Television

'Path to 9/11' miniseries draws the ire of Democrats

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MUMBAI: US broadcaster ABC is being put under pressure from democrats including former president Bill Clinton not to air the five hour miniseries The Path to 9/11.

The series among other things shows how the Clinton administration repeatedly messed up opportunities to catch Osama Bin Laden. It also shows that the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center would not have happened had authorities including the FBI not been so complacent.

Media reports indicate that with the mid term elections around the corner the Democrats are concerned that the series will prejudice voters. As had been reported earlier by Indiantelevision.com, the film is a dramatisation of the events documented in the 9/11 Commission report.

Media reports also indicate that some of Clinton's officials -- including former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and former national security adviser Sandy Berger are unhappy about the manner in which the series depicts them.

In the film, Berger refuses to authorise a 1998 raid designed to capture Bin Laden. This event reports state was contradicted by the 9/11 Commission. Berger sent a letter to Disney CEO Bob Iger saying that "no such episode ever occurred, nor did anything like it."

Clinton aides say that as per the 9/11 Commission Report, it was CIA director George Tenet who refused to authorise the raid on Bin Laden. The film also suggests that Clinton was distracted from fighting terrorism by the Monica Lewinsky affair and impeachment proceedings.

Bill Clinton Foundation executive director, Bruce Lindsey, in a letter to Disney said, "The content of this drama is factually and incontrovertibly inaccurate. ABC has a duty to fully correct all errors or pull the drama entirely."

In a statement ABC says, "No one has seen the final version of the film, because the editing process is not yet complete. So criticisms of film specifics are premature and irresponsible."

In India the show will air on Zee Studio on 10 and 11 September 2006. The miniseries cost around $40 million to make.

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