 9/11. Here it is, folks. Out of five hours, one minute of film has been cut. One minute out of five hours. Originally, they were trying to sell commercials in this thing, they decided not to. The actual run time every night is about 2:40, which would not equal five hours in toto, obviously — other than for those of you in Rio Linda, which is why I had to point this out. Only one minute was cut, total. So I’m just telling you: My buddy at ABC, Robert Iger, did not cave, folks. It’s not only he did not cave. It’s almost the opposite. These cuts? I’m telling you, I watched both sides of this movie version, unedited and the edited version last night, and I knew ’em when they happened what had been left out of this, and I had no questions about anything else.
I just didn’t know what would be cut out of tonight, but apparently just a total of one minute. When you stop and think of the pressure that Bob Iger was under — a phone call from Bill Clinton, a four-page letter from Bill Clinton, then another letter from Clinton’s lawyers on Friday, and then this threat from Senate Democrats late last week to Mr. Iger threatening his broadcast license of his owned and operated television stations — and they cut one minute out of this? I don’t think any of you ought to be writing angry letters to ABC over this. Now, what they do on Nightline after it is a whole different thing. If they want to go on Nightline, if they want to have Nightline and trash the movie and try to help deal with the criticism that way, fine and dandy, but in terms of the actual movie itself, it speaks for itself, and I wanted to make sure and pass that on.
Bob Iger deserves credit. Do you know what it is for a broadcaster to have the license threatened by a bunch of big government thugs acting like hit men in the Mafia, known as the Senate Democrat leadership? Then, of course, the full-court press from Bill Clinton and his lawyers and all these people out there like Sandy Berger saying that incident never happened, this didn’t happen and so forth — and they hung in. They hung in. By the way, since we’re passing out accolades for Mr. Iger, don’t forget this: Disney refused to distribute Fahrenheit 9/11. You know, and I (interruption). Well, had you forgotten that? Had you forgotten it? ABC Disney refused, and that’s how it ended up — who did it, the Weinstein, Miramax, Harvey Weinstein and his brother, Bob? I think they did it. But they refused that, too. But that was not Bob Iger. That was Michael Eisner, at the time, who is not a friend of mine. I’ve not met Eisner so I can’t claim any credit for Disney refusing to distribute Fahrenheit 9/11.
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